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Back when Keith and I were friends, he introduced me to a comedy show called League of Gentleman. It was a show full of dark humour that included a character called Tubbs who used to call women “No-Tails” and while it was just one of a smörgåsbord of catchphrases, this one stuck with us long after the show ended. 

When we had Alfie, it wasn't so much a conscious life decision as an amusing in-joke to refer to him as a “Tail”. It seemed fairly harmless; at first he couldn't speak, and then it sounded cute to hear our toddler talk about his "tay-ahl".

Then one day Keith called me wheezing from laughter and told me about a conversation he’d had with Alfie’s teacher.

Alfie’s last nursery had a morning assembly in the loose sense of the word: Children gathering in the middle of the room and talking about a subject until they got bored and wandered off to paint their eyeballs.

On that day the subject was animals.
“What are some of the differences between us and animals?” the teacher had asked.
“They have four legs!”
“They can’t talk!”
“They have fur!”
"They eat grass!”
“All good suggestions” said the teacher, “anything else?”
“They have tails”
“No” replied Alfie “I have a tail too”
“I don’t think you do Alfie” said his teacher “humans don’t have tails”
“Well I do” said Alfie as he stood up, and like a true Batsford dropped trou and proudly pointed to his penis to MAKE HIS POINT.
“See, a tail!”
Apparently his teacher had herself an accident from laughing, which I don’t think was quite the reaction Alfie was looking to inspire.

As his loving mama my head sunk into my hands because really Alfie, really? Are you so much your father's son that it wasn't enough to just tell the teacher that you had a tail?

It might be a hard lesson to accept son but sometimes you're right, and sometimes you're wrong; don't make it worse by also being the bloke with his pants round his ankles.

In reality Alfie gave exactly zero fucks about his genitalia being laughed at, but not wanting to flirt too closely with body image issues we have tried to move to more factual descriptions ... with varied success.

Currently Esme swears up and down she is the proud owner of a “pyjama” which makes me slightly fearful of allowing her to go to any sleepovers. Or shops.


Have you had an innocent nickname come back to bite you? Please tell me I'm not alone!

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