Trolling in the Telegraph
Cycling in the rain, wearing glasses

We're going to a puppet show

James had a wonderful day yesterday. For some reason (I think, mostly related to the point that he's had lots of plasters on, and felt out of sorts) he's been bawling his head off at the slightest provocation, and being excessively grumpy about life post-buggy. A lot of jumping in front of you, clinging to your legs, crying "I'm tired! I want shoulders!"

Yesterday we took the slightly long bus journey to Colliers Wood where there's a lovely little collection of slightly earnest 'earthenware' type shops / stalls of a weekend, and a delightful little children's theatre. They were doing a version of Cinderella with puppets. It had that pleasing mix of slightly rubbish but very goodhearted, and held all the children rapt throughout.

Anyway, that's not quite the point. James is a very solid, comfortable with himself sort of boy, who will often stand in front of people on the way home over the common and say "Hello". He still maintains his very 'thought-out' mode of speaking, making every word seem particularly important to him. He has a seriousness about him, which is more thoughtful than dour.

A couple of weeks ago we went to the common, assuming that the plupatoo, er, the paddling pool, would be open, but it wasn't. James began to run sprints backward and forward in order to stop in front of two old ladies, and introduce himself. He started having a typically James type of conversation, based mostly around what he's doing at that moment, or has just done, how old he is, etc. He did this on the bus going to the theatre. While we were waiting to get off, he was very carefully holding on to a pole next to an elderly lady. He said to her "We are going to the theatre. I'm going to see a puppet show, now". Very deliberately, as if to say, It's very important to me that you understand what's happening here.

It occurred to me that maybe, in the same way that children have a natural aversion to talking to complete strangers who are men (according to McK's knowledge of psychological research, anyway), perhaps small children have an evolutionary learned trust of older women. They do represent something completely safe and harmless. It's curious how often he will seek out elderly ladies to talk to. What makes me smile about it is that he obviously has no socially learned revulsion regarding age or looks. Hopefully he can keep that kernel of friendliness with him, and we can use it to help him overcome those daft prejudices that people often seem to not be able to help having.

...when it had finished, James looked at me thoughtfully and said "Can I see it again?".

I think his twenty-odd minutes on a bouncy castle made up for me saying no, though.