‘Dad, can we have a dog?’
‘But you love dogs.’
We’ve been through this before and it always ends in tears - usually mine.
I sighed, preparing to roll out the old and trusted rebuttals of the past.
‘What are you standing on?’ My daughter didn’t understand my cunning change of tack
and frowned in consternation. ‘What are your feet touching?’ Her confusion turned to anger.
‘Well, the floor of course.’
‘Yes,’ I smiled victoriously, ‘and what’s it made of?’
‘Well, wood of course. Have you sat on your glasses again?’ I ignored her scorn as I wound myself up for the end game.
‘Yes, wood, installed by the last person who owned this house. And what did he have?’
I snorted derisively.
‘Not unless it was a rabid lion. Look over there,’ I said pointing to the deep gouges in the floor that I’d been meaning to fix for years but now heartily rejoiced in my laziness.
Her face roiled, unsure of what I was going to say but preparing for some girly revenge just in case.
‘Unless you’re prepared to get up at five o’clock every morning,’ I was laying it on a bit thick, but well into the swing of it now, continued happily, ‘and feed it, and clean up after it, and then do the whole thing all over again every night instead of going out with your boyfriend, and be prepared for the RSPCA to take it away once they discover that we haven’t a garden and that it has to stay in all day long, then I’ll consider it.’
‘Mum!’ She shouted, ‘Dad hates me and wishes I was...’