Emily and Phoebe

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Emily was cross with me the other day (astounding, isn't it, how many sentences begin that way) because I wouldn't take her to the park. The fact that it had been raining and that the park was deserted and full of mud was neither here not there. She wanted to go. Anyway, we had one of our usual arguments, which involves her making threats and me refusing to back down, and eventually it was established that we would be going straight home but that Emily would be giving me the silent treatment (because in Emily's mind, not talking to me is a punishment! Ha!)

Anyway, there we were, walking along in silence, when I decided to have a little fun. Emily had that morning requested chicken for lunch, so I feigned some temporary amnesia.

Me: "Oh dear, I can't remember what I was going to cook you today."
Emily: [Rolls eyes in disbelief that I could be this stupid.]
Me: "What was I going to do again?"
Emily: "Umphhhh!"
Me: "What was that? Speak up darling."
Emily: "Umphhhh!"
Me: "Oh, that's right, you're not talking to me. Let me see, will bread and cheese do instead?"
Emily: "Uuummmmphhhh!"
Me: "The bread's only a week old and I can scrape the mould off the cheese. That'll be alright won't it?"
Emily: [Stops walking, folds her arms across her chest and sticks her chin out in a pose that is clearly intended to demonstrate her dissent.]
Me: "Well, you could always tell me what it was."
Emily: [Looks away, scowling into the middle distance. A pigeon catches her eye and falls out of a tree.]
Me: "I see. Well, if you're not going to speak to me [really enjoying myself now] you could always do an impression of what it was I'm supposed to be cooking you."
Emily: [Frowns and purses her lips.]
Me: "You know, if it's spaghetti, pretend to eat spaghetti, if it's pork, grunt like a pig, if it's chicken..."

Which is how I came to be walking along with a glowering Emily flapping her arms by her sides as I recited the name of every bird I could think of except chicken. Luckily I don't know the names of too many birds, so her epileptic poultry act didn't last long. Then of course I pretended to have forgotten where the butcher's was...


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