'NO! Lady not 9, Lady is 5!'
'Oh, and how old is Duncan?'
'Is Duncan 7?'
'No, Duncan is 6.'
'And what about Thomas, what age is he...what number is he?'
Thomas is 1. Daddy is 4 and Mummy is 2.'
Then I got it. Duncan has assigned his own Thomas the Tank Engine names to everyone in the family, and a few friends and extended family members too, and he prefers to use our engine numbers, not our ages. Here's his version;
- Lady - James (no. 5)
- Duncan - Percy (no. 6)
- Thomas - Thomas (no. 1)
- me - Edward (no. 2)
- Gordon - Gordon (no 4)
- Grandma - The Fat Controller (no number!)
- Granda - Henry (no. 3)
- G. (my step-mum) - Diesel 10
- M. (NAS befriender) - Oliver the Great Western Engine (no 11)
- C. (my sister) - Mavis
In fact, for any person I mention, he'll think for a while and then assign an engine or character name and he's always consistent in who's called what.
This summer, a fun fair has set up in our local town. One of the rides is a caterpillar roller coaster for children. Duncan remembered it from last year, and is fascinated by it. We have had to go down to the fair many times this year, on little pilgrimages so he can stand in awe watching this marvelous and slightly scary contraption. He asks me to 'go to see caterpillar train...sit on bench. Not ride! Just watch.'
So we go, and he delights in watching the thing, and the others run after pigeons or circle the fountain and we usually all get a ice-cream (a 99) to make it all worth while. Last week, he wanted to go a bit closer, so we went into the fair area and stood right beside the ride. After watching it go a few times, he decided he wanted to try it so on we went. He was a bit frightened and was softly saying 'stop, stop, get off, I don't want to die.' (The line about dieing is a quote from somewhere and he uses it to mean... I'm a bit worried.) I held him and told him it was safe, it's just a ride, we go round 3 times then it stops and we get off. By the end he was sort of getting used to it but we were both relieved when it was over. However as soon as he got off Lady and Thomas ran up to hug him and were all excited that he'd done it. I was telling them 'Duncan was a bit scared, caterpillar trains are a bit fast and scary' He corrected me saying, 'not scary, Duncan is happy.'
I don't think he'll want to go on again in a hurry, but he's pleased to have experienced it for himself just that once.
Right now, the boys are eating cookies that Duncan and I just baked. Lady is at summer scheme for the last time this summer. And I've just answered the door to some annoying man offering to clean the gutters and making fun of the cuts on my face; 'Did you fall over? Was there drink involved?'
Oh god how hilarious.
Oh yeah, I fell over, and there wasn't any ice involved this time. Yesterday evening I had to ask our neighbour about something and Lady came out after me leaving the front door open. So Duncan came out too and didn't want to go home. I played a bit, running after him and pretending to 'get' him. Then I managed to lead him indoors, and he asked to ring the door bell. I know he likes to do this sometimes on his way in, so I opened the front door again. But instead of ringing the bell he dashed off towards the gate. I ran after him; he stopped suddenly in front of me, and I just had too much momentum to stop myself in time. I ran into him and tripped up, crashing over him, bashing my face hard on the tarmac, ripping out the knee in my jeans and cutting my knee, and hurting poor little Duncan's side as he was trapped under me.
It all hurt a lot, and Duncan was so annoyed to see me bleeding. He said, 'Mummy no cut. Bleeding tomorrow. New skin will come.' He was kissing and fussing me, even though he'd been hurt himself. Anyway, the children were all so sweet and Lady told me to lie down and they tidied up. Gordon came home and doctored me, buying steri-strips to seal the still bleeding wound.
But flipin' 'eck, I'm not used to this pain. How do kids cope with all the cut knees and whatnot they get?