Kaleidoscope hijinks

Because La Serpiente has had no school today, to prevent her or any of the other pupils contracting Hand Foot & Mouth Disease, she’s been a little bit antsy.  No scampering around the bus stop with her friends, no stopping for miniature croissants at the Tiong Bahru Bakery, no being carried along by her father.  All this leads to a slightly frayed mind.


As a treat, just before bath time my wife brought down the kaleidoscope that she got as a Christmas present a few years ago, and turned it on.  It whirred and rotated and projected different coloured waves of light on the walls of the bedroom.  This entertained La Serpiente.  Until my wife got annoyed at La Serpiente’s constant capering and avoiding getting undressed, and turned the kaleidoscope off.

The screaming didn’t subside for half an hour. La Serpiente kept throwing herself to the floor, yelling that she needed the kaleidoscope. Well, her diction wasn’t so great: the phrasing would be more closely approximated as “I neeeed the scope”, over and over again. My wife, worn out by the whole day (she had unwisely pressed a personal trainer into service so she was doubly exhausted) was not too patient with La Serpiente’s endless repetition, and I was also hoping to get the kid to sleep quickly so I could do all the work that I’ve got piled up this evening.

But the screaming and the throwing herself around continued. After the first wave of complaints finished, we had to get her into the bath, and while she occasionally asked for her kaleidoscope, when she’s bawling with tears she’s usually easier to bathe because she doens’t struggle so much, and just sits in the bathtub weeping. So much for tears-free shampoo, eh?

Then after we’d bathed her we tried to brush her teeth (again, the end of the world, or of hope, or happiness, or my eardrums) and then I read to her one of her latest favourite library books, about firemen. I find this rather sexist and keep reading fireman aloud as firefighter, though I’m not sure it’s any more correct of me to be censoring her literature than it is to promote an agenda for emergency workers that marginalises women. I guess the only thing for it is for me to write a very long post about this book that will mostly be ignored by the world.

For now, that is…

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