Owen: That's actually true.
That's what my son says when he's completely and utterly talking out of his arse. Which is quite an appropriate a phrase because a shocking amount of what he says includes the words, "bum cheeks". Such as this evenings definitely-true-factual-statement that when they run out of food at his school all the kids have to eat bum cheeks. Which he's delighted with because he says he loves eating bum cheeks. "That's actually true." It'll be quite a conversation me and his teacher will have when I bring up that he claims his school meals mostly consist if ice cream sandwiches, pasta and as many bum cheeks as a five year old can consume. Which is all mildly cute and amusing. I always remind myself though that moments like this are the sort of thing lingered over in biopics of famous people who become massively famous. Usually as a trigger to tell the audience, "see! he was always interested in arses!" Doesn't leave many options open for fame, does that. In fact the only two instances of that sort of thing I can recall. One being the Argentinian rugby player in the movie Alive who's one of the first to go cannibal by digging in to his dead friend's frozen derriere. And the other being an entire category on RedTube that I'm certain none of you have watched repeatedly either.
I'd like to point out what the devious little bastard did today. Look at this.
That's a fan he made at school. He drew four things on it. He was beyond pleased with himself at this. Top left - that's X marks the spot."\ Bottom left - some burned toast. Bottom right - a statue. And top right in his own giggling words - the piece de resistance - "a jug of poop." Yes that's right - he literally drew a container full of shit at school today. He was even more pleased with himself that he misled his teacher by telling her it was chocolate ice cream. Which he doesn't actually like. But after telling me of his amazing deceit he suddenly realized - mainly by the "what in the actual fuck?" face I gave him - that everything about that was wrong. He still wore a smug Dubya grin for five minutes afterwards though. We had a little chat about it when we got home. And about his bum cheeks nonsense. Not exactly what I envisaged my Monday evening to involve.
Moving on - yesterday I heard a woman in real life refer to her husband as, "daddy." And I can assure you my ever inch of my body threw up on itself. Then remembered the woman - someone I talked to on the phone at work - casually call across the room to her husband. "Daddy - can you hand me that pen..." Before then lightly apologizing that she had to ask her husband for a pen. To which I say to people in the South - for the love of all that is holy please fucking stop it. I can live with the word perty. I can at least laugh at the abomination that is ve-hickle. But Daddy? Hell no. Apart from the Keith Allen levels of creepiness of that - just think of the logistical weirdness. At some point a woman has called her partner Daddy whilst her dad was in the room. And two guys turned around certain it was a beckoning to them. Gah. Plus - at no point would it be okay for me to refer to the woman that I love as "mommy." I can hear women's vaginas clamping shut at the thought of that sixty percent chance that's listed as an instrument on the next Bjork album). It's infinitely worse if you use the word "mum." And I've got this horrifying vision that somewhere in this country (I'm going for Kentucky as a guess) there's a couple referring to each other as mommy and daddy. Probably in full audible range of all four of their parents. Shudder...
Owen has been asking me recently too why I live by myself. Usually followed up by asking who I'm going to marry. He does have one person in mind (DTAM). Which is also a reflection of the fact that apart from when we go out to meet friends I quite patently live by myself. He asked me today, "don't you get bored?" Which is a very odd thing for a five year old to ask. I think in his case when he says bored he actually means lonely. I did tell him that really the loneliest part about living by myself is practicing the fire drill
in my hi-visibility jacket and going through the rigmarole of checking
we all made it to the checkpoint in the car park in a timely manner. But it's sweet in a way. And I tell him I'm quite happy doing what I'm doing. Judging by how often I grin at my phone like a loon he can see that too. I actually explained in an honest-but-vague sense what's going on and how the world works sometimes. That my friends that I care for the most don't live close by. And his answer was a simple "Well - just get a teleporter. Then you will never be bored." Again - that strikes me as another potential part of a biopic about being sucked into a black hole (another RedTube category - if you're interested). But I am slightly nervous that when I move in a month he'll have arranged a lodger for me.
Sometimes Owen calls me Mommy. I know it's a mistake. And whilst I hate to think there's a physical resemblance (I've got bigger tits for a start) I know that really it's just a weird mistake. But when I'm having one of those moments when you wonder if you're doing your best as a parent I do wonder if his automatic go-to parent thought is, "mommy." Which frankly doesn't feel all that great. Mind you he has also called me Evelyn by mistake. And once he called me Steve. From Mine Craft. Sometimes he probably just wings it and guesses who I am.
Speaking of which I spend quite a bit of money going to Starbucks so that they can get my name wrong. Sometimes astonishingly so. I know I'm foreign. I know that some people aren't expecting my accent. But dear Lord do they get it wrong in ways that you can't imagine. My kids think it's hysterical. The first time it happened was actually when I went to get a haircut with my son and he near pissed himself laughing that the lady there kept calling me Gabin. The entire drive home he could barely breathe from laughing so hard that someone called me Gibbon. Then a short while later I ordered a coffee and what do you know - Gabin again.
The most popular mistaken-identity name I get though is this. Presumably the person listening thinks, "Gavin No that's clearly a made-up name. He probably means this stereotypically black name instead."
Then one day this happened. I swear this is real. I even had to ask if it really was mine and the girl sheepishly nodded, "yes Monique.....it is yours..."
Of course nothing was as soul-crushing as me chuckling at my not-hilarious-at-all request to have a frappuccino emblazoned with the name Fatty. Only for it to look very suspiciously like the guy making my drink had sized me up as a definite Farty instead.
Of course - there was that one time that they got it absolutely, definitely right,