I was tidying upstairs. The sun was shining. I was sure the lads were out in the garden looking after the tadpoles. Then strange smells began to creep up the stairs, and curious sparking, bubbling sounds.
"Is everything all right down there lads?"
A little later a commotion outside the front door alerted me to the fact that something unusual was happening. I popped my head out my office window and was astonished to see scores of children from our estate and the next estate all crammed into the front yard. And in the middle of this mob were ''my two children handing out cups and beakers and tubs, all filled with a smoking spitting greeny yellow substance.
"Lads! What’s going on down there?"
"Look da’. We’ve made poison and everybody wants some."
Well everybody likes their children to be popular, but this just felt way wrong.
"Look da’. Some of them have brought stuff to add to the poison."
By the time I ran down to the front door, the mob had doubled in size. There were even children there from the estate at the bottom of the hill. A ten year old boy was holding a can of fly spray: "Add this, go on, I bet you it makes it even more deadly." One little girl – two years of age if not younger – held up a dead slug and smiled. An older girl help up a battered doll: "it’s a corpse I brought for the poison."
There was a cough behind me and I turned around to be confronted by two boys and a girl, standing in my hall with mean looks on their face. "We’re security", said the girl. "Do you know the password?"
Outnumbered, I’ve retreated up the stairs to my writing room. There are more children out there, many bringing things to add to the batch of poison. I’ve no idea what to do: how to neutralise a chemical weapon production system was never included in the parenting classes I attended. I can hear a child shouting. ‘It works! Look at the cat twitching!’
I’m trying to focus on the positive. Just like the classes said; look for good things to praise in your children, not bad things to criticise. My children are being creative and they are sharing and they are making hundreds of new friends. They are all good things, surely?
(Enjoyed this blog. You might like to read Adventures with frogs. Chapter one: Dripping Eyeballs and The Party Girl )