Friday 19 December 2014

You silly old man

My elder son had a meltdown yesterday evening because I told him he was five-and-a-half.

“No, I’m not. I’m five-and-a-quarter.”

“Well, you were five-and-a-quarter. But today is exactly six months since your birthday, so that makes you five-and-a-half.”

“I’m not, I’m not, I’m NOT. Five-and-a-quarter is more than five-and-a-half, and I’m FIVE-AND-A-QUARTER!”

His mother chipped in to try and explain which number was bigger than the other, and I attempted to introduce the concept of five-and-three-quarters, but it was all to no avail. So we gave up, as we usually do. The boy is five-and-a-quarter and may well remain so until he turns six, or possibly 16. It’s much easier that way.

Meanwhile my younger son had a meltdown this morning because he doesn’t listen to a word I say. He’s endearingly small, so I have a tendency to call him things like “little chap” or sometimes “Babos”, a name devised for him by his elder brother.

He does not like these descriptions at all because: “I’m a big boy!”

This morning I remembered for once and addressed him as “big boy”, but I still got in response “You silly old man! I’m a big boy!”

To be fair, he’s much closer to the truth in the first part of his analysis than he is in the second.

I’m still waiting for an improvement on his memorable announcement of a couple of weeks ago: “You silly old man, you don’t know anything. I’m two. I know things!”

I certainly thought I knew everything when I was a child, but I don’t remember developing a sense of intellectual superiority quite so early. In fact, at two-and-three-quarters, I am pretty sure that I regarded my mother as the fount of all knowledge and was so terrified of my father that I hardly dared to speak to him at all.

Now I’m 60 and am increasingly conscious that I know almost nothing. It’s lucky that neither of my children read this blog, or they’d be almost certain to post comments eagerly agreeing with me.


CC said...

Maybe Charlie would have accepted 5 and 2 quarters? Then the idea of 2 quarters being called one half might have been more acceptable? I also suggest visual aids…..involving a simple circle divided into 4 quarters….(and as each of those
hold 3 months….hmmm it could be still more confusing. See what you mean)
Some day..reasonably soon, I hope…
they'll begin to catch on to how smart their "silly old man" is…and his lovely wife as well. Bless you all !! :~)

Vincent said...

O Bloke in the North, you serial quitter! I've just discovered your blog, and love it, only to find that you haven't posted anything for four and a quarter months. At your young age you should have more stamina. Or is it that the impetus to publish was to find some young woman, whose fecundity in the production of male heirs has diminished your urge to blog?

Stiffen your resolve! Put finger to keyboard! You know it makes sense.