“Just wait till they’re 15 and think all their friends know better than you,” my mother-in-law once said, locking eyes with me.
Or maybe it was 11, or 9, I can’t quite remember.
Whichever age it was, she was right – the signs are all there.
My oldest son’s just got home from school, and within milli-seconds of him bursting through the front door – the school bus still pulling away with a growl – he always asks: “Mummy, can M come over? And J too? We arranged it on the bus.”
It’s one of the kiddie-perks of living in a compound – his friends are literally on the doorstep, or over the wall. The furthest away is N block. “All you have to do is call J’s mummy to say it’s okay!” he’ll say, bringing me my phone, then vanishing out the door to call for M.
From my 7yo, I’m guessing this is normal behaviour, but I’m beginning to wonder if my 4yo isn’t 4 going on 11.
He has another week of holiday and, with his brother already back at school, we’re scratching around for things to do. The past three days have seen some apocalyptic weather in Dubai. Sandstorms have swept through the region, bringing lightning, rain and howling winds. If Tom Cruise had appeared in a swirl of dust to battle the storm with perfectly groomed hair, I wouldn’t have been surprised. It was wild.
But, today, it was absolutely gorgeous. The storms had cleared the air, and the rain had washed all the sand away. The temperature was a perfect 26 degrees, and I was determined we should make the most of the freshly laundered weather (with summer coming, such days are numbered).
“Let’s go to the beach LB,” I called out, while running round the house grabbing towels, sun-tan lotion, buckets, spades, etc.
He looked up at me, and with a quizzical expression enquired: “Who are we meeting?”
“No-one LB, it’s just you and me.” (thinking how nice, some one-on-one time).
I might as well have told him we were meeting the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – he shook his head and lost interest straight away.
“Okay, LB, you can play with the iPad in the car, but NOT on the beach,” I
bribed said. “Deal.”
He reluctantly came, after I promised we wouldn’t be too long. We jumped the rolling waves, I swung him round in the frothy swell until my arms nearly dislocated, and pushed him on a swing for at least 15 mins to finish my arm muscles off. I swear we had fun (and I did get to work on my tan too).
On the way home, I asked chirpily: “LB, that was good, wasn’t it?”
No answer – then, “Erm, yes,” in a small voice.
“Can D come over?”
I get the hint, I do.