Tuesday, 25 April 2017
"What's THIS?" I ask, admiring the 5 Year Old's artwork as I pick her up from After-School Club.
"It's my Bat Mat!" she exclaims, as if this requires no further explanation.
"What's a Bat Mat?" I ask. "Is it a small carpet from Bruce Wayne's house?"
Surprisingly, this goes over her head!
"No, it is just a normal Bat Mat."
"Ah! It's very brightly coloured!"
"Yes, the bats are at a disco! They are having a boogie!" She leans in conspiratorially and lowers her voice. "Boogie is a word that means the same as dance!"
"Do bats like discos?" I enquire. She nods. "Only I thought they liked quiet. And darkness. And," adopting a Christian Bale growl, "the NIGHT!"
She thinks. "It's a silent disco." There is such a thing, kids.
"So what is the Bat Mat for again? Is it a mat for wiping your feet or a table mat or what?"
"Well, Other 5 Year Old, 5 Year Old Boy and 5 Year Old Boy's Friend made one, so I did too."
"Only I think it is a mat for sitting on to make your bum comfortable on the floor!"
Ah. It flutters in the breeze. I doubt it will work.
Monday, 24 April 2017
"I like it when I do THIS!" the 5 Year Old tells me, running her tongue over her top teeth.
"Why's that?" I ask.
"Because they taste of CHOColate!" she says.
This strikes me as implausible, or at least undesirable.
"Do they? Have you got chocolate on your teeth?"
"No," she decides. "But wouldn't it be good if they were made of white chocolate?"
"I don't think so. They would break really easily, or dissolve in your mouth."
"Ah," she counters, "but what if they were made of really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really hard chocolate?"
"That might be okay," I concede.
"But what if my tooth fell out?"
"You could eat it like a chocolate button," I shrug.
"And it wouldn't rot my teeth!"
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
We've been away for a couple of days at 5 Year Old's Granny and Grampa's house.
I overhear Granny trying to teach some grammar on one of the mornings.
"There is two toilets at your house," 5 Year Old has observed.
"No, there are," Granny says, which sounds a bit contradictory but of course isn't.
"Are what?" 5 Year Old asks, quite reasonably.
"There are two toilets."
"When there is one of something, you say 'is'," Granny explains, "and when there are more than one, you say 'are.' There is one sink, but there are two toilets."
"There are two toilets," 5 Year Old repeats. Which all seems quite straightforward. Oh, but hold on...
"There are toilet paper," she goes on.
"No," corrects Granny again, "there is toilet paper."
"But there are more than one bit of toilet paper. So there are toilet paper!"
"But there is only one roll!" Granny explains.
"There are lots of rolls," 5 Year Old quite rightly points out.
"There is one sink," Granny explains patiently, "there are two toilets. And we have some toilet paper!"
Tuesday, 11 April 2017
We are going to the park.
"But why are we going this way, Daddy?"
"Because this is the way to the park!"
"The usual park. The park we go to."
"And where is that?"
"Up here, this way. The park is this way, and we are therefore going this way to the park!"
She thinks about this for a while with a wrinkled nose.
"I don't think I have been to this park," she asserts.
"We go there all the time!" I protest.
"What does it look like?" she challenges.
"It has the green picnic tables," I begin, maybe not alighting on the most memorable feature from a child's point of view.
"Picnic TABLES?" The horror! "I know what a picnic is. You eat it on a rug. On the GROUND!"
"Yes, good. Well, it has the net you climb on. And the little step thing where you put your feet on the tortoises and hedgehogs!"
"That is CRUEL!"
"No, they aren't real! There are the two blue cars, and the slide with the big wheel to turn like a pirate ship!"
"I have not been to this park."
"You have. Look, wait until we get there. You'll see!"
We get there. There are no picnic tables, nets, hedgehogs, cars or pirate wheels. All of the apparatus is different, but looks about a year old. Maybe it was Brother and Sister I brought here.
"You have not been to this park," I muse.
She agrees. It's still good, though. Must go again...
Sunday, 9 April 2017
"Is it a boy or a girl?" she asks.
"Well, a boy," we reveal, "can't you tell?"
"Because it hasn't got hair!"
We leave this hanging in the air. Do we press on? 5 Year Old's Mummy decides to grasp the nettle, as it were.
"He's got a willy!"
"Oh," she says. "Is that what he's holding in his hand?"
"No," I say, "that's a big stick."
"Where is his willy then?"
"In the middle," says Mummy, "it's sort of standing up."
We drive on.
Saturday, 8 April 2017
"The rest of you are hijacking the broadband," 10 Year Old Brother often moans, "you're making my tablet laggy!"
Now, he has given an old tablet that doesn't really connect to anything but has some games downloaded onto it to the 5 Year Old.
The 13 Year Old Sister and I are chatting as she plays. She suddenly holds up a hand and shouts "Stop!"
"You are talking too loudly! My tablet cannot hear the band, and is all waggy!"
"Other 5 Year Old is 5, and I am 5," says the 5 Year Old.
"Indeed," I say.
"How old will she be when I am 6?"
"How old will she be when I am 7?"
"How old will she be when I am 8?"
"How old will she be when I am 9?"
"You're the same age! Apart from the little gap between your birthdays, you will always be the same age!"
"Even when we are 573?"
"Well, one of you might die before then!"
"So we WON'T be the same age forever and ever?"
"Not forever, no."
"How old will she be when I am 10?"
Thursday, 6 April 2017
I've had a bit of a hard day, so naturally the 5 Year Old is having a tantrum.
She has been told off at after-school club for flashing her knickers in the playground.
She does not like being told off.
She is doing that special 5 Year Old crying where she has to sob each syllable at full volume, punctuated by heaving breaths.
"BUT... OTH... ER.... 5... YEAR... OLD... TOLD.... ME... TO... DO... IT!!!!!"
Insert cliché about "jumping off a bridge" here.
I tell her no-one wants to see her pants, and look stern, then make slow progress listening to howls that can probably be heard in Canada for a bit. Which gets old quickly.
"So did anything nice happen today?" I ask over the cacophony.
"WE... HAD.... SWEETS!" she wails. "IT... WAS... SUPP... OSED... TO... BE... SUCH... A.... NICE... DAY... BUT... NOW... IT... IS... SO... SAD!!"
"Were the sweets nice?"
"NOOOOOOOOO!" And the howling continues.
A little round the corner she cries out "I NEED A TISSUE!"
"Why?" She points at her face. A rather lengthy glob of... let's say nasal discharge is hanging from her nostril.
I rifle in my pockets where there are, of course, no tissues. I find a couple of long receipts.
"You will have to wipe it in this receipt," I say, "I don't have any tissues." ('And the winner of the Best Parenting award is...').
She takes it from me, and dabs limply at a nostril with the corner.
"I think you'll have to wipe a bit more thoroughly than that," I say.
She wipes all around her lower face with the printed side of the receipt. The black ink comes off, leaving streaky stains across her face.
"You've got ink all over you," I point out, "try again!"
She tries again. The white side of the receipt sticks to her face and her hand slides off, leaving her with a rectangular moustache. She giggles.
"Pull it off!" I say, rolling my eyes.
She pulls it off.
"Where shall I put it? I don't have a pocket!" she says.
"Give it to me, I'll hold it until we get to a bin."
She slaps it into my palm. My palm feels wet, sticky and squishy.
"Oh! You've handed it to me EEEEW side down!"
This has her in hysterics. "EEEW side down! Ha, ha, ha!"
I miss the howling...
Wednesday, 5 April 2017
She has taken this so seriously that she cries when the subject is mentioned even after the cat is out of the bag, so Daddy decides to have a chat about it on the way home.
"So, do you know what day it is today?" he asks. She purses her lips and shakes her head. "It's okay to talk about it now, Daddy knows he forgot!"
"It is... oh, one of those special LOVE days, like Valentine's!"
"Do you remember what it is called?"
"The... Wedding Adversary!"
"And do you know what you do on a Wedding Anniversary?"
Her face falls and she goes all floppy.
"You get BABYsat!"
"Well, that's what YOU do! Do you know what Mummy and Daddy are doing?"
"You are going on a DATE!" This is accompanied by a little dance.
"And what is a date?"
"It's what you do with people you looooooooove. It's a thing of loooooooooove."
"But what do you actually do?"
"You eat berries!"
"And you eat strawberries."
"And you eat chicken."
"Indeed. And where do we go to eat berries, strawberries and chicken?"
"To a RESTaurant."
"And is that all we do?"
"No, you do the things of looooooooove that people do with people they looooooooooove!"
"And what are they?"
This is a mime. She plants a big smacker in the palm of her hand and throws it. Then she runs full pelt at me and flings her arms around my waist.
"And eat berries," she concludes, her voice muffled in my abdomen.
Yes. The berries are very important.
Sunday, 2 April 2017
We're in a car on this occasion, with 13 Year Old Sister (and friend) and 10 Year Old Brother.
I open the window. There's one of those odours one sometimes encounters in rural areas.
"Phew, who made that smell?" I joke hilariously.
"It's that fly," 5 Year Old assures us.
"What fly?" I ask.
"A fly flew up my nose yesterday," she tells us.
"Oh. But why is that making a smell?"
"Well, it's still up my nose, and it's probably farting. And I can REALLY smell it."
We laugh. She's offended. But what can you do?
"I saw a Killer Bug today at school," the 5 Year Old informs me.
"A Killer Bug? What does one of those look like?" I ask.
"Black and red," she tells me. "Not stripes like a bee, more of a red pattern. You know when you squirt water out of a bottle at your face?"
No, I think. "Yes," I say.
Oh. "And these bugs actually kill you, do they?"
Oh. "Why are they called 'Killer Bugs', then?"
"Because they bite you with the wiggly things on their noses."
Oh. "We should probably call them Bitey Bugs, then," I suggest.
"No, that's what we should call chiggy-wigs," she says. "They bite chicken pox."
"They do what?"
"They bite chicken pox. The red spots, they bite them."
"They can smell the red spots. It makes them chase you and bite you. My friend Other 5 Year Old is COVERED in them, she's got chicken pox, she must STINK to a chiggy-wig!!"
I imagine so. "But why do they bite chicken pox?"
"They like the taste," she assures me.
"Oh. What do they eat usually?"
"Just chicken pox spots. All the time. They go where they can smell them!"
"Oh. They must go hungry a lot when people don't have chicken pox!"
She nods sagely. "They must. They must."
Sometimes, the 5 Year Old lays traps.
"Should you kiss someone without asking first?" she enquires.
A-ha! I know the answer to this one, as we have tried to be clear with our children that it's cool to not want a hug or a kiss, and no means no like Brexit means Brexit.
"No, no. You should always check that it's OK first." Clear message there.
"What about kissing someone when they are asleep?"
Ooh, now that's a thornier one, because I have almost certainly given the children a peck on the cheek when they were sleeping babies or when checking on them tucked in at night... Let's hedge my bets a bit.
"Maybe if they were a member of your family and you know they don't mind having a kiss, but usually? Definitely not."
She pauses, then triggers the trap.
"So Sleeping Beauty is going to DIE???" Um... what? "Because the Prince kisses her to wake her up, and he has NOT asked if she wants him to first?" This needs pointing to emphasise its wrongness.
"Ah," Daddy thinks fast, "but that's different because she has been asleep for a hundred years!" Ta-dah!
"So she's really old?" 5 Year Old goggles. "It's OK to kiss people without asking if they are really OLD??"
"Uh, not sure that's what I meant really...."
"But Snow White is going to DIE!"
"Because the other Prince kisses her when she is DEAD, so he really didn't ask."
"But... but... she had been poisoned by an apple, and..."
"So you can kiss people without asking first if they are OLD or you POISON them?"
I can't see a way out of this moral dilemma, so I do what a true hero would do.
I change the subject to distract her.
"Oh look, the shop, do you want one of those yoghurts with chocolate bits in the corner?"