Thursday, 4 October 2012

going underground

As Snooks and I walked across the Common recently, my pockets weighed down with conker booty, he came out with one of his lovely poetic descriptions which I always try to record before they get lost for ever in time. Indeed this really has been the purpose of this blog.

This time, as he looked over to where a big black shaggy looking creature was chasing around happily after something smaller and faster – he said “Scattery dog.”
I loved it and said so and to my astonishment he replied, “Put it in your blog.”

I didn’t even know he knew I wrote a blog. I didn’t know he knew what a blog was. He is four. How can he say that? Anyway once I had recovered my wits we made the conversation into some kind of funny mantra and marched across the rest of the Common shouting “SCATTERY DOG. IN YOUR BLOG!” as loud as we could for no good reason at all.

It actually turned into a rather good “teaching moment” as the websites call it as I then got him to practise saying it as quietly as he could too and we played around with funny loud and quiet voices, ending with inevitable rundown of where is an appropriate place for a loud voice and where for a quiet voice.

Snooks, who usually treats any attempts to make fun didactic with contempt, humoured me for a while and then insisted that libraries and restaurants were definitely the best place for top level yelling.
Anyway the point is if he has reached a point of self-awareness where he knows what I might write in my blog, it is time to stop.

I had already been considering this for some time over the summer as his entry into full time education beckoned. Starting school meant many things to both of us - a new autonomy for him, a new balance in life for me and for both of us a joining in with a community which will be with us for the next seven years.
For Snooks to make his own path it means if I am to write about him I should do it privately or at least anonymously. For me also, some discretion sounds like a plan.

So one last time before we go underground I shall record what’s bin did and what’s bin hid in our world:

* He spelt his first word out for me which was s-k-y. I would like to say he meant the Heavens but I am afraid it is more likely he meant the Murdoch empire. Both gramps and Dennis Potter would turn in their graves
* He tells jokes, some of which make sense. Why do cows have bells? Because their horns don’t     work …etc

* He often offers to punch you in the face. The offer is not followed up and stems from my offer to him of a slap in the belly with a wet fish one mealtime when he had turned down all that was available. He took the expression and adapted it with the resulting apparent threat of extreme violence. Of course other children and their mothers don’t know any of this which has the kind of social consequences for us you can well imagine.

*  After reading about the importance of impulse control, I conducted the marshmallow experiment on him with Haribos offering him ‘one big one now’ or ‘the packet’ later. He waited for the packet and didn’t eat it.

 * He has mastered urinals, hand-dryers and the fireman’s pole since starting school two weeks ago. Saying goodbye to mummy is a work in progress

 * His favourite book of the moment is Scaredy Squirrel which Daddy has turned into Brave Squirrel, who leaps into the unknown everyday with a thrill of excitement and anticipation.

*  His song of the summer was Foreigner’s ‘Waiting For A Girl Like You’ which he called ‘Florida’

* His father and I have not corrected the following speech errors because we just can’t bear to: percuter (computer), vermilla (vanilla), shotting (shooting) and Magladen (Magdalen).

* He is very worried about a spider which ‘got dead’ in the shed and is now in the bin. It needs a proper burial in a plant pot. He talks about it most nights.

* He professes to love his father and me more than we love him and also declares his love for our house, our garden, our car and his teacher.
That’s All Folks

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