The air hostess motions us to a different seat, as our fellow passengers have unanimously ignored the allocations clearly marked on their tickets, with the result that mine and Tadpole’s have already been taken.
There is a ripple of laughter at my wake. Tadpole, whom I imagined to be trotting obediently behind me, has found a bearded surrogate grandad she likes the look of, seated herself by his side, much to his amusement, and is now engrossed in fastening her seatbelt.
I hasten to retrieve her, somewhat red-faced, and plonk her unceremoniously onto the window seat.
“Can you hear my wee wee?”
I note her glassy eyed expression, one which I am familiar with, as our family bathroom had mirror tiles on the back of the bathroom door. Tadpole and I may not look alike, but sometimes, fleetingly, I see one of my own smirks or grimaces play across her face.
A shadow falls over us: a businessman is examining his ticket with a puzzled air. I look up, prepare to explain, wearily, that the entire aircraft has been subjected to an impromptu game of musical chairs.
I am, however, struck dumb by Tadpole’s next move.
“Mummy! Mummy!” she exclaims, painful, clamping fingers grabbing the front of my t-shirt. “Look! I found your nipples! They all pointy!”
I cast around for the button which will trigger my ejector seat.