Bertie had put on his pyjamas, amazingly, in record time.
Only to have to take them off again for his bath.
He wasn’t awfully pleased.
It didn’t stop the endless chatter, though. He talked me through his day at playgroup with Linda.
“Mummy. You like me.” He announced.
“I do?” I asked.
“Yes. Remember? I’m a character.”
“Linda said so.”
He came out of playgroup as full o’ beans as he went in, Tiggered all the way home, and collapsed on the sofa.
“Can I watch a film?”
A Disney (almost unavoidable), the music began, opening credits rolled and the fairytale castle appeared.
As I walked away, his little voice announced, laden with excitement:
“Sit down, be quiet and smile nicely.
Pass me that box over there, the one containing your autonomy. I’ll have that.
And that one, the one that contains your thoughts. I’ll have that, too.
We’ll just junk that one, the one labelled ‘feelings’. You don’t need them.
I can think, feel and act for you, hmm?
Now. Say, “Thank you”.”
I walk up to the door, repeating my lines internally, rehearsing.
I know my part now. Backwards and inside out.
Once over that threshold there can be no veering, no ad-libbing, no improvisation.
Should I swerve from my allotted casting, there will be bedlam. All other cast members will be thrown.
No-one will know who they are supposed to be.
Assistant: “Just pop your card in there, and then tap in your PIN when I say”.
Very elderly lady: “Dear? Would you mind typing the numbers in for me? I can never see them properly: it’s terribly fiddly”.
Assistant inserts card.
Assistant: “Okay, we’re ready. Now, what’s the number?”
Lady, visibly shocked: “I couldn’t tell you that, dear. It’s secret!”
It’s time for another crackdown.
He just can’t help himself. No sooner in his head than out of his mouth.
“I’m going to make anyone who’d like some a hot chocolate.” I announced to the other grown-up in the room.
He burst in, mid-conversation, with “I’d like some!”
“What did you do then, Bertie?”
I love him.
He whisked my three-year old away to make a “surprise” birthday card for me.
“I drawed you a tank, Mummy!”
The conversation, apparently, went thus:
“Bertie, what are you going to be when you grow up? Are you going to be an artist?”
He was met with scorn.
A pitying look.
“…I’m gonna be a big boy!“