The sun came out and the snow melted and the hour went on, and suddenly children were playing together after school and I was chatting with my neighbours and we all remembered that this is what it’s like, life, when we emerge from our carapace of winter and interact with each other again like human beings.
Carapace is a good word. Everyone should use it.
Onwards. I have a story for you.
Mabel is currently in a phase. This particular phase is quite annoying. (I believe all phases are annoying. The ones that aren’t, we call maturity and/or good parenting, and are delighted about; until they disappear, and then we call the disappearance a phase.) She won’t go to the bathroom alone, she screams blue murder if you try to leave while she’s in there, and she won’t stay upstairs or downstairs alone either. She blames her father. (So do I. Why wouldn’t I? Her genes are 50% his, so it’s a good bet.) Specifically, she blames him for encouraging her to watch North By Northwest with him a few weeks ago. She seemed to like it at the time, but apparently some scenes were a little too tension-filled for her liking, and suddenly she’s scared of people bursting through walls while she poos, or something.
I suspect that if she hadn’t happened to watch North By Northwest there’d be something else she’d be pinning this new fear on. I think it’s just something that has come over her and it’ll go away in a few weeks. But that’s no comfort at 4am when she’s just noticed that I’m not in her bed any more and she can’t go back to sleep without me. (Did I mention that part? The part where she won’t sleep without me either. She won’t sleep without me, or at least not as soon as she rolls over and finds me missing.)
However! Silver lining! Today there they were watching Word Girl in their post-school veg-out TV time (and it’s educational! PBS for the win!) when suddenly I heard her laugh and exclaim, “It’s just like Daddy’s film. They’re climbing up Mount Rushmore!”
So obviously, having a pint-size movie critic who can already recognize an homage (say it in French: ohm-ahj, like the Americans do) to Hitchcock at 6 years of age is clearly worth all that time spent standing as directed in the corner of the bathroom beside the vent while she pees. I’ll just send the husband in next time, since it’s all his fault.