The topic at school this term is space. Space is boring, I was told, on the day a mobile planetarium was set up in the school hall.
I’m sorry? It’s what? I moved on, too tired to explain why what BUB.2 had said was so ridiculous. It could wait. But as someone who has always had a fascination with the fairy tale above our heads and who always stays up late into the early hours to see an eclipse, it would have to be rectified.
I needn’t have worried. A few mornings later I was awoken by the sound of loud shouting: “Look at that star! Look! It’s so bright! Look Mummy!”
Looking out of the landing window I thought they had spotted Venus (“the morning star”) but on firing up my iPhone Star Chart app we discovered it was Mars. Venus was nearby, but had faded against the morning sunrise. “Get up half an hour earlier tomorrow,” I said to them, “and you’ll see them together.”
A few evenings later I was getting BUB.3 to sleep while BUB.1 and .2 played. Suddenly there was an almighty crash from the landing. On emerging cross and tired from the bedroom I saw BUB.2 in a heap on the floor, covered with curtain rings and with hooks sprinkled all around him. Straining to get a closer view of the full moon from a seated position on the window sill he had toppled off, pulling the curtain down with him.
I never thought I’d hear myself telling them to wake up earlier or that I would love them even more when they destroy the house. But when it comes to space, and an appreciation of our part in the boundless, beautiful cosmos, the normal rules just don’t apply in this house.