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Redster: Seven
Cutester: Three and three quarters


Within five minutes of leaving the airport building in Turkey, the Cutester had her first cheek-tweak.

‘Ow!’ she shouted rudely.

It was administered by the driver of our hotel’s minibus. Suitably chastened, he busied himself with putting our bags in the minibus. I went to help, leaving the Cutester on the other side of the vehicle. When I returned moments later another man, with a proper Turkish moustache, was standing alongside her, and she was glowering and clutching her cheek. It wasn’t hard to guess what I’d missed.

It does prove, though, that the Cutester is endowed with Universal Cuteness, shown by a totally objective evaluation, validated by an international panel of disinterested parties. So it’s not just me.

I don’t think I’ve properly conveyed on this blog the Cutester’s ability to speak her mind. (Make that ‘shout’.) The other day I found her in the garden bending at the waist over an apparently empty flowerpot, her nose practically inside it. Her arms were stuck out straight behind her, as ballast I suppose, and she was shouting into the pot ‘GO AWAY! YOU’RE NOT MY FRIEND!’

I had to go and see who the offender was. It was an innocent millipede. Had it only known, it was actually en route, as I’m starting to recognise, into the Cutester’s affections. Future friends are first her sworn enemies, then they enter a sort of probationary period, from where they are fast-tracked to Best Friend status (a status shared by quite a few). If she gets onto the roundabout in the playground with a complete stranger her own age, and glares at her from under a lowered brow, I now know what that means – though usually the other child doesn’t and neither does her mother. So – having heard the other day that Alexia at nursery is NOT her friend, I’m fairly sure I’ll be getting good news about Alexia any day now.