Saturday, May 15

Honest to a fault

Three six year olds and a four year old appear beside me, pushing one to the front. She speaks quickly and nervously, knowing that it is a Big Deal and they are all desperate for me to agree.

"Mummy, can we go and play in the woods?"

Our garden has a small back gate, which leads into a beautiful woodland, currently especially lovely with bluebells nodding their heads as far as the eye can see. Going into the woods means a little bit of freedom, a step out of my eyeline and into the great beyond. To be honest, I'm a little tentative; two of the four are not mine and the loco parentis responsibility weighs heavy on my mind but they are a sensible bunch and unlikely to run amok. Sensing my indecision she says

"We'll only go as far as the log"

The log is a mere fifteen feet into the wilderness, a great leap for smalls but not s distance to frighten a parent so I agree, setting a few rules.

1) You all stay together
2) You don't go off with anybody else without coming to ask me first
3) You stay behind the log

They rush delightedly out of the door, all four squeezing through the gap together and bounding like lambs across the lawn on their way. There is a loud silence in their wake and I bend my head to work again.

After a while the smallest returns for a wee, skidding round the corner in his anxiety to get back to the action. I ask him if they are all behaving.


"Are you all staying together?"


"Are you all staying this side of the log?"


There is a small pause whilst he looks at me and experience tells me to wait, there is something else to say. He puts his head on one side and says

"...but we have moved the log"


fiona said...

Brilliant! They are so smart!

Tooting Squared said...

A career as a politician, me thinks. Keep to the rules, but tweek as you please!