These exchanges took place with the Little Monkey when she was four – and were located during an archaeological dig in our study.
Me: “You are like a caterpillar. Very wriggly.”
LM: “Wriggly kriggly.”
Me: “What’s kriggly?”
LM: “It’s French for caterpillar.”
Two summers ago we had a nervous moment on a family camping trip. The Little Monkey disappeared with a friend two years older. After scouring the campsite for five minutes the pair were discovered at the entrance to a steep walking trail, only metres from our tents. Apparently they’d followed some bigger kids there. It was explained to the fugitives that only teenagers could walk along the trail without adults because … there might be snakes.
That particular piece of parental advice has stayed with the Little Monkey. Not always in the way that was intended.
Me to Little Monkey: “You won’t be a difficult teenager, will you?”
Little Monkey’s Mum: “No, you will be delightful, won’t you?”
LM: “Well (sigh), I won’t bring any snakes into the house… ’cause that’s what teenagers do.”