Can you believe we’re only at Chapter 84 of Stone Clearing? Here it is.
My kids continue to improve on Star Wars during their bedtime swimming noodle light-sabre battles. My son keeps saying “I’m Darth Vader” and my daughter keeps saying, “He doesn’t keep saying that.”
But imagine if he did.
Come on. You know that would be a better film.
The leaves have fallen off the plants that climb up our garage wall. Which has revealed a long dead pigeon hanging from the twigs. Luckily it came away in one piece and inside the carrier bag that I used to get it. It was desiccated and fleshless and there’s no way of telling how it died and I am not prepared to do a pigeon post mortem. I suspect it fell off its perch due to natural causes as it was too high up for a cat to reach. Still pretty gruesome.
Nature proved to continue to be maggoty and stinky in tooth and claw. There was a very nasty smell outside our house today, but I assumed it was the neighbour’s bins. However as I walked my son to nursery I spotted what looked like a dirty coat propped up against next door’s fence (a little back from the road). But it looked weird and took me a while to understand what I was seeing was in fact a young deer, that must have been lying there unnoticed for a few days as it was in a state of maggoty decomposition. It’s guts were hanging out. It was pretty gruesome, but by now my son has noticed it, so I tried to use it as a lesson about road safety (as I assume the deer must have been hit by a car and been thrown or dragged here). He was fascinated, in a way that is worrying for a child who has already decided that he is Darth Vader (and is very insistent about it). Studies show that most Darth Vaders were obsessed with dead animals as children.
I tried to make the conversation natural and not too scary, but my son was still going on about it at bedtime and telling everyone he saw about the deer.
It was too big and also too disgusting for me to remove. I had felt pretty brave for getting rid of the pigeon so I contacted the council. Last time I emailed them about the blocked drains in our street they promised action within 12 months. I hope they are a little quicker with the deer. I don’t fancy being attacked by a swarm of flies that have grown fat on young venison every time I open my front door.
Tonight my daughter was trying to avoid going to bed. She came up with several excuses as to why she had to call for us. I don’t mind too much as I’m the one to usually go up and persuade her to sleep and we have a fun little chat. She’s very funny and does really good voices. Yup, even better than the ones I do.
Finally tonight she came down with a letter she’d written for her mum (who has less patience with her night time shenanigans) saying something along the lines of “I love you more than onefinity” (which is what she thinks infinity is called. Pretty good work from Phoebe there, as not only is it still impressive that she can write, but also who doesn’t want to be told that they are loved that much?
Phoebe much prefers her mum and I am left with scraps of affection and only the occasional hug, though my daughter prizes my laughter (even though it comes easily).
“Are you writing me a letter telling me how much you love me?” I shouted.
Now Phoebe was torn between pretending she doesn’t care for me and having an excuse to stay up later. A few minutes later she turned up with another letter, this time for me. I expected some kind of humorous undercutting, like when she drew that picture of me falling into lava (it’s possible that she really doesn’t like me).
But this letter said “Dad. You are funnee and sillee”
And to be fair, that’s about the best missive I could ever hope for. That’s better than being loved more than one finity or even two finities. My daughter thinks I am funnee and sillee and that’s enough for me.