You know that moment when the world shifts on its axis and you realise that something is not what you thought. And you wonder: what else have I missed?
Like the moment you realise that meringue is not pronounced MEH-RING-GOO at age 27 (happened to a friend). Or that the Queen has had sexual intercourse (my first question when I was told the facts of life). Or that you can see the planets with your naked eye (I’m a big astronomy fan now but this fact passed me by for years).
It has started to happen to BUB.1. He’s obsessed by gender at the moment. He forbids me to choose orange as my favourite colour. No, I must say pink or purple. He has only just mastered saying “her” for a girl and “him” for a boy and recently declared that he was going to snip his willy off with scissors to be a girl and then go to the shop for a new one (dear God).
Let’s be clear, Maisy Mouse has been a big influence on BUB.1 ever since he snuggled down one afternoon with his beloved next door neighbour Amber (3) to watch a Maisy Mouse classic, “On the Go”. For about 18 months now, this soft, melodic DVD has soothed him and amused him countless times. To me, it represents little BUB.1, innocent BUB.1, happy BUB.1
So last night, as we were reading Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book together, he said “He’s changed into his swimming costume!” and I of course replied “Yes, she has!”. He stopped. “She, Mummy? She’s not a girl, she’s a boy!” “No, she’s a girl, Maisy is a girl, sweetie.”
Silence. Maisy. A girl? Admittedly my own mother had previously commented on Maisy’s rather androgynous appearance, being one of those female characters not swamped in pink and puffs and glitter. She dresses for comfort, for adventure, does our Maisie.
More silence. Then a pair of huge, brown, innocent, questioning, slightly wounded eyes look up at me and ask, with a quavering voice: “And Rastamouse too?”