The middle child put on her insipid voice and said that I preferred the boy to her and her big sister.
"Now why would that be?" I replied. "is if something to do with the gale of kisses and hugs I get from him? Or the unashamed joy he takes in saying daddy?
"How could I prefer him?" I asked.
And indeed why would I prefer him? He has been a constant source of trouble since his arrival. There have been trips to the physio to repair dodgily aligned legs. There's been a trip to the chest expert to make sure his sternum is properly aligned and there have been numerous outings to the doctor for his ear infections.
Indeed there is another journey coming up in January to make sure that everything is alright with his ears. So prefer I don't think so. More like preoccupy.
Nevertheless I was outraged that medium sweetie should say such a thing especially when she has reigned supreme as the cuddle queen.
The other night she didn't heed her mother's warning to go to the toilet before bedtime. At a certain point during the night, there was a middle daughter amid a flooded bed. Irate mother was muttering and then just as that brouhaha died down, the boy woke up wailing and pointing to his mouth.
At around 5.30am, I had middle and final child in the kitchen having a very early breakfast and me doing likewise in sympathy.
I sent middle chidl back to the main bed - since hers was waterlogged - and as I knew that the boy was unlikely to follow suit back to his own bed I set me and him up on the sofa with a cartoon DVD.
Preferential treatment? Perish the thought.