Barney is nearly four years old and the coolest little dude on the planet. His little sister, Nancy, will be Zachy’s first girlfriend, Barney’s mum and I decided yesterday over lunch at The Herne Tavern. We doubt Zachy will have a problem with this as it means he will also get to hang out with Barney more often, his idol.
As the grown-ups tucked into their roasts, Zachy followed Barney around the kids play area, imitating him as he climbed trees and rode on his scooter. Barney didn’t even really seem to mind his young shadow trying to join in with the big boy games and even allowed him to play with his cars and challenged him to race and play chase. If I was to ask Zachy right at that moment what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would’ve said Barney. If he could pronounce ‘Barney’, that is. What he would probably really say is ‘Gah’.
Meanwhile, Nancy waved her arms and legs excitedly in her highchair, gurgling sweetly as she inadvertedly brushed her tiny little hand up against our waiter’s shorts. He didn’t notice, or pretended not to anyway. Even as we all started howling with laughter, his expression remained deadpan. We tried cracking a few jokes with him… nothing. We all felt a bit embarrassed with ourselves and lowered our heads down in mock shame.
While Pan and Gary (Barney & Nancy’s dad) contemplated whether to join the newly discovered golf course hidden at the top of the road, Vic (Barney & Nancy’s mum) and I hatched a plan to take over the world, or a small corner of East Dulwich at least (the Village side though, natch).
We were all enjoying the splendid weather and having a wonderful day but resisted the temptation to drink rosé in the sunny beer garden all afternoon, as would certainly have been the case in times gone by, and instead took a stroll to Peckham Rye and joined the local masses on the grass.
The boys enjoyed a bit of rough and tumble with the kids while me, Vic and Nancy relaxed in the sun.
At the end of the afternoon, as we were all packing up to leave, Barney asked if Zachy could come and have his tea with him but as Zachy was already rubbing at his eyes and showing signs of an early night, we decided to leave it there this time.
If Zachy does grow up to be like his idol, Barney, I wouldn’t mind one little bit! In fact, I rather hope he does.