Scene: and household the week before World Book Day.
“I want to be The Little Mermaid.”
“I want to be The Tiger Who Came to Tea.”
Brace, brace, brace and…LO! 0600hrs World Book Day.
“Muuuuuummmm. I don’t want to be the Little Mermaid anymore.”
Of course you don’t.
So they bundled themselves into new costumes while I thanked the potent fairy of miracles that they actually chose costumes they already had.
Once upon a time, Sleeping Beauty and The Gruffalo merrily traipsed through the snow to school where they spent approximately 5minutes before the MET office red warning came through and everyone had a snow day.
And they all lived happily ever after until the parents realised World Book Day would be back next week.
(But books are the cure.)
Me: “So what did you do at Forest School today?”
Fed an imaginary bear some leaves.
Drew a map of the Island of Bears on my belly.
We’re learning a lot about time. Analogue clock faces. Cheaply sourced watches. Short hands, long hands (currently spared the second but it’s only a matter of…. oh nononono). Puzzled faces (non-analogue) over time length. You’d have thought naughty step experiences would have given some kind of reference point but then I still naively take them on hikes forgetting the daily reaction to the school walk, “Whyyyyyy is this taaakiiiing sooo looong? My legs are soooo tired.” Knees buckle, bum sags, gazes t’ward clouds in pose of supplication.
Night and day though. That’s fairly black and white, no? Surprise, no! School ran a project involving a teddy bear, teddy bear pyjamas and a diary for each kid to take home of a weekend. Mission: put the teddy to bed at sundown. Mission: ungradeable. No one noticed it getting dark. Too busy doing jigsaws, preparing stews, finding odd smells emanating from behind radiators and other traditional wintertime pursuits. Does this project run in schools above the Arctic Circle?
Springing forward and leaping back…..whoa-ho, whole other realm of crazy. Where does the hour go? How does it know its way back? Does it have a map? Is it the same hour each time or is there a rota system? Is it linked to deja vu? Did Cole Porter omit the Scarlet Pimpernel of the time world when he wrote ‘Night & Day’? Does Doctor Who know where it is? Fairly sure Rowdy THINKS she knows because 4yr old logic has no limits.
To clarify there is no baby in there. Nor are there plans for a baby to be in there. Even more unlikely if the method of Rowdy’s tenuous grasp of human reproduction is followed: “like penguins feeding each other. Only with spit not food.”
This would have been enough in itself but it came after Rowdy casually lifted my jumper the week before, frowned for inspection and asserted, “Mum, you should really go for a run.”
Not “Hey, Mum, you’re making that porridge-belly look rock” or “Oh, the site of my incubation! Sorry for the inconvenience. I’ll back-pay rent” but the child equivalent of Burgess Meredith in Rocky.
Complete with stop-watch.
And an irritated mood conveyed merely by the ‘tic-tic‘ of a ballpoint pen release.
Me: “Want sweetcorn?”
The Bobcat: “Sweetcorn is my enemy.”
Me: “Really? You normally hoover it up.”
The Bobcat: “TOMORROW I liked sweetcorn. THIS day…..sweetcorn….is….my…ENEMY!”
Me: “Thanks for clarifying.” [Replaces glasses.]
The Bobcat: “oooooOOoohh. GRaaaavyyy. SWIM, PEAS! SWIM!”