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January 14, 2003


My daughter is six today. She is dizzy, forgetful, stroppy, mercurial. Sometimes she throws her arms around me and tells me I'm the best mummy in the whole world. Sometimes she bursts into tears and tells me she hates me and I'm horrible. Sometimes whole minutes go between these two events.

She engages everyone she meets in conversation, and she wants to know about everything. Watching Mulan, she asks about war, and soldiering. Why just the men? Why are the Huns invading? What's an emperor? Why can't kids fight in wars? Why do people have wars anyway? After ten minutes, I contemplate pointing her at a copy of Sun Tzu. But she's moved onto arranged marriages. What's a matchmaker? Why does she want a husband? How can that be a dragon?

As we calculate what curtain accessories we need, she hounds down an unsuspecting John Lewis Partner. Why are there lots of different curtain poles? Why are they called finials? How do the bay connectors work? Why do you need special curtains for bay windows? What are bay windows? Why do we have curtains? Can she choose our living room curtains? (No.)

Her hair is totally out of control and she is missing two teeth. I feel vaguely guilty about this, as if I should somehow be able to control her defiantly grown fringe when hairbands, plaits, slides and kirby grips have failed; or if her next teeth would grow in faster if I paid more attention to her. She is skeptical about the tenets of all major world religions, but has an unswerving faith in the tooth fairy.

Steven sat her down and explained to her that he used to hold her on his forearm. He would cup her head in one hand, and rest her body on his arm, and her legs didn't quite reach his elbow.

She drives me completely bananas.

i really like Jamaica Ginger Cake

Posted by Alison at January 14, 2003 11:59 PM


I can't help imagining that Christina Lake looked just like this when she was six.

Posted by: Kim Huett at January 16, 2003 08:44 AM

Are you implying that Christina is the father?

(Lovely post, Alison. I was all teary-eyed there for just a second. Harumph, yes, well.)

Posted by: Randy Byers at January 16, 2003 06:34 PM

No, just a innocent observation I can assure you.

Posted by: Kim Huett at January 17, 2003 07:30 AM

That really is a lovely post. I would almost ask to put it in a fanzine except well, i think everyone really will alrady have read it. Happy birthday to Marianne from me (late as usual).

Posted by: Lilian at January 20, 2003 12:22 AM

Ah. That was lovely. Thanks for posting it. Now that Tara's moved out, it can be hard to remember what she was like at that age, but the strangest things can trigger flashbacks.

Posted by: steve glover at January 21, 2003 11:58 AM

She's a blessing.

(And your description is a joy.)

Posted by: Gary Farber at January 21, 2003 07:44 PM

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