Everyone’s image of themselves is just a little different to the reality. Mine’s a little thinner, a lot less grey. Baby Duck, however, has self-delusion honed to an artform. Yesterday someone asked him what colour he would make his hair in his self-portrait.
“Like yours,” he said to the nice blonde lady.
Vanity, thy name is Baby Duck. Wishing doesn’t make it so. Only a large amount of peroxide could help him there. His hair is light brown – quite an attractive heading-towards-dark-blonde shade, but still undeniably brown.
It reminded me of a classic exchange at the supermarket checkout last year. The woman behind us in the queue was chatting to Baby Duck.
“You look like your mummy, don’t you!” she says.
“No,” says Baby Duck, looking at her as if she’d suggested he had two heads.
“No? Who do you look like then? Your daddy?”
“Nobody. I look like me.”
“Oh. Well, I think you look like your mummy.”
(Mummy finds this type of talk very gratifying. Ha ha! I’ve left my genetic mark on this poor unfortunate child.)
“No, I don’t,” he insists. He prepares to bring out supporting evidence, and I imagine it will be along the lines of “she’s a grown-up and I’m a kid” or “I’m a boy and she’s a girl”, but what he says is: “She’s got brown hair.”
“And what colour is your hair?” asks the lady, because, well, it’s brown too. Lighter than mine, but brown all the same.
“It’s gold,” he says firmly, “and all sparkly.”