School’s gone back so Baby Duck has me to himself again. He’s enjoying the chance to get a word in without the girls interrupting him. He particularly likes to chat when we’re in the car — no TV to watch, I suppose – so every car trip becomes an exhausting ordeal-by-question. I tell you, the Spanish Inquisition would be proud.
Generally I’m very patient but when the 200th question in a 5 km trip is something like “do dinosaurs fight better than robots?” I’ve been known to get a little tetchy. There’s no point saying “I don’t know” (believe me, I’ve tried) because it only leads to insane five-year-old speculation being interspersed with the shot-gun spray of questions. Resorting to logic and pointing out that dinosaurs and robots never co-existed only elicits the dreaded “but why?”
Then there’s the times he decides to play guessing games:
“Look, Mummy, I made a shadow with my hands.”
“I can’t look, darling, I have to watch where I’m going.”
“Guess what it is,” he says, undeterred by this minor technical hitch. “It’s something that lives in the sea.”
Well, that narrows it down since he only knows about three things that live in the sea. “Octopus” seems the most likely thing to be formed by little hands, so I try that but I’m wrong.
“No, it’s something that lives very deep down,” he says, so I try whale. No. Shark? No. By now I’m out of options so I give up.
“It’s a five-legged octopus,” he says. Should have seen that one coming.
He obviously feels sorry for his mentally deficient mother because for the next one he tells me he will give me a clue.
“It’s something from Ice Age 2 and it lives in the sea and it’s not the two monsters.”
I get that one right since there’s only one other thing in the movie that fits that description.
“Good, Mum,” he says approvingly, then throws another hard one at me.
“This one is a plant that lives in the sea.”
“Seaweed?” I try, fairly confident this time. I mean, how many plants are there that live in the sea? But I’m wrong again.
“I’ll give you a clue,” he says. “It’s got a mouth.”
Okay, maybe he thinks sea anemones are plants. He’s only little after all. So I try that.
“No, it’s got teeth. And it eats sharks.”
What?! “I don’t know any plants that live in the sea and eat sharks,” I say. “You’ll have to tell me.”
Clearly he doesn’t know any either, and there is a short silence in the back seat while he tries to come up with something. At last, triumphant, he announces:
“It’s a shark-eating plant!”