Wee Three: (jostling my elbow whilst that particular arm is holding up a cup of steaming hot liquid) MAMA! How much cups of tea am I allowed to dwink every day?
Wee Three is just barely five years old, but in the somewhat strange,English tradition of my family, she has already developed a fondness for what we used to call "cambric" tea. There is a bit of tea in the mug... just enough for warmth and flavour, but the rest of the drink is supposed to be composed of milk... and usually sports waaaaay too many spoonfuls of sugar.
While my eldest child has turned into a "Tea-Granny" at the ripe old age of thirteen, Child Number Two remains completely revolted by the taste (which is fine by me, because of all my kids, she's the one who needs that extra kick of caffeine the LEAST...)
Wee Three's little habit seems to have developed somewhat earlier than what I remember of myself, my siblings or my other offspring. Indeed, I am finding it somewhat alarming when she bounces into the kitchen at 5.32 AM each day, allowing me just two short minutes of solitude and peace after being catapulted out of bed by my alarm clock.
And then, the BEGGING begins.
"Cuppa TEA?" she inquires, racing towards the kettle...
I've created a monster, here, clearly, and I am becoming increasingly fearful of the day when she will suffer withdrawal symptoms, should we accidentally run out of our ever-present tin of Typhoo.
And so, the "limitations":
Tea ONLY in the mornings or early afternoons. And NONE after four o'clock.
Wee Three: (jostling me AGAIN, and succeeding in slorping hot tea onto my pant leg-- just enough to necessitate dry cleaning) MAMA!! I SAID... HOW MUCH CUPS OF TEA AM I 'LOWD EVERY DAY?
Mother: (cursing fluently under her breath, and leaping out of the chair) OW!! One, sweetie. Only one. One cup, filled halfway to the top. That's all.
There, I thought (foolishly). That should take care of it. A little truth-bending for the Wee One in the house... but it's for the sake of her health.
And my sanity.
Wee Three: (thoughtfully, with an angelic look on her face) So, you mean TWO cups. Right?
Mother: (sensing that the child is not as innocent as she looks. Not by a long shot.) Nope. Not two. ONE. One cup, half-way filled. No more.
Wee Three: (on to me) But I could have two cups of half, right? Two halves. Got one half. Got 'nuther half. Half isn't one. So, TWO. Two cups of tea for me, right? Two.
Mother: (acknowledging defeat. Again.) Right, sweetie. Ok. But NO MORE THAN THAT.
Got to put my foot down sometime, people.
Because you KNOW she'll be raiding my liquor cabinet next.