Having been roused bright and early by the toddler alarm (though, to be strictly truthful, it wasn't all that bright at 5.45am, and neither was I), we were all breakfasted, dressed and raring to go by the time most normal people were turning over in bed, checking the clock, and deciding that their Sunday lie-in could go on for at least another hour. Sigh.
Anyway, L went off to do an exercise class at the gym in Evesham, while R, B and I went to Stratford, having had the plan: Stratford, playground, duck feeding, babyccino pre-approved by the Boy. En route B and I sang songs in the back of the car, and discussed interesting things such as parked aeroplanes at the gliding club, and bridges over the river. During one of our conversations I realised that in his head 'Stratford' was a discrete thing that you went and looked at or played with, because he doesn't yet have any concept of a town (why would he?), and explaining all about this took the second half of the journey and almost all of my linguistic skills.
The playground at the 'rec (which is excellent) was a big hit, and the duck feeding was even better - my only sadness being that it took full attention and participation from both R and me to prevent the Boy throwing himself into the river along with the bread, so I didn't manage to get any photos of him laughing with delight at the feeding frenzy going on just below his feet. Then we crossed the river via the Old Tramway Bridge and went to Carluccio's, where we ordered a couple of Danish pastries to share, along with coffees for R and me and the promised babyccino.
R had gone off to make a phone call and B and I were sitting at the table waiting for our order to arrive, when the following conversation took place:
B: "I want a babycinno now."
J: "It will be here in a few minutes. The woman at the coffee machine is making it right now - I can see her doing it."
B: "I don' want coffee. I don' like it. I want a babyccino."
J: "Yes, I know darling. The coffees are for Granddad and me, and she's making a babyccino too."
B (frowning): "Iss B's babyccino."
J (not understanding): "Yes, that's right."
B (shaking his head): "Iss not Gramma Djiwll's babyccino."
J (suddenly getting the reference): "Oh. Yes. I see. The last time we were here I drank some of your babyccino, didn't I? I'm very sorry. I shouldn't have done that, and I promise I won't do it again."
B: "MY babyccino."
J: "Yes, that's absolutely right. It will be your babyccino."
Mr Dramatic (flinging both arms out wide and then clapping his hands on his chest): "MINE!!!"
J: "Yes. Yours."
B: "Iss comin' in a minit."
B (satisfied): "Yessh."*
Honestly - what a reputation to have. As a child I once heard my father describe one of his friends as being "a nice bloke, so long as you understand that he'd take the food out of a baby's mouth,"** and I remember being fascinated by the idea - but never in my wildest imaginings did I think that one day a baby - and my own grandson! - would say the same thing of me. I'm mortified, and R has been laughing about it half the afternoon.
* "Yes" now arrives with a very specific and consistent delivery, which you'll imagine best if you think of it being said by the late Sean Connery.
** It was true: he would. Some while later I saw him take half a rusk off my baby sister and scoff it.
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