Little legs push the pink bike up the garden path, there’s merriment twinkling in those young eyes. But then the pedalling stops. Hands dart through pockets, frantically searching. Big eyes scour the grass, eyelashes blink and there are the first hints of tears welling up. ‘Where’s my lip-gloss?’ the plaintive cry echoes around the garden.
My son has lost his lip-gloss. He is sat on a pink bike crying about it. I am OK with this. I am OK with this.
This is all my fault.
We are visiting friends for the afternoon, friends who have kids that have grown up with ours via a shared nursery. We head to the local park to let them have a bit of fun. It’s here that I spy the lip-gloss on the floor. I wouldn’t ordinarily give something like this to my son (for fairly obvious reasons), but it comes with a ‘Moshi Monster’ tag attached to it, which I know he loves, so I do. It looks like this:
He’s pleased as punch with it, and even more so when we find a second one, which he actually prefers, so he gives the first one to his sister. This leads to cries of ‘But I don’t have one!’ from his friend Alex. Alex’s sister is also with us, but she could care less about the lip-gloss. Not the boys though. In a park filled with rides and swings, they seem more interested in the tube of bright pink lip decoration than anything else.
We head back to our friend’s house and continue to play in the garden. Alex has a bike, but he’s a big lad, and so it’s far too large for my son to ride. Alex’s sister’s bike however, is just right for my son. In size if not in colour, anyway.
We while away the next hour or so in a delightful mix of the kids leaving the garden on their various two-wheeled modes of transport, and me chasing them back in the garden. It’s stressful, but fun. Until my son realises that he’s lost his lip-gloss.
We go hunting for it in the garden, no result. We head back out towards the park, eyes glued to the ground, me leading a search party of four kids, but no luck there either. We look in the house, in the toilet, even places where we haven’t been. It’s gone.
I look at my my little boy, sat on his pink bike, his eyes filled with tears, and I utter a sentence I never thought I would, to my nearly-six-year-old son: ‘It’s OK’ I say to him, ‘We’ll find your lip-gloss’*.