The Way I See Things



"I love marmalade," said the Boy Wonder. Which was just as well, because by this point he was covered in the stuff, and still intent on getting every last morsel out of the bowl. To be honest, I'm a little surprised that he didn't simply apply it to his face and hoover.

It was just past 9am, and we'd already had several breakfasts, watched some television, played out in the garden, and made a marmalade cake - but it turns out that when your Boy alarm goes off at 5.22, and you give in and lever yourself upright at 6am, you can get quite a lot done with your morning. Of our early activities the cake making was the biggest hit, partly because B enjoys domesticity and partly because of the novelty of being allowed to use an electric hand mixer, but mainly because I let him spoon lime marmalade out of the jar and into this bowl - a process which went: spoon; lick; removal of spoon by grandparent and replacement with clean one; spoon; lick.... and rinse, and repeat. 

When we had enough marmalade I took it away to warm it in the microwave, and came back to find him licking the lid of the jar. R twitched this out of his hand and took it away to wash it, and I forestalled complaint by telling the Boy that he could now dollop spoonsful of marmalade from the bowl into the tin of cake mixture. I should perhaps have defined my terms more carefully here, because B's version of dolloping is more what you or I might think of as throwing, and a certain amount of remedial work was needed before the cake was in a fit state to go in the oven - but we got there in the end. Once the cake was baking I offered the Boy the mixing bowl to scrape, but he looked at me as though I was suggesting something utterly disgusting (what kind of child doesn't like scraping a bowl of cake mixture? Personally, I blame the parents), and seized the marmalade bowl instead. "We will have to scrub our teef later," he said, nodding at me sagely.

Once the cake was out of the oven we went out for a walk, first to the bridge over the stream, which is running very high after all the recent rain, and then around the village to see if we could find anything else that was interesting. As the two of them peered over the bridge parapet at the sticks B had dropped and watched them sweep away downstream, R said, "They might go all the way to the sea!" "No," said B, "they will go to the river first, and then to the sea." 

As we walked around the village, B riding on R's shoulders and playing a complicated little bongo riff on the top of his head, the Boy suddenly stopped humming and said to me, "I went to the featre yesterday." Ignoring the time-slip because 'yesterday' can still mean any day that came before today, I said, "Yes, I know. You went with Grandup and Grandma P, didn't you?" "Yes," he replied. "We went to see The Gruffalo's Child." "That sounds very exciting. Did you enjoy it?" "Yes," he said. "I did." And after a considering pause, "I love the featre."

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