When she is bad she is horrid, just like the little girl with the curl. She resists napping even though she is smart enough to know a good nap would make her feel better.
As a mom, I read the Mother Goose rhymes with certain personalizations. Once you do that, you have to use the same personalizations every single time you read the rhyme. Who knows how "smack dab" became part of the reading? It must be pronounced like a hissing/chomping reptile with a backhand to the forehead:
There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Smack DAB in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good
She was very good
And when she was bad she was horrid.
Just what does "smack dab" mean?
In essence, the phrase means "slapped precisely in the center." According to the Oxford English Dictionary, smack-dab showed up in print in 1892: "He hit him smack dab in the mouth" [Dialect Notes I, 232].
The "at" symbol, @, always looks to me like the curl smack dab in the middle of a forehead. The chili is looking mighty fine simmering on the stove. Not a bit like a tantrum...
© 2010 Nancy L. Ruder