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"Thanks, sorry we took so long," Jane said, after appearing at my side. "Bella, did you have fun with Aunt Barb?"

"Fish!" Bella shrieked in a seemingly random outburst. I explained to Jane that we needed to buy a few fish to feed the seals. This idea seemed to please her as much as it had dazzled her daughter. Bella jumped up and down and sang a made-up song about fish, perhaps to the tune of one of her favorite hip-hop numbers. As we stood in line for our paper tray of dead smelt, I was looking at Jane's face when her expression suddenly changed, betraying the exact moment she realized that in order to throw the fish, one must touch the fish.

I dug my camera out of Jane's designer diaper bag and smiled impishly. She looked at me with desperate, beseeching eyes. "Hey," I said. "I'm only the aunt. You're the mom, and I know you'll want to fling fish with your daughter, so I'll just do my job and document the occasion."

Jane caught my eye, and, with an "I'll-get-you-for-this" smile, mouthed the word, Bitch .

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