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Saturday, April 28, 2012

If there's one thing Lisa and I have always believed, it's that there's nothing that can't be achieved through ten minutes of lying to your children. To be honest, we're never more productive than when we're pulling the wool over Amelie's eyes. And today was the perfect example of that.

Since inventing the Thumb Fairy nine days ago, our plans for major deception have been on hold due to the unexpected arrival of kittens, but when I got up this morning, I decided it was about time we took the lying to the next level. I wanted to get out to the nearest toy shop to buy Amelie a cuddly cat, but unfortunately there were two things stopping me. The first is that I try to let my pregnant wife stay in bed at the weekend and avoid full-time childcare, so that she gets some rest, recovers her strength, and avoids tripping over the furniture and bouncing down the hallway like a beach ball. And the second is that Amelie has x-ray vision, eyes in the back of her head, and the sonar hearing of a bat, and nobody leaves this flat without her say so.

So I was reluctant to go shopping on my own, but equally reluctant to take Amelie with me, and thereby ruin the magic of the Thumb Fairy. Which is where our God-given talent as grifters came into play. At 10:30 this morning, I called Lisa into the bedroom for a secret discussion, and two minutes later we'd not only formulated a plan, but put it straight into action. Lisa ran Amelie a bath, and the moment she was in there, I was straight on the internet, downloading a bit of clip-art, and forging the following note...


I folded it up and slipped this inside...


... before sealing the whole lot in an envelope, writing Amelie's name on it, and adding it to the pile of post on the doormat. The whole operation took ten minutes. If I could muster that kind of enthusiasm for anything work-related, I'd be a millionaire by now.

When Amelie came out of the bath, Lisa casually asked her to fetch us the post from the front door, so she went trotting down the hallway to get it. Thirty seconds later, we heard her cry "There's something for ME!", which is gratifying as it proves she can read her own name (and my handwriting), after which she came running in, brandishing the envelope and spelling out the letters on the front.

Within half an hour, she was fully dressed and standing at the front door with her golden ticket in her hand. I told her that they wouldn't let her in the shop without it. Her parting words as the two of us left the flat were "Bye-bye Chloe, bye-bye Shimmy, bye-bye kittens". I had to prompt her to say goodbye to Lisa.

So Amelie and I headed into town to The Animal House in Bond Street. Or 'The Thumb Fairy's Special Shop', as Amelie referred to it. She waved her golden ticket at the entrance (attracting some puzzled looks from the staff), and she and I browsed the vast array of cuddly toys, from lions and tigers and bears (oh my), to a kiwi, a lynx and a platypus. She eventually settled on a grey tabby cat called Kayla for £7.95.

It was mission accomplished and a job well done. The two of us walked home, Amelie telling me how much she liked the Thumb Fairy's Special Shop, how much she loved Kayla, and how she would never need to suck her thumb again; and me feeling proud of our ingenious plotting, slick execution, and simple solving of a difficult problem.

When I got back, I high-fived Lisa in the bedroom, before toasting the end of Amelie's thumb-sucking days, and heading into the living room for a well-earned sit-down...


That was eight quid and a morning well spent.

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A brilliant plan!!!  But Amelie wins again!  Well done, Am. xx

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