It was a duel.
A singing battle being fought by The Bombshell (5 and a half years) and Miss Curly Mop (almost three).
The turf: the family room rug, covered with the detritus of Christmas, Barbie bodies everywhere.
At stake: who could sing the best song about their doll.
The rule: she who sings loudest, wins.
The Bombshell: (warbles, holding out her new 'Ryan' doll) 'Hellooooo, do you like my new boyfriend?'
The Mop: (returns) 'I doooo, but he has 'girl' eyes. So do I.... I'm very sorryyyyyy.'
The Bombshell: (attempting the tune of the Cinderella song) 'I know you, the gleam of your eyes, the rustle of your fingers....'
What exactly are his fingers doing?
The Mop: (still singing): 'Can you change my nappyyyyyy?'
Is she singing to me, or the doll?
Mummy: (in a lovely soprano) 'In a minute...'
The Mop: (speaking) 'Don't sing again.'
The Bombshell: (tries again) 'I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream. Because yours lips that touch my tan and your eyes are so different....'
His lips touch her tan? Does she even know what that means? Where is she learning this stuff?
The Bombshell: (in hushed voice) 'I love you, I know where your heart is...'
(in a different voice) 'What? You took my heart?'
The Bombshell: (in first voice, she has stopped singing and her two dolls are having a very serious conversation) 'I know you, you told me once and I remember in my head.'
The Mop: (realising she is losing the duel) 'Eric, I want to meet you. I wuv you.'
Meanwhile, Baldy Baby is surreptitiously scratching the glitter off Barbie's spray-painted torso (what? Mattel can't spring for real clothes anymore?). She gives up, and starts chewing on the doll's legs instead.
Mummy: 'You need to pull Barbie's dress up.'
The Mop: 'Why?'
The Bombshell: (leaving her dolls in a passionate embrace to investigate) 'Her boobies are out.'
The Mop pulls the dress up, covering Barbie's boobies but exposing Barbie's plastic underpants.
The Bombshell: (in her big finale) 'It's 2009 and I'm going to buy myself some shoesssssss.'
The Mop: (who knows she is incapable of putting tiny Barbie shoes on and off) 'I don't WANT shoes for my dollllll.'
The Bombshell: 'Well you have to, you are playing with MY dolls.'
Barbie get chucked across the room. Eric follows soon after.
Exit stage right.
The duel is over.