It started well, I managed not to put petrol in our diesel car. Easy you’d have thought, except a month after having my second child I managed to do it twice, in a fortnight. Yes, really.
After paying for my fuel I got back in the car. The 9 year old who, for possibly the first time ever, had managed not to argue with her brother when left alone, looked at me and said “Mum? What’s a rappist?” while pointing at a regional news board, on the forecourt, with the headline ‘Rapist freed to rape again’.
She’s 9, a fairly naive nine. I haven’t yet had THE talk about consensual let alone non-consensual sex. Unleashing the truth on her without other discussions in place could traumatise her for life. Added to this on the back seat were the 7 year old, and his friend, who were luckily deep in discussion about Minecraft, Lego and dog snot.
So here is how the conversation continued. I decided to run, metaphorically speaking, like a rabbit in the headlights clutching an unexploded bomb, with the fact that she’d pronounced it ‘rappist’.
Me : So, you know there are different types of music, called music genres. Well one of those is called ‘rap’. Dr Dre, Enimem, Snoop Dog, Tiger, Lion or whatever he’s calling himself these days – they’re all rappers. Yeah? Sometimes rappers have lyrics which aren’t suitable for children and ….
At this point I realised that the hole I was digging was vast and filled with treacle.
Me : … maybe one of them said something really rude, maybe he swore, and was banned from rapping. Then maybe he said sorry and is now allowed to rap again? Rappist free to rap again?
She looked at me and nodded, my poor trusting child who believes everything her mother tells her. Feeling equal measures of guilt and triumph I joined in the conversation on the backseat about Minecraft, Lego and dog snot.