My daughter has an announcement to make. She assembles us all on the back lawn and allows suspense to thicken.
'I am going,' she declares importantly, 'to become a tomboy.'
I am surprised. Her all-pink bedroom is full of all-pink Barbies and her favourite pastime is Claire's Accessories. But the childish spirit must not be quelled and so I congratulate her and tell her that she'll be able help with my manure mulching. She looks aghast and says that she's going in to change.
Shortly afterwards her head pokes out of her bedroom window. 'What do tomboys wear?' she yells. Then she reappears in carefully coordinated jeans and shirt and trainers. She tows a bag behind her as she climbs the apple tree and draws from it a pair of sun glasses, an iPod and a hair brush.
I offer her a spade to help with the shovelling. 'No thanks,' she shudders. 'I'll get my clothes all muddy.' And she dons the sunglasses and the iPod and reclines on a web of branches and at the end of the afternoon I am crusted with rotted dung and she is exultant as she climbs carefully down from her perch.
'Poor Mummy!' she says, eyeing me with disdain. 'You should become a tomboy too!'
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