Tag Archives: the fyo
‘Can you see the cow in the sky, up above the clouds?‘ the FYO said as we drove up the road. ‘The cow in the sky gives you directions. If it moos, then you turn left.‘ ‘And what if it doesn’t moo?’ I asked. ‘Then you don’t turn left.‘ Though there was a smigin of logic in this, I could see that if I obeyed the cow in the sky I would be condemned to drive anti-clockwise for ever. ‘Doesn’t the cow give any other instructions?’ I asked. ‘Yes. If it wags its tail then you go backwards. If it nods its head you go straight on.‘ I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I sat there working out the various permutations of this, like what if it wagged its tail and mooed, or mooed while nodding its head. I also knew that I had come across logic like this before. It was just like the instructions that came with the MFI flat-packs.
Just as you sit down in a cafe to eat, the four-year-old wants to pay a visit. ‘You’ve just been,’ I said. ‘Okay, come on.’ So off we went to the toilets. ‘I’ll go in on my own,’ he said. Again, no problem. He’s old enough. ‘That’s alright. I’ll wait outside. Just don’t lock the door.’ I waited. And waited. ‘What are you doing in there? Are you okay?’ No response. I opened the door.
I’m sure you know how it is. If you tug on a toilet roll, it unwinds. A point is reached where the weight of the paper hanging down is sufficient to cause the roll to keep rolling, a kind of lavatorial perpetual motion machine. The FYO was making bold but futile attempts to roll the paper back onto a roller tucked up inside a plastic security cover. He was looking at me hopefully because papas, as everyone knows, can put such things right. I looked at the pile on the floor. There must have been several metres of paper. ‘Come on,’ I said. ‘Better leave it…’
More from the FYO :
‘We’ve got one of those,’ he said, pointing, in a shop. ‘It makes things hot and cold.’
‘It’s called a fan heater.’
‘Yes, and it makes things hot and cold.’
‘I know it makes things hot,’ I said. ‘But how does it make things cold?’
‘It does when you turn it off.’
The TYO (strictly no longer a three-year-old since his birthday but a FYO) asked me a question. ‘Papa, how do they make chocolate?’ (for Papa, see here and here). ‘They get beans called cocoa beans that grow in hot countries. They do things to them and make them into powder called cocoa. Then they mix the cocoa with milk and sugar and other things and make chocolate. Cocoa is brown, that’s why chocolate is brown… and chocolate cake, because they use cocoa to make it.’ ‘And bricks.‘ ‘No, they don’t make bricks with cocoa.’ ‘But they are brown.‘ ‘Trees are brown. Are trees made from cocoa?’ ‘Papa! that’s silly! Of course they’re not!‘
FYO exit stage left, laughing…