Sunday, 28 July 2013

Brad Pitt - my children's stepdad

Brad Pitt - my children's stepdad
28 July 2013

The other day my nine year old, Cole, asked me who his stepdad is.  This despite the fact that Cole's mother and father (that would be Grantie and I) are very much happily married.  And have been in this state of marital bliss for over seventeen years already.  What can I say?  He's a really odd little kid.

And I'm afraid to say that I found it hard to resist the temptation.  In fact I couldn't.  The opportunity was too great.  I looked him straight in the eye, lied point blank, and told him that his stepdad was Brad Pitt.  

Does that make me a bad person?
Cole nodded as if he understood.  Clearly he has no idea who Brad is and he accepted my answer quite easily.  I'm assuming he doesn't really understand and grasp the whole stepdad concept. Especially given the fact that the topic has never come up, his weekends aren't divided between two parental homes and he's never even met his supposed stepdad.  Rather sad, as it implies that I haven't met his "stepdad" either.

I'm assuming he's picked up on something at school.  Perhaps from one of his friends who's going through something similar?

It's amazing how sometimes all kids need, is an answer.  Not an explanation.  It is not needed at all and on occasion is surplus to requirements.  They're quite happy as long as you simply answer their question.  End of story.

We live in the Strand and all of the kids go to school in Somerset West.  And since Luke started at Chatterbox playschool, when he was just three years old (over twelve years ago), we've driven the same road every single morning.  And close to the bend opposite the Hospital and Peter's Painters, there is a stone wall.  A beautiful, magnificently constructed, very old stone wall.  Comprising many individual stones of all shapes and sizes.  It is pretty noticeable on a road where all the other walls are either made of bricks, vibro-crete, palisading, etc.  And from the age of about three, Cole would ask the same question every single morning.  Five mornings a week. "Who made that wall?".  Even worse, he asked the same question on the way back from school too.  And on the way to and from extra-murals.  In fact at every opportunity, he'd ask the dreaded wall question.

And for six solid months I would explain to him that I didn't know.  That it was impossible for me to find out as the wall had been built many, many years ago.  That who built the wall was less important that the fact that the wall had been built.  I would explain about the stones and the process, the length of time it would have taken, the workmanship, the work force, etc.  Each time, this led to a ten minute pointless conversation.  He was super frustrated and would not budge.  He needed to know.  And given his dedication to finding the answer, one can be forgiven for thinking it held real importance to him.  It surely must have.  Still, I felt like I was doing everything in my power.  I might not be able to answer the “who” question, but I certainly tried my best with all the other bits related to the wall.  The bits he never bothered to ask or even seemed vaguely concerned about.

I found it exhausting and it became an often heard refrain in the car.  With Luke and Amber even joining in, chorus style saying, "We don’t know Cole!".

Now I'm not proud of it, but one fine day, I quite simply snapped.  Having heard the same question for the umpteenth time as to "Who built the wall?", I simply answered Cole with the first name that popped into my head.  I barked at him, "Roger built the wall!".

To which Cole replied, "Oh!".  And that was that.

It has given us many giggles over the years.  Had I known all those many mornings ago, that a simple fabricated name would do the trick, I would have invented the fictitious Roger ages ago.

Cole never asked the question again.  He was satisfied.  In fact, after the Roger-fabrication, he would exclaim with delight on most mornings, "Roger built that wall!", every time we drove past it.

Many years later, we still chuckle about Roger's wall.  The name has still stuck.

And perhaps in the same vein, my Brad Pitt story will become a part of the Cloete folklore too?

I can but only the imagine the look of disbelief on the face on someone, if the discussion ever comes up, or the topic is ever raised and Cole pipes up that Brad Pitt is his stepdad.

As if I'd relinquish my kids to him every second weekend.  Brad should be so lucky.....

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1 comment:

  1. Great Article xxx Please may I visit Cole's Stepdad with you xxx