Over lunch I told the 4 year old proudly that I had filled the two charity bags.
4 year old - Who is Charity?
Me - Charity isn't a person. The things in the bags will go to charity shops where they will be sold. The money will go towards helping people.
4 year old - People? Why?
Me - Yes, maybe people who don't have anywhere to live, or people who are poorly. There are lots of people that need help.
4 year old - ... and animals?
Me - Yes, and animals.
4 year old - But Mummy, who is Charity?
The 3 year old who has been listening from the end of the table whilst attacking a peanut butter sandwich, looks thoughtfully at me and says "I don't like the sun".
I get up and bang my head against the wall repeatedly. Well not really, but I may as well have.
Later I found the 4 year old hugging the television. An advert for the Dogs Trust was on. A neglected, scrawny, shivering dog was on the screen accompanied by sad music and a voiceover along the lines of 'Poor Smudge doesn't have anyone to love him, his owner used to beat him with a rusty pitchfork and he only fed him once a year. For just £2 a month you could save Smudge ...'
A letter came home from school the following day ... 'your child can come to school wearing red clothing on Friday and pay a pound for Red Nose Day'. As we have no red clothing I decided to order one of the funky Red Nose Day t-shirts designed by Stella McCartney instead. She chose the Beatles one over the fluffy rabbit one (I was shocked, her father was proud). I then explained that the money we were spending on the t-shirt would go to charity.
4 year old - Do you know what I'd do if I had lots of money?
I got excited; my television hugging, t-shirt wearing 4 year old had finally got the hang of charity and was going to pledge all her imaginary money to those less fortunate than herself.
4 year old - If I had lots of money I'd get a big fat purse to put it all in. It would be very long and very wide.