So, the cub has a very strong sass-game, inherited from his mum, that combines with the natural sense of wonder at the world that a young lad has anyway to produce some amazing moments from time to time.
The backpack that he wears to school looks a bit like a cartoon monster. It’s a bright lime green, has big eyes and felt teeth along it’s fold down edge. At the beginning of term, Lady M taught him to treat it like The Monster Book of Monsters from Harry Potter. This involves gently stroking its spine (the top) before opening or closing the clasp. She even made the bag shuffle and roar while he wore it to emphasise that he needed to take care of it or it would fight back.
Fast forward to this morning and I get a message from Lady S that she has made a packed lunch for the cub, and try as she might she can’t get the bag to close. The cub walked up, took the bag off her, stroked it’s spine, and closed the bag without any problems.
He then looked her in the eye and said: “you don’t show this bag the love and respect it deserves.” He then added: “Jo knows how to treat my bag.”
To say that Lady S was a bit gobsmacked is an understatement. We have been teasing her on our group chat, saying we can’t imagine where he gets his sass from…
We’re having a rare week all together and I have been rediscovering the joys of the school run as Lady S was a bit under the weather the last few days. (She is again this morning, but it’s self-inflicted today after a little too much wine last night at a meal for the whole polycule.)
The cub has been discovering that I am not quite so easily wrapped around his finger, but that I am also more than happy to act completely daft at a moment’s notice.
So far we’ve convinced him that his monster-like school bag is related to the Monster Book Of Spells from Harry Potter, and needs it’s spine stroking before being opened. I have also taken to occasionally lumbering and loping like a silverback gorilla to speed him up in the mornings. It sounds daft, but it encourages him to catch up and try and tickle my tummy.
He’s a bright, inquisitive, energetic boy, who tries to push boundaries as much as any normal kid just starting at junior school – and his teachers are already singing his praises. He also has a rebellious streak a mile wide; and seems genuinely surprised when most of his attempts to subvert things like putting on shoes are met with my spotting them and teasing before he’s even finished starting.
We were talking last night about how we’ve all been pitching in this week – how it spreads the load and reduces stress to know that all of us are invested in helping raise and guide him.
I just didn’t expect, as the Charleesi starts her second year at university, to be brushing off the parenting skills again. Life’s funny that way, isn’t it?
I took the Charleesi back to her university yesterday, borrowing Lady M’s car in the process. She would have come with us but she was still exhausted from the St Alban’s Comic Con on Sunday. So I loaded up the car and then loaded more things in top of the Charleesi and her mother and off to Oxford we tootled.
It’s her second year, so she’s technically out of Halls, but the flat complex is also owned by the Student Union. As a result there’s a certain peace of mind with regard to the landlords and the maintenance of the rooms. The Charleesi is also sharing a set of rooms with firm friends that she made last year through her course.
As a result I think she was a lot more relaxed about moving in, and so unpacking and getting some basic provisions in really didn’t take very long – and by the time she had configured her XBox to connect to the student LAN we figured we’d sneak away and leave her to it.
And then Lady M and I drove down to Portsmouth to begin a week with Lady S in the lead-up to her birthday. The plan is for her to have a small present each day beforehand before the proper celebration on Saturday.
We caught up with her family, said Hi to the cub, and then stole a very tired Lady K away with us to go eat supper at the local pub.
Not a bad start to the week…