Not five oâ€™clock when my the maritimely authentic, personally installed barn mounted yardarm dips below the sun, rather a physical age where mental conundrums are verbalised without ever passing through any kind of appropriateness filter.
Let me source you a representative example; to my left Random, five years old and cheerfully unconnected to the workings of the world, to my right a copse of wind blown autumnal leaves latterly connected to their host trees.
â€œDad, I know why those leaves are falling off the trees”
â€œWhyâ€™s that Hon?”
â€œBecause itâ€™s Autumn and the tree has to go to sleep for the winter”
â€œSo, these leaves, they all die do they? Doesnâ€™t the tree love them anymore?”
Thinks for a bit, death is a minefield that kids simply navigate whilst you explode on moves theyâ€™ve planned three moves ahead
â€œTheyâ€™re not dead Hon, theyâ€™re just going into the soil to make new trees”
Iâ€™m pretty happy with this, most angles covered
â€œThey still die though, they donâ€™t even live a year and even our hamster lasted longer than that”
Bugger, that bloody hamster, it didnâ€™t die of natural courses, itâ€™s genetic drive for an out of cage experience ended fatally during an in a cat experience.
â€œWell yes I suppose so but the tree goes on for ages, come and have a look at how old it is”
Itâ€™s an old oak, stretching arthritically for the sky throwing limbs akimbo around a fat and knarled trunk.
â€œWow, that looks really old? changes verbal direction â€œIs the bark like skin then?”
Prods next sentence with minesweeper. Comes up with a clean tone
â€œYeah I guess it is”
â€œWow, looks even more wrinkled than Grandma and Sheâ€™s ANCIENT”
Grandma is in attendance. Now not looking quite so fondly at her previously loved cheeky granddaughter. Change subject rapidly before she gets really personal.
â€œAnyway, why didnâ€™t you want to walk home from the pub, youâ€™ve only been swimming, youâ€™ve had a huge lunch, you got up late, youâ€™re only five, whatâ€™s wrong with you?”
Pensive expression spreads on her face like clouds on a sunny day. Fastens finger to lip and mentally strains for the right words. Clouds turn to rain as sheâ€™s clearly upset she canâ€™t express herself properly
â€œWell Dad, you know, you know, Iâ€™m, you knowâ€¦, you know…..”
â€œCome on, have a go at the words, what do you mean”
â€œDad, Iâ€™m bloody knackered”
Grandma de-wills youngest daughter whereas I have to be collected off the pavement due to hysterical convulsions. But this is the kind of thing that happens all the time with Random â€“ sheâ€™s just loose change in the vast mint of real life.
A couple more to cement the argument – When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she responded with a huge smile and â€œIâ€™d like to be a big house which we could all live in”. And only last week she asked me â€œDaddy, if I was a baby elephant, would you still be my dad?”
Biologically tricky to answer that one. But I tell you if they grow up any faster, Iâ€™m having â€˜em down the hospital to check for Genetic Modification.