My daughter M has three notable qualities: natural empathy and diplomacy, love of new words, and… a worryingly skillful facility for lying, or as she calls it “joking”. (Don’t worry, we are tackling this on-going).
This morning she brought all three to bear - the little minx.
To set the scene, it is stinking hot in Melbourne for the, like, 109th day in a row or something record-making. We can't remember what it was like before this heat anymore. We wash clothes and hair daily, fill up the little wading pool twice a day for the dog, do the minimum of housework because just moving around induces sweating and fatigue. This has become our world and we accept it. I glumly recall my earlier dismissal of climate change and relegate it to an older, more innocent time...
Anyway - it's hot. I need cool and comfy stuff to wear because I won't be in an air-conditioned office today but at the kids' school for a couple of hours. After hemming and hawing a little, I pull out a pretty, floaty sleeveless top I usually wear with a pretty, floaty chiffon jacket over the top, and decide to wear it without the jacket.
Me: Bugger it, I’m going sleeveless. (Puts on top; ignores arms in mirror; gets on with morning stuff).
Me, last minute before heading out the door to the school: Discards sleeveless top, puts on top with sleeves.
M: Mum, you changed your top.
Me: Yes, sweetie, I did. Ready to go? (Attempts to shepherd kids out door).
M: Why did you change it?
Me: (flounders for “correct” answer, gives up, goes for accurate one): “Uh, because my arms are too fat for it.”
M: (earnest, solicitous voice) Well I think it looked lovely on you, Mum.
Me: Ah, thank you honey!
M: You looked beautiful. In fact, you actually looked spectacular in it.
M: (over her shoulder, out the corner of her mouth): I don’t always mean it, but at least I say it.
Gee, thanks, love.