Sometimes you overhear a conversation you shouldn’t, but what about a conversation you wish you hadn’t had?
I recently had my seven year old nephew to stay for a few days of the school holidays. Unfortunately his parents split earlier on this year and it was the first time he was experiencing the juggle of being a child of split parents being passed around for the holidays. I tried my best to keep his mind off this and the majority of the time he seemed happy with that, but then sometimes a kid just needs to talk.
“My dad’s got a new girlfriend!” he said, his little face watching me to see my reaction.
“Has he now, do you like her?”
“Emm… yeah, she’s alright. She’s got a baby, you know.”
“That’s great. At least you know she likes kids, and it’s someone for you to play with when the baby is older.”
He sighs wearily, clearly that’s not what he wanted me to say. Poor little man. I wonder what’s going on in his head. Suddenly he decides to blurt it out.
“Well it’s not that. She feeds the baby from her boobs, and she wears low cut tops so I see her boobs all the time.”
This shocked me, not the direction I thought the conversation was going in. What do I say?
One half of my brain completely fails me, it wants to laugh. The other is staring at the serious look on his face and desperately seeking the words to comfort him (while subconsciously wondering what tops I have been wearing all week).
“I told my dad.”
“Did you? What did he say?”
“Not to mention it to anyone”…pause… “So don’t tell him I’ve told you”.
“Okay I won’t”.
Pleased that I’ve agreed to keep his secret, he moves onto some unknown topic of Chimera Lego monsters or something I am unfamiliar with.
I haven’t met the girl in question yet. I’m still unsure if I’ll keep a straight face when I do but I will try. As although sometimes you hear something you wish you hadn’t, I’ve learned the need to let someone get something off their chest (no pun intended) can be just as important.