Squiffany rules —- yes, okay, whatever you say

I looked after Grandbaby Squiffany today and will, unusually, tomorrow as Other Grandparents are on holiday. She was adorable as ever and beautifully behaved (well, would you expect me to see anything else in her? But it’s true). Last week was quite hard work. Having discovered joined-up walking, that is, not going from safe hand-hold to safe hand-hold, even if it was the other side of the room, but striking out on her own, she was thrilled with it and kept wanting to explore, especially the garden.

Ours is not so much a garden as an adventure wilderness. Fabulous for a self-reliant 8-year-old but not so good for a nearly 14-month-old toddler (ooh, not a Grandbaby after all, she’s now a Grandtoddler!). So I had to go with her – well of course, but you have to accept I am desperately lazy and really like sitting and reading books to little children. But I do like The Outdoors too, you in the smoky city would – it’s quiet, it’s verdant, there is lots to see if you find wild flowers and cows and sky and hedges enthralling……..okay, I see what you mean, well, I LIKE IT.

Anyway, back to Squiffany. Today she was quite happy to explore the house. She doesn’t know we have stairs, as there is a (shut) door through to the hall, so the sitting room, chaotic study, dining room and kitchen are all she knows about as yet, plus the door that leads outside. She toddled {[and a silently onomatopÅ“ic word that is too (yes, silent onomatopÅ“ia is indeed a contradition in terms but I got it from the fabulous website http://www.overheardinnewyork.com/ and it works)] … you know, for a truly pedantic person, using double brackets gives me the linguistic equivalent of a caffeine buzz or a sugar rush; oh goodness I’ve just realised I need a triple bracket and that is the first time ever} from one room to the other quite happily on her own and I was able to read quite half of the daily paper.

Lunch was bantam egg, bread-and-butter, peas (yeah, frozen, I know). tomato and yoghurt (bought,okay, I know) and tea was fish fingers (all right, I KNOW ALREADY), kiwi fruit and banana and cheesy biscuits and more bread-and-butter because I don’t have much imagination. I offered a small chunk of banana. She mashed it with her fingers and gave it to the dog, who would accept such an offering from no one else. I gave her a sliver. She flashed it a contemptuous look and didn’t touch it. I gave her the rest of the peeled banana in one piece. She ate it. She smiled.

I’d say ‘who’s in charge here?’ But I know the answer already.

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