“Mummy, will you play my fruit game? Here, press on a fruit sticker, and it will become REAL.
Mummy, now play my dog game. Which dog would you like? ZIP! Now it’s REAL!
Mummy, The Girl is making LOTS of pups! The dining room is full of pups. There are thirty-four of them now. This house is getting very full. There are not 97, not 98, not 99, but one hundred dogs now! Here, give this one a treat and it will grow even more.
Mummy, I can’t go to bed now, I need to do some more stickers on here. Ah, I’ll use the Easter egg stickers. If you press on an egg, it will come alive.
My house is really busy, because there are one hundred dogs, and one hundred Easter eggs, and one hundred of me as well.”
In the car, the Girl suddenly sits up and says in alarm: “Mummy! There’s something behind us!”
Me: “What’s behind us?”
Her: “A fairy pony.”
Her: “It’s a magical pony. It can make us go super-fast.” Silence. “It’s coming through the seats.”
Another moment’s silence. Then very quietly she says: “Naughty magical pony.”
We drive along.
Her: “Talk to her Mummy.”
Me: “The magic pony can talk?”
Her: “Talk to her.”
Me: “Hi Magic Pony. Where do you live?”
Magic Pony: “Into my story cave.”
Me: “Okay. And do you have a special friend?”
Magic Pony: “Yes! It’s the star one. It’s a little star. But I can’t find her! She’s lost! She’s in terrible trouble!”
Her: “Don’t worry, Pony. We’ll help you.”
Pony: “Oh, thank you.”
Her: “Magic Pony, are you make us go super-fast?”
Pony: “Yes, course!”
Her: “Oh great.”
My Own Fantasy World
Me: “Kids, it’s 5.45am. It is not morning. It is the middle of the night. Why don’t you go back to sleep, or read quietly in your bed?”
Five minutes later, there is a sound most like a herd of elephants galloping on the landing, followed by piercing shrieks and sobbing because the Girl has taken one of the Boy’s 25 favourite cuddlies and insists it is hers.
Five minutes after that, Team Umizoomi is on TV and I am making myself a cup of tea, fantasising about when they are teenagers and sleep until midday.