The conversations are imaginary, but the situations are real.
Me: Where’s your sock?
H: On my foot.
Me: The other one.
H: It flew.
Me: Socks don’t fly.
H: That one did.
Me: Please stop fibbing and tell me what you’ve done with your sock.
H: I’m not fibbing. I’m telling you, it flew.
H: It flew out of my hand as I was waving it about.
Me: (sighing) We’ll have to retrace our steps now. Do you remember where you flung it?
H: I didn’t fling it. Not intentionally, at least. I was merely waving it to those people who were smiling at me. I was being friendly.
Me: I’d rather you be friendly with your feet adequately covered. Now, do you remember where we were when your sock flew out of your hand?
H: I’m not sure. Maybe somewhere in the dairy aisle. I was waving really excitedly at that old lady in the white blouse. She was looking at the yoghurts and I wanted to recommend a few good ones to her.
Me: Right, let’s go back there and see whether we can find it.
H: The yoghurt? You already know which one I like.
Me: Your sock.
H: Oh, right.
Me: (scanning the floor while we retrace our steps) I really wish you wouldn’t pull off your socks and throw them about. Why do you always do that?
H: I want my feet to breathe.
Me: They get plenty of breathing time at home. When we go out, I’d appreciate it if you could keep your socks on, please. I don’t want you catching a cold.
H: Now you’re just being silly, Mummy. How can a cold enter my feet and travel all the way up to my nose? Why would it? It seems very inefficient, don’t you think? Wouldn’t it be faster for the cold to just enter straight through my nose? Or just somewhere around the vicinity of my head? Who’s fibbing now? Oh look, that nice man is smiling and making faces at me. Hi!
Me: He’s probably laughing at your bare-footedness. Ok, we’ve lost your sock. I don’t see it anywhere.
H: Maybe you should ask one of the people who work here. Or the cleaner. Remember last week? Ayah went around looking for my sock and the cleaner had already taken it.
Me: I’ve asked one of the employees, he hasn’t seen it. Looks like we’re adding another sock to the mismatch pile. One of these days I’m going to dress you up in mismatched socks. That’ll be your punishment.
H: Pfft. Punishment indeed. People will think you’re the crazy one, can’t even dress her kid up properly. I’ll just widen my eyes and feign innocence.