Xander has been a cheeky little bugger of late. That’s not groundbreaking news, I know. He’s two years old, testing his boundaries and has long since established himself as the family clown, but he’s become even more audacious in his approach to mischief recently. For example, he’s got very good at calling people names, albeit very specific ones. All of his insults begin with the letter B. It’s very Sesame Street of him…
So far, he’s called us ‘bamboo’, ‘bungalow’, ‘baboon’ and ‘broccoli’. On the face of it these are benign derogatory terms, but the latter is actually something I’ve been called before. Many years ago – well, five years ago, in fact – I had long hair. I don’t know why I did it. I was young(ish) and stupid. It was a big curly mess and, to be fair on my colleagues at the time, it did sort of resemble that particular brassica. I wasn’t that fond of the nickname though, so I was a little put out when he called me it. My face must have betrayed me, as he gave me that look that toddlers do that says “You fool! You’ve given me ammunition!” He now knows that this name is a gift that’ll keep on giving. Damn.
Still, it’s not just me who gets called names. He ascertained ages ago that his big brother is a mini me in terms of being rubbish at concealing when he’s a little miffed about something. The other day, Dylan was minding his own business when Xander appeared at his side, a mischievous look on his face. “You’re Barry Scott!” he grinned. “I’M NOT BARRY SCOTT!” yelled Dylan as I hastily left the room in case either of them saw me struggling to stop myself laughing at the similarity between this scenario and the professors in the Mary Whitehouse Experience.
But back to him being rude to poor old downtrodden me… Last week, I was away for a few days with my new job. I hadn’t been away from my family much at all in the past, so being away for four days was a big deal. Still, in this day and age, we’re fortunate enough to have several ways of keeping in touch including the modern wonder of the world that is Skype. On my first night, after a few unforeseen technical issues, Kate and I managed to get a connection established and started to chat about our respective days. Xander wandered up to the laptop and went for a Wayne’s World style extreme close up. “Mummy,” he said looking over his shoulder, “make Daddy go. I want the CBeebies website.” Little sod!
He redeemed himself shortly afterwards by telling me he missed me and that he’d eaten pizza for dinner. All sweetness and light again. Ten minutes or so passed and I had to go and have my dinner. Kate and Dylan waved, blew kisses and said goodbye. Xander popped his head in front of the screen and had the final word. “Bye, bye silly broccoli!”