"Mummy, it's my dad at the door!"


Eurgh.

So this morning we woke up at the usual ghastly hour of 5am and the morning commenced as it normally would; 

Etienne repeated the sentence "Mummy, I want some  breakfast. Mummy, I want some breakfast.........Mummy, I want some breakfast." enough times that the words physically carried me out of bed and straight into the kitchen where I obeyed to his demands like some sort of slave.

In fact, it was so repetitive that it began to sound like he was speaking a different language; you know when you repeat something over and over and over again that it begins to sound like it's not even a real word anymore? Yeah....that.

Anyway, whilst I was busy preparing the hungry, early riser's breakfast, I heard him messing about with his "phone" -which is actually a scourer from the kitchen cupboard (clean, I might add) but he is adamant that it is his mobile phone...sure! 
Why the hell not?

I could hear him chatting away telling whoever was on the other end of this kitchen sponge network that he was off to nursery and that he would see them soon: 
"K, BYEEEE!"

It was really quite sweet listening in on his conversation as he remained totally unaware that I was ear-wigging. I came to the realization that he speaks exactly as I do on the phone:

 "Yep, cool. Sounds good!" 

It's amazing how much they pay attention isn't it? Better watch what I say from now on.....

Breakfast is served!

Toast and marmalade (his favourite) on a bright pink plastic plate: fine dining or what! He tucked in excitedly and everything proceeded as it normally would: he ate the whole lot within about 30 seconds and enjoyed sprinkling the crumbs on the freshly-hoovered-carpet afterwards. Grr.

After breakfast, the standard morning duties were underway; sorting the laundry, getting Etienne dressed for nursery (only took five attempts today - not bad,) making the beds (stacking 500 cushions onto my bed to look "pretty" only for the toddler to pull them all off again one by one whilst shouting "CATCH! Mummy, catch!") 

Once he had finished being annoying and was done laughing at my lack of enthusiasm towards the cushion-throwing, he sprinted off into the front room and picked up the handset to our intercom system, said "hello?" and called out to me;


"Mummy, it's my dad at the door!" 



Heart stopped, lump in throat emerged, panic set in.


There have been plenty of times when Etienne has said the word "dad" or "daddy" and there have been plenty of times when it caught me off guard and upset me a little but never like this. Before this moment, "dad" was just a word like any other word.

It wasn't so much what he had said, but more the fact that I knew why he was saying it.

I knew he had some kind of understanding of the word and it freaked me out.

Etienne goes to a nursery where the admissions system runs via an intercom; parents press the doorbell, a member of staff picks up the handset and hears something along the lines of "Hi, it's Emily's dad!"

Etienne- being Etienne, likes to be nosey and enjoys nothing more than eavesdropping on people's telephone conversations so he has, no doubt, been observing and listening closely. 

In that moment, I came to realize that he has an understanding of family dynamics and that he is aware that lots of children have a mum and a dad. 

What he doesn't yet understand though, is where his dad is, or even who he is.

He was role playing this morning. That's all it was and I am sure of that, but it doesn't stop it from getting to me. 

It was an uncomfortable sentence to have heard. It caught me completely off guard; I wasn't at all prepared which meant I didn't have the words to offer him when he waited patiently to hear my response.

He went on to ask me to speak to "his dad" which of course, I did. 

I saw a quote once which said: 

"No matter how big and bad you are, when a two year old hands you a play phone- you answer it!

 Pretty spot on, isn't it?  I could never have not played along, no matter how uncomfortable I felt in that moment.

So, I answered:"Hello Etienne's dad! Yep, ok. Will do. Etienne is just about to get dressed and brush his teeth ready for nursery-so we will speak to you soon, ok? Bye bye!"

I felt like an idiot and it was pretty painful but Etienne was far from hurting-he thought it was totally hilarious. 

He finds humour in most things, actually.

What a little legend.

So, I survived another one of "those" awkward moments and I am more than aware that there will be many, many more to come; some of which will be far more complicated and, of course, one day he will approach me with THE question.

But right now, I'm taking this whole thing one day at a time- what else can I do?