Eddy was getting ready for bed the other night when he came downstairs looking troubled. The fact that he’d come down was nothing unusual, he normally does this at least three times a night, armed with some lame excuse before he finally goes to bed, but something was clearly bothering him on this occasion.
‘Mum, what will happen to Dog when I’m grown up and move out?’ he asked, his voice wavering as he spoke.
Some of you may have met Dog, Eddy’s constant companion since he was a toddler. He was originally given to Molly (Dog, not Eddy) but somehow ended up in Eddy’s spitty clutches and has been there ever since. He’s been on some adventures as well: he’s been dropped down the toilet to see if he could swim (Dog, not Eddy), boiled up in a large saucepan in an attempt to restore him back to his original pristine condition, he’s been left down the Co-op and was ‘luckily’ still there when we went back for him, he comes on every holiday with us and, oh yes, he even talks (but we won’t dwell on that, it would probably be a psychiatrist’s dream).
So I could understand Eddy’s concerns. Perhaps more so because I can clearly remember as a child being convinced that when you left home, you left with absolutely nothing. Not even a shirt on your back. No sireee, when you waved your final goodbye to your parents, you would be stark-bollock naked as you skipped empty-handed down the street to your new abode.
I can also remember my Mum having a fantastic fuschia pink satin blouse which she used to wear on the odd night out with my Dad and she looked lovely in it. I subsequently earmarked this as my ‘leaving home’ blouse and used to check from time to time that Mum would definitely pass it on to me when she was done with it. Which she didn’t, and I can only assume that this was because she’d worn it out and/or it was so long since she’d left home that she’d forgotten the desperate need for something to wear to tide you over until new clothes could be purchased.
Fascinating what goes through a child’s mind isn’t it? I wish I’d written down every single gem my kids have come out with over the years because there have been some moments of sheer brilliance. Henry VIII running the Bank of England, for example. Whilst watching the Tour de France on TV, one of the kids asking if the cyclists stop for a break every time the adverts are on. England playing Sri Lancashire at cricket, and only the other day, Molly announced that she has a phobia about being in the middle of the open sea but doesn’t mind paddling at the ‘front of the sea’, which I thought was really cute.
Over the years Molly and Eddy’s musings have enchanted me and had me howling with laughter in equal measures. And I’m not telling you this to mock my kids – quite the opposite in fact. I have so much admiration for their inquisitive little minds and I think we can sometimes lose this as we get older for fear of making ourselves look silly. Yes, sometimes the things they say may sound a bit daft but I know full well that more often than not, there’s some kind of logic behind their thinking. Molly once asked ‘Do bees know that they’re going to die before they sting you?’ Images of suicide-missioned, stripy insects buzzing about with lethal weapons strapped to their backs, ready to pounce on their one and only victim aside, what a great question to ask!
So I sat with Eddy and explained that he could take Dog with him when he was ready to leave home and both Ed and Dog seemed happy with that. Eddy also decided that he would need to marry someone who could make coffee because he can’t make it and I would need a drink when I came to visit.
And as I left one satisfied customer, talk turned to Molly’s school friend who has two mums instead of a mum and dad. I spotted the little flicker in Eddy’s eyes and braced myself…..
….’Well how did they make her then if she hasn’t got a Dad?’
And for the boy who once thought that a man having a ‘special seed’ meant that a sunflower would grow out of the end of his willy, I decided that this was probably a bridge too far for one night and I duly packed my inquisitive little son off to bed.