Rilla, like many another four-year-old, has a deep and affectionate interest in words that rhyme. Today in the car she was thinking of rhymes for the word “cat”—surely one of the most satisfying words for a young English-speaker to rhyme because there are so many ready candidates. She had come up with a long list of the usual examples, and I strung them together into the ubiquitous beginning-reader sentence.
Me: “The fat cat sat on the rat…”
Rilla (laughs at my brilliant and original way with words)
Me: “…and squashed him flat as a mat.”
Rilla: “Um. Actually, it was flat as a cardboard.”