"Mummy, why have I got more food than you?" asked my son last night as we settled down to a meal of fishfingers, carrots and green beans.
"Well because I'm not so hungry and you're a growing boy!" I replied.
"You've got to take care of yourself the same amount as me," he admonished. "Otherwise I won't have a parent looking after me because you'll be very SICK."
It's not the first time he's said this. Another time I had less food than him because I hadn't gone to the shops and there was hardly anything left so self absorbed I'd been.
Nico Teen steals me away from him in times of high stress. I tidy up around him when those moments subside.
For him to be saying these things he must now recognise the rhythms and patterns of which there are many; being handed the possession notice just before Christmas was one of them, the Property Owner saying we couldn't stay here, oh lots of times. Mute Mother.
The first time he wailed: "You've got to take care of yourself otherwise you'll DIE."
I didn't get that last night, but still. This little fella worries about me and that's JUST NOT ON.
Last night though, last night, I said: "Hey, everything's fine, honestly. You know mummy was in the paper?"
"Well the paper has asked me to write a story about us. Mummy just wants to get it right, that's why she's thinking, thinking all the time, so much my stomach's shrunk. Usually I eat more than you but it's not that much less than you is it and YOU ARE GROWING!!"
My son laughed.
"It's something good. Honestly it is."
"OK. What are you going to say about me?"
"I don't know yet, that's why I'm thinking! Maybe something about your school."
And then he changed the subject and I can't remember for the life of me what that was, possibly because I'm trying too hard to remember right now.
He's great like that my son, he doesn't hang on to things like me. Maybe it's a quality he gets from his dad.
The need for an honest answer is something he gets from me.