We bimble gently along in the car on our way home to a chorus of ‘I’m gonna tell it to your face,’ the current mantra, quite brain numbing.
My son calls from the back seat,
“What’s it mean?”
“You tell me, you’ve been singing it for seven minutes now.”
“No, the other?”
“The other what dear?”
“Do you mean who is Robert Firmly? I don’t think I know anyone by that name. How did you meet him? School?”
I notice a great deal of friction coming from behind me as the car vibrates, and commuter traffic fills every inch of the road in all directions.
“No. I mean what does it mean, Robber Firmly?”
“Robber? Someone’s a thief?”
I ignore the shudders in the car and keep my eye on the police car as it cruises down the hard shoulder with the lights flashing and siren blaring.
“Where did you see this…er…Robber Firmly?” I ask as another wave of shudders rock the car and an ambulance takes the same route as the police car before it.
“I don’t know,” he says.
“O.k. – try me again.” A fire truck comes bowling along to make up the threesome as the doors seem to judder and I notice the rear view mirror quivers.
“It’s no good. I haven’t got a clue. Try again.”
After a hefty sigh because his patience is wearing thin, as well it might, he gives it one more shot, “Rubbit Firmly,” he articulates with great clarity and just enough volume. I check back over my shoulder, just a quick peek to see him holding a Bakugan ball- a toy – in one hand while the other whizzes back and forth in a blur.
“What are you doing to that ball?”
“I’m rubbin it so the secret code will be revealed.”
“Ah! So you’re rubbing it firmly. Of course.”
“I know rubbin but I don’t know firmly.”
“Well that’s easily explained,” I sigh with relief, “firm is like hard.”
I wonder how it is that he can know ‘reveal,’ whilst ‘firmly,’ remains a mystery, because splinter skills are fascinating? The traffic begins to disperse, we pick up speed, commuters funnel on through and we glide off at the next exit.
He leans forward and grabs my chair, either side, “I’m gonna tell it to your face” he says, to the back of my head, “Good job Mom – you got there in the end.”