Avery comes in wearing Una's school hat and a white singlet and nothing else. 'I'm pretending to be a wife,' he says. He takes the hat off and holds it like a bucket. 'Would you like some of my compost?' he offers, speaking in a high voice, his lips puckered.
'Hello wife,' I say.
'No I'm pretending to be a wife,' he says. 'I'm Avery.'
'What's a wife?' I ask.
'I don't know.'
'Are they good?'
'No,' he flops backwards on the bed. 'They're bad guys.'
After protracted negotiations, I buy Avery a home made lemon curd ice-cream in a waffle cone (I know!).
But when it comes, he is upset, because he doesn't want a cone.
I say, 'Do you want me to put it in a cup?'
He says 'In a cup with a straw and a stick and a spoon.'
Frustrated, hot, I say, 'I don't know what you're talking about.'
Sad, he tells me, 'It's the only language I've got.'