The Way I See Things



After the happiest of days yesterday, today went slightly awry.

It began very well: the Boy Wonder slept through the night, and if 5.15am was perhaps a little early for me to want to hear the summoning cry, "Gramma! Gramma DJIWL!!", the fact that the clocks went forward overnight and my self-adjusting bedside clock read 6.15 made it feel at least a little better. The day broke rainy, which meant that we wouldn't be able to play in the garden, so after everyone was breakfasted and dressed we agreed on duck feeding and a babyccino as the order of the morning, and set off in the car for Stratford.

We were entering the town when I turned round to say something to B, whose car seat was behind mine, just in time to see him vomit. R quickly pulled in to a petrol station, and I rushed into the shop to see if they had anything I could use to clean up a distressed Boy (they didn't, but I bought water, and the nice man behind the counter, hearing what had happened, gave me a handful of paper towels). By the time I got back to the car the whole of B's breakfast (Weetabix, scrambled egg and toast) was either on or inside his jacket, or decorating his car seat and the interior of R's car. All I could do was give him a little water to drink, wipe his face, stuff the top of his jacket with paper towels, and suggest that we went home for a bath and a change of clothes. B - composed, but pale, quiet, and insisting on keeping hold of my hand for the entire journey back - agreed.

Once he was sitting in warm water the Boy began to perk up, and it soon became clear that he would happily stay in the bath for the rest of the morning. So I applied bribery: "If you get out and dry now, you can wash your hands with soap, and make bubbles." This worked because it's a rarity - he doesn't get to have have bubbles in the bath because his skin is still a little sensitive - so it counts as a treat. Once he was happily turning taps on and off and making bubbles with my gentle hand soap, I grabbed the camera and snatched a few shots, and then started trying to bribe him away from the bubbles.

"Would you like a biscuit?" "Yes!" said B. "I want a choklit biskit." "I'm sorry," I lied, "I don't have any chocolate biscuits. I just have oaty biscuits." The Boy looked outraged. "I don' want it!" he said. "I don' like oaty biskits." "Oh dear," I replied, "I'm sorry about that. So, no biscuits then...?" "I WANT a biskit!" said the Boy, in the tone of one being unreasonably deprived of his favourite thing on earth. "I LIKE oaty biskits!" "Oh good!" I said. "I'm sorry, I must have misunderstood. Silly Grandma! So shall we get you dressed and go downstairs for an oaty biscuit then?" "YES!" said the Boy, grabbing a towel and wiping off the soap suds, then hurling himself at the vest I was holding for him. "Yes PEASE!"

After which we were able to get the day back on track and have some more fun times, before driving him back over to Wales and meeting up with his father at Tredegar House. Having debriefed in the café and effected the handover, our last view of the Boy was of him pausing from chasing Daddy around the park, to wave to us and call his usual cheery "Bye!"

The house seemed very empty when we got back to it, with no little piping presence singing songs, explaining things, and ordering us around. But R and I entertained each other greatly over dinner by reminding each other of some of the highlights of the weekend: Welly Boot Land at Slimbridge; B's discovery, after insisting on trying it, that the foam on R's cappuccino was (as R had warned him) nothing at all like the chocolate dust foam on his own babyccino, but keeping wanting to taste it anyway, pulling horrified faces at the taste while laughing with R at the joke of it all; and his sudden decision on Saturday afternoon that the swing we'd put up in our garden, which on his previous visit he wouldn't go anywhere near, was actually the best thing in the world ("I don' like it goin' slow, Granddad - I like it fast. I wan' to go all the way up to the sky!"). Grandchildren, we agreed, are absolutely the best of all gifts.

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