Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The 'mato Monster

The scene: Saturday lunch.
The players: Steve, me, the LGBB and Nanna and Pa.
The setting: A plate of salad greens, cherry tomatoes, tuna, sliced egg, various dips and some fresh rolls and a help-yourself atmosphere.

Everyone set about making up their rolls. The LGBB had all hands on deck to assist her to build her own special roll. After eating a half of it, she decided cucumber was really not her thing and then staked claim on the half dozen or so remaining tomatoes.

One by one, shovelling them in like a mechanical clown head at an amusement park accepting ping pong balls.

Steve: Lolly, I think that's enough now.
LGBB: *taking a pause from working on the tomato rounding out her cheek comically and staring at Steve as if he'd just told her Sportacus wasn't a real person*

She finishes eating her fourth tomato and goes for the last one. With hand outstretched and face as telling as Jazz's when you can see what she's thinking as she makes her way to food she knows she shouldn't have but just can't help herself, I seize my moment to make my point.

Me: Hey, Lolly, there's only one left.
LGBB: *doe eyes at me*
Me: Perhaps someone else would like that one. It might be nice for Daddy. Or Nanna..... Or Pa, or even Mummy.
LGBB: *without skipping a second and eyes downcast, the most impassioned look stuck on her face* Or Lawren. Iss Lawren's. Iss.... for Lawren.

On and on it went, her eyes not locking on any of us but head nodding to add conviction to her single-minded protest. So before we all burst with guffaws, I straight-facedly asked her to ask around the table and if nobody else wanted the tomato, she could then have it.

Me: Ask Daddy.
Steve: *before she could form the question* No, it's ok, I don't want one, thank you.
Me: And Nanna, ask Nanna.
LGBB: *rubbing her hand along her chair arm nervously and looking at Nanna, unable to bring herself to say anything in case the answer was yes*
Nanna: It's ok, darling, I don't want it. Thank you for asking.
Me: What about Pa? Don't forget to ask Pa, Lolly.

At this point, Pa and the LGBB locked eyes. Lolly decided enough was enough. And this is what she asked:

"Pa, iss Lawren's 'mato? (pronouncing it again slowly in case he hadn't understood) Law-wen's" And then she nodded emphatically and reached for it as Pa defeatedly acceded that, indeed, it was hers.

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