Magic Under the Table

By Lyz Lenz for Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers


Magic Under the Table

“Eat your food,” I snapped. My toddler started. “You ‘cared me!” She whined.

“I don’t care, eat your food.”

I’d been at the table for an hour, watching her pick at her food and then stare off into the distance, while singing a made-up song about rainbows.  I was tired and trying to nurse the baby, who wiggled and fussed, kicking his legs against the chair. I wanted to sit on the couch. I wanted the day to be over. I wanted her to eat her food.

My daughter furrowed her little forehead, which was framed in a rainbow of headbands. She gripped her hands into a fist and made a throwing motion toward me. I flinched expecting a vegetable to hit my face.


“I ‘frowed magic at you,” she said. “So, you fly away and stop being grumpy.”

I tried to hide my smile.  I didn’t know if telling people to fly away was a good precedent to set.  But I wished I could fly away too.

“We can fly after dinner. But now, I need you to stay on earth and eat.”

At two, my daughter has discovered magic. Maybe it was the fairy tales we’ve been reading or her love of princesses. Maybe it was watching “Peter Pan” and then spending the next three weeks insisting she could fly, but my daughter tells me she has magic and I believe her.

She frequently runs through the house throwing imaginary pixie dust in the air.

“We can fly!” She yells. “I make rainbows up in the sky!”

She sits on her blanket that she’s named “Blank Lee” and yells “magic away!” Then, tells me she’s on a rocket ship flying to the planet Saturn, because, “Nobody live dere.” Or I find her filling a backpack with blocks. “Dis my pixie dust,” she explains and spends the rest of the day lugging the backpack around with her—keeping her magic near.

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