This is the first time a child has waited for Christmas in the Historical House for decades--perhaps a century. Our attic flat used to be nurseries and servants' quarters, so it is easy to imagine children at the table in what is now our dining room, although it is hard to imagine Pirate in the role of some Georgian or Victorian darling in a sailor suit.
Take, for example, a necessarily informal dinner party the other night. Around the table were two young Polish students, Uncle B.A., Auntie Seraphic, Pirate's Mum and, at the foot, Pirate eagerly spooning up his soup. It was Polish chicken soup and thus unfamiliar to Pirate, but to my relief he slurped it down. And such was his contentment with life in general that he began to sing a little ditty that I can only assume he learned in the playground of his Catholic school:
"Ladies on top," he caroled. "Ladies on top, ladies on top."
Spoons halted in the air as five pairs of adult eyes swiveled to the brown-eyed, gap-toothed songster.
"Ladies on top of what?" asked Pirate's mother. "That's just silly. What does that even mean?"
Puzzled, Pirate thought about his song and then his face cleared.
"Ladies on top of the roof!" he sang. "Ladies on top of the roof!"
Then, you may be heartened to hear, he burst into "All the Single Ladies." That one he learned from the Chipmunks.
Update: Memory compels me to admit that one ditty that did the rounds when I was in my own Catholic school playground was "[Angel in the] Centerfold."