Yesterday night we played house. Empty the box of Horrible History books, choose a selection of animals to love and cherish each other as long as they both should live, and set them up in their dream home. All they needed to be happy was a Rubik’s cube for a table and a sheet of stamps for a duvet. Never mind that a plastic Furby and a wooden hippo wouldn’t normally end up in wedded bliss, much less produce a horse and a cow as their offspring. They made it work. I think we can all learn a lesson here.
If there are few things so humbling as watching your toddler play-act a time-out (‘Thomas, sit wight here. Tine-out. No hitting.‘), then there are also few things so lovely as watching him act out your daily routine. Mr Black Hippo went to work, while Mrs Furby took the horse and cow to the park, to the library and…to get some chips. Um. I suppose two out of three isn’t bad. The horse and cow, by the way, are distinguished enough to bear the names Hargalah and Zebedee. I don’t know why. They are Old Testament livestock. Then we had a day where Black Hippo looked after the children and Mrs Furby went to work, BECAUSE.
I spent a lot of time inside my head, when I was little. Inventing things. Seeing Henry here – riding horses on the arms of the sofa, crossing a crocodile bridge made of dining room chairs, sending Black Hippo off for his seventh batch of chips – feels like something I’ve been waiting for without realising it. Henry Rex, did you know there’s a world out there? There is, and it’s wonderful. But there’s a world in here too, and oh, my lovely boy, you won’t believe what you can find there.