lizardWhen I was little, I was sometimes allowed to take a few pennies and spend them at the sweetshop. We had two shops very near to home, both on corners right opposite the school. One was a general store, the other much more sweets and cigarettes, if I remember right.

The sweet shop had a display of cheap toys as well, and I remember enviously eyeing up a rubber lizard in there once.  I was desperate to have this lizard, for some strange reason, but wasn’t allowed to.  Then one day I was given 5p to spend in the shop, and that was my chance.

I went in the shop, bought a rubber lizard for 5p, took it home proudly – and then stood at the back of the house, looking down at this rubber lizard, that didn’t actually do anything other than look like a rubber lizard, and I burst into tears, thinking of the sweets I could have been enjoying instead.

My father heard me crying, came out to see what was wrong, and when he heard the story he took the lizard from me, disappeared, and a short while later returned with a bag of sweets – he said he had returned the lizard and got sweets instead.

At that point I realised that sometimes when my parents said no they had a good reason, and it wasn’t just to deny me what I wanted, but also to protect me from what I thought I wanted but was actually bad for me.


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