Genetics have much to answer for. They explain why a butt-ugly child looks exactly like the product of the unholy-union of its butt-ugly parents. It explains ginger people. And it explains why every parent thinks their child is a precious darling when everyone else can see them for the smelly, snot-filled whinging gobshites that they clearly are.
I promised myself quite early on that even though I have two young children, this blog would absolutely NOT turn into one of those “you’ll never guess what my unbelievably cute child said to me yesterday” affairs. I am under no illusion: I know my children are insufferable little sods, thank you very much.
However … conversations with my six-year-old son can prove surreal experiences. They’re giving me some horrible flashbacks to when I was that age, and when I attempt to answer some of my son’s inquisitive questions I hear my Dad’s voice when I speak. Truly, the Circle of Life is a stinker.
Other times, my son treats me to his unique perspective on our family, our friends, or random strangers around us. For example: woman with huge arse sat opposite us on bus? “She’s oozing over the seat, daddy!” Loudly.
Usually, the real humdingers are asked after he has pondered them for some considerable time. His train of thought – clearly long-since derailed – is still carried by catastrophic momentum and will not stop until it hits a level crossing.
He tends to ask these questions when we’re driving somewhere. I have trouble driving and lying at the same time, and he seems to know this is a good time to get an honest answer.
“Yeeeeeessss?”. I answer slowly, like a creaking door in a haunted mansion. I mistakenly think this makes me appear wise. I await his question.
“Mummy is the boss in our house, isn’t she? She tells us what to do.”
Ah. Foolishly, I feel this is a question I can answer. Normally, I would reply with “ask your mother”. Confidently, and with an air of much sage wisdom, I explain that Mummy makes some decisions, and I make others. We work together, as a team, to look after him and his sister. That’s what family is.
There is a quiet pause while he contemplates this.
“So mummy decides what I eat.”
“And mummy decides what clothes I wear.”
“And mummy buys all the shopping.”
“And mummy makes me do homework.”
“And mummy tells you when she wants you to do something.”
“So what decisions do you make?”
It’s been three weeks since that conversation, and I still haven’t thought of a single example of what I bring to The Family Unit. Bloody kids.