Saturday, April 17, 2010

Permission Slip

Now, if you're 7, you will already have learned to ask permission before leaving the dining table.

You will also have heard the phrase,

'Not until everyone's finished'

Every minute lasts an hour at this age, so having permission denied can be frustrating and the ensuing wait interminable, especially if your 9-year-old sibling eats so slowly that the snails of Friendly Drive race to his plate and help themselves before he has a chance to finish.

Yummy Mummy and her family came for lunch on Easter Sunday, as Mrs Duck Senior was over for the weekend. With 10 at the table, laden with food, 'permission denied' was always going to be the answer if Tiddler asked to go and play.

'Can I go to the toilet please?' - he pipes up.

I beam proudly at his excellent manners and congratulate myself on my brilliant parenting skills. I am truly a maternal goddess.

He exits stage left and we carry on eating. After a few minutes, he has not reappeared. JP is despatched to the bathroom to fetch him.

He returns with a note, instead of a small blonde boy.

It's genius. Well-planned, well-executed and rounded off with a perfectly placed comma. I find it impossible to be cross - particularly when JP produces a second note.

He'd taken so much trouble finding just the right words, before settling on a final version - even to the reassuring 'P:S I'll come back' - complete with a correct apostrophe.* 

When he does eventually return, I say nothing -

other than 'Nice grammar Tiddler'

*Come on people! If a 7-year-old can, then so can you.

Monday, April 12, 2010

George II

JP is quietly developing into a pretty good footballer. On Saturday, in the unexpected post-Easter sunshine the under 10's got a crucial victory against one of the division's top sides to keep the threat of relegation at bay. JP won his fourth Man of the Match trophy of the season after an awesome performance at right back. These accolades don't usually fall to defenders, but his team mates unanimously pointed to JP, even before the coach had started his post-match review.

It's just like watching Ferdinand or Vidic (except for the height and the foreignness and the occasional cornrows). He's calm, collected and efficient. No heroics, just tracks the oncoming forwards, times his interventions perfectly and sends the ball sailing back into the path of our forwards or safely into touch as appropriate.

It's a small note of comfort in a week where United's season ended abruptly early and my trip to Madrid got cancelled. Boo.

A couple of weeks ago, as we followed our normal Sunday morning ritual of bacon butties and Match of the Day, Fabregas scored to beat Pires's record of goals from midfield for Arsenal with a strike against Burnley to make his total for the season 14.

I pointed out that United's record for midfield goals is 42, set by Ronaldo. I further pointed out that the previous record was 32, from George Best.

JP pondered for a moment and responded.

 'So he's not Georgie Best any more - he's Georgie Second'