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Amok Mama: Basically the cleverest boy in the world

Jacinta Nandi's son can use adverbs now and everything!

My son was never much cop at adverbs. His first attempt at an adverb was – as bad luck would have it – “hardly”. He said: “I am working so hardly, Mama.” I looked at him and felt such pity. You poor fucker, I thought. The first time you ever attempt an adverb and you get it totally fucking wrong. I didn’t even correct him. I just couldn’t be bothered.

And then, yesterday, he just woke up and it was like he’d swallowed an adverb thesaurus. We were arguing about him tidying his room.

I said: “You better tidy your room up, or we won’t go swimming.”

He answered: “I don’t want to do it. That is basically how I feel, basically.”

I looked at him and frowned. I was totally puzzled. You know when people confuse you in the middle of an argument and you feel totally puzzled and not angry anymore? That was how I felt. I whispered: “Since when do you know the word basically?”

He shrugged. “I just picked it up, basically,” he answered.

Later, after a ridiculously half-hearted tidying session, which I’m sure the Supernanny would have seriously disapproved of, Rico asked me if I knew why the Germans started World War II.

“No,” I said. “Tell me.” This is a lie, by the way. I know why WWII started. WWI – no idea. Haven’t got the foggiest. People could beat me with sticks and do waterboarding and music torture on me and stuff and I still wouldn’t be able to style out an answer. But WWII. I know that one.

“It was because they thought their land was too small,” he said. “They wanted more space.”

“Oh, right,” I said.

He stared at me then. “Do you think that’s a good reason?” he asked.

“No,” I said. “Not really.”

“I think it’s a rubbish reason,” he said scornfully. “I mean, I know we’re not the biggest country in the world but that’s no reason to make a war. And there are lots of countries smaller than us. What about Luxembourg?”

“Yeah,” I said. “Luxembourg is tiny.”

“Luxembourg,” said Rico, “is so small that it is its own Hauptstadt. And do they go around making wars to get more space? No, they don’t. I wish the Nazis had of said they wanted to be more like Luxembourg. Basically.”

I smiled at him. “Yes,” I said. “I couldn’t agree with you more. Totally.”

“Absolutely,” he answered.

“Completely,” I said.

“Blatantly,” he said.

I grinned. I love the word blatantly. It is basically my favourite adverb in the world.

“Blatantly,” I repeated. And then it was time for him to go to bed.