Kids say the cutest things, don’t they? Only last week, my two-year-old daughter said, “Mami, has the moon got a mummy and daddy?” A few weeks earlier, my five year old son asked, “Do wasps eat cheese or people?”
At other times, of course, they're total bastards.
Take last week, on the school run, when my seven-year-old daughter said,
“My best friend Annie thinks you’re ugly.”
“That’s not very nice is it?” I said, lamely.
Now, everyone who knows me knows how much I hate the school run. Doing the school run is the psychological equivalent of trekking hundreds of miles without food or water across enemy terrain, on your knees, whilst hallucinating. (Even Bear Grylls and Ranulph Fiennes go fucking MENTAL if anyone asks them to do the school run. It's true.) So, as you can imagine, the absolute last thing I need to hear – when I’m up against the limits of my endurance – is that I look like a hatful of arseholes.
“It’s ok because Annie thinks her mami is ugly too, and probably even more ugly than you”, continued my daughter, reassuringly.
Awww, shucks kids. You’re too kind. I’m gonna fucking MELT here.
(COURTESY OF PEN NAME JANE)
Later, at bath-time, the abuse continued, which again, wasn't nice. My five-year-old son, who was playing with his favourite Peppa Pig boat, was listening to a conversation I was having with my daughter, in which I was trying to reassure her about a blood test.
“Mummy?” he said, all of a sudden.
There was a blob of iridescent bubble bath foam on the end of his nose, and some cute tufts of the stuff on his head. For a second, he looked adorable, angelic.
“I hate you on the inside and on the outside“, he said.
“That’s very nasty”, I said, equally lamely. “Why do you hate me?”
“I just do”, he said, blithely. “I like daddy more”.
And then, finally, yesterday evening, as I was putting my two-and-a-half-year-old toddler to bed, she suddenly stopped half-way through kissing me and developed a worried, quizzical frown.
“Mami?” she said. “Why you got red eyes and yellow teeth?”
“Well, it's like this, you cheeky little monkey”, I said, a little hysterically by now. “I’ve got red eyes because you sleep horizontally across my bed every night - and you foot SHREDS my cornea to bits. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. And as for the yellow teeth, well, do you remember that time we were breastfeeding and you bit my nipple off, and I fed it to next door’s dog as a doggie treat because it was, like, so beyond fucking repair? Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Well, same time as all that hilarious nipple shit was going on, you were also leaching calcium from me - and turning my teeth the colour of lion’s piss - you little cheeky little monkey you! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha etc etc... "
“Oh”, she said, touching my cheek with her finger, and then stroking my hair, very gently,“I want you come to bed mummy.”
“Allright”, I said. “But just for tonight.”