Gulp!

I took my eyes off Mini Minx yesterday for literally 15 mins as I uploaded photos – she was playing happily behind me. As she always does when she needs me, she came over and tugged my hand to get my attention.

“Stone”, she announced, and waved one of Maxi’s most treasured rocks at me. One of the 2 that she thinks might be jasper that she found on the Sands of Bu, Burray, Orkney. Beautiful red thing with a little stripe of green through it. (Don’t ask me – I’m no geologist).

“Yes, that’s right; it’s your big sister’s. She loves it. Put it down or she’ll be cross with you”, I said.

“Stone!” Mini yelled.

“Yeah, yeah… Look, give Mummy 2 minutes, I’ve only got 2 more bits to do and I’m done”, I promised, distracted.

“Stone!” she said again, and covered her mouth. I spotted a glint in her eye. Cogs turned, wheels whirred, my rubbish memory flagged up a ‘we’ve seen this look before’ caption.

Other rocks we found on that beach

“Mini, where’s Maxi’s *other* red stone?” I asked, giving her my full attention. She giggled, and covered her mouth. “Where is it?” I demanded. She opened her mouth and waggled her tongue at me.

“In my mouf!” she declared, defiantly.

(Not again…)

“Mini, I can’t see it! Did you swallow it?” Exasperated.

“Yasss”, she said, smirk faltering a bit now.

After scolding her and explaining with my most Seriously Worried and Concerned Look on that she could have choked or made herself poorly, I searched the cupboards for sweetcorn for tea and looked out the ‘mucky job’ rubber gloves. Well, how else am I going to know when the stone’s been and gone?! We’re out of sweetcorn. Damn! Somehow I’m not sure that tinned babycorn is going to have the same highlighting effect, do you…?

PS When I broke the news later to Maxi, she sobbed for half an hour. Later that evening, it occurred to her that her little sister might come to some harm from the pebble. “No, it’s ok; it’s a metamorphic rock, so she’ll be fine”, reassured The Boss.

“Phew!” said 7-year-old Maxi. “At least it wasn’t a sedimentary rock, like crumbly chalk!” What bloomin’ books has she been reading now?! I give up!