This is my SoCal granddaughter, Sophie, who is, as my mother would have said, "a little madam". I love her to bits, and I recognise in her stubbornness and occasional obtuseness, traits that made bringing up her mother, Sarah, such a psychedelic experience. In honour - honor? - of the Sarah-Sophie tussle, I occasionally post short mom-daughter dialogues - dialogs? - some of which follow here.
Sarah, being British, can't cope with mOmmy:
Mommy, is Grandpa going to die soon?
Darling, I've told you a thousand times! I am Mummy!
Sorry, Mermy. What about Grandpa?
He is going to live for years and years and years.
I guess he's got nothing better to do, honey.
Is he still building nestboxes for moths, Mermy?
Eat you raisins, dear.
Indelicate, do forgive me (something like this dialog really happened):
Memmy, does Grandpa fart?
For heaven's sake, child, it's MUMMY, not memmy!
Sorry, M-u-u-mmy. Does he?
I expect so.
M-u-u-mmy, does Grandma fart?
Oh no, I'm sure she doesn't.
Well, Grandma is a lady.
But you're a lady, M-u-u-mmy, and you fart..
Eat your carrot sticks, dear.
Sometimes, I am in the firing line:
Mommy, oops sorry, Mummy, why does Grandpa have a beard?
Ask him youself, sweetie.
Grandpa, why do you have a beard?
It makes me look wise.
Wise? You mean, like the Three Wise Men?
Which one were you?
Eat your free-trade banana, dear
My Californian grandchildren are just beginning to get their head round the idea that I am Sarah's father:
Grandpa is your daddy??????????
Is Grandpa really your daddy, Mommy?
Sorry, I meant "Mummy".
Yes he is.
Oh. He's very old to be a daddy, isn't he?
He wasn't always old.
Eat your broccoli, dear
American kids eating MARMITE??? It happens in San Diego! :
Mummy, why don't I have boobies?
You do, dear, it's just that they're not very big yet.
They grow slowly, like, erm, eggplants or zucchini
Eat your marmite soldiers, dear.
Children always go straight for the jugular:
Mother, why does Grandpa drink so much red wine?
I don't know, dear. Ask him.
Grandpa, why do you drink so much red wine?
It helps to keep me young.
Oh. It doesn't seem to be working, Grandpa.
Eat your organic barleyfed chicken nuggets, dear.
The moment every mother dreads:
Mommy, I got a boyfriend.
Yes, I have too! And I love him.
I see. What's his name?
I don't know. I haven't spoken to him yet.
Then how can he be your boyfriend?
I mean, I haven't told him yet that he's my boyfriend.
Eat your sun-kissed manure-fed orange segments, dear.