Josie is well and truly into the “4 years old and THINKING DEEPLY and sometimes WORRYING” phase now. She’s a smart enough little cookie and exposed to far more than her sisters were at her age; she isn’t phased by Doctor Who (which would have terrified Fran even as a 7 year old) and can sit through a film like Spiderwick or Nim’s Island without a problem and will enjoy it and have things to say about it. It never really crosses my mind to censor stuff, or talk any more gently about things if she is around. I know she listens, i know she watches and she will sometimes ask, or comment – often she just lets it wash over her. She’s a composed little soul as a rule and mostly off doing her own thing, so we often don’t notice anyway if something has caused her to take more note than normal.
At about her age, maybe slightly older, Fran got particularly interested in the fact that Max didn’t have a mum and wanted to understand death, the impact it had had on him and what had happened. But it never really seemed to occur to her to worry that this might happen to her; she was compassionate about the affect it had had on him as a boy and even understood that it might affect him now, but she didn’t extrapolate it further. As a rule, unlike me, Fran isn’t a worrier and also unlike me, she doesn’t try to second guess how she will feel or what something will be like. Even faced with another operation, she’s fairly unflappable really – it will come, it will pass. Now me, i take it all right on board, i worry, i fret, i live it through in advance 6 dozen times and try to second guess every outcome.
Today, driving home with just Josie in the car, her quavery little voice piped up.
“Mummy, i don’t think i am going to learn to drive.”
“Oh, why not?”
“Because if i drive i will be a grown up and a big lady and i don’t want to be. I think i will not drive and you should always take me places and i will just stay little.”
“Hm. I think when you are bigger you will like the idea of being able to drive and go places on your own.”
“No, i don’t think so but maybe if you just buy me a car and buy me a house then i can still be little and i won’t have to get married.”
*Starting to find this slightly odd* “Why don’t you want to get married or be big then?”
“Because i really don’t think i want to have babies and if i get big and get married i will have to and i’m frightened.”
*Now really quite worried* “Why Josie? Having babies of your own is lovely, you don’t have to be frightened.”
“I am frightened because i have seen the lady with the black hair have a baby and it looks very hurty and i don’t want to do that or be on my own….”
*mentally curses Hollywood style birth in opening moments of Prince Caspian* “Oh Josie, it isn’t really like that. It is hurty but at the end you have a lovely baby all of your own. It isn’t hurty like on the film, i promise (gulp)”
“If i do grow up and get big and have a baby, will you come with me so i don’t have to do the hurty bit on my own?”
And my heart… broke.