We are doing that morning thing: I am feeding B, E is rolling over M and shouting in his ear whilst M lies very still pretending to be asleep. The clock is telling all of us that by rights the day should not have technically started yet. The radio is on and E, it turns out, is listening.
“What’s an iceberg, mummy?” he asks.
I open my eyes. It appears I had momentarily dozed off as B chomps away on my right breast. “Erm… it’s a big… mountain of ice… in the sea.” That’s the best I can muster with the three lone brain cells that are currently functioning.
“Can fish swim through it?”
“No, they are solid. Like the ice on Octonauts that they have to smash through.” I am pretty pleased with myself to have contextualised it to a recent programme he has seen. There must be a forth brain cell flickering into life.
“But that ice was flat, not a mountain.”
Fucking hell. Who let the pedant in the bedroom?
“Well, yes, okay… that was flat. But still solid, like an iceberg is.”
I should have left it there, I really should. But there is something wrong with my brain. I have to bloody embellish. To add that extra layer of information. To put in a bit extra. If there’s a conversational cake, I will ice it, put a cherry on top and then go back with a handful of hundred and thousands, before adding some Smarties for good measure. And maybe some of those crystallised fruits that no one likes before considering a liberal application of edible silver balls.
“A long time ago, there was a ship called the Titanic. It bumped into a huge iceberg and the iceberg ripped a big hole in the ship. It sunk right to the bottom of the sea.”
Blimey, I can’t imagine why I never became a history teacher.
“Did it get dead?” Now even I know not to enter a conversation with a three year old about the intricacies of whether an inanimate object can die. And I am certainly not going to mention the huge number of people who drowned.
“No. It just sunk.”
There is a long pause.
“Mummy, if you are killed then you are dead,” Ellis states matter-of-factly.
Well. Now there’s a sodding cheery thought with which to see me through the day.