I convinced The Daughter that it would be a wiser idea to hang with her mom at the pool instead of accompanying her cousins to The Crocodile Creek. It's a cracker of a day. I'm working on my tan. And we're in Natal, so one can barely rely on the weather.
She seems to be having fun. I know this because every third second we have this conversation:
TD: Mommy! Did you see that? Was it the coolest?
PL: Yes, my angel. You're amazing! Wow!
TD: What did I do?
TD: Did I lift my legs out the water?
PL: Yes! Yes, that's it! That's exactly what you did. You clever clever girl.
I've now convinced her that she needs a creme soda and to lie next to her mother and "blog" on the "blackberry" Father Christmas gave her. It's a blueberry really. And its batteries are flat. Actually I think something's broken inside. It rattles. Which beats the hell out of the higher pitched version of Die Antwoord's "ay ay ay I am your butterfly" that it used to play. Thank God for small mercies.
I like today.
The Daughter has picked up a very cute five-year old who sadly did not get his two front teeth for Christmas. They're playing with his blow-up dolphin. She keeps running back to me and saying, "Mommy, I know it's a betend dolphin but the boy keeps saying it's going to bite."
As long as it doesn't spit.
He's in the deep end now, and she's not allowed to go there. She's about to emerge, devastated, and I'm going to have to offer her wise words.
And I'm going to tell her exactly what I told myself: there's nothing more you can do. Fate is a strange animal. It bites sometimes, and that's sore. It's a bit like a playful kitten. Its scratches hurt, but its cuddles and purrs are that much greater a reward than the fleeting pain.
This holiday is my plaster. The scratch is covered up. I've given in to fate.
That little shit just called my daughter a liar. I'm hitting the paddling pool to knock the rest of his teeth out.