The concept of exaggeration can be a tricky one to manage and explain to children like mine. It's been a hard news year in that regard, what with Trump and Brexit. As much as I've tried to temper the news with realism it's been a year of bold statement, exaggeration and hyperbole.
Hyperbole - 'Exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally'
This year what is hyperbole and what is actual truth has been very tricky to distinguish. Tensions were high, and that's just me, for Flossy it's been off the scale. Strange thoughts filtered through 'there's going to be world war three you know' being one. Explanations were met with her glazed eyes and the nuances of rhetoric, propaganda and hyperbole are pretty useless agains the logic of the boy she sits next to in literacy who knows for fact that Donald Trump is going start a nuclear war because his dad said so and he saw it on the telly.
The girl's hypervigilance always choses danger over safety no matter how wrong that perception is to me and regardless of how watertight my explanation is. As a rule she'll believe anyone over me. Its a feeling not a thought.
That boy is telling the truth, we are all going to die if DT is president.
The day of the result and tensions were running high, he'd won, we drove to school and listened to the news on the radio, realising my mistake I turned it off. She asked for it to be back on and fortunately a measured and calm correspondent said it was all going to be ok.
We listened and I said I wondered what was going to happen, she confessed to wondering too (we don't talk about being worried, that starts fights).
'But' she said, 'I think that man on the radio's right, it'll be ok', I nodded and agreed 'yeah I think so too.'.
She jumped out and meandered into school and a new radio commentator came on, he didn't think it was going to be all right, in fact he was pretty damn sure it was the end of the world. I tried to believe he was wrong as I started digging my bunker.