“Who are important people?” Freya asked the other day.
It was ridiculously hot and we were sat on deckchairs on our balcony, trying to cool down. As her question was a bit out of the blue I thought for a few seconds and then said: “The prime minister, doctors and nurses, suffragettes…erm….”
“What about Barry Scott?”
The name was vaguely familiar but I couldn’t quite place him. I frowned.
“The man on tv?”
“Wait, the cleaning man. Cillet Bang?”
At that moment we both said: “Bang! And the stain is gone.”
After we had finished chuckling I added: “Well, I guess he’s important to people who like cleaning?”
“I like a clean house,” she said, with what I thought was more than a hint of criticism.
We don’t use any of those products (I’m more a white vinegar type of girl) but I’ve seen the advert on the children’s channel that is sometimes on in the background. I’ve never seen Freya really pay attention to it, she’s not one for tv or sitting still in general, but he’s loud and enthusiastic – a bit like a children’s tv presenter. Maybe that’s what grabbed her attention?
What I’m learning about just turned five years olds is that they take in much more than we (I) give them credit for.
That realisation has come in little sharp shocks.
No more having conversations in front of her, especially ones where you try and spell out the word you don’t want her to know.
“Ooooh park, yes I would really like to go.” She looks up, expectantly.
Then there are the deep questions, it started off with the odd one here and there but now most things she asks require proper thought – especially as I realise what she is asking often seems to be unrelated to what she actually wants to know.
If my brain was a television it would have been on standby mode for most of the last five years but it’s like someone has just accidentally sat on the remote and it has come back to life at full volume, making everyone jump.
She’s not going easy, we’ve had many of the big ones. Death, God, crime, homelessness, racism, how did she get in my tummy?
As difficult as I sometimes find them, it’s these random conversations that I’m going to miss now she’s back at school.
How did that happen?
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was looking down at the calendar I had just made -and still can’t quite bring myself to take down – wondering how I was going to fill the six-week summer holiday.
While it wasn’t without its days that seemed neverending (and not in a good way), on the whole I’d give it a thumbs up.
We were lucky enough to spend some time away from home, which I think helped break things up – for me at least. Freya would probably have been just as happy going to the local park every day (where we made some lovely new friends). I had one of those moments, watching her dance in and out of the water at the splash park, squealing with delight, where I thought: ‘Yes, this could be one of those perfect childhood memories.’
And, of course, at the end of the holidays, she finally, FINALLY had her birthday. I’m not sure why it seems such a landmark, probably because she’s made it so by counting down from January.
As, one by one, all of her school friends started blowing out their candles, Freya grew impatient for her own celebration. She had a long wait. We all did.
I really hope it’s as good as she thinks it’s going to be.