“Look at his green dress!” Ava says, shoving the coloring book toward her grandma.
“Her green dress,” Mary says, inspecting the leaves of a raspberry plant with knobby fingers.
I shoot my mother a look.
“What?” she asks. “Honestly, I don’t know what you think is so progressive about confusing your daughter.”
“It’s about the grammar,” I tell her. “But of course boys can wear dresses,” I tell Ava.
The past month has brought on a flurry new grammatical confusions. Irregular verbs like “ran” have suddenly transmogrified to “runned” and gender pronouns are endlessly inverted. I’d already told my mother that Henry and I weren’t correcting Ava’s grammar. At this age, kids overregularize the rules, but they quickly figure it out on their own.
“Are we inside or outside?” Ava asks.
“Inside,” Mary says.
“A bit of both,” I say. “We’re in a greenhouse.”
“The glass walls let the sunshine in so the flowers can grow. More and more light gets trapped inside, bouncing off the walls, keeping the plants warm.”
Ava is thinking, never quite satisfied with an answer. I muss up her hair. My mother smiles at us, then smooths Ava’s hair back into place.
This is a submission to Sunday Photo Fiction, a weekly challenge where writers post a story in 200 words or fewer in response to a photo prompt, shown above.