From mouths of babes only embarrassment

Marisa Mackle

GARY and I went to see a house the other day. I'm half thinking of moving at the moment and as my three-year-old son is quite opinionated, I knew he'd be helpful with his honest views. The estate agent was late.

"He's late," I said aloud, looking at my watch as we sat in the car. Eventually he arrived, apologising for the traffic.

"You're late," Gary told him sternly. Oops! We had a look around. The house wasn't in the best condition.

"The bathroom needs a lot of work," I said out loud. Gary was a little more blunt.

"It's dirty," he said. "Yuck."

"Don't you like this house, Gary?"

"No," he said quite definitely, as the estate agent grinned though gritted teeth.

Gary's opinions could never be described as music to other people's ears. In a shop the other day I asked the shop assistant whether the skirt I was trying on made me look fat.

"Of course not," she said, obviously dreaming of her commission.

"It does," Gary shouted in delight. "It does make you look fat."

On one hand, I'm delighted that my son's vocabulary is coming on so well. On the other, I am dreading three months of holiday chat that looms ahead once Gary's playschool finishes for the year. I honestly do not know what I am going to do with him. We can't afford a fancy holiday because most travel deals seem to be based on two adults and two children, and the hotel kiddie clubs don't supervise children under four years of age.

However, my little boy is absolutely mad about planes and trains and was so excited to hear how I used to work on planes. And so, because of this, I have decided to treat him to a flight very soon.

I've booked for us to fly to Liverpool next month. Liverpool from Dublin is a very short flight so there is a limit to what can go wrong or what Gary will say to other passengers.


"Hello big woman," is what he said yesterday to a lady in the supermarket as I stared straight ahead and pretended we were not related.

Anyway, I've booked the flights and the car hire and we'll take it from there. It will be like a little road trip. Think Thelma and Louise without Thelma. Or indeed, Louise.

Still, I am looking forward to it. I'm hoping to take in a few stately homes and then maybe we'll go to Thomas Land to meet Thomas the Tank Engine. A mixture of culture and fun, and something a bit different.

You see, the best thing about a road trip is that we'll visit quite a few places but never stay anywhere long enough to make enemies. I honestly couldn't imagine a week sitting by the pool with the same people every day. I know Gary wouldn't be able to refrain from having a few words with the Germans about their towel hogging.

And God only knows what comments he would make about "big", "red" Irish people in their swimsuits. Best to keep on moving, I say. That way there isn't time for insults from Gary. And subsequent mortified apologies from me.