Bebe scrambled her way up to the highest stone in the rock garden and spread her arms wide.
“Ha, ha, my darling,” said Peter Stanley. “What exactly do you know?”
“Umm. I know I shouldn’t be up here on the rocks ‘coz Mummy says I could fall and get hurt. I know how to count to one hundred and say all the letters of the alphabet. I can also write my name.”
“You’re my clever, special birthday girl,” said Peter. “Anything else before I help you get down and give you a big hug and a kiss?”
“Yes, Daddy. I know that my birthday treat will be a Barbie doll, a pizza and ice-cream at Poppa Pizza with you, Mummy, Grandma and Grandpa.”
“Is that it?”
“Erm, I don’t think so,” said Bebe. “I need to tell you that I don’t want tomato on my pizza.”
“Why’s that?” laughed her Dad.
“Well, Mummy gave me those little round tomatoes at dinner-time. She said they’re called ‘cherry tomatoes’ because of how they look and taste. But I don’t really like any tomatoes because of the bits they have on top. They scare me.
“Y’mean the stalks?”
“Umm, yes. They look like spiders and I hate spiders. Ugh! And there’s something else.”
“I told Mummy that yesterday when I was watching telly, I saw her through the window in the garden talking to Greg next door. He has hairs under his nose which look like furry spider’s legs.”
“It isn’t nice to talk about how other people look, poppet. Try to say only kind things. O.K.?”
“I also don’t know why, honey. I’ll ask Mummy, if you like.”
“Was it ‘coz I said I saw him give her another one, from his mouth into hers and then their two mouths got sort of stuck together like twins? Y’know, Daddy, just like Aunty Tracy’s new babies. They’re so cute!”
(Copyright, Natalie Irene Wood – 29 May 2013)