Q. I have a delightful young goddaughter who, thanks to the virus, I have not seen since last year. Her next birthday is looming, but since she never thanked me for my present last year, I am disinclined to give another. However, there may be a mitigating factor. Last year while her mother and I were cheering her on in a hockey match, I handed the mother a bundle of cash to give her daughter on her birthday a few days later when she had an exeat. Now I wonder if the mother even remembered to pass it on. The trouble is I can’t ask her directly: first because, if she did remember, the girl will be in trouble for not having thanked me; second, the mother is chippy.— E.B., Ipswich, Suffolk
A. Text the girl suggesting that, rather than buying her something she might not want, you will give her cash again this year.