We’ve had a fantastic, long-hot-summer kind of day. A long hot summer that will probably end at noon on Tuesday yet nonetheless it was all shades of divine. Monkey-face did her thang at her dance class, used her potty and didn’t wee on the floor, ate her meals, had a big old kip and lots of fun and too much cake at the 1st birthday party of one of her NCT cohort’s little sister. We caught up with 3 of the 5 other sets of parents who embarked on the same schizophrenic journey with us, nearly 3 years ago. I looked at the 8 of us, now with 7 children between us and thought how proud I was of how far we had come since those naieve, hazy days that seem like another lifetime ago. I love seeing them and it’s magical to see the kids together, although as we spin further and further away from each other geographically, it gets harder. A glass of something cold in the heat and we were all giggling away at our shared ineptitude as parents – something that has kept me just this side of pencils-up-nose-and-pants-on-head more than once over the course of our acquaintance.
I try to buy kids books as presents, generally. I guess in the future I’ll be one of those mad old aunts who forever sends unwanted gifts: “oh look! what a surprise, aNOTHER book from daft old aunt bookandbed. She’s so out of touch, we told her we wanted the latest plasmatrack from horsebot.” Anyway, the party kid today was only a year old, so is too young yet to be sullied by X-Factor TM and whatever latest guff is being hawked at childhood. So books it was. I picked up my default Each Peach Pear Plum, mainly because I love it and think it has staying power (and also I buy it for everyone. Shit, I hope I didn’t already buy it for one of the elder daughter’s previous birthdays!) I also picked up a lovely book by Viviane Schwarz and Alexis Deacon called A Place to Call Home from our wonderful, local Kirkdale Books. We already own Alexis Deacon’s Beegu and Viviane Schwarz’s There Are No Cats in This Book and they are a massive hit chez us, so we were all on this like a car bonnet as my lovely friend would say. We just need to pick up a copy for us now and rest assured it will.
Unfortunately, by the time we got to get Monkey-face back home and into her own bed, the wonderful mood she’d sustained all day went pop and we didn’t manage to finish either The Gingerbread Man or Instructions by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess because we had to forfeit the reading to get serious about her off-colour behaviour. Bummer.
She’s still awake now, every ten minutes venturing down the hall to plead her case for another story (at 9.40pm, it’s a no, honey), a third class of milk, a wee, comfort because she’s declared herself terrified of the gorilla (I know not what gorilla) and I’m mercilessly cranking out the blog in between sending her back whence she came. There’ll be typos and half-written sentences ahoy in this blog, but I’m determined it shall be done. It’s just a priority to me. When asked today how I found the time to do this, my beloved husband replied (he really did): “she’s a blogger, not a cleaner.” So there we are, monkey, back to bed, I’m blogging, not cleaning.