The conversations are imaginary, but the situations are real.
Hatta: I broke through! I’m free! You thought you could confine me within these flimsy plastic panels, Mummy… you thought wrong! With my newfound mobility, I can finally explore the world!
Me: What on earth are you babbling about?
I turn to look at him.
Me: Oh look at you, then. You’ve managed to roll out.
Hatta: Yes indeed! I’ve escaped from that horrible primary-coloured monstrosity of a playpen I’ve been cooped up in… and now I’m freeeeeeee!
I walk up to him and pick him up.
Hatta: Oh thank you Mummy, but you really don’t have to bring me around anymore… I can roll to wherever I please. Except upstairs. I can’t really roll up the stairs unfortunately. I might – oh you’re picking me up? Ok then, would you mind carrying me over to our next door neighbour’s, please? I’d really love to meet their dog – the one who barks incessantly whenever I’m napping. Wait – no – the neighbour’s house is THAT way, Mummy – no – what are you doing? No, don’t put me back in the playpen! Mummy! It took a lot of kicking and rolling to get out! Mummy!
Me: Stay in here, Hatta. I need to cook, and I can’t afford to have you rolling all over the place. It’s dangerous.
Hatta: Ugh. Foiled again. It’s ok Mummy. Maybe not today. But I’m working on my crawl, and pretty soon I’ll be unstoppable!
Me: I can only imagine.
Hatta: Yup, I’ll be crawling all over the place – and you won’t be able to stop me!
Me: Well you can help mop the floor while you’re at it then. I’ve got some spare cleaning pads that would fit nicely on your shins. Just make sure you crawl in an orderly fashion. I wouldn’t want you to miss any spots.
Hatta: Very funny Mummy. Ha. Ha. We’ll see whether you’ll still be laughing in a few week’s time.