The Way I See Things



This pair of moorhens was working as an effective tag team, fetching food for three chicks and - so far as I could tell - sharing it out pretty evenly between them. The only stutter in the steady provision of aquatic insects and larvae came from the fact that the female, on the right here, was inclined to do all of the feeding herself. The male was either happy with this or knew better than to argue, because he tended to present his offering to the nearest chick and allow it to pull off a small piece, and then pass the rest to the female for further distribution.

The nest was so messy, and so out of the way, that it was a bit of a nightmare to photograph, but there was so little going on at Forest Farm today - Nodonata (©), and bizarrely few ducks - that the moorhen family gave me my only real chance of a wildlife photo. On the other hand it's probably as well there weren't many ducks around, because Baby B, whose lunch time it was ("Ninn-AH!") insisted on eating most of their bread himself.

The Boy Wonder was on great form today in many ways, playing happily and inventively with us, and walking several hundred metres towards the park this afternoon on his own two little legs before needing to be picked up and carried. But when thwarted in some way he was inclined to suddenly lose his temper, in a way we haven't really seen before. For example when I picked him up, because he was clearly tired of walking and I wanted to get to the park before nightfall, he was quite happy to bounce along on my hip; but when R, who'd been pushing the empty push chair, spotted that I was sinking gently into the pavement under B's weight, and came to take him from me, the Boy made it very clear that Granddad was not going to do carrying: carrying was Grandma's job, and Granddad could get out of the way and leave us be. And when Granddad gently insisted, all hell broke loose.

My parents were fond of saying that as a small child I could produce tears like peas, coupled with a lip like a park bench, completely at will, and B seems to have inherited this skill in spades. Add in a howl like an emergency siren, and frankly, I'm surprised no-one called the police. Luckily, R and I lost most of our natural ability to be mortified in public by small children about thirty years ago, and when B realised that we were interested and sympathetic but entirely unyielding to his demands, he suddenly gave up and allowed himself to be strapped into his pushchair, where he sang himself happily to sleep, waking thirty minutes later in a sunny and charming humour.

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