THIS WEEKEND, my son turned into A Boy before my very eyes. He’s shown boyish behaviour for some time, probably since he was 18 months old, but this was different. A Moment, as they say in the trade.
I took Boy Wonder and his little sister to one of our local parks – Meanwood, a favourite of the Duchess, as it’s close to the new Waitrose, not to mention that other notable explorer, Captain Oates. Before we arrived, I told him to stay close and not to run off without prior permission as Little Buddha moves very slowly and I couldn’t face an afternoon of stomach flips every time I lost sight of him for 10 seconds.
So, we get in there, we walk together up to the very big slide at the far end of the enclosure and for a few minutes we are as one. Little Buddha is happy to watch her big brother come flying down the metal shute and he likes having an audience.
Then everything changes. Another blonde of similar height roars at him and almost immediately proclaims to his mum chatting nearby: ‘I’m with my new friend!’. The pre-match rules are scrunched into a tiny ball and thrown in a pool of mud at my feet as Boy Wonder tears off with his new best mate.
APPARENTLY, A few days ago, the Duchess collected our son from nursery and suggested that when they got home they could make me a card and a gift to celebrate Father’s Day.
Boy Wonder flatly refused, telling her: ‘It’s not my job to do something for Daddy’s Day. It’s your job. My job is to run around and have fun.’
A few minutes later, the Duchess was still reeling from his bold response, when he looked up at her with his Serious Face to tell her: ‘I don’t think we should have a Daddy’s Day. I think we should have a Children’s Day. Can you do something about it?’
This time, the Duchess wasn’t so flummoxed and coolly replied: ‘In our house, sunshine, it’s Children’s Day every day. Don’t hold your breath.’
‘I want to be a train driver when I grow up’
It’s official: Little Buddha isn’t a baby any more. Okay, she still can’t walk, talk or fetch me a can of lager from the fridge but on Friday she started nursery so the Duchess could return to work after maternity leave. After a few preparatory visits, we passed her over to the team that had looked after Boy Wonder and the tears and screams erupted. Little Buddha, meanwhile, stared at her emotional parents and then scarpered over to the mirror to lick her own beautiful image.