The Little Black Book
Twice a week Max goes to school, we call it school it’s actually childcare he’s not that advanced. In what I suspect might be a little taste of things to come we rush him from bed to front door in frenzied fashion, ideally fully clothed and having consumed something that passes for breakfast. He squeezes into a bike seat and Anna pedals him to school as he shouts things like “car transporter” and “ambulance” in her ear, which can be a little disconcerting.
I suspect Anna drew the short straw; she has the morning rush, the thigh burning bike ride and the drop off protests. I just swan in late afternoon to general adulation. I always try to hide for as long as possible, it’s the only time I get to watch him being him without being a part of the action myself. Once I’m spotted he usually breaks out in smiles, yells “Daddy” and charges, bowling me clean over and embraces like a boa constrictor might embrace its prey.
I nod my head as staff divulge a daily anecdote, go off in search of his missing shoe, wander in amazement at how they manage to get him to eat 3 bowls of lentil Bolognese and check the sleep chart to determine how feral he might be by bath time. And then I turn my attention to the little black book.
The little black book sits in his room and is filled with pictures, stories and glitter, lots of glitter. It’s a little glimpse into this other life that Max has that we don’t share and its proved to be a consistent source of amusement.
I remember a page full of dialogue between two of Max’s classmates who were deep in imaginary soup making; they discussed the flavour, the temperature, what was in it and what it should be served in – really intricate stuff, at the very bottom of the page was a line that read “and Max shouted “CAR” as a car drove past” – it’s a start I suppose.
I went in this week to collect him, following the usual protocol I end up flicking through the pages of the Little Black Book looking for Max content. I must have missed this one because it was a Pre-Christmas chat about what the children’s parents do for a living.
My Daddy drives a car………..My Mummy makes people run…………..My Daddy is on the computer……….My Mummy makes people better………………..Max what does your Mummy and Daddy do?
“My Mummy goes to work and my Daddy pretends to be a train”. Sometimes it does feel a bit like that Max.