I hopped down the stairs and quickly walked through the living room on my way to the kitchen to refill a water glass.

“Hi Lydia,” I said, rounding the corner with a smile. I entered the kitchen and started towards the sink. Then I froze for a moment while my mind processed what I had just seen. I sighed. A few deep breaths later my body rewound the five steps backwards into the living room.

“Lydia. Why are you chewing on that baby’s head?”

She was sitting in a chair in the far corner of the room with a baby doll in her lap and she had her teeth sunk firmly in his squishy little forehead. She slowly opened her mouth and wiped at it with the back of her sleeve.

“Oh. I’m pretending I’m a doctor.”

“Oh, okay,” I said and continued into the kitchen. But then I froze again and rewound back into the room.

“I’m sorry, what did you say? Because it sounded like you said you were pretending to be a doctor.”

She was tearing at the child’s forehead again like it was a giant hunk of beef jerky. She looked up at me for a second or two and then released her jaws, as if she were annoyed at my continued interruption.

“Yes,” she said plainly. “I’m a doctor.” Then she held the doll’s head in her hands and bit at it like an apple.

“Oh, okay.” I said, and went to refill my water glass.