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The other day, someone asked me two questions about my youngest son that got me thinking. The first was “Why do you call him a unicorn?” and the second was “What’s it like, living with him?”

For those who are wondering what life is like with a majestic, unique being such as him…here’s a snippet of our lives between 6:30am and 8:30am this morning.

The children wake at 6:30: Miss P busies herself getting ready for school. Master O and the Unicorn arrive in the living room to watch TV until breakfast. The unicorn comes accompanied by no less than 7 Winnie-the-Pooh’s, one of which is almost as big as him. He sits there, surrounded.

Breakfast: Everyone has cereal or fruit. The unicorn has grapes, a bowl of dry cereal, a pain au chocolate and a glass of juice. He must always have four things. He must always have the orange plate and his Winnie-the-Pooh baby weaning bowl. He must have his Darth Vader cup. He sings while he eats, irritates his brother and climbs on and off the table with such alarming regularity you’d think we’d insisted on it being part of his morning routine. We have not.

After breakfast: Everyone goes upstairs for washing, dressing and teeth brushing. Everyone, that is, except the unicorn. He’s now made up his own little song “Tee too mah way ooo nee noo” and is standing in the kitchen, dancing. He has to be led to the stairs, with me pushing from the bottom, and hub calling from the top. He ascends. One step at a time. Pausing to dance and sing each time.

Washing: He must have orange shower gel. It must have beads in it. He must have at least one bead in his handful of soap. Once dried, parents must act quickly otherwise he returns to the water and floods the bathroom. He must be scooped and carried (still singing) into the bedroom where he may or may not get dressed. Most likely, he will roll around naked on the floor until we manage to wrestle limbs into clothing.

Playtime: Once everything is done, he is allowed to play. Today, he feels it necessary to pack his toys ready for our trip to Italy. In August next year. He has packed; his ceramic penguin; his watch; his Hello Kitty tea set; his toy dog and vet kit; three light up Christmas penguins; his tiara; his scroll that declares him a princess (just in case they need to check); his toy motorbike; a shopping basket full of CD’s; his lion torch, and various other ‘useful’ items. He is very pleased with himself. He’s still singing. It’s time to go to school.

School time: The unicorn must be chased, caught and then sat upon in order to have his hair brushed. He will currently only answer to the name ‘Piñata Unicorn’ for reasons known only to himself. He puts his shoes on the wrong feet. I point that out and he tells me he likes it that way. He’s still singing. We open the door. Miss P departs, Master O stands waiting, with his bag ready. The singing has moved to the toilet. We wait. We call out. He emerges, trousers and underwear around his ankles. Still singing. I pull his clothes up and zip his coat. Firmly guide him out of the house. He needs the toilet. He didn’t go when he was in there, he was singing about the piñatas and he forgot to go. Finally, he goes and we leave for school. He sings the entire way.

I call him my unicorn because everything about him is unique, not just his dress sense. I call him my unicorn because before he arrived, I thought the ‘kids are hard work’ thing was a myth. I call him my unicorn because there will never be another like him. I call him my unicorn because he bounces, smiles, sings, loves and laughs his way through life, and I call him my unicorn because he sparkles.

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