The Confusion of Mummies and Daddies
Copyright David Pringle 2013
Published at Smashwords
Ben knocked on the door of number 12 Bridge Street. After a few moments it swung open and a familiar woman smiled down at him.
Ben!" the woman said.
"Hello Miss Young" Ben replied "Is it okay for me and Hatty to go and play?" He asked.
"As long as you don't go far" Miss Young warned and Ben nodded his head. Smiling, Miss Young turned her head to the inside of the house "Heather! Ben's here for you!" she called out.
A few moments later a young girl came down the stairs. Like Ben, she was just over nine years old. She smiled as she walked to the front door.
Ben!" she said "Come on let's go!" Hatty grabbed Ben’s
arm as she started pulling him through the house and out into the
"Stay where I can see you!" Miss Young shouted after them as they clambered over the short fence separating the garden from the fields beyond it.
and Ben ran around in the fields, trying to find each other in the
tall corn that was soon to be harvested, laughing and shouting.
Hatty’s mother, Miss Young, looked out her window every so often,
easily able to see the children. Eventually they were tired out and
lay down in the field, flattening the corn and staring up at the
almost clear sky, one or two wavy clouds breaking up the otherwise
They lay with their heads next to each other, though upside down from each other as the giggles from the fun of their game slowly died down.
Ben" said Hatty, breaking the silence "Remind me what your
daddy said yesterday..." Ben looked confused.
"About what?" he asked, trying to remember what he had said.
"About mummies and daddies" Hatty said.
"Oh" Ben remembered now, mostly "He said something about mummies and daddies kissing because they love each other" He told her. Hatty hmmm'd. "What?" Ben asked.
"I don't think he's right" She said. Ben sat up, confused again.
"What? Why?" he asked. Hatty sat up too and turned to him.
"Well because mummies love daddies, don't they" she said. Ben nodded and Hatty continued "But I saw my mummy kissing Peter, her new friend, this morning when he came over but Peter isn't a daddy" Hatty tried to make sense of it, folding her arms across her chest.
"Don't worry" Ben said "My daddy said that people don't have to be a mummy and daddy to love each other, so maybe it's like that" Ben nodded as he finished. Hatty scrunched up her face as she thought.
"So mummies and daddies can kiss their friends too? They can love other people as well?" She asked. Ben nodded.
"Yeah, I think that's what he meant" He said smiling. Hatty smiled too, then frowned and shook her head.
"No no, that can't be right. My mummy and daddy don't love each other because Daddy was kissing his friend. So if it makes mummies and daddies upset when they kiss their friends then you can't kiss your friends..." Hatty scrunched her face up in thought once again. She and Ben sat for a while, thinking about how to make this confusion of mummies and daddies into sense.
"It must be okay for a mummy to kiss her friends when she doesn't love a daddy?" Ben said. Hatty looked at him, waiting for him to explain. "So it's okay for your mummy to kiss Peter, but it wasn't okay for your daddy and that's why your mummy doesn't love him anymore"
Hatty looked up at the sky for a moment then nodded, convinced.
"You're clever Ben" she said and Ben smiled. Suddenly Hatty stood up "Ben, we're friends, right?” She said. Ben nodded