Last week I had a telephone call with two film producers who were interested in buying the rights for my new novel, What Alice Forgot.
It was all very tense and thrilling.
"Shhhh," I said to my toddler, George, to indicate that this was important, and maybe he'd like to go and quietly read his tractor book.
George put his own finger to his lips, blew a raspberry and fell about laughing. I put him on the kitchen floor and gave him two arrowroot biscuits. He looked at me suspiciously and stuffed both biscuits in his mouth before I changed my mind. The phone call began well. The first producer said lovely things about my book. George was quietly choking on his biscuits. We talked about casting. George climbed up beside me and gently ran his matchbox car over my head, saying "Brmmm!" while I tried to ask intelligent questions.
George looked at his car and at my mouth. His eyes gleamed. "Car," he said firmly. "Mouth." He zoomed the car towards my mouth. I batted it away. George hollered.
“What’s that?” said the producer, alarmed. “She’s got a child,” explained my film agent. The conversation with the first producer finished. “You really need to focus more with the next call,” said my agent.
Another producer came on the line. George climbed on to my lap, placed his finger on the tip of my nose and looked at me expectantly. I was meant to say “Honk” or alternatively, “Beep.”
“Honk,” I whispered. George pressed harder to increase the volume. I took him to his toy box and plonked him in front of it. “Play,” I mouthed. He looked at his toys with disdain. I panicked and ran to the other end of the house, with George in hot pursuit, screaming.
Afterwards, when I was telling the story, other mothers were baffled. “Why didn’t you just give him a lollipop?” “Why didn’t you just put a Wiggles DVD on?” I will do better next time.
Anyway, as I said to George as we did a celebratory whirl around the kitchen, it doesn’t matter because, “Mummy sold the film rights! Honk! Beep! Brmmm!