Parenthood is always introducing you to new experiences.
This morning, for instance, my son gave me something I’ve never seen before. I’ve seen a raisin. I’ve seen a grape. But I’ve never seen a grape that’s half way to becoming a raisin.
If you’re a parent you’ve probably seen one. It’s the kind of thing that your child brings you when you’ve got visitors. The grandparents, or judgemental friends, or the health visitor, say.
“Ooo, what have you got there?” You ask your son. Stupidly you hold it up for everyone to see. “Oh, I think it’s a grape. It’s, sort of, half way between a grape and and a raisin.”
You can see your visitors trying to estimate how long it takes for a grape to turn halfway into a raisin, because that’s obviously how long its been since you cleaned underneath the armchair. They’re trying to hide how much they are internally judging you. Good job they weren’t here last week when your son brought you something that looked like an Egyptian mummy’s finger. Turned out to be a carrot.
You’re desperately trying to think of what to say to your visitors about the grape-raisin. “Never seen one of those before.” You laugh stupidly. “It’s a grape-sin.”
Your son is starting to get annoyed now. He is making angry sounds and ‘gimme’ grab motions with his hands. You can feel your visitors coming to the conclusion that your son is used to being allowed to eat things that he has found on the floor. You want to deny that this has ever happened, but you can’t.
“It feels funny.” You say, rolling the grape-raisin in your fingers. Embarrassment is growing. “He loves raisins. And he loves grapes even more. It’s like his perfect food. A grape-sin.”
You can’t stop talking now.
“What’s most surprising, though,”, you add, wishing you could shut up, “is that he gave it to me at all. He would usually just pick it up and eat it.”
You make a mental note to hoover more.