From the back seat Caroline asked, "Mom, what does persistent mean?"
"Doing something over and over again despite resistance or failure."
"Oh," she said, thoughtfully.
I half-turned my head and saw that she was reading The Girls' Book - How to be the Best at Everything. I turned my head a little further and glimpsed the title of the page she was studying: How to Convince Your Parents to Get a Pet.
Our eyes met and I saw a gleam of determination in them that made my blood run cold. But I swear to you, with James Herriot as my witness, I don't care how persistent she is: we are not getting a white-crested cockatoo. The blaste... blessed creatures can live to be forty, for heavens' sake.
I might be willing to compromise on a goldfish but I am keeping that fact up my sleeve for future rounds of negotiation.