We're in a shop, The Girl and I, spending twenty minutes quality time with a plastic shopping basket, me dully repeating 'no no no' to increasingly whiney requests for:
muffins the size of a child's head
magazines stuffed with plastic shit
fizzy drinks with 'added antioxidants'
doughnuts topped with penicillin pink icing
'But the TV says it's good for you!' cries The Girl with increasing frustration. Just as I'm running out of responses that don't involve swear words, we make it to the top of the queue to pay, and The Girl spies a charity box for the local hospice. And in a sudden about turn, she asks if she can put all her pocket money in the exciting little hole at the top. 'All of it?' I ask. She nods firmly. Even the lady at the till enquires, 'Are you sure you want to put all your pocket money in there love?' The Girl is firm. She takes her money, slots it in and I smile benignly (it probably comes across as smug though). 'Her grandmother died recently', I whisper to the till lady and we exchange smiles at the wonder, the purity, the generosity of children.
Alas, when she gets home, The Girl counts her piggy bank money and bursts into sobs. 'I thought I had five pounds!'
I am bewildered. 'But you gave this week's pocket money away.'
She cries even harder. 'I thought it was YOUR money!'