If anybody had told me three years ago that I would one day spend a considerable portion of my time being a leopard and carrying on inane conversations with a toddler being a lion… I’d have wondered what drugs they were about to give me.
However, it turns out that one of Elspeth’s favourite passtimes is making me voice one character while she voices another – ‘Mummy talk leopard?’ she says, thrusting said leopard upon me while she clutches the lion.
The conversations are as in depth as a lesson in another language, with all the usual standards: Hello, how are you, what are you doing? Occasionally the answers are surprising; the lion was apparently on a jumping castle this afternoon. They then descend into incomprehensible babble and mumbles, just like language lessons.
The conversations are played out multiple times daily, between various characters. Sometimes I’m Iggle Piggle to her Makka Pakka, sometimes I’m Tigger to her Pooh Bear. I’m rarely just plain mum.
I try to expand her vocabulary and her general knowledge through these conversations, but her response to these forays into unknown territory is lukewarm at best. Upon being confronted with something new, a frequent response from Elspeth is to go back to ‘Hello!’ and start again.
And this is, honestly, how I spend quite a lot of my time at home with her. Is it any wonder I sometimes feel I’m going crazy?!