Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Eight year's old today

The world has gone Su Doku mad. I tell you - where I lead, millions follow. But this is frankly ridiculous. It's been discussed on Newsnight, the Today programme (Humphreys is not a fan - even more reason to give it a go, I'd have thought), Radio 4's Womans Hour, everywhere. And now it's published in every broadsheet and red top you can buy. It'll peter out eventually. All crazes do. But I'm determined to stay loyal, despite the hype.

As a general rule, if I beat the crowds to something that later becomes a craze I tend to lose interest. I first saw Damien Rice play live at the Borderline in October 2000 when he was a virtual unknown. There were only about 40 of us in the audience. In the five years since then he's played sell out tours across the UK, had his music used for blockbuster movies and been described as the greatest singer/songwriter Ireland's ever produced. He's even dated Rene Zellweger. (He had her after 'top of the morning to yer', no doubt). And though I still love his music ('O' is a masterpiece) I'm a little sad that the secret is out. Maybe I just don't like to share. But I think I liked him better, before the hype and the bandwagon-jumping, when he was a singer and not a superstar.

Meanwhile, hype or no hype, the real superstar of the day is Scrappino, who is eight years old today. He has been counting the days to his birthday, as have I, for the past four weeks. And finally the day has arrived. I sent him off to school today, happy as larry, dressed in his own clothes (a birthday treat) and with a bag of biscuits to share with this classmates. When he gets home from school he will open the growing pile of presents that's waiting for him. We'll have a special birthday tea and, as a treat (for me just as much as for him), we're going out for dinner. I let Scrappino choose the restaurant and he's opted for our local Tandoori. He loves Indian food. And because it's his birthday I've told him he can have as many drinks as he likes. Usually, it's one pineapple juice and then water for the rest of the evening. But since it's his birthday I thought we could splash out and go for three pineapple juices. When you're eight, that's pretty darn exciting.

Luckily, I don't have to arrange a party today because that is safely done and dusted. After much thought regarding the party theme (the days of pass-the-parcel and jelly are over) and a process of elimination (Scrappino doesn't like football or swimming, and Arts and Crafts is too "girlish") we decided that he should invite his closest friends for a sleepover. So, on Saturday night I realised a fantasy and spent the night with 6 young men. Unfortunately, they were all 8 years old. I will spare you the more gruesome details of six boys, in sleeping bags, playing burping games in the middle of the night and bundling on top of each other whenever one of them farted. Suffice to say, despite putting 'sleepover' on the party invitation, there was not a huge amount of sleeping going on. But the boys seemed to have a great time. And Scrappino enjoyed being the centre of attention.

I thought that the boys would be homesick and miss their mums. But as it happens, all but one of them were absolutely fine. Just one little boy cried so much that, despite my best attempts and gentle persuasion, he refused to go to sleep and demanded that I call his dad (at 12.45!) to collect him. Scrappino was suprised to wake up in the morning and find that his friend wasn't there. But as I explained to him, sometimes you think a young man is going to stay all night, but in the early hours, when the fun's over, he changes him mind and goes home. Welcome to my world, Scrappino. And Happy Birthday too.


Anonymous P in the USA said...

Wish Scrappino happy birthday from me!

11:23 pm  
Blogger timecharger said...

welcome to my world - excellent

1:41 pm  

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