Supermum was reading Quentin Blake’s Zagazoo to Little Elf.
It’s a picture book about a couple who fall in love, get married and one day a stork delivers a Zagazoo. In brief, the Zagazoo goes through all manner of strange changes relating to growing up until finally, having miraculously turned into a handsome, well-mannered, caring young man, he brings home a girlfriend to introduce to his parents.
But the parents have vanished. In their place are two amiable, large, flappy, brown…pelicans!
Little elf listened attentively. As ever, she identified the couple with people she knew.
“That’s me and dudelet!”
But she was utterly confused by the pelicans.
“I don’t want to be a pelican!”
Supermum tried to explain.
“No, it’s okay – you aren’t going to turn into a pelican – that’s really me and daddy and how we’ll get older.”
Little elf spent some time absorbing this. Then her lip trembled.
“But I don’t want you to turn into a pelican?”
“No, we won’t really turn into pelicans – it’s about how mummy and daddy will get older…and get white hair…and…get like grandad and grandma…”
(Who are, unfortunately, dead. Oops)
“I don’t WANT you to be like grandad and grandma!”
“But everyone gets older…?”
Big tears. Sobs.
“I DON”T WANT YOU TO GET OLDER!”
By this point. supermum is herself in floods. And starts to go off again when she tells me.
Dudelet also read the book when he was younger. His reaction was a little different.
“That’s YOU, daddy – you’re a big old pelican!”
I suppose they deal with these things in different ways.