Dear Dave

Friday 4 May 2007


Dear Dave,

Thanks for the sympathy over the lack of sleep. Things have been OK the last couple of days but Marie's kicking up much more of a fuss at bedtime than she used to. I can only assume having me at her beck and call all night gave her a taste for power. Speaking of which, she was wanting me to vote for her in the Scottish elections. She's decided she's in the Pink Party. This is kind of like the Green Party but, rather than pushing for a greener planet, the Pink Party's goal is much, well... pinker. I suspect if they ever came to power then the whole world would resemble the girls' aisle of Toys'R'Us (except maybe with a bit more glitter, if that's possible...)

She's only two-and-a-half and she's inventing political parties! You were asking for more examples of how every child is different and I have to say that if there is one thing which varies wildly between my children it's their level of imagination.

Oddly, this is best exemplified by their attitude towards LEGO.

Everyone knows the entire point of having children is in order to be able to buy cool toys while looking like an ace dad rather than a hopeless loser geek. (Or is that just me?) Anyway, I've been biding my time, waiting to purchase LEGO Mindstorms, for what seems like an age now but it's beginning to look like none of my kids could actually care less about LEGO. All for differing reasons, of course, but all to do with the bounds of their imaginations:

To Fraser, a pile of bricks is just a pile of bricks. He's also a bit lazy so if he wanted a castle, he'd want it ready assembled and to come with lots of interesting levers and stuff. If he got it, he'd play with it for five minutes, check how it all worked and then go off and play a computer game. He doesn't have the imagination to make up stories about some bricks. It's not anything - it's just LEGO. Prospective careers: Engineer, Traffic Warden, Middle Manager.

To Lewis, a pile of bricks is a pile of bricks but he can be persuaded to stick a few together and make believe they're a castle or a pyramid. This is all well and good but he has slightly too much imagination to see the point of LEGO. He can make a car from three small bricks and a wheel. The tiniest semblance of reality will do - he doesn't need a big tub full of weird and wacky specialist parts. (Drat). Prospective careers: Architect, Journalist, Estate Agent.

To Marie, a pile of bricks could be anything from a selection of apples to a washing machine. The problem is, if you can stretch reality that far, who needs bricks? (Apart from to weigh down your pockets to stop you floating away). Prospective careers: Advertising Creative, Public Relations Officer, Space Cadet.

We knew Lewis had a strong imagination from an early age. When he was two he was constantly making us all imaginary cups of tea (no plastic cups or anything). One day Fraser got fed up with the silly make-believe nonsense, however, and decided to play Lewis at his own game. Fraser held out his imaginary cup at arms length and slowly tipped the imaginary contents over the floor. Lewis burst into tears. He was distraught at all the work he'd have to do cleaning up the mess...

That's a slightly scary amount of imagination. Marie has probably surpassed him, though. Sarah asked Marie's opinion on a couple of pairs of trousers she was trying on in a shop the other day. On seeing the first pair, Marie shook her head. "They snakes eating your legs. You not wear them." On viewing the second, she said, "No, they have a chicken in them." On the way home in the buggy, she suddenly commented, "The wind turn me into a cat... I not go miaow."

When Marie's a little older, I can just see her and Fraser having big arguments while staring at the sky:

Marie: It's a dragon.
Fraser: It's a cloud.
Marie: It looks like a dragon.
Fraser: But it's a cloud.
Marie: What about that one? It's a deep fat fryer!
Fraser: It's a cloud.
Marie: That one's a spaceship. With aliens. And lobsters.
Fraser: That's a cloud, too.
Marie: Look! A pirate made of sausages!
Fraser: IT'S... A... CLOUD!
Marie: He's playing hop-scotch.
Fraser (finally giving in): Oh all right, and that one's a sheep.
Marie: No, that's a cloud.

I may have to intervene at that point in order to avoid bloodshed...

Yours in a woman's world,


PS I took this photo of Marie following the Eternity of Sleepless Doom. I imagine this is how Britney Spears must look the morning after a really wild night out with Paris and Lindsay:

Marie looking tired wearing dark glasses and a fluffy pink coat.

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