I FaceTime the (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys to wish them a happy holiday. Unusually, they are keen to keep talking to me for simply ages. In fact, every time I say cheerio and cut the link, then FaceTime starts calling
me again, with its insistent buzz (on both my phone and IPad at one and the same time) which simply can’t be ignored.
“What on earth is going
on?” Mr B enquires. Though not in those exact words. He is trying to watch the Test Match between England and India which is reaching an interesting stage. He doesn’t want his concentration shattered by my FaceTime conversations. Honestly anyone
would think he was out there in the field trying to stop a boundary.
I can’t talk to the Eldest of the Welsh Boys who is being collected from Scout Camp
by his father when I call. It would have been interesting to see if his presence would have made any difference to the ensuing performance. I keep hoping he may return in time for me to grab a few words, if only to tell him that I will be thinking of him all
day on his birthday next week and hoping he will be having the very Best Of Times.
Anyway, back to my FaceTime call. It starts promisingly enough when Young James
and Even Younger Morgan show me the wands which were their souvenirs from a recent visit to Harry Potter World. Morgan had chosen the Harry Potter wand, James the Death Eater, and Sam the George Worsley wand. Asked to guess who chose which wand, I only managed
one out of three - successfully identifying Sam with the Worsley Wand. The boys’ mother, the Darling Daughter in Law, tells me that Sam took ages over his choice, insisting on handling every single wand for sale and checking it for weight, feel and (presumably,
though I made this bit up) General Swishability. He explained his selection process by quoting from the book (like the avid reader he is): “it is the wand that chooses its wizard.”
James demonstrates that his once-broken arm, now out of plaster, is functioning well and I get a chance to look at their latest Lego model which looks amazing but isn’t quite finished, owing to a few missing pieces.
It’s much like any number of other similar conversations I have enjoyed with my boys thanks to FaceTime. Except that, after chatting for a while, it dawns on me that neither boy is answering my Nanna-like questions (e.g. are you enjoying being out of
school? Have you been swimming? What are you having for dinner? You know the kind of thing..) They are, however, in fits of laughter so clearly I am keeping them amused. Which is, of course, one of every grandmother’s Purposes In Life.
Then comes the explanation: “We’ve put you on mute, Nanna!” says James, “So we can’t hear a word you’re saying!” Morgan grins in appreciative
agreement. They continue to giggle uncontrollably until we get cut off due to a poor Internet connection. A couple of minutes later, they are calling me again. “We really like talking to you, Nanna!” says James, between giggles. Morgan nods his
Which is when I tumble to the fact that what they have been enjoying so much is not my scintillating conversation, my kind words enquiring,
solicitously, after their health and well-being, or even the occasional joke I manage to make - their clear and present enjoyment is coming from watching me silently mouthing words at them, looking (I suspect) like a gormless goldfish. Who knew the mute button
could provide so much fun?
When we finally say goodbye for the last time, I explain to Mr B what was going on. He looks wistful, I think. I can almost see the
thought whirring inside his head:
If only, he is musing, he too could put me on mute occasionally...