See, the problem is that 'Salina has a tendency towards precociousness (I wonder where THAT came from) and, while it can be endearing and cute in small doses, it has a tendency to do certain adults heads in (especially migrainey heads) given in large quantities over extended periods - and the threshold was overreached yesterday afternoon.
"Stop being so cheeky" I screeched. However, even as I screeched, I remembered a certain incident 25 years ago that was scarily close to being re-enacted.
I mentioned previously that I spent some time in boarding school.
Now, boarding school is one place where the threshold for cheek is quite low. Imagine the average cheek of the average teenage girl and multiply by 200 - that is what is designed to send boarding school mistresses over the precarious ledge tethering them in the belief they are in the sane realm.
In an attempt to restore sanity to the average boarding school mistress (easier said than done), draconian rules and regulations were installed and rigorously adhered to.
Eventually I did learn and worked out how to dole out my cheek in methods designed to slip through the cracks and fissures - but that was about my second year of boarding school. In my first year, I hit their sanity threshold on many an occasion.
There was the moment when I broke my toe playing truth, dare. There were the times when I broke music study regulations. There was many an instance when I had to stand through meals. And then there was church.
We were a non-denominational school - which meant that every Christian religion was offered to boarders every second Sunday. To keep costs down, the majority (Anglicans) were sent to early church, and the buses then took a second load of boarders to late church of their choice.
Drawing the short straw and being christened Anglican meant you had to be up earlier than your luckier Catholic, Uniting, Lutheran, Protestant, Presbyterian or Baptist sisters. It means you got the cold breakfast as the kitchen staff were not going to indulge at such an early hour. It meant being dressed in your "white with gold trim safari suits" (otherwise dubbed "Ten-Tonne-Tessie Dresses") and Panama hats before 6.30am to be bussed to the Anglican Cathedral.
I really feel for the good worshippers at that place, as their early morning crowd was well and truly outnumbered by the little heathens that we were. One good game in church was to see if you could get all around you scratching by tipping your Panama back and having a go - then there was the yawning contests and giggles and whispers as the poor mistresses attempted to put out fires.
But the really superior (?) thing about going to first church, was if you got up someone's nose enough, you could get detention - which meant double church.
And yours truly did some great nasal investigation during her first year.
It got to a point that Mrs L, the matron, would just look at me in the morning, find any detail to get me on and sentence me to save another mistress the hassle at a later stage.
By third term, I had spent the majority of Church Sundays in Anglican first church and then another denomination of their choice. I subsequently have absolutely no time for organised religion!
Mrs L greeted me this one morning about how messy I was. This was an ongoing banter we had going, earning me a special name from Mrs L of "Princess Grot".
Anyway, I think I may have grunted or not been quite humble enough in the face of her opinion, thus I received the usual "double church" admonishment. "Whatever" may have been my reply - it was definitely my attitude.
To put it into polite words, her threshold broke and she upped the ante. "Double church until the end of term!" Again, I failed to heed the flashing caution signs and may have replied something about whether that was the best she could come up with - don't quote me on it.
"DOUBLE CHURCH UNTIL THE END OF THE YEAR!!!" she thundered, turning a lovely shade of purple. Her only bolthole after this was until the end of time, so I shrugged, rolled my eyes and taunted her to use it. She saw that she had nothing left to offer and she was infuriated that such punishment no longer worked.
She did retire at the end of that year - I am sure I had nothing to do with it, as she was already 106 and had been threatening to retire for years.
Anyhow, back to my own daughter, and her moments of driving Mummy (and V) mad.
Where was I?
Oh yes, "Stop being so cheeky" I screeched.
"What is cheeky?" said
"Cheeky is giving a smarty answer rather than just doing what you are asked. Do as you are ASKED" I valiantly attempted not to be drawn.
"Oh, what do you mean by smarty?" says
"J-U-S-T D-O A-S Y-O-U A-R-E A-S-K-E-D-!-!-!"
Later, I explained how, when we were children, we learned the definition of cheek from our parents. Ah, the good old days, when the threat of a belting or wooden spoon helped us in our understanding of the world.
Whatever happened to fear as a tool for parental control? There are moments when it would make my job so much easier.
Either that, or we are going to have to start threatening a bit of religion around here.