A terrible day for photography. Actually, it was a brilliant day for photography, just a terrible day for my photography. Definitely not helped by me forgetting my camera, not once, but twice.
As the teachers are still involved in their rotating strikes - justly, I think - I was mandated by Mrs Ottawacker to entertain Ottawacker Jr for those parts of the day in which he was incapable of entertaining himself.
Started off with a trip to Di Salvo's to buy him some new football boots (or soccer cleats as they hilariously call them here). This proved surprisingly painless, so we followed it up with a haircut. This was the first moment of camera regret. Ottawacker Jr seemed to turn into an older version of himself in the chair, as the 7-year-old told the barber exactly what he wanted and sat there holding forth as I sat and watched. It was a magical moment. There he was, in profile, three metres away from me; there were shots I could have kept for the ages; instead, they are locked away in my brain, unshareable. These, I imagine, are what I will look back on, smiling, when I am on my deathbed.
So we raced home to drag Mrs Ottawacker out for lunch. We took a visit to an old haunt of ours in the Glebe, where we hadn't been for ages and where Ottawacker Jr had never been: The Light of India. Again, the maturity of the boy just blows me away. Trying new curries and spices, making decisions, liking and not liking... where do these jumps in aging come from. Yesterday, he was having a bath, being spoon fed, peeing in my face as I put his diapers on. Today, he is a mature boy. Certainly, as Mrs Ottawacker says, more mature than me. These moments are just priceless. (Mind you, he does have his trousers on the wrong way round.)
As I write this, I can hear him going through his Pokémon cards downstairs, calculating the Energy Coefficient and Super Powers (whatever they are). He is still a kid, and the one of hardest things I have to do is remember he is still a kid despite having such a mature outlook for so much of the time. I'm bad for that, actually. I will be impatient with him when he does something that seven-year-old boys do all the time. I expect him to be an adult at times. Time for a reality check.
Finally got home so Mrs Ottawacker could finish her workday and the boy started building a fort from the cushions of the sofa. That's when I finally remembered my blip.