Young ‘uns

Euan is having a staggering time with his daughter the six-year-old mega-mixer. On a similar, but non-technical note, I just had the following exchange with my 13 year old son:

“Dad, what’s aspirin?”

“It’s a painkiller – for headaches and stuff”

“OK…is it strong?”

[suspicion rising] “Yes, sort of but it doesn’t work for some people and others are allergic to it. People also use paracetamol and ibuprofen”

“Uh-huh, so you can still get it”

[now worried, can see coke & aspirin experiments when friends come round later today] “Yes, you can get it over the counter from a chemist, why? Have you got a headache..?”

“No… it’s just there’s a drunk in my book”

“What your Stephen King book?” [anger towards Surrey Libraries and their liberal attitudes to lending to minors – guilt for my own liberal attitudes, I said it was OK and now my son’s experimenting with drugs at 13 – where will it all end?]

“No Dad, my book – you know…. and there’s a drunk and he’s got a hangover and I want to know what he’d take for it”

[Wild relief combined with heart-piercing guilt that I’ve forgotten that he’s writing a book. Well not forgotten so much as put it out of mind, assuming that as I hadn’t heard about it in six months it had gone the same way as many of my books/blogs/sparkling careers, started with enthusiasm and ditched when the going got tough or some new sparkly thing came my way.]

Dad leaves for work, heart now bursting with pride in his son, the 13 year-old sure-to-be-Booker-prize-winning-novelist.