Alice inspires her mum with a new blog topic

Five-year-old Alice didn’t know she’d done it, but she’d inspired her mum with another topic for her blog ‘Lizzie Banks On It’ simply by being too hot and trying to cool off in an unexpected way…

“But Daddy, I’m a very hot person and my skin is leaking. Why am I a hot person. Daddy?”

Alice, like the rest of the nation, was sweltering in a heatwave the like of which she’d never known in her five-year lifetime. Ollie had found her after she’d propped open the fridge door with her doll’s pram, and was sitting on a cushion on top of the salad tray with her feet on the cool kitchen floor. Biffo the family Basset Hound was looking wistfully at the cooked ham and packets of cheese a couple of shelves further up. He had been prevented from climbing in only by a combination of the heat and physical factors like short legs and congenital laziness.

Ollie was thankful there hadn’t been room for Alice to climb inside completely. He moved the pram, picked up her and her cushion, and flicked the door closed with his hip.

Having got over the initial shock of finding his daughter in the fridge, where she’d gone, as she had explained, to cool off, he wondered about how to explain why she was feeling hot. He thought about the jet stream, and global warming, and seasonal temperature variations, but plumped for saying simply: “It’s always hot in summer. Remember what it was like in Disneyland when we went on holiday there?”

Alice countered by pointing out the obvious: “But this isn’t Disneyland, Daddy, and I’m still a hot person. Very.”

“I know what’ll make you feel better – a nice cool bath,” said Ollie. Lizzie, who had been feeding their son Jack, heard the last of their exchange.

“What a good idea! Fantastic! I wish I’d thought of that!” Alice and her dad were taken aback by the enthusiasm, and paused to look at her. “Er, it’s only a cool bath, Lizzie, nothing to get excited about.”

Lizzie shook her head, and, over her shoulder, Jack burped. “No it’s much more than that. It’s a brilliant idea for a post for my blog ‘Lizzie Banks On It’. Ten ways to keep the kids cool in a heatwave. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before!

“I have to make a start writing it now; people will need the advice before the weather breaks and the temperatures drop – or at least when I’ve got Jack off for his nap.

“I’ll write about cool baths, and cold damp flannels, and net curtains, and warn people about not covering prams with blankets, and… and …”

“Cans of beer straight for the fridge?” ventured Ollie. “Don’t be ridiculous,” she replied. “Who would ever think to give a toddler a can of beer?”

“I would. They could hold it against the back of their neck; be really cooling, that would,” said her husband.

Lizzie conceded the point by turning down the corners of her mouth and nodding slowly, but at the same time mentally crossing it off the list of things she would write about.

Ollie tried again: “Or how about going to the pool? That’s got physical activity and learning a skill at the same time. Three birds with one stone.”

“Better,” said Lizzie, “and more likely to get included.”

“Can I have an ice lolly to eat in the bath, Mummy?” asked Alice.

“Better make that 11 ways, “ said Ollie, scooping up his daughter and heading for the bathroom.