I picked my son up today and he was holding this.
When I asked him what it was he said, "Daddy - I know a way that you can go blind and feel really tired." Me too, Owen. "Look Daddy - all you have to do is shake this Daddy." Absolutely no way I'm turning around. And this is a five year old we're talking about here. And five year old boys have a tendency to run about waving the thing like a dog flinging around a rope toy. Thankfully he was holding that bottle of sand.
Of course at that point - in those milliseconds before I responded - I was filled with the dread that in seven our eight years that little deviant will be ravaged by hormones. He's already gone through quite a severe nipple-obsession phase. If you were in five feet of that boy he'd engineer some way to flick his fingers right over them. Or worse - actually yank the damn things. Many a Reding Club Monday ended rather awkwardly when one of the mothers I was attempting to befriend would get down to his level and ask him his name. Right now that's progressed to remarking very loudly if he's seen someone with boobs, Quite frankly I feel terrible for that man at the pool this weekend. Last thing that poor bastard wanted was to hear a child yelling across the water that there's a man a) with huge boobs, (absolutely mortifying) and b) "trying to eat me!" (hence the boobs, you see). God I can only imagine he'd explode if he'd seen the things I've seen. And he hasn't. Not in his house.
Of course now he's graduated to the utmost conviction that all things arse-related are hysterical. I've obviously mentioned that what seems to be every eight word is either "bum cheeks" or the unpleasant "butt". He also does that appalling thing of seeking you out in the house - in just his underpants (which he's stripped down to in secret) just to point his arse at you - like an amorous baboon - only to then make a sharp raspberry noise. I can tell you right now - that guy who gets stuck inside a chicken in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs has a lot to answer for. And there was you thinking I was going to say Flesh Gordon, But arse obsessed he is. Thankfully in that I-can-see-bellybuttons-in-the-Littlewoods-catalog way.
But soon - oh God too soon - he'll be overcome with teenageness. A deeply unpleasant, rampaging surge of hormonal nonsense. The sort that leads young men to spend inordinate amounts of time in the bathroom. To the degree where their mothers convince themselves that their innocent little boys probably have an upset stomach. Every day. Right after school. And to then attempt an inordinate amount of deeply, regrettable (....sort of) self-abuse. Hiding in his room. Learning that absurd lie from someone at school that sticking your willy between the mattress and the box spring is a good idea. Sneaking a look at his parents copy of Emmanuel 2 a ridiculous number of times - and then cunningly rewinding the videotape back to exactly where it was before so brilliantly looking at 1970s French naughtiness. Being caught by his mother mid-silliness and then slumping to the floor - pretending to have an asthma attack. Being caught again - because he just doesn't bloody learn - and leaping into the wardrobe and refusing to explain what on earth is going on despite mother's protestations. And then pretending to have an asthma attack. You know - the sort of thing that happens to every teenage boy (ahem...).
Apparently not though. Apparently it's just a bottle of "magic potion." That if you drink you'll "go blind and get slowness". Again - I asked if it's because it's cursed with magic. A spell cast upon it by an evil wizard - determined to destroy his nemesis with the darkest magic (the kind you spell "magyck" if you're the kind of saddo who plays games that involve cards). A curse, so black and shadowy that all who even so much as utter the name of its creator are driven mad. Left in trembling ruins at the fear that has possessed their dreams at the very thought of the dark beast that uttered the spell. Eventually unable to resist the maddening lust to gurgle the contents of that mysteriously warped bottle. At which point the spell takes hold. Leaving them blind. Ruined. Destroyed.
"No Daddy - it's because my teacher says the paint on the sand might have lead paint on ti."
Fair enough then.