Last night over dinner I was a little distracted. To add insult to the injury that has been my week so far, I seem, due to intense hunching and the internalisation of a great deal of stress, to have trapped a nerve in my neck/shoulder region. I am now walking about like Touche turtle and wincing quite a bit.
I was thinking sad, self pitying and generally mournful thoughts about my lot, and the ageing process in particular, when I thought I heard Tallulah say to Tilly:
‘Tilly, do you like penises?’
I naturally did rather a double take at this point. In my household conversation ranges free and easy across the dinner table, and we are quite laissez faire when it comes to topics for discussion, but this was rather frank, even by my standards.
Tilly did not seem taken aback, which was unusual, as she is quite an upstanding child, unlike her feral siblings.
She made a moue and said:
‘Not really my cup of tea.’
This was a good answer, as far as I was concerned.
I still couldn’t believe that they were discussing this at the dinner table though, so I asked Tallulah what she had said. She replied:
‘I asked Tilly if she liked Taylor Swift.’
At this point I was so relieved, although somewhat perturbed that my hearing was clearly buggered worse than my neck (‘Edith! Edith! Ze knobs are flasheeng!’ all over a bloody gain), that I opened my mouth and said rather a stupid thing:
‘Oh good’, I said…
‘I thought you said: ‘Tilly, do you like penises?’
As soon as I had said this I could have kicked myself. The two little ones seized the opportunity like kestrels spotting a feeble field mouse.
said Oscar with relish.
‘Penis, penis, penis’.
‘Penis pasta.’ said Tallulah with a nod to Miranda.
There was a silence where I hoped they might have sated themselves on the word penis, and the others sniggered.
Tallulah said thoughtfully:
‘I’d like to eat a chocolate penis’
I thought: ‘Dear God. I wish the ground would open me up.’
Tilly started to giggle.
‘Do you think a chocolate penis is hollow or solid?’
‘Solid of course. If it were hollow it would break when you bit into it.’
‘Just like a real penis.’
I spat my dinner across the table.