If you aren’t letting your kids jump into bed with you on a Sunday morning, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. I don’t mean the huggles, although they’re obviously always spesh and welcome. But the main thing you’re denying yourself is the opportunity to chat about their week in a perfectly relaxed atmosphere where it’s totally acceptable to keep your eyes shut.
That is what’s known as a win.
Miss6 and I had been banging on for a few minutes about why I was so much better in the ‘help out in class’ stakes than her Mum. Sort of. As we were struggling to come to a consensus I decided to change the subject. (For that adventure I refer you to Pillow Talk – Part One). I asked Miss6 to tell me what she did while I was away the previous day helping Master24 move back to Gympie.
“Nothing,” she said in that very six year old way of not even trying to remember.
“Nothing?” I said, using my 48 year old ‘are you sure about that?’ tone. I pulled out my phone. “I have a photo here which Mummy sent me and it looks like something is happening with your head.”
I showed her the photo of her face which someone very talented had used as a canvas.
“Oh, yeah,” Miss6 said, brightening immediately at the memory. “We got our face’s painted with Nanny.”
“Did Nanny get her face done too?” Please, I thought, let that be true. “Are there photos?” Please, I thought, let there be photos.
“No, she’s too old for face painting.”
“You kidding?” I said, warming to this topic in much the same way a toddler warms to the idea of Santa. “At her age it’s in the public interest she never leaves the house without it.”
“I guess,” said Miss6. “But old people like her don’t get pictures on their faces.”
It’s conversations like these which make me impatient for days when houses are fully wired and tech-savvy and everything is recorded, because I would have been forwarding that little nugget straight away.
“Ah,” I agreed, keen to keep this conversation alive to see where it might lead, “she is very, very old, that’s true. But then she’s also short like a six year old, so maybe they’ll let her have something like a withered prune on each cheek.”
“It doesn’t matter if you’re short. It’s how old you are.”
“How old do you think Nanny is?”
Some conversations are worth waking up for and taking for a drive. I was having an absolute ball, although I was about to hit some roadworks.
“Your age?” suggested Miss6.
Okay, so then there are times I’m not fussed with this silly futuristic idea of recording every little nonsense the kids come out with at home.
“No, she’s much older than me,” I assured my daughter. Despite having gone to Nanny’s 60th only a week ago, I suddenly couldn’t remember exactly how old Tracey’s Mum was, so I took a punt. “Much, much older. She’s 108.”
“Are you sure?”
I nodded vigorously in her direction. “That’s why she’s got that old person smell.”
To my absolute delight, I could feel Miss6 nodding along with me. Not that I’d convinced her on every facet of this complete load of bollocks.
“But she’s not over a hundred,” she said. “She’d be dead if she was that old.”
“You’re right, ” I said. “She’s only 93.”
“That sounds right.”
I even opened my eyes to A. cement this wonderful moment in my mind, and B. to make sure Tracey hadn’t walked back into the room and sprung me making stories up about her mum.
“Next time we go to Nanny’s, I’m dobbing,” said my wife from the door before disappearing.
Which is why I thought I might share this story now, while there’s more than an arm’s distance between the old girl and me.
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”