Meon Valley Man: ‘Mummy has something called a sex toy’
PUBLISHED: 15:27 13 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:41 13 August 2020
© 2009 Stéphane Rocher Photography
Our columnist Chris van Schaick shares some of his children’s most embarrassing moments
AFC Bournemouth were playing at Wembley. It’s a day that will always be tinged for me with both laughter and embarrassment.
It was the final of the Football League Trophy and I had managed to get on the corporate hospitality guest list.
My son was seven at the time and his interest in football was just awakening. So, after checking with the authorities, I made him my plus one.
Once at the stadium, we sat down to a pre-match lunch with the big wigs from the local Rover car dealership, who I think were team sponsors at the time.
I introduced my son to the dealership’s main man. The boy cut to the heart of the matter as only a seven-year-old can. “Oh, my Mummy hates Rovers. She says they’re not stylish,” he piped up, helpfully trying to find some conversational starting ground.
The Rover man was very big about it and laughed it off. But my mind has recently gone back to that cup final day, as I’ve watched all the unscheduled appearances of children on Zoom work calls. The best I’ve seen was young Scarlett on BBC News, as she looked for the best place for her unicorn picture, while Mummy talked seriously about COVID-19. Children causing embarrassment in grown-up conversations now seems to be a category all of its own on social media.
The planned September re-opening of schools may stop all this in its tracks. But it won’t stop children being blunt in social situations.
We were once staying the weekend with friends who had young children. It had been going very well. Then, at Sunday breakfast, their small daughter solemnly made an announcement to Mrs. v. S. “My Mummy says you wear too much make up,” she said. In a stunned silence broken only by the clink of coffee cups on saucers, there were very few places for Mummy to go.
It may have been karmic pay back for the indiscretions of Mrs. v.S’ younger brother, as a small boy. Legend has it that once, when he was out with his mum in a department store, he pointed at a fellow shopper and asked in that loud toddler voice, “Why is that lady so fat?”
Meanwhile, pity our family friend Kate. Her son pieced together enough from overhead conversations to know that Mummy had something called a sex toy – actually given to her as a joke by his school friend’s mum. He briefed said friend, who then shared this knowledge with teacher in front of the whole class. And at the school cake sale, when Kate’s contributions were being admired, she tried to dissemble about whether the cakes were home-baked. Eldest daughter shot that one down. “Oh, she bought them in a shop,” came the young one’s clarification. “The box is in the car.”
My own nephew takes some beating though. He once shared far too much information with his childminder when he announced to her, “I’ve got a little willy, but my daddy’s got a big one.”