I was doing Babess’ hair for her dance recital this morning, and she was amusing herself with some sums. “Five and five is ten, that’s easy. Two and four is… six! Ten take away four is six… Eight take away seven is, um, four?”
She was flicking her fingers up and down for each number and sum. Once we sorted out the “eight take away seven” conundrum satisfactorily, she did a couple more then I said, “Can you do them without your fingers?”
“Ummmm. Can I hide my fingers under the table?”
That wasn’t going to work while I tugged her baby-fine hair into tight french braids, so I suggested she imagine her fingers instead. “Make pictures of them inside your head.”
“I can’t,” she said, all sad and serious, “because the only things inside my head are nightmares.”
For the next five minutes she told me a very detailed story about witches who eat children and one came to their school and turned all the little children into FROGS! And all the big kids into… horses. And all the teachers, she turned them into glasses.
“They were humungous glasses.” And there was another witch and she turned the first witch into a fairy, then the fairy turned the other witch into a fairy as well but they were bad fairies…
There was more detail than I can coherently retell, all given in a very matter-of-fact delivery. By the time she had finished telling me, I had done her hair and was assembling lunchboxes.
“That is a real nightmare, isn’t it Mum?”
I had to agree.
© UpsideBackwards 2013.