Rude word lucky dip

It's official. Our eldest (Lyall, 7) is obsessed with rude words. Not swear words, mind, just irritating body-parts and toilet function words that seem to be cropping up all the time. Incidentally, Richard, our little one, attempted an actual swear word at breakfast last Wednesday...

"Bollops to it"

"I beg your pardon Richard?"

"Bollops!"

"What did you say?"

"BOLLOPS?"

I smiled. "It's bollocks and that is not a word I want to pass your lips again until you're at least eighteen."

Needless-to-say a quick spell on the naughty step sorted that out nicely.

Anyway back to Lyall and his rude words. Yesterday, when picking him up from school he appeared from his classroom proudly sporting what can only be described as a large cone made out of scraps of recycled paper, covered in scribbles and splats of paint, and full of little paper cuttings. Marvellous, I thought, sarcastically; that's going to look fabulous on the mantlepiece next to last week's paper plate elephant. I smirked to myself. "What are you smiling about, Daddy?" Lyall asked. "Nothing, babe." I replied.

In a bit of a rush to get around to Richard's classroom on the other side of the school, I didn't bother to probe Lyall about his creation and he just happily skipped along beside me, occasionally peering into his paper cone and sniggering.

We collected Richard and made our way into the hall to have a browse of the school book club (essentially a full priced, under-stocked version of ASDA's book section). I stood on the peripheral of the book club and chatted to a lovely mum, Michelle, while the boys dashed about and hid behind the book shelves.

After a couple of minutes, Lyall re-appeared with his paper cone. Michelle asked him "What's that, Lyall?". "It's a rude word lucky dip", he replied, looking very proud of himself. "Have a dip" Lyall said, to which Michelle dug in and picked a paper cutting. Lyall slowly opened the piece of paper. "FAT COW!" Lyall shouted at Michelle "You're a FAT COW" before dashing off, laughing and nodding his head like a crazed loon. The hall went very quiet. I tutted, feeling a little mortified, said goodbye to rather harrassed looking Michelle and jogged off to catch up with the boys. I'm going to have to sneak that one into the recycling bin, I thought. ■

Illustration - "Bradgate Park" by Richard, 6