The boy does not need encouraging. His two favourite things in the world, apparently, are fighting and eating. His third favourite is sneaking downstairs late at night and nicking food from the fridge.
He is already determined that his future will involve high levels of violence (he thinks he would like to join the army) – and whilst i won’t exactly encourage that, he certainly bears himself in ways that seem better fitted to that station than many of his (tender) age who express similar ambition.
He is appallingly adept at chatting to girls and now, a further worrying development: grown women who previously described him as “cute” are upgrading their view to “handsome” or even “attractive”. I think, in years to come, if he ever introduces us to an older divorcée called Robinson…we shall be doing our utmost to separate them.
No. He does not need encouraging. Which is why his burgeoning friendship with local wayward youth (aka assistant baker, Edward) could prove incendiary – quite literally so. Said youth (OK…he’s well past teen years, but still has something of the teen about him) will quite happily dish out wooden swords and – current pride of acquisition – a gas mask, thereby both fascinating and engaging the boy.
Yesterday, however, was possibly a faux pas, as conversation inexplicably turned to matters military and Edward started to describe the making of a petrol bomb: “You take a milk bottle and you fill it with…”
He never finished, as assembled adults shushed him before he could complete his sentence. We know that the boy, armed with such knowledge, will not be content until he has experimented. This would not be a good idea on so many levels.
There followed an afternoon of nagging. “Fill the bottle with what?” Boy instantly cottoned on to the fact that he had just been denied some interesting and almost certainly explosive information and wasn’t going to let it go.
In the end, matters were resolved when Edward took him back to the bakery, filled a bottle with ginger beer and hundreds and thousands, and explained that this was a “diabetic bomb”. Probably not too politically correct. But decidedly safer than allowing the boy to continue mulling over the original question.
Now, please: nobody mention Comrade Molotov. Or we cannot be responsible for the consequences….