Arun looked me in the eye and stared me down. He raised his index finger at me and wagged it, doing a very passable imitation of his father.
“No Daddy!” he raised his voice in the same harsh tones I use when admonishing him, “I don’t want to wait! Do it now!”
I was getting a proper telling off because I wasn’t opening the conservatory door to the garden for him there and then. Rather unreasonably I had asked him to wait whilst I put his school bag away.
Hmm, I thought, I wonder where he learnt that from…
The following day, I was playing with his sister in, what we rather grandly call, our study which has now been completely colonised by her toys. She was busy pretending to do some cooking and was making what I can only assume was going to be a delicious meal using all manner of ingredients ranging from rice to apples to garlic. Finally, her mock concoction was ready and she handed it over to me. I started to reach for a plastic spoon to pretend to eat the delicacies she had placed in front of me.
“No Daddy!” she said, “It’s too hot! You have to wait otherwise you’ll burn yourself!”
I was startled, because, just like Arun earlier she sounded so grown up. Despite being just five and three years old, my little ones were doing a pretty good impression of being adults.
The morning wore on and I decided to wander out to buy some lunch. Meri and I headed down to the local convenience store. Upon entering I laid eyes on what was a beautiful sight: Heinz baked beans and sausages in can. My mouth started to water and I knew I had found the perfect lunch.
As I paid for the can at the counter, the shop assistant smiled at Meri, “Aw. The little ones just love these beans and sausages in a tin don’t they?”
“Yeah, can’t get enough of them,” I answered somewhat disingenuously not willing to admit that the said tin of deliciousness was actually not for the three year old, but actually for the 42 year old stood in front of her.
As I held Meri’s hand and walked home with my lunch in the bag, I had cause to reflect that whilst my children are busy learning to grow up, seems that their old man is headed in the opposite direction.