The morning after the night before (at Climber's friend Ari's house for a superb dinner which culminated in Cherub walking out the delighted new owner of Ari's old outgrown Harry Potter broomstick), we awake to find Climber in our room, clutching an envelope. Following very closely behind him is Cherub. Mummy, says Climber, what is Ari's address? I tell him the street name but can only narrow the house number down to 92 or 94. Climber writes busily for a moment then the two of them disappear out to the kitchen. It seems slightly odd, but they do not explain themselves and after all, Climber is a one for writing letters. Maybe he is sending a thank you note for the broomstick? I roll over, preparing to go back to sleep. Fixit, meanwhile, hauls himself up to organise breakfast for the boys (this happened in the holidays when Fixit was also having time off.) Something about the envelope has caught Fixit's interest. He takes a peek and sees it is not quite flat, as if it holds something more than a letter. So he asks Climber about it. Climber is at first reluctant to tell, but with a little gentle questioning, it all comes out. Climber has discovered that Cherub, who had been playing with Ari's very cool Lego by himself that evening while the big boys played on the computer, had pocketed a few choice pieces. (It was, Cherub says later, just that those pieces were so cool and he thought he wouldn't be able to get them any other way. He is a very focussed child.) And like the awesome big brother he is, Climber decided to sort out his brother's misdemeanour for himself. First he lets Cherub know that stealing is not okay. Then he writes Ari a formal letter and prepares to post it off, without any parental involvement. This is why Cherub is following his brother round like a chastened puppy. When all is revealed to us, we of course have a big Stern Chat to Cherub, expressing our disappointment. Fixit says you mustn't steal from your friends, and I quickly jump in with you mustn't steal from anybody darling. Cherub is abjectly contrite and has a big shamed cry in my arms.
Later that day I receive a text message from my lovely friend, Ari's mum.
Oh my god that letter is so cute. I love the way it is written like a legal letter. This letter is going in the special things box. Ari wanted Cherub to know that he appreciated the letter and tell him not to worry. These were his words.I texted back telling her that I didn't actually get to see the letter so she sent me back the exact phrasing.
to ari on fri 28th i found out that cherub stoll 6 of your lego pieces and we send them back with our sorries.
I am left thinking that this whole incident has been rather good for the Cherub, and feeling very impressed with Climber.