So I'm putting the kids down tonight, and Nolie is being particularly whiny and petulant, as she is wont to be these days. So we two end up in our "thinking chair"--the rocking chair in the dark playroom where we go when one or both of us is having some difficulty expressing ourselves with kindness and respect. It gives us a chance to cool off and reconnect physically and to make things right again.
We're sitting in the thinking chair and I ask Nolie, "My goodness. Where is all this behavior coming from?" It's intended as a rhetorical question, an expression of my frustration, but after a pause she answers.
"From the factory."
"The factory in my body."
"The factory in your body?"
"Yeah there's a factory in my body and when it makes sad I feel sad and when it makes nervous I feel nervous and when it makes happy I feel happy."
Silence, while I digest what the hell I just heard.
"What feeling is it making right now?"
"Oh. I'm sorry."
Tummy rub. And, later, a back rub once she's back in bed.
"It's making happy now!"