The pigeon

I started my job this week. I am a babysitter, I babysit two children under the age of 4. I pick the boy (M) up from his school we go to the park for thirty minutes, we then go to the crèche and pick his little sister (Mg) up. Sounds easy.

It is an hour and a half of, well, not easy. A three and a half year old has a lot of logic inside their heads. Trying to reason around this logic is really hard. Anyone who has never had a conversation with a three and half year old will no doubt scoff at me, but I am serious.

I speak English and a bit of French with the kids, they speak French and sometimes he parrots what I say. The little one repeats ‘Non.’ over and over.

M and I are walking to his sisters crèche. Somebody has left a dead pigeon on a doorstep. Naturally, M wants to stop and examine it. I let him, making sure he doesn’t touch it. He is very sad that the pigeon is dead. He makes up a little story of how the pigeon landed hard onto the step, bounced twice and died. He wonders is he really dead because his eyes are open. I explain that yes he is. He tells me we have to take the pigeon to the hospital. First off, awesome kid wanting to help the bird. Secondly, how am I going to distract the kid from the dead bird and go pick up his sister?

I can’t even remember what I said to him to get him moving, but we got away from the bird. Then M sits down on a bench and tells me his is not moving until we bring the bird to the hospital. What am I supposed to do here?

I tell him in French, that the pigeon was very old when he died. I tell him, we cannot move him. He asks why, and my brain is turning so fast to try and get a plausible excuse.

‘His children..and his grandchildren won’t be able to find him,’ I explain in French, trying to search for the word that is funeral, I fail, so I add ‘For the big party they will have for him. See, so we can’t move him, because how will they find him?’

After a few minutes, he nods his head and agrees with me. My brain celebrated, if that story hadn’t worked I would have had to figure out where the blasted hospital was!

The next day, yesterday, I went with my boyfriend back to the pigeon and he put the pigeon in the bin, because there was no way I’d get away with that story if the blasted pigeon was still there on Monday!

Now, hopefully M will believe that the family of the pigeon came and gave him a lovely send off. Or else he has completely forgotten about the whole thing.


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