You smell of giraffes

Half six, a glorious full night’s sleep under my metaphorical pyjama belt, and E comes into our bedroom. Long gone are the days that six thirty is considered an early start in this household. Pre-child, a lie in was defined by still wallowing in my duvet at nine thirty, a mini lie in half eight. Now half nine is the time we often leave the house, having all showered, breakfasted, put a load of washing on and played pirate ships. I shuffle over in the bed to let E in for a cuddle.

“Nice and quiet now,” I whisper, in what might be the most pointless use of oxygen ever. “It is still early and mummy and daddy are trying to sleep.”

E places both his hands palm down across my face.

“Your face is hot,” he comments. He moves closer. “You smell,” he adds.

Well  thank you, my darling offspring. There is nothing more endearing than a good old fashioned insult to start your day off with a swing.

“Of what?” I enquire, perhaps a little foolishly.

He pauses. “Strawberries.” Hmmm. I will accept that white lie in the interests of self delusion.

“I smell of apricots,” he informs me so I go in for an exaggerated sniff.

“No…” I reply, pretending to savour the smell. “I think you smell of bananas.”

“You smell of… giraffes,” he retorts. Interesting. But given that I can’t imagine that the odour of a giraffe is particularly fragrant, I certainly preferred it when I smelt of strawberries. I briefly ponder when a three year old is intellectually capable of grasping the concept of tact. Not bloody soon enough.

“Well, you smell of monkeys,” I say.

Ah. Not only have I been sucked into a conversation when I should by rights still be snoozing, I appear to have adopted the mentality of a toddler.  Why this surprises me I am not entirely sure.

“I am going to get Buzz,” Ellis says and wriggles out of bed. I am about to roll back into the space he has vacated but he spins back to face me and points his finger at his space sternly. ” Save my place mummy.” he warns, “I am going to get Buzz.”

He turns to go but comes back to the side of the bed again. “He comes in peace, mummy,” he adds, ever the informative three year old.

How come my son has no ability to remember to say thank you unprompted, or to put away his toys after playing with them, but can recall the catch phrase of a toy spaceman? Note to self: perhaps a little less Toy Story on DVD for that boy. And while I’m at it, get his sense of smell checked. Giraffes, indeed.

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