Rockstar: Mum! <seriously, meant as him testing me> Do you still remember the difference between tortoises and turtles?
Kings: Turtles can fight, tortoises cannot fight.
Me: Oh NO.
Kings: That’s why we have Ninja Turtles!
Rockstar: <Gets very excited> Can we get some?
Me: (Mildly annoyed, to Kings) Seriously. You couldn’t see that coming? Let’s see you get out of it…
Kings: Rockstar, Daddy’s very tired.
Me: <glaring at Kings now pretending to yawn and nod off> Daddy was referring to a story about 4 ordinary turtles who picked up super powers. They aren’t real, like the Cars movies or Mickey Mouse – real cars don’t talk, real turtles don’t fight.
Later, when we’re alone…
Rockstar: Mum. Sometimes Daddy just sits in front of the tv and doesn’t say anything when I talk to him.
Me: You know your father cannot do two things at one time, he doesn’t respond when he’s driving either. He probably didn’t even hear you, especially if he’s just come home from work. Besides, Daddy didn’t go to Kindergarten, remember? It’s not easy for him to hold your conversations without getting really tired, because he hasn’t had much practice using that part of his brain…
(This is true, because Kings can skim a complicated derivatives termsheet and replicate the product terms/ draw the exotic payoff on a blank piece of paper without thinking twice, but ask him to hold an extended conversation with a 4 year old……………….!)
Rockstar: <knowledgeably> Oh, I know… Daddy doesn’t talk…
Me: Well, yeah. You’re learning about animals now, right? So you know different creatures have different senses or abilities that are highly developed. Some Daddies find it hard to talk a lot – but then they’re pretty good for piggy-back rides or basketball games. But you knew that already, it’s why you already let Daddy get away with not answering your questions?
Rockstar: <resignedly – can you imagine a 4yr old looking seriously resigned, heaving his shoulders and sighing theatrically?!> Ye-eah… Tsk!