the interrogators


Admittedly it’s taken me several years longer than most of the parents I know but I am now 110% at the point where quite a lot of the time I want my girls to shut the heck up. They were both late to talk, Leah was three and a half before she uttered her first sentence, a melancholic “I’m not happy Mummy“, and I have to admit that I have always liked that this was different from your more usual “hello da da‘, even though I suspect this will be much analysed on some future shrinks couch.
By now they both really know how to talk and do so with a zeal and enthusiasm that feels like making up for lost time. For the past couple of years I really have revelled in their every utterance,  but here’s the thing, for a start there’s two of them and lately they have begun not just asking questions but interrogating and oh boy are they tenacious. And it’s not just my motives which are under constant surveillance (“Why are you wearing that skirt again Mummy?”), it’s those of complete strangers too, (“Why is that man over there going into the shop? Why does he look sad? Is he ill?”). I can never get away with a simple and truthful “I don’t know” because they will say “But why don’t you know?”, then they start their full on nice cop/surly cop routine with one of them suggesting various scenarios, “Is he going to buy bananas?” and the other homing in with a menacing “YES or NO Mummy???” until I cave in and confess to a motive I really have no idea about. Mr Rush Hour and I joke that MI5 are missing a strategy in not employing five year old little girls to interrogate suspected terrorists and spies, we reckon they would be begging for mercy and confessing to anything.

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