My in-laws visited this weekend (don’t worry I can promise that there won’t be a single mother-in-law joke in this column) and we were standing around in the garden this morning watching Meri playing. Suddenly, she ran inside and came back out wearing a pair of baby sunglasses.
Her grandfather chuckled, “Look at her. She’s lovely. She really is a little princess isn’t she?”
“No John,” I replied, “You forget that I’m a socialist. There is no way that my little girl is a princess. She’s from good peasant stock and proud of it.”
Up until this point, everything that I had said was true. I have to admit that I am a bit of a leftie. To be clear, I am not on the barricades with Fidel and Che leading the revolutionary charge but I do believe in the NHS and that there is such a thing as society. I am also descended from peasant stock. My none too distant ancestors were basically peanut farmers on the sub-continent.
The problem is that I was into a bit of a groove by this stage and carried on, “If Meri ever turns up with a Prince on her arm, I’ll show them both the door!”
Clare gave me one of her looks. She didn’t say anything there and then but later when the mother-in-law had fired up her broomstick and flown south (sorry, I couldn’t resist just one mother-in-law gag…) she called me out.
“The chances of Meri turning up with a Prince in tow are pretty remote.” She started quite reasonably, “Meri can turn up with whoever she wants on her arm as long as he’s a good man and he is going to make her happy. And anyway – like she’s going to listen to you.”
Her logic was crushing and irrefutable. All I want is for my little peasant girl to be happy even if that does mean she turns into a little princess.