Coming to the top of the stairs, I see Hazel in the kitchen below, standing on a chair pulled up to the stove. One of her hands is deep in cold apple crisp, and the other clutches a handful of sticky oats. Oats and sugar encrust her face, the front of her shirt, and the floor under her.
I stare at her. She looks me in the eye, and in a firm voice, says, “Noooooo.” She lifts one hand out of the apple crisp, points her index finger at me, and slowly waves it up and down, repeating. “No, no, no, no.”