Saturday night.We decide to take advantage of the free babysitting my mom can provide.She is the first to suggest it.She is happy to spend time on her own with the girls and so are they who, already taste the freedom of a late bed time.
She had her private time with her own daughter this afternoon.We took half day for our self. We went for a walk on the promenade,then for tea and cakes and for some shopping.Nona is a big shopper but, unfortunately, she is not easy and quick on taking decisions.Every purchase she makes is like to give birth to triplets:equine triplets as they are rare, if not impossible, and take 11 months.Despite the long process of deciding,she is usually at the end quite successful on buying what it can be considered a decent amount of items indeed.As the days pass, her bedroom get more and more filled with bags from the most different shops.
Myself and the traveling husband aim to leave around 8pm.Our table won’t be ready until 9.15pm,anyway.Late, I know,but that is the price to pay when you book last minute.To tell the truth,we actually don’t mind.We are quite happy to go for a couple of cocktails before dinner.
I am fully dressed.I picked the accessories to wear already and nothing can delay me,ideally. I just have to give my make up the finishing touch and pop my contact lenses on.
I hear a knock on the bedroom door and then I see a little hand opening my bathroom door.
Daughter number one,A,is in.She came to tell me about this guy she just saw on the tv news that ate his teacher:”Oh Dear Lord”.”Will we not go into a conversation about cannibalism now?!”.Of course we did!
So,here I am:all dressed,nearly on time and trying to put my contacts on.Possibly without poking my eyes full finger as normally happens ,because its nearly 8pm and I have no time for tears and smudged eyes make up to be touched up.In total honesty I don’t have time for weird conversations with my daughter either.
She asks me if the parents will go to jail for the son that ate his teacher as if he is just a kid.I say no and I explain there are jails for underage:”Even if you are a kid ,you must take responsibility of your action”.I make sure to reinforce the concept,just to avoid misunderstandings.She is still young but soon she will be a teen ager and I have no intention of acting as a net,better she knows it and hear it loud and clear.
I am ready now,and we are sitting on my bed with the giant dog breathing on our necks,staring at us from behind.She is clearly not impressed by the existence of juvenile jails but this is not what is bothering her.What bothers her is that,in her logic,the parents should go to jail too because if the son is a cannibal they must be as well.”Not necessarily”, I say,”cannibalism is not hereditary”. She is puzzled:”but in the old school,the teacher said we get our characteristic from our parents”.”Of course you do, but not everything”,I replay.”You are an individual and have characteristic on your own.Characteristics that are not inherited”.
“OMG”,how can it be that I am talking about cannibalism and genetics at eight in the evening on a Saturday night while I should already be out enjoying myself,the free babysitting and my cosmopolitan.Keeping a close eye on my watch I briefly explain that we might look like our parents for many aspects but then there are so many others that belong only to us.
She is fine with genetics.Cannibalism is more interesting and she asks which part of the human body you can eat.Now,after cursing whoever let her watch the news,I give her a brief and gory enough explanation. That should be it.I think we are done here:We are not!We are back to genetics:she asks the most evident characteristics she might have gotten from me or her father.I am dismissive and generic.I tell her to focus on the unique elements that are just hers.She is still sitting on the bed, I already have a foot out of the door when I hear,”I am very very special and unique then”.I congratulate myself as,obviously,all the work done on building and boosting her self esteem is working.May be a bit too much but,better then nothing.I soon realized I congratulated myself too early.That previous sentence, had in fact a sequel:”how do I not look like you or papa?will people think that I am adopted?.”My foot slowly steps back inside the bedroom.I rewind my self and sit down beside her:”We already talked about this before.The fact that you are blond with green eyes doesn’t mean anything.Even dark hair and dark eyes people can have blond or ginger kids.It might be a gene coming from the ancestors beside ,your father has a ginger beard,and your grandmother has the same green eyes you have”.
Believe it or not, this resemblance thing is haunting us since she was born.I lost count of all the jokes about the postman because she is gold blond and her parents are instead both dark.The worst was reached in the previous school.A temporary teacher,had the great idea to give the class a project about family resemblance.Nothing bad about it if it was not for the fact that in the class there were two adopted kids and one that never met his father.Complaints were raised and the teacher realized that her idea has not been the most brightest she could have.She apologized personally with the parents,me included. She said she hasn’t realized “A”was adopted.The poor teacher,clearly at her first experience, was in high distress.I didn’t know what to say myself and tried to minimize the situation:”A”was not adopted, I simply had an affair with and handsome Norwegian.”.She went from being in distress to being horrified until I specify it was a joke of course.Thing,this one,that I honestly thought it was quite obvious.
Eventually all the questions about cannibalism and hereditary resemblance are answered. She is totally satisfied of her features provenance and happy to go back watching tv. Me,I am just happy to go out and have a strong drink but,not before making the traveling husband promise he will regrow that reddish beard of his.