[Five minutes later, the wrong one is asleep. I curse (inwardly, natch). Mabel is still chattering blithely.]
- What that, Mummy? What that noise? What that, Mummy? You say something, Mummy? What you say? What you saying?
- Nothing, Mabel. I didn't say anything.
- What that, Mummy?
[I strain to hear whatever it is she's talking about. She hears all the little background noises that my ears are so used to just cancelling out, so I really have to think about it.]
- I think it's a drill.
- Man? Man with a drill? What man doing, Mummy?
- Making holes. Go to sleep, Mabel.
- I can't see man. Man making holes? With a drill? There's a doggy. Look, Mummy, see the doggy? Doggy say woof woof. You sing the song about the doggy in the window woof woof woof? You sing the song, Mummy?
- No, Mabel. No more songs. Go to sleep.
[I wonder how I can bludgeon her into silence. Luckily, she's on my back so the logistics are too awkward. I slog along.]
- ...The maid was in the garden, counting out her money... You sing the song for me, Mummy? You sing the blackbirds baked in a pie? 'Winkle 'winkle 'ittle how I wonder what you like a diamond in the 'ky... Can I sing a song for you, Mummy? I sing ABCDEFGLMNOP, Mummy?
- I'm not talking to you any more, Mabel. It's nap time. Put your head down and go to sleep.
- What you say, Mummy? You not talking to me any more?
- No. [arggh]
- You not talking? I go to sleep? I run away so we have to go for a walk?
[She puts her head down. A few seconds of silence. We pass the women with the dogs and one of them says "Hi." I try to look polite and manage to muster a grimace, instead of taking out a shiv and silently stabbing her, repeatedly, for what's about to happen. Head comes up.]
- What that, Mummy? Those doggies? That the doggy behind the fence? Say woof woof woof?