Eddie's sixth birthday party is fast approaching. Last year he had only just arrived in reception and didn't know anyone's names, so I panicked and invited the whole class. This year is much more sensible: three friends to a trampolining place - don't know much about it other than the fact that I have had to buy 'special socks' for them to bounce in. That's the party bag sorted, then.
But some of his friends' mums have contacted me to ask what Eddie might like as a gift.
This is quite tricky to answer. Eddie has two main hobbies: making things, and breaking things. By 'making', I mean that he is the most creative of the three. What he can do with a couple of cereal boxes, some toilet rolls and a roll of masking tape is quite astonishing. But he wouldn't be terrifically happy, I suspect, if he unwrapped a box full of recycling. He likes Lego, and insists on making the thing, then remaking it 8-10 times until he can do it without having to follow instructions; useful if I need to keep him busy for a couple of hours. But Lego is very expensive and I wouldn't want to suggest that people spent that kind of money on a birthday present for him. His newest hobby is whittling, and he's desperate for his own whittling knife, but at six, it just doesn't seem entirely appropriate ask someone to buy him a knife.
By 'breaking' things I do mean smashing things up. He quite likes demolishing the junk models after he has made them, but also shooting, slashing, hitting, firing, blowing things up, throwing things: in short, weaponry. All types, medieval to modern. This is quite a difficult thing to word appropriately in an email or What's app message, and so I made light of it:
"We have bought him a crossbow! Don't tell social services! 😀😔😕😨😩" That sort of thing.
Unfortunately, one of the other mums in the group is, in fact, a social worker. Oh dear. Busted.
So, it transpires that I have indeed bought my son a crossbow for his sixth birthday and am contemplating getting him a knife. I can't help feeling that something has gone a teensy bit wrong with my parenting somewhere along the way.
Currently reading: Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry by Mildred D. Taylor.