E and I are discussing potential birthday presents, prompted by his enquiry as to how many months it is before his birthday.
E is adamant he wants a full size Lightning McQueen car that he can drive. A proper car, he clarifies.
“I don’t think there is such a thing,” I say, trying to plant the thought that he might just be shit out of luck.
“Yes there is. Go to the car shop.”
I beat a tactical retreat from this particular rejoinder. You can’t fault his logic but his sense of optimism is sorely misplaced.
“What else?” I ask.
“A Chelsea tee shirt.”
Now this I did not expect. “How come?”
“Because Oliver has one. He likes Chelsea and I like Chelsea.” Ah, Oliver. One of the older boys at pre-school. Much of what Oliver says and does quickly becomes gospel. I could cheerfully poke that boy in the eye. Maybe with a Transformer, which my son is also obsessed with courtesy of Oliver.
“Daddy won’t be pleased, ” I say with a grin. “Don’t you want to support his team?”
“Who is it?”
There is a pause. “Do they win much?” he asks.
“I like Chelsea. They win a lot.”
And just there, my son seems to have learned another life lesson. Along with the knowledge that foot stamping does not in fact get you another episode of Octonauts and that farting, under any circumstance and at any volume, is inherently hilariously funny, he has discovered another undeniable truth: fuck sentimentality, fuck tradition: go where there is glory to be found.
It’s almost worth getting him a Chelsea shirt for that. Almost.