When Leo sits down with his Toy Story jigsaw puzzles a cold hand grips my heart. Sunday evening, I want to feel cosy, and he brings out those garish, creepy figures.
But there’s no escape. ‘Come, Mummy,’ says my two and a half year old, extending the beckoning hand that can’t be refused.
Added to the first horror of sorting out four jisaws that have been jumbled together, I then have to pore over every limb of these gruesome zombie like objects: the corpse with the drooping eyelid (Leo calls it ‘baby’); the giant locust crossed with the Incredible Hulk (Leo calls it ‘green man with yellow pants’); the sickly pink fluffy monster (‘teddy bear’ to Leo), the leathery octopus, the eight-eyed monster…. I want to hide these four jigsaws (once we start we have to do them all) in a cupboard, but his favourite babysitter gave them to him for Christmas, so it wouldn’t be diplomatic.
I wonder if this is how Ukippers feel about the European Union: weird alien creatures they don’t want to understand. And I sympathise.
But I have to learn from Leo who assumes that everything around him is animate, and in some way connected to the world he already knows, and so he can relate to anything. The doll is a baby, the eight-eyed monster is a different kind of frog.
Maybe even Farage is just a different kind of frog.
Maybe we can relate to the Other without losing ourselves.