Before you jump to conclusions, I think it’s because we play games.
One of our favourite games is where I get a bit of a head-start on Flea and then I try to run away from her shouting, “Stop following me, I’ve never seen you before in my life! Who are you, weird girl?” and Flea shouts, “You’re my Mummy, you’re my Mummy!”
I know this sounds like borderline abuse, but Flea loves it. When she catches me, she begs me to do it again, and if I miss any of our usual lines, she reminds me. “No, Mummy, you have to tell me to stop hanging on to your leg now then tell me to go and find my real parents!” The guy at the meat counter is used to me ordering sausages with a small schoolgirl wrapped around my ankle.
Flea’s favourite trick in return is to use her very best serious voice, and ask me to put my arms up. I pretend I don’t know what’s coming and put my arms up. She then shouts “SUCKER” and tickles me, before laughing like a hyena. Seriously, this trick makes anyone under five fall about. Try it.
Sometimes we have a “Yeah, but can you make THIS noise?” or "What about THIS face?" competition (see photo), which Flea always wins because she can make truly revolting noises and her face is weirdly flexible.
I feel a wee bit guilty, though. When I go to the supermarket, I often get sympathetic and supportive looks from other parents. “Oh, the things we do to entertain the kids, eh?” they seem to say.
I do a vaguely embarrassed, “Tsk, I know, kids, what can you do, eh?” face and pretend it’s me humouring Flea when it’s more like the other way round. Honestly, she's going to be absolutely mortified by me in a few years. Especially once I teach her the Coo-ee game. (It's a brilliant game that involves shouting COO-EEE! and waving at a stranger across the street. You score a point for everyone who looks a bit embarrassed and waves just in case they've met you but have forgotten who you are).
I’ve decided that having a blanket excuse to be silly in public is one of my very favourite things about being a Mum.