At the moment, Jet is fascinated by postcodes. If anyone looks like leaving the house – the mere mention of the word ‘shoes’ or a glance towards the door and he demands to know which postcode they will be going to. When told, he will nod sagely. “Ah, N13. Palmers Green. Yes.” The database mind starts flicking, almost audibly. “Nana and Grandad live there.”
“Are we in EN2 yet?”
As we go from place to place, he asks approximately every 30 yards whether we have entered a new postcode, or whether we are still in the same one we began our journey in. As a result, I have become unprecedentedly aware of the postcode boundaries in our local area.
“I’ve never been to N22 before!”
He has also learnt the names of most of the roads in our locality, particularly on our well trodden paths. It is pretty astonishing. Chris has lived round here for the best part of 20 years, and I’ve spent my whole life in these parts. Jet is putting us both to shame. Whenever we venture slightly further afield, he is genuinely delighted to add another postcode to his mental list. (mental, arguably, in more than one sense of the word)
“I’m not really interested in that. I’m into postcodes.”
Whilst lovingly encouraging this frankly rather dull interest, I am trying to make him appreciate that not everyone he meets will be willing to enter into a 20 minute conversation about all the postcodes they have ever been to, which they live in, which they have travelled through that day… In fact, I doubt most people he encounters will have given it much thought. Friendship is about give and take – I would like him to learn that if we want our friends to indulge us in endless discussion about our interests, we must hear them out when they wish to expound on their own random preoccupations. Like most of his age, he is struggling with this at the moment.
Still, I can’t help but think these skills and interests would come in handy for certain career paths in the future…
Education: Leapfrog Nursery, local area geek (self-taught)
Specialist skills: Encyclopaedic knowledge of postcodes and road names in the North London area, love of maps, single-minded determination to bore on to everyone about these subjects
Seeks role as: Geography teacher, postman, cab driver, town planner, estate agent (shudder), delivery driver
The boy’s got prospects…