The younger is taking a bath while I am brushing my teeth.
“Mom … are we bringing …” she pauses.
I spit into the basin, wipe my mouth and then meet her gaze, raising my eyebrows.
“Are we bringing … ?” I repeat.
She takes a deep breath and raises herself up from under the bubbles majestically. I brace myself.
“Are we bringing the iPad to England?” she asks cautiously.
“Oh …. yeah,” I reply, relieved, and start washing my face.
She doesn’t look satisfied.
“Are we bringing it …” She pauses again.
“Are we bringing it for the purpose of … electronic devices?”
I laugh as I rinse my face. “Umm, yeah, what other purpose would we bring it for? To lean on?”
She makes a face at me from the bath.
“For the purpose of starting conversations about ….”
She starts giggling and adopts a mock-lecturing tone, “… about how, in the eighteenth century, people didn’t have such devices …”
“Oh, come on!” I interject, giggling too, well aware that I am the object of the mockery here.
“And so,” she continues, barely able to speak through her giggles, “they would just have to play in … in the … stables … with … with an old burlap sack.”
We are now both laughing hysterically.
“And … and a potato,” she adds.
I can barely speak because I’m laughing so hard. “A potato!” I squeak out weakly.
When I’ve slightly recovered I add, “and what was the other thing? An old burlap sack? How do you even know the word ‘burlap’”?
She rolls her eyes. “Um, we use burlap sacks for projects? Burlap sacks are common, Mom.”
“Oh … OK,” I murmur meekly.
I hold a towel out for her.
“So …. anyway, the answer to your question is, yes we are bringing the iPad to England. For the purpose of electronic devices.”
I enfold her in the towel, snug, as the saying goes, as an eighteenth-century potato in a burlap sack.