Life with four-year-old boy/girl twins and their older brother has been exhausting for years, a never-ending battle of interrupted sleep, laundry and self-replicating messes. It's only in the last six months that it's started to become enjoyable. Their developing sense of humour is particularly fun, when it's not endless "Knock Knock Mr Potato-head" jokes.
Recently we sat down to a mid-week-exhaustion dinner of crumbed fish fillets and oven chips. “What kind of fish is this?” our eldest asked. “Hoki,” I said, at the same moment that hubby said “Fartfish.” This is what passes for humour around here. The kids laughed and laughed.
Vieve said “Fartfish? Do fish fart?”
Straight-faced, her big brother replied “All fish fart. It’s how they communicate.”*
As Finn and Vieve laughed, I quietly high-fived him.
“Do fishes have bottoms?” Vieve asked.
“Of course they do.”
“No, they don’t! They don’t have a straight line and two funny cheeks!”
“Our bottoms only look like that because that’s where our legs join on. Fish just have a sort of a hole.”
“What does a fish bottom look like?” At this point I had to tell Finn to sit down, as he was enthusiastically trying to demonstrate what our bottoms look like.
Hubby whipped out his phone and started a verbal Google search. “Find me pictures of a fish anus.”
“NO!” I shouted.
“Wha- oh. No, we probably don’t want to do that.” He thought for a moment. “Find me pictures of a fish’s bottom.” He was rewarded with pictures of the back of Wedgwood and Spode plates. He sighed and tried again. “Find me pictures of the bottom of a fish.” At least it was fishes this time, not dishes, but it wasn’t really what we were after.
I snaffled the phone off him and typed in “fish cloaca”. That got us what we needed to know. The kids duly admired and discussed the picture of a fish’s cloaca.
“Do fish pee?” Vieve asked. And this is why I will never take my family out to eat in public.
*So it turns out some fish actually do communicate by farting. I thought he was mimicking his father's trollish sense of humour, but no.