The Dark Lord: The Toddler Years

Swapna HaddowScrapbook

I’ve just finished reading ‘Dark Lord: The Teenage Years’ by Jamie Thomson.  This is an absolutely hilarious and completely bonkers novel about the Dark Lord and how he comes to be trapped in the body of a teenager, having been banished to the earth by his archenemy.  He is taken in by the Purejoies family and begins life as thirteen-year-old Dirk Lloyd.  The story follows Dirk as he contends with his new family, school and friends (better known as lackeys).  I don’t want to ruin the ending for you but this story finishes with a great cliffhanger as his newfound friends try to help send him back to his motherland.

I couldn’t help but feel I was reading an autobiography of my son’s future self.  My son has always been quite a chatty babbling baby.  At first I dismissed most of his nonsense as prattle.  But in the last few months, listening carefully I’ve been able pick out actual words and it’s set off Dark Lord alarm bells.  For instance, I’m sure he should be calling me as ‘Mummy’ or ‘Mama’, I would even settle for a simple ‘ma’ or ‘mmmphmm’ but I’m pretty certain he’s been addressing me as ‘human’.  He also often points to the front door and demands to be sent back to ‘de darlands’, which I have now deciphered to mean The Darklands.  And when the postman arrives, he offers him dismembered limbs of playdough people and jumps wildly, shouting and cheering ‘Post Lord’.

This morning, during an unusually amicable nappy change, I had my final bit of evidence.  We were about to brush our teeth and I pointed at my husband’s reflection in the mirror and said to my son ‘Daddy’.  He obediently replied ‘Da-deeeee’.  I pointed to myself and said ‘Mummy’.  He replied ‘Merm-mee’.  I then pointed to my son’s reflection and said ‘Phoenix’, (because that’s his name).  He turned to me and then stared back at the mirror and said ‘Dark Lord’.  And then he combed his eyebrows with his toothbrush.