She looks at me. The phone has stopped working (she can usually be heard in the background saying, “I don’t want to talk on the phone. I’ll talk later.”), but she seems more engaged now. I puff up my cheeks with air, and she follows suit, proceeding to slap the sides of her cheeks to produce a sound effect I remember well.
“Do you have any dogs or cats?” she asks me.
“I don’t have any pets,” I tell her. She seems confused by the concept, despite the fact that her grandparents are in the same camp.
“Do you have any pets?” I ask her, pretending I don’t know the answer.
“I have a cat named Leo,” she responds.
“Do you have any other pets?”
“And I have a dog named Lily,” she tells me.
I don’t want to contradict her, but her mom’s there for that. “Lily’s not a dog. She’s a cat.”
That does it. “I’m done talking. I’ll talk later,” she informs her mother while looking at me. After a parental prompt, we wrap up the conversation with polite niceties and both sign off.