I used to be young. And thin. I never needed exercise. I hardly had hangovers. I could get two hours sleep on top of a speaker in a smelly nightclub then be perky as a Cbbies presenter the next day. And I didn’t get fat, no matter how many takeaways I ate.
At some point my body, without telling me, stopped being able to do this. Before I knew it my waist size was going through the roof. I found myself’, in a large shop, seriously considering purchasing a pair of elasticated trousers. I have since lost weight, but your body never quite goes back to what it was.
Nor does your brain. I used to be less stupid, but time and children have destroyed my mind. Now there are automated supermarket checkouts with a higher IQ than me. I mentally tussle with them every other day. They always win.
Surely, though, I shouldn’t feel mentally inferior to my two year old son?
“What’s that?” He points with a sly smile. I tell him it’s a vase. “What’s that?” He points. A pile of books, I say. “What’s that?” He points at the space between the vase and the pile of books.
“That’s…” I trail off. My brain tries to think of something philosophical to say about the nature of nothingness. “That’s… the wall.”
“Yeah.” He chuckles, satisfied. “What’s that?” He prods at me.
I smile. I definitely know the answer to this one. “That’s my leg.” I say.
“No.” He corrects me, giggling. “That’s daddy’s arm.”
I look at my leg for a moment, doubting myself. Is this some sort of test? “No,” I say carefully, “that’s daddy’s leg.”
“No. Arm.” He insists.
“No.” I say as calmly as I can. “Leg.”
“Yes.” He laughs. “That’s daddy’s leg.” He’s just toying with me.
He prods my chest. My chest wobbles slightly. “Those are daddy’s boobies.” He laughs.
I want to argue, explain the difference between mummies and daddies, but the truth is undeniable. “Yes.” I admit sadly. “Those are daddy’s boobies.”