In the years we’ve been blog friends, Tim and I have often noticed that a post written by one of us gave the other the idea of one on a similar subject. We have always just clicked, even though we only met a few times, twice or thrice, and only exchanged emails when we were planning to meet – which, after the initial parties, was, occasionally, when I was on my way to visit Ziggi.
Now, it’s much the same – it’s conversations with him that give me blog posts. The other evening, we were talking. No. I was talking, about bringing up my pre-school-age children.
When Weeza was little, there weren’t many nursery or play schools. I was rather on my own, though I read a lot on the subject – not childcare books as such, I’ve never read one of those in my life, but ideas for games and so on. In the first place, I carried her around on my hip most of the time. I tried a sling but I found it very awkward and confining, we both disliked it. She soon learned, once she was old enough to hold her head up, that she also needed to cling on. Even when shopping, I sometimes found that it was easier to pile the bags in the pushchair and carry her. In those days, there weren’t baby seats in cars and no requirement for seatbelts, so her carry cot was put on the back seat for the first months. And I sang to her. Nursery rhymes, mostly, it was all very child-centred.
To start with, I read to her a lot. Her favourite book was Smith, the lonely hedgehog, by Althea Braithwaite, otherwise known as Miff Heehog, because she knew the book before she could speak.
What she could speak were animal noises. I used to ask her, what does a dog say? And she’d woof. What does a cow say? She’d say moo. She must have been less than a year old. She had a vast repertoire of animal noises.
I’ve got a sudden attack of acute nostalgia and I think I need to sit very still until it passes.