My Finn means the world to me. But heavens the child is boring the knees of me lately. You see he is a world authority on all things Doctor Who, Batman and those darn mysterious little creatures, the Pokeymen.
I swear there isn’t a child on the planet who knows more about the science behind time travel, the emotional trauma behind Jokers manic smile or the benefits of using the “ghost” type Pokemon whenever one finds oneself in a battle. Do Pokemon have battles? I’m not sure. And therein lies the root of the problem. Though Finley talks incessantly, theorizes endlessly and intellectualizes every aspect of each of his favorite subjects, I don’t listen properly because my mind just isn’t as agile as his and we are frequently coming to tearful blows over the matter.
You see Finley wants nothing more than to teach me everything there is to know about the benefits of Batman scooting around Arkham City in a retro Batman suit. He truly wants me to understand why Doctor David could never really have been in love with Rose and he is desperate for me to feign interest in why Pokemon X is different to Pokemon Y.
You thought I knew everything there is to know about housekeeping? My Sweet, my extensive knowledge of homemaking is limited in comparison to what I know about Doctor Matt Smith’s line in bow ties and why he looks better in purple tweed. I listen. I listen all day long. I listen when he gets into bed with me in the morning, and I listen when he holds my face as I kiss him good night and says, Mummy, just one last thing, do you truly, truly understand how the outside of the tardis came to be on the inside? I listen and some of it goes in and some of it goes in one ear and out the other and the child will insist on testing me on what I have heard and getting crazy cross if it is evident that I am something of a Doctor Dimwit. And heaven it is miserable to be such a disappointment to your child!
But the thing is this: I can’t listen all day long. There isn’t enough space in my puddled head and I do think there is a case to be argued, that despite how very much I admire his passion for his favorite subjects there is an element of rudeness in constantly forcing another (less interested party) to feel the same way.
So this harassed Mummy decided to play him at his own game. I took it into my head you see, to respond to him insisting I listen, with a little insisting he listens of my own. It went like this:
Finley: Mummm! Listen!! It is really, really sad. Batman is actually a really sad character. His Mum and Dad died when he was young.
Mummy: Finn, did you know that
Finley: (Looking mystified) Really? Not just in Liverpool? Ok. So anyway, see the outline out that body? That’s Batmans dead dad. You will see a rose to mark it in a moment. They are all such incredibly sad characters. That happens doesn’t it Mum? Baddies and really, really good men have reasons why they are the way they are. It happens doesn’t it? Who would you get if you had a batarang? They are the perfect weapon. I’d get Jack. I hate Jack.
Mummy: I’m not fussed on him either. Ok, so did you hear about Martha Stewart taking truly terrible photographs of her meals on Instagram, so bad the food looked like pig swill?
Finley: Ha ha. You domestic goddesess are always pretenting you are more perfect than you are (ouch!). Anyway, loooooook, Batman is about to take somebody out by kicking them in the head. I would like to live in Arkham City. Do you think it would be scary at nighttime? I think it is based on New York. I wonder why Batman is never scared, well he is sometimes, but mostly I think he is not scared because he is soooooo angry. Maybe Jack is angry.
Mummy: Finn, did you know that
Finley: Are they? Who is Kirstie Allsop?
Mummy: You know, off Location, Location, the house program?
Finley: The one with the weird dresses? Oooh tell me more!
So I did. For ten whole minutes. And he did an admirable job of showing me how to look fascinated when you don’t give a damn and I got a glimpse of what it is to share what you know and feel a little clever because of it…
Mummy: Ooooh and did you know that Martha Stewart went to jail?
Finley: Yep. Something to do with money wasn’t it? Maybe that’s why she likes rubbish food. Ok, I’ve listened to you ramble on about jailed ladies and funny dresses and Cath blooming Kidson and now it’s my turn. Do you want to watch Doctor Who with me?
The kid is too clever for me isn’t he? I have got such a lot to learn from him…
I also have a houseful of Who-obsessed kids–one 13 and one 10. The 13yo shares every PInterest theoryand obsesses about Sherlock too. The 10yo is newish to Who so wants to watch all the episodes again, and has already broken my ears by talking nonstop about Minecraft for 6 hours a day. I try to listen on the theory that listening to Minecraft chatter until my ears bleed paves the way for them to think of me as someone who listens when they are 16 and have way more important stuff to say. I hope. I really hate Minecraft. I quite like Doctor Who but not quite as much as they want to tell me about it.. But so far so good with the older one, she tells me about her friend drama and all.
Yes, Pokemon have battles. 🙂 They are possibly the most genius marketing concept ever invented for kids–they are cute, there are loads of them to collect and memorize stuff about, and they fight.
And you’ve only got the one of them! ;)Now, seriously, way back in 1990, when I was at Teacher Training College we actually had a lecture on Pokemon so we would understand our pupils obsession with them! I prayed hard that they would disappear along with cabbage patch kids way before I was blessed with children…but here they still are. But the obsession with them does go over. Like all other phases, teething and potty training, this too shall pass! Hang on in there 🙂
My little ponies and Lego friends are in fashion in my household (four year daughter). I think your son is very smart and has good sense of fairness. Well done 🙂
First of all, Don’t Dis the Doc, or Batman. I grew up on Batman, the good one, with Adam West, and my first lesson in the stupidity of others came when a boy of 4 — we were both 4 — informed me that I couldn’t like Batman because I was a GIRL! Well I was a girl, and I did like Batman, so his reasoning was way, way off.Instead of fighting it, ask questions, and it IS sad that Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered — so tell him so.
You feign interest in whatever your friends are interested in that you are not (remember scary movie blog?), so why not your son? We may be older, but we are the same as we used to be on the inside, so stop with the Shabby chic, and get into Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. or better yet, why don’t you both get into “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer”.
I have teenagers, and one day you’ll wonder what happened to their old obsessions, like Thomas the Train, for instance, and feel very, very sad.