Emily and Phoebe

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Where did you get that hat?

I am picking Phoebe up from school and it is a hot day, even by Athens standards. As we will have to be out in the sun for close to an hour before collecting Emily, I have hats with me. I hand her one.

"Daddy, I don't like that hat. It looks girlish."

"What? No, it isn't girlish at all. It's just a white hat. Here, put it on."

"It's not just white. Look, there's some pink as well." She points to the gingham trim around the peak.

"Oh, that's not really pink darling, that's red and white."

"Mmmm. And what does it say on the front?" she asks, pointing to a glittery red word in swirly cursive letters.

"Um, 'Lovely', I say."

"That's girlish. And what are those little red round things."


"They're girlish. I'm not wearing it."

"Darling, I'm sorry but I'm going to have to put my foot down here. It's very, very hot today and because we're outside, you're going to have to wear a hat. Look, I'm wearing a hat. This is my hat and I'm wearing it. This is your hat, so please put it on. I promise you, it isn't girlish!"

"You wear it then, and I'll have yours."

"What? Don't be silly. My hat will look enormous on you and there's no way my head will fit into a hat designed for a [I check the label] girl, I mean, uh, a child aged six to eight."

"Try it."


"Try it on."

"Oh, come on, darling, now you're just being silly."

"Try it."

Just to humour her, I agree to try it on, making it very plain that if it doesn't fit then she'll have no choice but to - DAMN! Damn my six-to-eight-year-old-girl-sized head! As Phoebe runs off wearing my Moscow 2008 Champions League Final hat I reflect that if only I had been quick-thinking enough to tell her that the word on the front said "Zombie" instead of "Lovely" she would probably have agreed to waer it without a murmur...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's Emily's birthday!

But there are other peoples' parties to go to. I'll be taking Emily to one while Nevi takes Phoebe to another. Ordinarily, both girls would be going to Constantinos's, but Phoebe has been invited by the one girl in her class that she actually likes, so she thinks she ought to put in an appearance. (Generally she declines invitations to girls' parties. At the one she did go to - "because they will stop inviting me if I don't go sometimes" - she was put in a room with half a dozen little girls dressed as fluffy pink princesses and given dolls to play with. "It was a nightnmare, Daddy!")

Saturday, May 23, 2009


It is Saturday and I am being given my final instructions for Emily's big sleepover experience. These involve going to collect one of her friends, getting crisps and party food, going to the video store, and picking up a cake. "And Dad, one last thing. Sometimes you can be a bit, well, strict, so could you try to be nice to my friends and not, you know, frighten them." Strict? I really don't think I'm that strict. But OK, I promise to be on my absolute best behaviour.

"I shall be happy and jolly and not at all strict, my darling, I promise. I wouldn't ruin your special day."

A worried look crosses her face "But not too happy and jolly, Dad. I mean no jokes, OK? Please don't try to be funny."

Funny? Now funny I can do. I'm renowned for the funny!

I look at her expression.

"OK, OK, no jokes. I shall be friendly but not silly, serious but not strict. I shall be completely obedient."

"Dad, the last time you promised to be obedient, you barked like a dog. In front of my friends. Please just behave.

Oh, all right. This party is going to be no fun at all, though, just you see...

Monday, May 18, 2009

The countdown begins

The coming Sunday is Emily's birthday, which makes Saturday the day of her non-party. Because she couldn't make up her mind who she wanted to invite from her class (or rather, because she realised that she couldn't invite everyone and didn't want to upset anyone), she decided not to have a party and instead to have a couple of non-school friends over for a sleepover. But there is still Planning to be done. Not to mention Lists to be made. And apparently I have to set aside a whole day to tidy my study ("Because Dad, my friends are going to be here for hours, and you can't just shut the door and hope no one looks inside, like you usually do when someone comes.")


Sunday, May 17, 2009

This is (not) our night.

It was a long day for the kids yesterday - a morning of shopping, a children's party from 6 to 9 in the evening and then straight on from there to Marios's for the three-hour (plus) kitsch-fest known as the Eurovision Song Contest. We finally got back home at 2 in the morning. Amazingly, the girls managed to stay awake for all 25 songs (from Lithuania's snoozesome piano number to Spain's maybe-not-that-bad-but-by-then-who-cared ethnic mishmash), which was no mean feat. (Personally, I was ready to call it a night after the first dozen or so songs.) Anyway, at some point between the songs and the voting, Phoebe decided she wanted to fall asleep - possibly not so much as a result of tiredness and more because they had clips of all the entries playing on a loop and she was traumatised by the scary Armenians (she thought they were witches).

Emily stayed awake for all the voting and bravely hid her disapointment at the great injustice visited on Greece by an unholy alliance of Western European, Nordic and former Eastern block countries (i.e. pretty much everyone except Cyprus...)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

"This is our night!"

It's the Eurovision Song Contest!

Go, Saki!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


This is the sort of thing that Phoebe is spending her pocket money on at the moment.

Oh joy...