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But HOW Mummy?

So I’ve had the ‘But why Mummy?” ad infinitum.  Most of the time I try to give the right answer but regularly I resort to “Well it just sort of is/does”.But lately Eliza is more interested in how.   The practical mechanics of how stuff happens.  Where once I could make up endless stories about fairies and fur coats, these days I have to be vigilant with my answers.

We went to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs the other day.  Him indoors, me and the girls. It was one of those days I imagined I’d have when I had children. Sitting in a pantomime shouting ‘he’s behind you!’.  I was less certain that I’d be doing the actions to Gangnam Style and indeed that my 5 year old daughter would be singing “Heeeeey sexy lady” full volume but if you could predict every last detail life would be dull.

So anyway.

When we got home Eliza asked me this:

“Mummy, how did the bad queen turn into the old lady?” (this is the bit where she takes a potion to turn into an old pedlar woman to flog Snowy the apple.)

“Well, she drunk a magical potion and that turned her into a old lady.” Said in the voice of a Cebeebies presenter.

“Yes but how did she turn into the old lady?”

“She drunk a magic potion.”  Didn’t I say that already?

“Yes Mummy how HOW did sheturnintotheoldlady?” she was getting louder, faster and more irritated. Time was ticking, come on Mummy figure it out quickly…

“Erm well she went to the forest and made the potion and..”

“But how Mummy? I know she drunk a magic potion, but how did she turn into an old lady?” I’m clearly a complete idiot at this point.

But then the penny dropped.  Got it.

“Ah.  I see what you mean.  They used a plastic mask of an old lady to put on the actress who played the wicked queen and that is how she turned into an old lady.”

“Oh.” Happy.  Thank God.

“Can I have an old lady mask Mummy?”

“Maybe. Right shall we bake a cake?”

She’s too bloody bright my daughter, too bright for me. Or maybe just really inquisitive. Maybe all kids are. But I need to look at the world in a very different way when I’m with Eliza.  I need to be practical and realistic and pragmatic.  When I’m with Tilly I need to be more intuitive and probably more like me.  For example Tilly and I were out yesterday, him indoors was out with us and Eliza was there too, but they ‘d gone on ahead.

Tilly was dawdling and I had to think of something to get her to get a move on. It was starting to rain and I was freezing.

“Come on darling, if we’re quick we’ll find the place where the pudding fairy lives.”

She stopped rolling around on the freezing, sodden muddy grass and looked up.

“What’s the pudding fairy?”

“Oh she’s very special and she lives up near the car park.”

I picked her up (as I do far too much) and carried her back, it was a long walk actually but at least it got me warm. We got to the car park after much chatting about the trees, the clouds and other random Tilly stuff.

“Ah there’s Jenny (the car) and Daddy and Eliza, marvellous.”

“Where’s the pudding fairy Mummy?”

“Oh, she’s er probably on her lunch break.”

“But why does she have lunch break?”

And so it goes on.  Tilly is ‘why’, Eliza is ‘how’. Soon Tilly will be ‘how’ and Eliza will be ‘why not’ or ‘how about’.

Here’s to the ongoing parenting journey.




  1. Oh yes how and why? My 2 favourite words LOL They wouldn’t be children though if they didn’t ask would they?

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