asks little T as I was putting her to bed the other night.
I wanted to say, I guess some people would think that I’m old at 40 (turning 41 on the 14th), but I don’t really feel old. Well there are instances though that I do feel kinda old(ish), like when my back starts to hurt and the time when it took ages for my ankle to heal. I also feel I’m getting on when I’m around really young mums, or when I look in the mirror and I spy white hair which by the way looks very prominent against my very dark hair. I also feel my years when I suddenly forget what I’m about to say, or do and I wonder if I’m experiencing the early signs of Alzheimer or dementia. It’s also embarrassing when you say “Oh yes, I’ve read that book!” only to realise that you absolutely have no idea what it was all about – then yes, I am old.
I didn’t say any of that of course, instead I asked her why.
And she replied, I don’t want you to be old mummy. When you’re old you die! I don’t want daddy to die!
Just great, I thought. I blame my husband now for saying things like “Oh it’s just your old dada grumbling, grumbling… or poor old dad”.
No wait. I blame the movie “Finding Nemo” “You might die mummy like Nemo’s mum!”
No wait. I blame Raymond Briggs’ “Snowman and the Snow dog” where the little boy’s dog died because, yep, he was old. Hang on, that wasn’t written by Raymond Briggs’ right? It was just based on his book “The Snowman”. Besides, I’ve already blamed him for teaching little T to use swear words in his blimming film “Father Christmas”
So what do you say to your three-year-old then when she’s worried that you might be old and dying?
And here’s another dialogue we had while I was ironing our clothes and she was, well, she was, being a little T, asking way too much questions.
What do you become after a little girl?
What’s next after a teenager?
You become a young woman.
What’s next after a young woman?
You become an old woman.
Oh sweetie, there isn’t any.
Yes there is!
You die of course!
And here’s little T sharing a bench with an old man.
What about you?
Do you feel old?