Monkey has been thrown in among the two-year-olds quite a bit lately, thanks to the school break, and I have to say that he plays nicely with the younger kids – all that practice with Mabel must be paying off, or something. Though I’ve noticed that often, while parents are keen to pair kids of the same age off – the closer the better, for some reason – they often interact more happily when there’s a bit of an age gap. Monkey plays well with seven-year-olds and two-year-olds – maybe it’s because there’s less jockeying for position when the natural order of leader and follower is so obvious, and everyone prefers it that way.
Yesterday he wanted to play hide and seek in the back garden. He hid first and Mabel found him pretty quickly. Then it was Mabel’s turn. Monkey covered his eyes and counted to some random number – maybe it was twelve, and Mabel crouched down exactly where she was, her dark pink stripey t-shirt contrasting beautifully with the tufty new green grass. When Monkey looked up, he was momentarily discombobulated to see her right there in front of him, but he recovered beautifully. “Where’s Mabel?” he asked the world at large. “Where could she be?” He proceeded to walk straight past her and wander round the garden a bit, and then came back and sat down on her. “This is a nice round rock,” he commented. “Why is this rock laughing?”
I looked on and was all quite glowy with pride in my great son.
And then, there are times like this:
– Mummy, do you want to see a Scrumbly-Wumbly?
– Wha–Gah! What are you doing? Doesn’t that hurt?
– No – look. You just roll it up like this, and then you pull down your scrotum and put your penis inside and squish it in and then … ta-da! It pops back out. And that’s a Scrumbly-Wumbly.
– Okay. Right. Just finish up, please.
– But don’t you want to see a Scrunchy-Wunchy?
As was pointed out to me the other day, he may have a great career ahead of him with these people. I’m glad that other options may present themselves if the metal-making for universal jet-packs doesn’t work out, but I think I might just keep quiet about this avenue for the time being, lest he start practicing in public.