Bonus Boy (4) and Lovely Boy (12) were playing together beautifully on Sunday morning, Bonus Boy was in charge and Lovely Boy was playing along obligingly. Each had a small primary coloured plastic bowl filled with a variety of plastic and wooden fruit pieces and there was the sound of happy chatting and brotherly fun as they sat in a pool of sunlight surrounded by mess and not caring one jot.
Mr Thinly Spread meandered on through to cast his eye over this idyllic scene, to bask in the warmth of sibling friendship, of a job well done. ‘What are you cooking then boys?’ he asked them, smiling broadly.
‘Chicken soup’ came the prompt reply from Bonus Boy. Oh no, the illusion was shattered! These were not two innocents playing a harmless game. Somewhere along the line we must have forgotten to tell Bonus Boy what it means to be a vegetarian. He has the words and trots them out happily to friends and family ‘I am vegtarian [sic] we don’t eat animals’ but clearly we have mis-explained, we’ve got too comfortable by child number four and have assumed he can pick up on the family code just because we have said it to the others before him. What else have we forgotten to tell him? How many things have we bypassed simply because we have become too laid back, too laissez-faire? Have we left it too late to instil a sense of right and wrong. Will he be expelled before the end of week one in reception?
‘Chicken soup?’ asked Mr Thinly Spread tentatively.
‘Yeah Dad, soup for chickens’ said Bonus Boy barely looking up. They carried on stirring their soup for chickens and Mr Thinly Spread walked away, breathing easy, wiping his brow. Another family crisis avoided.
Have you ever misinterpreted your child’s words and got entangled in an unnecessary argument or explanation?