“Not now, baby,” he pleaded. The cat looked as worn-out as he was, but at least Mike hadn’t resorted to peeing on the furniture if pushed too far. Bastard hadn’t either, but there was a look in his eye that suggested the day was coming. “Leave the kitty alone.”
For once, Isabel obeyed, trotting over to slap her father firmly on the stomach. “SAH,” she announced.
“Ouch!” So much for sleeping. He looked over at Isabel’s smiling face. She bent down to grab a book, which she waved at him. That was her new pastime; she loved being read to, but she liked insisting on it even more. “Dah ree,” she demanded, raising the book to deliver another slap. Mike intercepted it, groaning at the sight of the cover.
“This? Again?” His complaints were too late – Isa was pulling herself up onto the couch, patting the book. “Yah. Dah ree,” she burbled.
“No. How about –“ his eyes met hers – large unblinking, but he couldn’t take that book again. “How about Daddy reads something else?”
She stared and patted the book. “Dah ree.”
He hated to disappoint her, but there was no way he was reading that book ever again. He was the adult, she was the nearly-two-year-old, and he wasn’t giving in.
Five minutes later, Mike sat with Isabel on his lap, reading Where the Wild Things Are aloud for what felt like the hundredth time. “The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another his mother called him "WILD THING!" He looked over at Isa, who nodded. “Wyl fink,’ she agreed.
“Takes one to know one, kid,” he muttered. With a grin like his, she patted his cheek and repeated, “Wyl finks.”