We had a little skirmish with Second Born last night. Nothing out of the ordinary, just him having a strop because we wouldn't let him go back out to play after 7.00pm (he needs a good half hour to wind down on a school night and then it's time to start getting ready for bed etc). He expressed his unutterable (is that a word? If not, it should be) contempt for this by throwing his training shoes across the living room. He was, not surprisingly, asked to leave the room, go upstairs and reconsider whether this was appropriate behaviour. He duly stomped off, arms folded, brow furrowed.
His elder brother meanwhile capitalised on this by being extra-nice and obedient and helpful, thus ensuring he got to stay downstairs for an extra half hour. No sound from Second Born. I sent First Born up to get ready and after a suitable period of time had elapsed, went upstairs to chivvy them through the last throes of teeth-brushing etc before story time. Discovered Second Born sitting on his bed, in his pyjamas, studiously ignoring me. In front of him on the bed were (1) his cuddly rat puppet, Ratty Guy, (2) £1.25, (3) a couple of unidentifiable pieces of plastic tat.
I was intrigued, but not going to be drawn in. I ignored him. Eventually, he asked "Do you have a cloth?"
Me: A cloth? Why?
Him: To wrap my stuff up in, I am leaving home.
Me: Oh. Are you going in your pyjamas?
Him: No, I am going to sleep first and go in the morning.
Me: Oh, okay. Wouldn't you rather borrow a rucksack? There will be more room in that for your food and stuff
Him: I don't need food. I am going to live outside and just come back in when I need food.
Me: Hmmm, don't think the rules allow that......pretty sure once you tie up your belongings in a cloth on a stick and leave, you're not allowed to come back in for chicken nuggets. I think I read that somewhere.
I got First Born into bed and read the next bit of Harry Potter. As husband and I were giving goodnight hugs and putting out the light, a small exasperated voice said "Oh, ALRIGHT, I'll stay......"