Allison Jackson reached for a crayon, then paused and studied the colouring book on the table in front of her. “Have you ever seen a green snowman?” she asked.
Rose looked up from her own book and shook her head. “No I have not,” she said.
“Me too,” said Allison. “But we are about to.” She leaned forward and applied the crayon to the page in careful circles.
“There’s a first time for everything,” said Rose.
“I think snow should be different colours,” said Allison. “White is kind of boring.”
“Really?” said Rose. “What colour do you think it should be?”
“I think it should be all colours,” said Allison. “Except black because that wouldn’t make any sense.”
“Why wouldn’t that make sense?” Rose wanted to know.
“Because black is the opposite of white,” Allison explained. “And snow is white, so if snow was black then it couldn’t be snow.”
“What would it be if it wasn’t snow?” asked Rose.
Allison pondered that for a moment. “Just dirt I guess,” she said. She pointed at the page she was colouring. “Then this would be a dirtman instead of a snowman.”
“That would be pretty strange,” said Rose.
“I can’t even imagine it,” said Allison matter-of-factly. “Sometimes when Andy comes in after playing in the sand, he’s a dirtman,” she added. She looked over at Rose’s colouring book. “What are you colouring Grandma?” she asked.
“I’m colouring Rudolph,” said Rose. “Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.”
“He had a very shiny nose,” said Allison. “Are you going to colour it red, like in real life?”
“Of course,” said Rose. “I’m going to colour Rudolph brown with a red nose, just like in real life.”
Allison held up her book to show Rose her handiwork. “Frosty’s green,” she said. “What do you think?”
“Nice,” said Rose. “If you hung some lights on him he’d be Frosty the Christmas snowman.”
“That would be pretty funny,” said Allison. “You could have a Christmas snowman in the living room instead of a Christmas tree.”
“Not for long,” said Rose. “Pretty soon Frosty would melt and then all you would have would be Frosty the Christmas puddle.”
Allison giggled. “That would ruin the presents,” she said. “Unless the present was a toy boat,” she said. “Then it would be totally fine.”
“Good thinking,” said Rose. She put down the brown crayon she had been using and picked up a red one. “Are you excited that Christmas is coming soon?” she asked.
Allison nodded. “I love Christmas,” she said. “It’s so colourful and bright.”
“What do you think Santa will bring you this year?” asked Rose.
“I hope he brings me Clifford the big red dog,” said Allison.
“You mean the book?” said Rose.
“No, I mean the actual dog,” said Allison. “But I don’t think he will. You can’t really count on Santa. How would he get a dog that’s as big as a house to fit down a chimney?”
“Santa is pretty big and he fits down the chimney,” said Rose. “I’m pretty sure he could fit Clifford down there too. But the problem would be that Clifford wouldn’t even fit in the living room if he was as big as a house.”
“I know,” said Allison. “That’s why it’s a problem. Our house is too small for Clifford.”
“Well, if you don’t get Clifford,” said Rose, “what would be your second choice?”
“I would like a bicycle and a dollhouse and a remote-control car and a toboggan and a Barbie car that I can sit in and drive and Frozen pyjamas and an archery set.” Allison paused. “And five kittens,” she concluded.
“Wow,” said Rose. “Where did you get all those ideas?”
“On TV of course,” said Allison. “Except the kittens. I just like kittens.”
“Everybody likes kittens,” said Rose. “But you already have a cat so I doubt if you’ll get a kitten.”
“I know,” said Allison. “That’s the bad thing about cats. I like our cat but I would rather have a kitten.”
“Of course you would,” said Rose, “but even if you got a kitten, by next Christmas the kitten would be all grown up into a cat and then you’d be right back where you started.”
“Anyway,” said Allison, “you never know what you’re going to get from Santa.” She put down her crayon. “I’m done,” she said. “I think it’s time we had some cookies.”
“Are you hungry?” asked Rose.
Allison shook her head. “No,” she said. “I just really like cookies.”
Rose closed her colouring book. “Can’t argue with that reasoning,” she said.
“Thanks Grandma,” said Allison. “I knew I could count on you.”