Pondering my Monster in her absence, I thought about her character and her personality. I like to think she is feisty, bright, creative, imaginative, eccentric, because that's, you know, cool. And she is all those things sometimes but none are her dominant personality trait. When I really thought about it I realised my little Monster is not really a Monster at all. She's kind, thoughtful, compassionate, helpful, in a word: NICE.
Evidence gathered this week:
1. I came across her hugging Wrigglesworth and saying "I love you Owen, I love you Owen" (shortly afterwards she attempted to take off his head like Jack in "Jack's Song", The Nightmare Before Christmas, luckily she failed).
2. Yesterday morning, when she woke up, she brought Fanf's glasses downstairs for him. He had left them next to her bed the previous night.
3. When I started to get frustrated with Wrigglesworth because he wouldn't eat she came up to me, hugged my leg, and said "Be patient Mummy, I love you".
4. When she gets offered something in a shop she often asks for one "pour maman", which I always thought was a cunning ruse but recently, when I tried to give her the lolly she had cadged for me she refused, telling me "No, c'est pour Mummy."
5. When the fella left for work yesterday he gave the Monster her kiss, she then immediately instructed him "Et bisous Maman", so I got mine too.
6. Whenever I lose my slippers (which is constantly, I stupidly bought slippers that won't stay on my feet, so I tend to leave them where they fall until I pass by that spot again) she fetches them for me because she's worried my feet will be "tout froid".
So there you have it. Nice.
One of the first times I went out with Fanf was in the company of two other female friends and as we all bid each other bonne nuit and my fella (not my fella then) pottered off into the distance one of the girls said "There goes the nicest man in Paris". I discussed this with my German flatmate the next day and she said, although she liked Fanf, she thought he was too nice. What?!! How can you be too nice? All I ever wanted in my fella was nice. And I got what I wanted. Lucky me.
Going further back I can remember talking to my London flatmate about how we wanted the world to see us, specifically whether we would prefer to be respected for being intelligent or for being nice. She went for intelligent. I then, and now, hope that the first thing people think of when they think of me (if they think of me at all!) is, "yes, she's nice". It seems such an insipid word and I think it is sometimes seen as an insipid quality but if everyone were nice then the world would be, well, a much nicer place.
So to return to the Monster. There are many qualities I wish to see flourish in her as she grows up (caring for the elderly, for example...) but I am over the moon that currently she is excelling herself in the underrated art of niceness. She is a thoroughly nice little human being.
Here is a short video of her playing with Wrigglesworth, to whom she is most attached. No little brothers were hurt in the making of this film.