Boys are wonderful creatures really despite driving their mothers to distraction.
Mine just cannot seem to concentrate for longer than two seconds and decide to instigate inappropriate conversations when I cannot answer or when answering would mean that I have to somewhat embarrassingly acknowledge that yes they are my children rather than someone else’s.
The conversations usually run along the lines of sex - their view of it - or going to the loo, sometimes both. For example, there’s this one from The Boy aged six and three quarters. “Why does my willy go hard when I pee Mummy?” said only this Tuesday by the cheese counter at Waitrose.
There is the classic: “I know where babies come from…” said by eldest in East as he watched me and two larger ladies try on dresses – wait for it: “from fat people Mummy.”
Then there is Bog Boy saying he needs a wee while we look round the Lots at a very posh auction house. This is the first time he has announced this, I start to respond with a: “Are you sure?” but before I can finish he says: “It’s alright now Mummy, I’ve gone…” and I note the growing damp patch on the soft moss green carpet emanating from where he stands totally unfazed.
One begins to wonder whether taking children out is a good idea or whether one should opt for shopping on the internet until they are teenagers.
It’s not just when I am shopping and they are understandably bored but it happens that they suddenly demand attention when I am trying to turn right at a busy junction or am trying to negotiate my way across four lanes of terrifyingly fast moving traffic on the motorway, sometimes it’s happened in Museums, on trains, basically at moments when my attention is not really focussed on them.
They know I get cross and my response cannot be what they are really after but they are learning. If they really want to hit Mummy in the emotional solar plexus all they have to do is say: “Mummy, you’re the best mummy in the world!”
Usually after I have just barked at them in public just to ensure my ritual humiliation is total as well.