I can’t believe this. I actually found myself this morning explaining loudly and clearly to Snooks that I Know More Than He Does Because I Am A Grown Up.
He looked astonished and a little hurt. He also managed to just about hide his disbelief at my making such a nonsensical statement.
I wince even now as I recall it though I stop short of regretting having said it. Idiotic as it is to claim to know more simply by dint of having been around longer (there is no obvious causal link – I could be a grown up who had never read anything, asked any questions, conversed with anyone) I simply had to stop him from contradicting every thing I say.
Where has this come from? Is it part of the four- year-old boy (don’t know about girls) journey or is it just Mr Snooks. Having had careful truthful answers to most of his questions from The Engineer and I over the last four years, he now thinks he Knows It All. I thought we got this at 14. (In the same wincing breath I recall my 14 year old self correcting my well educated father on any aspect of anything I thought I could pull off. I tended to aim for science as his knowledge of history, literature, philosophy and languages was boundless. My aptitude for physics came in handy though he seemed to somehow have absorbed most of my O level text book by osmosis).
Anyway I felt a bit sorry about it as I have praised and praised his cognitive abilities and then unexpectedly turned on him for trusting them. And then in the confusion, he cried. Ouch.
Snooks and I were both intrigued and delighted by the news story earlier this week about the 11-year-old boy from Manchester who flew to Rome without his family. Something in the script of BBC Radio 4’s news item led both of us to think he had actually flown the plane out of Manchester airport, which really got our attention. However it turned out the boy had simply sidled up to another family and got on board without anyone noticing.
I called Snooks in to hear the news item on the kitchen radio and as I stood pondering how the boy’s family had felt when they realised he had eloped, Snooks asked “Did no one check his passport?”
This, it turned out, was the main gist of the news story as the pre Olympics security tension mounts across the country. Step forward the new John Humphrys.
How Snooks arrived at this question, how he knew it was the vital part of the story I do not know but I congratulated him on his incisive thought.
I can’t have it both ways. I’d better retract my earlier statement.