“Oh, hello Michael,” Freya said conversationally to a man in the entrance of M&S food hall. A man clearly not called Michael.
He looked bemused.
I smiled, a little apologetically, and gave a shrug that was meant to convey: “No idea what she’s on about. Kids, eh!” Mark turned to me with a frown and said: “What exactly do you get up to when I’m at work?”
Well, mainly, I grow ever more accomplished at that shrug.
“HELLO!” She shouts at the top of her voice as I push her (in her buggy) into our local co-op. It’s so loud and unexpected it makes me jump. The ladies on the checkouts laugh and wave back. One customer looks shocked, a few others chuckle.
When we go to pay Freya wishes the lady on the till a “Merry Christmas.”
It’s January 5th.
“I think you mean happy new year,” I said.
“Happy new ear,” she said.
“And happy new YEAR to you,” the lady says.
“Happy new ear,” Freya calls again. And again. And…
“Let’s say something else now,” I put in but then the lady behind us in the queue comes to the till and wishes Freya a happy new year so it starts again.
“Did you have a lovely Christmas?” She asks her.
“Great.” Freya responds.
“And were you a good girl? Did Father Christmas come?”
“I don’t like Father Christmas,” she is very definite about this.
“Did you get a lot of Frozen toys?” The lady asks, glossing over the slight to the big fella.
“LET IT GO!” Freya sings. Obviously most things are now said/sung at full volume.
The five of us join in with the next bit.
A man at the next till looks a bit taken aback at the flashmob (thankfully no one is videoing us).
I do the shrug as I wheel her past him.
My mum will often look at Freya, shake her head and say: “She’s been here before, that one.”
Usually after she has said something entirely out of character for a two-year-old.
For example, she was sat with her eyes closed once and when I asked what she was doing she said: “Just resting my eyes.” My poorly grandma used to say that. My brother and I would go and sit in her bedroom and she’d drift off after a time. Just to check she wasn’t dead (we were young) we’d ask if she was ok and that was always her response.
Also, sometimes when I ask her to do something she will bow slightly and say: “Yes, m’lady.” I thought I had misheard the first time but she does it consistently now. I can’t say I dislike it. It makes me feel like I’m in a Jane Austen novel.
My favourite, though, is when I ask for her help and she shouts: “I’m on it!” Like she’s working in some high-pressured job. This makes me chuckle every time.
“I don’t know where else she could get this stuff,” my mum ponders.
I still don’t know who Michael is.