"Auntie Mel! Auntie Mel! Look what I made!" A familiar squealing interrupted Melissa's thoughts.
Madison had come scampering down from the first floor. There was only so much time one of those two could leave you in piece.
"Look! Look!" the little girl repeated, as she approached Melissa bearing some indistinct matter that she handed over to Melissa.
"They're for grandma's Christmas day table! Don't you like them?"
Melissa turned gingerly what appeared to be two lumps of grey play-doh, each with a small protuberance of yellow play-doh.
"Sure, Maddie. Are they... pebbles?" Not for the first time, Melissa silently vowed not to have children, ever. Not only they spoiled your figure, but then demanded you like and display their pointless, graceless so-called creations.
"No! Don't you see?! They're the two turtle doves! From the twelve days of Christmas!
"Oh...right..." Melissa attempted to look encouraging.
"And now, I'm gonna put some sparkle on them!"
"That sounds like a great idea." Because, of course, sparkly grey play-doh lumps as table decoration were a vast improvement on non-sparkly grey play-doh lumps. That child was relentless.
"Hon, why don't you go do that and then show me?" Mercifully, Madison took the cue and scuttled away. Melissa leaned again towards the lap top screen, but she was distracted now. She thought of this time last year, when she'd snubbed her colleagues at the office party, watched her room mate stuff herself with Italian cake, used her charm on a hapless horny Italian boy, met a priest, met a loser and had finally chased Madison and Tyler around the block so that they wouldn't destroy the furniture with their reindeer horns?