Trowel for Farver, eggs for Muvver, string for Grandpa, red wool for Grandma, chicken-feed for Uncle, needles for Aunty and I do hope there won’t be anything more.
Now you knew exactly what this was. This was a girl’s book. Of course, all the books Rosely read to you belonged to her, so they had every right to be girl’s books, but up to now it had been hard to tell. There was no mistaking Millie Molly Mandy. It was about clear recognisable girl stuff.
More than once, Rosely had been sent out to the local shop with money clutched in one had and you being towed along by the other, and it was always your fault when she forgot what she was supposed to buy. There was panic. There were tears. And when your mother stalked off to the shop muttering about having to do everything herself, you got towed along again, and it was your fault too when the smiling shopkeeper told her they had run out.
“Why didn’t you ask while you were here?” she’d shriek at you. “You’re as useless as your sister. Boys are supposed to take responsibility for things like that.”
You bet they were.
Years later, when you were old enough to be sent out to the shop by yourself, you’d deliberately forget what you were there for, buy yourself an ice cream, pocket the change, and get into terrible trouble when you got home. That was the way boys did these things.