Her little girl (AB) is just over two-and-a-half – with the language skills of a four-year-old – and her son is twelve months old.
We had to make a two-hour car trip for a weekend visit – my friend drove, whilst I tended to the kids from the front seat. About an hour into the journey, AB called out to me.
My friend was in the midst of a story, so I didn’t immediately respond. AB tried again, a little louder.
I started turning around to look at her, but obviously wasn’t quick enough.
It took all our effort for my friend and I not to dissolve into giggles. We’d never heard her use my nickname before, and my friend doesn’t ever refer to me as Jonesy when she’s speaking with AB – if anything, she usually refers to me as ‘little Shell’, to distinguish me from our other friend, ‘big Shell’.
That night (Friday), AB woke up in the wee hours because she was cold. Her brother was also unwell, so my friend didn’t get much sleep. On Saturday night, we decided that I would sleep on a mattress in AB’s room, so that I could cover her up if she woke again, in the hope that she might go back to sleep. I explained to AB that if she woke up and was cold, she could call out to me and I would help her.
In the wee hours of Sunday morning, I heard AB stir. She began chatting to herself, then sang a verse of her dad’s football team song. I tried not to giggle, but couldn’t help myself when the next thing she said was, “Jonesy, I’m cold. I’m cold, Jonesy.”