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Imposter Granny

Arun walked up to my Aunt, who was visiting us, with a big beaming smile on his face.

“Granny!” he said excitedly.

“It’s not Granny,” I explained to him. “It’s Aunty Sarla.”

He looked at me a little quizzically, looked at his Great Aunt and said, “Granny!” again – only this time with an even bigger smile on his face. He clearly thought that Daddy has started the long slow slip into dementia and couldn’t even recognise his own mother.

Now, I am quite used to my children ignoring every word I say. Indeed, this may be an instinctive defence mechanism given that (as many of my friends will tell you) I have a greater than average propensity to talk turd. This time, however, I was right. It wasn’t Granny, it was her sister. The two of them do look similar in many ways and both Arun and Meri were completely bamboozled.

Arun promptly took “Granny” off to the conservatory by himself to sit at their special table to play, completely ignoring our protests that it was actually his Great Aunt. He didn’t care. She looked like Granny, sounded a bit like Granny and played with him. She was, as far as he was concerned, as good as Granny.

Meri too was taken in. She went and sat with “Granny”, made “Granny” a cup of tea from her tea set and gave “Granny” several special “Granny” hugs.

However, about three hours into the visit, Meri went up to “Granny” with her new Meg and Mog book. She sat down next to “Granny” and demanded that she be read to. Aunt Sarla, quite enjoying the attention, took out her glasses and put them on. The thing is that real Granny, doesn’t wear glasses to read. Meri furrowed her brow and leant across Aunt Sarla to have a proper look. You could almost see the penny drop. Her eyes widened, her jaw dropped and she leapt off Aunt Sarla and scampered across the lounge into her mother’s lap. She looked at me, her Mum and Aunt Sarla with a hurt and distressed look on her face as if to say, “You all tricked me!”

“I told you it wasn’t Granny”, I said in my defence.

Moments later though, Arun walked back into the room and looked at Aunty Sarla.

“Granny!” he said.

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