Saturday, 29th September
Keyword for the day: Charlie
Most Saturdays, I look after Charlie, my youngest grandson. At just two years-old he speaks pretty well, and some of the things he says are so funny. He is obsessed with all sorts of vehicles and, when we are in my car on the way to town each week, he gives a running commentary on everything he sees.
This was how it went on the route into town yesterday: ‘Bus,’ he said confidently, as we turned into Barton Road and one went past. ‘Van … bike … motor bike …grandma buggy …stinky lorry … park ….choo choo train!’
‘Go Granny, go!’ he shrieked when the traffic lights turned green at Wicksteed Park. We turned into Windmill Avenue, and he started singing a very distinct ‘Baa, baa, black sheep’ as we went past a man walking a white poodle. ‘Stop,’ he said suddenly at a pelican crossing. My right foot twitched – I nearly did as he instructed, but the lights were still on green!
At the end of Windmill Avenue he pointed out of the window. ‘That way, Granny,’ he said, pointing correctly down Stamford Road. We reached the junction with Wellington Street, a narrow street of Victorian terraced houses, with speed bumps every few yards. In this crazy town it is the only way to access the multi-story car park in the centre, unless you use another litre of petrol getting into town from Barton Seagrave!
We eased past a builders’ white pick-up truck, parked diagonally across the road. ‘Diddy wagon!’
‘What, Charlie?’ I said, thinking I hadn’t heard right. I looked briefly at him over my shoulder as he screwed his head around in his car seat to get a better look. ‘Diddy wagon,’ he said with a smug conviction at having identified a new form of transport.
In Kettering, loud men with gravelly voices bellowing out ‘rag bone’ regularly tour the streets in pick-up trucks laden with junk. If you want to get rid of a broken washing machine or old fridge, just leave it out on your drive with a note on it for the gypsies. It will be taken away within the hour!
I wonder what he is going to come out with next? At the moment, he is just copying everything anyone says. I think we are going to have to be very careful what we say when around our Charlie in future.