When it comes to charming yet inappropriate observations, Rufus is currently excelling himself. Here are three examples from the past week.
1. I took him to the hardware store. I had to buy some two-part epoxy, aka Araldite. You know I just googled that, which was lucky because I thought it was two-part “apoxy”. Which isn’t nearly as cute as Rufus seeing this tin of “Giraffe Brushing Lacquer” furniture polish…
..and saying, “Mama, that’s food for giraffes.”
It’s the solemnity that gets me. FULL GRAVITAS.
PS We had to buy the Araldite because I BROKE THE TOILET. But not, as you might imagine, with my huge arse. Joel had taken the ceramic lid off to do some…thing in (with?) the cistern, and foolishly rested it up against the bath. I thumped elephantinely into the bathroom shortly after, slamming a door in my haste to probably give him some plumbing advice. One of these actions caused the lid to smash. Now we have no lid on the toilet, and also the part Joel needs to fix the broken flushing thing isn’t available in the hardware shop, possibly because it’s not actually a hardware shop but rather a repository for exotic animal food. So there’s a bit the inside of the toilet that is attached to a chain made out of my hairties that connects to the window above the toilet. When you want to flush, you have to open the window so the cistern fills up again.
Seriously it would be easier to just wee in a bucket. And I lost six hairties to the cause.
2. My mum’s visiting at the moment and we went to pick her up from the airport on the weekend, which trip involves two train rides. A recorded lady announces the upcoming stops in Cantonese, Mandarin and then English, like this: “Wan Tsai. Won Tsai. WAN CHAI.” Rufus repeats them all after her and makes his own announcements: “Admiralty! You work there!” “Central! MaryJane goes to church in Central!” “Sheung Wan! I saw monkeys there!” And then:
“Kowloon! …is that where cows live?”
3. This is our local beach, Sharp Island, which is only a 7-minute sampan ride from Sai Kung. NOT BAD HEY.
Here Joel schools Rufus in the manly pursuit of skipping rocks.
We took mum there on the weekend. It’s an experience. The locals flock there in huge packs of 20 or so, each carrying two slabs of Sprite, a bag of charcoal for their inevitable barbecue, a giant novelty flotation device, three lap dogs, and a whole watermelon. The overcatering is ridiculous. So is their “scubadiving” in the shallows, complete with gas tanks, steamer wetsuits, flippers and fishing knives. So is the fact that they carry their dogs into the water on kickboards. As they push their canine friends around in prams on land, so they facilitate their “swimming” during summer.
Mum and Rufus and I had a refreshing dip in a little corner of the sea not bobbing with dogs and 30-year-old guys wearing glasses and pink inflatable swimrings. Mum decided to get out and go for a stroll down the beach. Rufus and I, each resting our heads on his swimring, continued to float blissfully out to sea. Suddenly he lifted his head and announced urgently that he needed to do a wee. “Mama, we have to get out – take me to the toilet!” It’s only the second time I’ve swum in the ocean in about three years, and no alarmed wees were going to end it for me. Even the rottweiler dog-paddling in the vicinity couldn’t force me sandside. I said, “Rufus, you’re allowed to wee in the ocean! Just go!” He needed some convincing, orderly and rule-bound child that he is. I finally convinced him and, sidestroking lazily out of the warm pocket of water near my leg, recommenced my seawater cure.
Rufus spotted my mum 800m down the beach and bellowed at her: “NANA REE! I JUST DID A MASSIVE WEE IN THE BEACH!”
And what are the chances, but it seems everyone on the beach that day spoke English as they all started to float slowly away on their inflatable giant turtles, and the scubadivers blew their whistles to indicate an emergency cessation of proceedings.
I was like “Rufus, don’t say that!”
His innocent face turned to me and said, with complete curiosity, “Why?” Like, “But I did do a massive wee in the beach! Why wouldn’t I say that? I don’t get it.”
He’s right; there is no good reason why you shouldn’t own whizzing in the sea. Especially when your toilet is held together with hair elastics.