The Tiger Who Came To Tea (reprise)

Next Wednesday my wife is going out carousing, but she got the dates muddled up and thought it was tonight, so she got dressed up and legged it with me supervising the children, until she realised when she was down at the shops buying wine that she’d got things wrong. Still, I need the practice so I told her to stay out and enjoy herself.

I got both girls bathed, after an argument about the right way to cut up an apple for La Serpiente. When I had them both loaded in La Serpiente’s room and dressed, it was time to choose their books, and then the trouble began.

Destroyer was happy to burble over a Dora The Explorer book about ponies, but La Serpiente wanted that classic metaphor of 1930s Germany, The Tiger Who Came To Tea.

She was adamant that this was a book we owned. We’ve read it several times, when we’ve borrowed it from the library, but I was as sure we didn’t have it as La Serpiente was sure that we did. "I want the tiger that came to tea" she howled in abject misery. Destroyer continued to look at ponies.

Having tears stream down her cheeks wasn’t the best way to prepare for bed. I tried to placate her with other books. I tried explaining that we didn’t have The Tiger Who Came To Tea. Nothing worked. Eventually, worn down and defeated, I downloaded her a copy to my phone and we read it from there. I really don’t want to be exposing her to electronic devices just before bed, but reading twice about the tiger eating all the buns and cake first calmed her, and then cheered her, and then she went to sleep, demanding Destroyer and I stayed in the room for Bedtime Bear to sing her down to sleep.

Then I took Destroyer next door and read her a Tottoro story until she slumped to her mattress and went quietly to sleep. Alone in the apartment, I crept around until my wife came home.We’ve read it several times


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