Saturday, 10 March 2012

talking to tinkerbell

Last night I found myself writing this post in my head. The occasion of Snooks’ fourth birthday this week prompted a mini mental stock-take of his funnies and foibles, and I knew that I must record it, for posterity, as this blog is intended.

If you have been keeping up, you will know last week was a bit rough. It was Snooks’ birthday on Monday but the celebration was in danger of being marred by a sudden shifting social ground which left us a bit wobbly.

It turned out that we were all sick. By the eve of the big day, Snooks had crashed out in the back of a black cab on his way home to bed with no dinner. By the following night he was running a 40 degree fever and sleeping in my bed while I lay watching him, trying not to cough. By the following night we were at A&E, sent by the emergency doctor who could not understand why he was conscious when his temperature had dropped to 35 degrees.

However you know what they say about god and mysterious ways – or in this case Tinkerbell. Let me explain.

It all began in the post office as I was waiting in the queue which snakes past the toys and sharp scissors and other stuff I would rather Snooks did not mess with, when he came up brandishing a birthday card bearing a glittering number four and a picture of a decidedly voluptuous fairy wearing a short green dress made of leaves and an unmistakably come-hither stare.

“Look, it’s Tinkerbell!” Snooks declared, with his full bright-spirited ten decibel enthusiasm.

Last I knew Tinkerbell was a rather hard to judge character whom we all loved, but kept at a distance. That was before Disney got hold of her.

This Tinkerbell was coming home with us, ostensibly to give to his girlfriend for her fourth birthday, though we all knew that was never going to happen.

By the middle of the week the card was dog-eared from being carried around and a new one had to be bought for the friend. By the time of Snooks’ birthday we were on our third card, with a matching cake and balloon.

I am not sure what drew my little boy to this particular fairy but I am going with it very happily. He seems to have a private dialogue with her which he has no need to share. And if it works, then who am I to question.

Thus I found myself kneeling on the kitchen floor one day this week holding the arm of a tired and unwell raging Snooks, casting about for something to calm him.

“When you are angry,” I said, “instead of lashing out, try going somewhere quiet and counting to ten or … erm… talking to Tinkerbell.

“What do you do Daddy when you are angry?” I called over my shoulder where the Engineer sat reading as I held the thrashing child by the cuffs.

“I talk to Tinkerbell,” he offered without a breath.

Later that night I used the birthday card to fan Snooks' burning hot face until his temperature dropped. Ok, you could put it down to the Calpol.
But me, I believe in fairies.

And here’s the birthday record:

• He’s 97 cm tall
• His favourite planet is Jupiter which we saw through the telescope in the garden
• He says “bonjour” to the pretty French girl in his class each day and (smart kid) also to the pretty French girl’s mother
• He loves Singing in the Rain and does a mean Gene Kelly routine with his Very Hungry Caterpillar umbrella
• He loves painting and told me that this is what makes him feel calm
• He spots circling birds in the sky and knows a bird of prey by sight
• His say Guten Tag now and again which always catches me by surprise
• His favourite song of the moment is “First of the Gang to Die” by Morrissey
• He wants a pet rabbit
• He explained how there were penguins in Antarctica but no polar bears as they lived in … Abtarctica
• He checks the daffodils in the garden each day to mark their progress into bloom
• He sees faces in the leaves of the trees
• Turning four meant no longer needing the step to reach the sink, using the next age range up toothpaste, getting a bigger scooter with an eagle for a bell, and agreeing to wear plasters.

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