Archive for the tag 'imagination'

The voices

NS March 19th, 2010

You may remember that, around a year ago, I told you about my robot persona and how this robot got Noble Girl to do pretty much anything. Of course, it caused some embarrassment in public, but well worth it in my opinion.

Since then, I’ve been voice to numerous objects and imaginary friends, with characters including: Washa Washa, the flannel that talks in a funny voice while it scrubs NG’s body at bathtime; Mrs. Mouse, the meek and mild rodent that implores noisy children to eat their dinner quietly and without too much mess; Crazy Dancer, the madwoman who starts falling down and dancing uncontrollably to make the children laugh when they’re being especially grumpy; Queen, the regal lady who graciously accepts bows and curtsies and speaks softly and kindly to her loyal subjects; Pirate, the gruff-and-tough sailor who talks to the kids when we’re stuck in traffic; and Tree, a high-pitched, cheerful lass who explains topics relating to animals or nature — all affable, harmless creatures of mine and NG’s imaginings.

Yesterday, however, a new personality came to life. One that was entirely my creation and invoked, spur of the moment, in a desperate attempt to drink a cup of tea before it went cold. “Behold!” I said in an enthusiastic voice (though Noble Girl and Noble Boy had no idea what that meant) “The Queen’s cousin, the Duchess, is here — look!” Then I did two spins in quick succession and suddenly, I was an uglier, meaner version of Mary Poppins, with a terrible British accent. The Duchess drew herself up to her full height and looked down what I imagined to be her wart-covered nose at the children. She sniffed and sighed.

“What is this?” she bellowed. “I didn’t ask to see these children, what are they doing here? How did you get into my house, young lady?”

NG, wide-eyed and with a smile on her lips, replied: “I live here! Who are you, please?”

“Who am I? Who am I?!! I am your majesty the Queen’s sister, the Duchess. But I’m not as nice as her and I don’t suffer fools gladly. Are you a fool, young lady?”

“No,  I’m a little girl.”

“Well I don’t like little girls either. OR little boys. Unless…”

“What, Duchess, what?” NG was practically wetting herself with glee at this new arrival.

“Well, I can tolerate children but only if they do as they are told and let the Duchess drink her cup of tea before it goes wretchedly cold. And no whining. The Duchess canNOT tolerate whining. Do you think you can do that?”

“Oh yes, Duchess, yes! We’ll be good while you drink your tea! Can we go sit in the living room with you?”

“Certainly. But we will march there. Royalty do not ‘walk’. We saunter and march or glide. Got it?”

“Yes! Oh, I love you Duchess,” she said as she threw her arms around my hips and hugged me tightly.

“Hmm. Well, I love you too. Now come tidy up your toys and then read a book on the sofa with your brother, very nicely, while I have the royal tea. Okay?”


I know it’s wrong, I know. It’s manipulative, lazy parenting. But damn if it isn’t also fun and efficient. The Duchess means business! She not only got NG to eat all her dinner, including all the spinach, but got her through the bath and to bed without so much as a wobble. As far as I’m concerned she can stay as long as she’s getting things done. Soon, not even the Duchess will be able to prevent a meltdown on the high street or a plate of food pushed away without being touched. And at that point she will likely have to fly away on her jewel-encrusted dragon. But for now, she’s gold dust. I’m keeping her.

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