Several things come to mind, to be written – including a meme that I have volunteered for over at Ally’s. But a meme will take a day or two to do and there are things that can wait, so I’ll write about the day.
“OH HOW UNUSUAL” you chorus. Pfft. Just like any other fucker, as you should know by now.
Squiffany was invited to a birthday party this afternoon, so I looked after Pugsley. It was a very easy afternoon. He was asleep when I arrived at 1.30 and he didn’t wake until nearly 4. My kind of babysitting. I read the paper – I appreciated this article, which I think illustrates something that many parents understandably lose sight of, in their too-busy lives. When I first started to look after Squiffany it was something I had to relearn.
I mused about what a damn good parent my daughter-in-law is. I can say it with no boasting, for there is no credit to me. Al is a fine parent too, in fact, and I always knew he would be. He is eight years older than his brother, and, for both him and our daughter, it was love at first sight for their baby. I may have said this before, but it’s worth repeating – once, talking about sibling relationships, I asked Ro (the youngest) if he remembered quarreling with the older two. He did not, ever. This says a lot about all of them. Ro is, off them all, probably the least volatile in fact. If he did get cross, as a little boy, he’d storm off saying “I’ll be lonely then!”. He’d disappear to his room for a while, then come back and apologise. Once, I had a letter saying ‘sorry I was such a scuzz’. The other day, in fact, we had rare ‘words’ and, afterwards, he came and said he was sorry, it hadn’t been my fault he was (rightly, we agreed) upset and he shouldn’t have taken it out on me. I agreed that he shouldn’t – and saw him overcome the impulse to argue that – but that I understood. He’s a bit more sorted than any of us, and sometimes finds our chaotic household a bit hard to cope with, but it’s good for him really.
Anyway, why did you let me digress? A hard stare would have brought me back to the subject.
At half past four or so, Ro came to the window with a message from Dilly, that she would be late and please could I give Pugsley a cheese sandwich for his tea? I invited him in, and a minute later he came in the room. Pugsley greeted him, then looked at the window, where he had last seen him, then back again. I gave him a pink teething ring. “Red” he remarked. I do not know if that was just a good sound or he recognised, more or less, the colour.
He tucked in to his cheese sandwich happily, later. Dilly says that, at present, he can’t quite manage a spoon but doesn’t want to be fed, so finger foods are a sensible option. He had had lots of vegetables and fruit at lunchtime, so I gave him fromage frais to finish – he had that happily from a spoon (if you ever wonder about the inbuilt sweet tooth that babies have, taste human breast milk and you will wonder no longer. Of course, for this, you either have to be lactating or on rather good terms with someone who is).
Eventually, we ran out of things to do. His latest interest is putting things in things. It reminds me of Eeyore, the honey pot and the balloon (I’m sort of assuming you all get the reference, tell me if not). I suggested we go and look out for Mummy and Squiffany returning. He held out his arms to be picked up (I picked him all up, not merely disconnected arms) and we went outside. As we reached the garden gate, Dilly drove up in her car…
We went back in the house and talked about our afternoons. I got up to leave. I bent to kiss Pugsley. “Say ‘bye bye’ to Granny” prompted Dilly. “Bye” said Pugsley. A first! “Bye bye” I replied. “Bye” he repeated. I kissed Squiffany good bye. “Bye” they both said.
Al just came in to speak to his father and added, to me, “We’re just about to have dinner, but we haven’t any wine…” I had half a bottle in the fridge “or you could have a bottle of red.” “This’ll be fine, thanks – but what about you?” “That’s all right, I’ve already had the first half, that’s enough for tonight.” He grinned. “Maybe I’d better remove this from temptation all the same.”
Children. No respect.