"Mommy, I'm can't be your little boy any more. I have to be an inchworm." He inchworms across the living room floor, down the hall, and back again.
"And why is that?"
"Because you told me to do the thing that I didn't want to do." Ah. I told him to go get out of his nappy and put on some underwear - nappies are for night time only. He's supposed to change as soon as he gets up. I will be so happy when we're done with nappies altogether.
"I see. So you have to be an inchworm?" I continue sewing.
"Yes, I do. What do inchworms eat?"
"Leaves, I suppose, or inchworm chow." I am not looking directly at him - I'm sewing patches on a jacket.
"I guess I have to say goodbye and go live outside, now. What do leaves taste like?"
"They taste leafy. Can't you be an inchworm inside?" I glance at him and he catches me looking.
"There are no leaves inside." Meanwhile, he is inching back across the living room floor and up onto my chair. He inches onto my lap and flops there, despondent. "So I guess I'll have to go away, now." He is about to cry.
"Can't you stay inside and be my pet inchworm?" I put the sewing down so he won't get poked or stitched to the jacket - it's not mine, and I don't care to return it to its owner with an added inchworm bonus.
"Oh, yes, that's a great idea!" He brightens - he had convinced himself that he was going to have to live out in the yard, but now he doesn't have to.
"Thank you, I do try."
He spies something on the little table by my chair. "And I can eat Smarties, because that's what pet inchworms eat instead of leaves!"
"Oh, do they?"
"Yes, they do!" He wriggles over and picks up the roll of Smarties, then turns and makes a face at me. "This is my inchworm face." Then he puts his face close to mine and brushes me lightly with his little nose. "That's an inchworm kiss."
He repeats the inchworm kiss several times, happy that he is reprieved from joining his wild brethren munching leaves outside.
Yep - I think I'll keep him.