Only son had a sleepover on Friday. He and his best friend live life in a perpetual bubble of adventure and excitement. We had to go to the supermarket and drop off daughter one at the tube on the way. Only son and his friend were in the back of the car scoping the landscape for enemies.
Unfortunately, their plan to dominate the universe was thwarted by a sudden urgent need for the toilet. By the time we got to Tesco they were bursting and stormed into the toilet. There was a period of relative calm after that as they chose pizzas. We got some conditioner for daughter two and then daughter three, who had, perhaps unwisely, agreed to come on the expedition, started looking for something to cook for her dinner. She is not the most decisive person. She started looking at vegetarian food. Then she decided she fancied a curry. By this point excitement levels were rising among the younger section. By the time we entered the frozen section on the look-out for vegetarian pizzas they were in full overload mode, running up and down the aisles screaming. “We need to get out of here now,” I said to daughter three. “Make a decision before we get thrown out.” Only son and his friend bobbed up and down at the checkout before asking for some blue plastic chips to give to charity.
We headed home for a Diary of the Wimpy Kid film – perhaps the 33rd time we have seen the film in the last week. Only son has got his best friend into Diary of a Wimpy Kid and has lent him a book to read. Only son considers himself a sort of svengali figure to his best friend. The two decided they would watch the film and then retire to bed to read the books. After that I read them Heckedy Peg. Every time only son’s best friend comes round for a sleepover he asks for Heckedy Peg “with all the actions” so it has now become a tradition.
Only son has a Diary of a Wimpy Kid fill in the blanks book. He started asking his friend and me for some parts of a sentence. “Give me a verb, mum,” he said. You supply the required part of the sentence, the funnier the better, and then insert it into a story. “Give me a noun,” said only son to his friend. His friend looked a bit confused. “You know, a word that means a thing or a person’s name,” said only son. “Like Andy Warhol,” he added for good measure. I am not sure where only son picks up his general knowledge – surely not from purple-haired guy on Youtube – but it can lead to unexpected statements. I went downstairs for a few minutes and returned to find both boys fast asleep.
They were up early, as anticipated, for a round of Lego Batman 2 and a Minecraft competition. “Who has designed the best house?” asked only son. I looked at the hallucinogenic square things. It was hard to tell. “X has put a tv in the shower room which will mean he gets electrocuted,” said only son. His friend looked a bit crestfallen. “He did create his toilet in the actual house rather than in a separate building,” I volunteered, declaring a draw as only son protested that his toilet had a gold and diamond roof in checkered pattern.
We headed out for a walk. I decided it would be more fun if we did a scavenger hunt. I got daughter three, who was keen to take over command of the telly, to create little scavenger hunt booklets. We put on our wellies and grabbed some plastic bags. “Red car!” shouted only son’s best friend, ticking it off the list. “Bird!” screamed only son. “Coyote!” exclaimed only son’s best friend. “It’s not on the list,” said I. We passed a farm which is known for its barking dog. Only son and his best friend crouched down low and scuttled past whispering conspiratorially.
Soon we had everything except fir cone ticked off the list. Back home, only son and his best friend did some very energetic dancing. They are in a dance show at Easter and were going freestyle. The teenagers had not even got up before we left to drop X off home.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.