Prole2 and I are standing in the rain.
Prole2 is playing the ‘I can step on your feet’ game.
The rules are not subtle and we had been doing it for a while.
I am watching all the children filing out of school.
The steady stream of children and parents started to peter out.
Then the after school clubs started to pass by, rugby and football, already changed and carrying flags and string bags stuffed with balls.

Eventually the flow of people dried up completely.

The teachers began putting locks on all the playground gates.

A passing teacher smiled and nodded as if to suggest standing in the rain was the great tragedy of parenthood.
The rain gave a little flurry as if to try to nudge us.
Prole2 got both his feet onto mine and tried to jump up and down which is the end game and final set of the ‘I can stamp on your feet’ game.

Me: What did you do at school today?

Prole2: Nuffin, nuffin, nuffin, nuffin, nuffin.

Each ’nuffin’ is accompanied buy a jump on my feet.

I shuffle him over and out of the wind. It is tricky to walk with a small boy standing on your feet but fortunately it’s a talent you are just blessed with by sheer dint of being a Dad.

Finally Prole1 heaves his huge bag into view.

He seems in no hurry.

Me: Hello.

Prole1: Hello. How are you today?

Me: I am, um, wet but good. Why are you late?

Prole1: Well, to explain that I will have to tell you what I have been doing this after noon.

Me: Ok…

Prole1: Did you see the double rainbow? The one that started over there and came down there and was so beautiful?

Me: I saw a rainbow today but not a double one.

Prole1: It was lovely.

Me: Is that why you were late?

Prole1: No of course not.

Me: Ok. Um…why were you late?

Prole1: Do you remember I did Art Progression last year?

Me: I…Art Progression…um…No.

Prole: I drew a picture of my cousin?

Me: I..your cousin…have I seen it?

Prole1: Yes, the purple one?

Me: Oh, was that your cousin?

Prole1: Yes. It was terrible.

Me: Yes. I mean yes I have seen it. I didn’t know…I did not know it was your cousin.

Prole1: Well it was supposed to be. Today I spent all afternoon drawing a rugby ball.

Me: Right…I imagine that was easier than drawing your cousin?

Prole1: It took a lot of shading.

Me: Yes, I imagine it did.

Prole1: I drew the outline, then I put in the groovy lines and started shading…

Me: Groovy Lines.

Prole1: Lines. Grooves. On the ball.

Me: The seams? Where it’s stitched together?

Prole1: Yes and then I…

There follows a long description of the Artistic process. I know enough from work to encourage this without necessarily engaging with it. The mind of an Artist can be a murky place.

Prole1:….and finally after I had done the green it was finished.

Me: Right. Good. Excellent. And everyone in the class was shading rugby balls?

Proel1: I don’t know what everybody else did this afternoon I was thinking too much. I just looked up at the end of the day and I was the only one still doing it.

Me: Shading your rugby ball? Is that why you were late?

Prole1: NOooo….I did such good shading I got a golden ticket, well for that and knowing glass is made of silica. The teacher could not find the tickets so I showed them where they are kept. There were no more gold ones so they gave me a purple one.

Me: Of course, and that is why you are late?

Prole1: No, I had to take it to the office and then I came back and it was the end of school.

Me: Right…?

Prole1: Then we packed up and I got my coat and bag.

Me: Ok..and you were late…why were you late?

Prole1: Well I had to go and say thank you to all the teachers and two of them were not there so I had to go all around the school to find them and say thank you to them for teaching me today.

Me: Do you say thank you every day?

Prole1: Oh yes.

Me: Right.

Prole1: They were in the staff room putting on their coats by the time I found them.

Me: I bet they were….