So, chill-axing in the bath last night, settling down to at least an hour of hot bubbles and a dose of
chic-lit Kafka, the little blond head slinking round the door and into my watery realm of relaxation came as a surprise.
She was crying. A lot. Eyes puffy, snot bubbling in and out of her nose with each hiccuped breath. A nightmare? Tooth ache? Boy problems? None of the above. The issue was far more.......abstract.
Spluttering through despair, she explained. Apparently, she had lost the ability to yawn! By way of proving her point, she formed her mouth into a gaping "O" and tried. Indeed, there was no sharp intake of breath and a distinct lack of "yodeling hippo" that usually accompanies what must be one of the more satisfying of bodily functions.
A critical situation indeed. But surely not an insurmountable problem.
One of the advantages of adulthood is knowledge, is it not? We know, for example, it is a scientific fact that if you see, hear of even think about a yawn it renders you incapable of doing anything else but duplicate.
So I yawned. An impressive, exaggerated production I'm sure a yodeling hippo would have been proud of.
Concentrating, Finje observed my efforts, opened and closed her mouth fish-like, even managed a passable yawny moan, but try as she might, the real thing was not forthcoming.
Her face crumpled in frustration. I was desperately trying not to laugh at the ludicrousness of her concerns but she was deeply convinced she would never be able to fall asleep again if unable to yawn satisfactorily.
I was tempted to keep her awake to prove that the yawn would come of its own accord, but of course I didn't. Instead, I indulged her, allowing her to drift off in my bed cuddled up with me.
As I carried my daughter back to her room later that night and heaved her up into her bunk bed, she half woke and yawned a yawn so loud it woke the cat. Eyes half open she whispered, "oh, I can yawn....I wish I could whistle though" and dozed off.
No pleasing some folk.