Thursday, 6 March 2008

Social paranoia

The boys have been thoroughly enjoying After School Club this past week. My mum e-mailed from on board the Queen Mary II to say she and Dad were having a great time, the ship was amazing and she had put on 7 pounds in 3 days and didn't care. I replied saying I was glad she was enjoying it and that the boys were missing them. Truth be told though, the novelty of After School club is such that the boys probably haven't given them a second thought. Although the "novelty" of having to do their homework at 6pm rather than playing video games or watching The Simpsons is, I think, wearing off for them.

First Born is ecstatic because his best friend S. also attends ASC (recent quote from FB: "S. and I go together like peaches and cream". I'm going to remind him of that one when he's 18) and he gets to make stuff. A couple of nights ago he appeared with an egg box with a cork in it and proceeded to recreate a 1970s public information film about the importance of seatbelts, starring Jimmy Saville. I never thought I would see a 10 year old boy in 2008 impersonating Jimmy Saville. It's kind of creepy.

SB is happy at ASC because he gets to spend more time exercising his considerable charm on a wide range of people. And he gets to run around throwing stuff.

Each evening when we go to collect them, we walk into the hall in SB's school building where ASC is located and I have to scan the maelstrom of small boys (the girls don't seem to run around so much) looking for mine. At first glance they are all so similar - all about the same age, all identically dressed in school uniform, with similar regulation haircuts. But it is nonetheless always easy to spot your own, even in a crowd of little clones and I walk up behind him and greet him in our traditional manner. I stick my nose right into his neck, down inside his shirt collar and I sniff. Hard. More of a snort really. And he retracts his neck (a skill he inherited from me) and says "Get off me!"

And every time I do this, as I lean in, the thought crosses my mind: "What if this is someone else's child I am about to sniff by mistake?" What do you think the penalty would be for attempting to inhale a strange child?


  1. It's funny but I do think girls are easier. Mine sure were.
    Anyway, sounds like your son is almost at the age where he won't want to acknowledge the existence of parents. That was so hard for me.
    Now, Mandy is 31 and we are friends too. I get all the hugs and kisses that I so longed for when she was a teen.
    Man, I sure can get chatty on subjects like this...
    Not sure what the penalty for sniffing a stranger is, but shouldn't be too bad! LOL

  2. Well, at least you're a lawyer and presumably could get a pal to defend you.

  3. i'd imagine there's no penalty. kids are basically sniffable.

  4. I don't know, but I will agree that little boys' necks are very sniffable (my brother used to resist being kissed on the back of the neck in a similar way. He probably still would if I still tried to do it, come to that.) But there's probably an upper age-limit after which it is unacceptable to be sniffed in public, even by your mother, alas.

    It's true - boys are much more identical in school uniform. Must be the haircuts. I used to have trouble matching faces up to names when I was at school, but had no such trouble with the girls.

  5. "inhale a strange child"
    That made me laugh out loud!