Here's some of the stuff I used to have to do for Zoe, Katy and Hannah when they were squealers.
- Hold on to them in town for fear they might run into the traffic.
- Monitor their unsuitable conversations with complete strangers.
- Encourage them to eat nourishing food.
- Leave them at home if I was going to do some serious shopping.
Now take that last point. Last Wednesday I visited a plumbing supplies shop in Kilrea and Matty came too. Now when the shopowner realised that I needed a lot of stuff for the new house he went into selling overdrive. After about two minutes I got awfully bored as he was speaking Plumberese and I don't understand Plumberese except for the odd word like pipe or tap. Now normally I'm awfully good at cutting these conversations short, usually by being very blunt. On this occasion I put it to him that I didn't understand a word he was talking about. that I was just here to look at the pretty baths and basins and that Bert would be along shortly to talk technical talk with him. But because I was also keeping an eye out for Matty I couldn't concentrate properly on getting away. Meanwhile Matty was becoming very restless indeed. Just like a toddler who hates this boring shop and wants to go somewhere more interesting instead. She was at her usual tricks. Wandering around aimlessly whilst sighing heavily, looking as if she might collapse if somebody didn't come and take her to a charity shop this minute and I swear I think I saw her, out of the corner of my eye, kicking one of the baths.