No really. I did.
I pushed her out into the path of an oncoming car. To be honest, I pushed her out into the road and held her there until a car came along and then I said:
Look. The car squashed her. She's gone.
It's A, you see. The child, not the imaginary friend, although her name begins (began?) with A too. Alla. L discovered them, Milly and Alla. Sisters, I think, or sometimes possibly just friends, but either way they get brought into the conversation from time to time. They don't particularly do naughty things, or get blamed when the children play up. They just occasionally come and stay, or have a race, or dress up. A and S have also become rather taken with them, so now we have several Millies and Allas. ("My Milly and Alla, not your Milly and Alla....")
So, as I say, it's A. A is, at nearly 3, determined. I know all nearly-three-year-olds are determined, but A, well, A is part ox, part autocratic dictator. If she doesn't like something she'll let you know, and if she isn't sure where the boundaries are she will push, and push, and go one little step beyond.
Which is literally what she did today. She and I had gone to get L from school (actually pre-school, but there is pride and English friends who really are at school at stake here) and were coming back across the park. I had the pushchair, into which, apparently, Alla had been put, and A was pushing her, ziggaging across the muddy grass, bent almost double with the effort.
She got bored after a while and asked me to push while she ran ahead, through the arch and into the layby.
A! I said stop right there!
She was on the kerb then. Momentarily paused.
A! You stay there!
She looked round. Right at me. And she stepped out. Both feet. Into the road. As she has twice before.
There was nothing coming and I was right behind her by this point, so I picked her up, heart in mouth, while she screamed and kicked, and manhandling her, L and the pushchair (and imaginary friend) crossed the road.
We turned into our lane. It's a cul-de-sac so I normally let them run along, but I couldn't trust A not to run back into the road just to prove a point (it's been done before) so I tried to put her back in the pushchair. She screamed. Louder. "Alla's in the pushchair!".
And out of nowhere I said,
No she's not. She got out. Look! She's run into the road. Come back Alla! No! She isn't coming back.
Oh no. A car's coming. It's squashed her.
And now I honestly don't know if I've solved the running into the road problem once and for all. Or scarred her for life.
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