'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Great Auntie Eva

I found a lovely blog entitled "Sticky Fingers" the other day.  Although the author was apologetic, I found the stories of Things Her Children Had Done absolutely delightful and very funny. And they brought back memories of my own early mothering days, full of wall-to-wall action, tears, exhaustion, joy, frustration and satisfaction, like no days before or since have ever been.*

So, without any more long-winded introduction except to say skip it if it makes you gag, and enjoy it if it makes you smile, here is one of mine.

When daughter was about 18 months old, Great Auntie Eva came to live with us for a while. She was 91, intelligent, articulate, mobile, and a lot of fun.  Although she'd never had children, she loved my three and it was a very special year.  One day when daughter was about two and a bit, she was lying in Auntie's lap looking up at her face.  I could see and hear from the kitchen. 
Sitting up, she put her hand gently on Auntie's cheek.

"You got really sof' skin haven't you Auntie?"   (I smiled to myself)

"Do I dear?"


Long pause. 

"You are vewwy winkly, aren't you?"  (Oh dear)

"Am I dear?"


Another longer pause. 

"You're vewwy old aren't you Auntie?"  (Oh shit)

Slight hesitation:  "I suppose so, dear"

Very long pause while I held my breath.

"You're going to die soon aren't you Auntie?"  (Auugggh!)

Short pause, and to my relief this marvelous lady replied with a chuckle
"Oh not for a little while yet, I hope dear."

And it was.  She died peacefully when she was 97.

* Except maybe my last relationship.


  1. I love those stories, I had a wonderful Auntie gert, she died not that long ago, and her humour will stay with me forever. Not that long ago, I was helping my Unckle with a shipment of condoms... don't ask.... anyway, I had a couple of these samples, on the dinner table,. and they were 'ticklers' ... so funny shapes on the end , for the 'amusement' for the ladies ...... anyway, My auntie, aged about 89, was looking at them, and fiddling with them, and said, in all innocence, "they are strange aren't they ... it's the bits on top that tickle me " !!!!!! I don't think i have ever stopped laughing !!!

  2. Great story. Sounds like it could be out of Monty Python. "Meaning of Life part 17: Laughter"

  3. Awww... Great Auntie Eva sounds like a wonderful old lady!

    Moon - I love that story! LOL!

  4. That is just brilliant Katherine.
    I love how children are so innocent and yet can know you down to size in an instant!
    We had an aged relative visit us once and out of the blue my son (who was 4 at the time) said: "who is this funny old dear anyway?"

  5. Oh dear yes. That is just so typical. One of the great things about blogs is that so many more of these everyday occurrences are saved and shared.

    I don't believe the WV = coment