Quiet, quiet, quiet. Finally. It’s been a loud kind of day today, between Henry’s tantrumy morning, Edward’s colicky afternoon and an evening in which both of them really went for it.
It was Henry’s two-year-old review this afternoon. We went to the children’s centre on the back of a sneaky McDonald’s lunch (no-sleep nights bring forth chicken-nugget-and-chip lunches, and there’s nothing you or I can do about it), and I scrubbed him hard before we went in to get rid of the ketchup smell.
‘How’s his diet?’ they asked.
As we moved through the questions the old milestones floated in front of me: can he stack blocks, yes; does he use a dummy, no; does he run and climb, HA HA HA. I could see him at the other end of the playroom, buzzing in and out of my peripheral vision in his bright red jumper, making a cup o’ tea in the toy kitchen. He doesn’t even know what a cup o’ tea is, but he thinks it sounds exciting. They were pleased with his progress and so was I, but it was the sort of proud that stings a little. Heaven knows it’s hard to be two sometimes, but I think it’s harder to watch two in all its prickly perfection, and know that it’ll be packing up its red jumper to make room for someone else. They measured his height and told me he’ll probably be six feet tall in the end, I mean my goodness. I don’t want to know about six feet tall. Is that the next thing? The blocks are stacked, so on we go to joined-up writing and six feet tall? Urgh.
Then we came out, and he held my hand till he spotted the largest, muddiest puddle ever made for a kid in wellies. So he ran for it, cackling when I couldn’t catch him. Until he slipped flat and ended up bottom, jumper, new teddy bear and all in the mud. There wasn’t an inch of him that wasn’t slick with it. I picked him up to strip him down to his underwear before putting him in the car, and that was when the hailstorm started. Hail and mud and having your clothes removed in a school car park while yelling ‘I ALL WET’; oh yes, I thought: this is two. Phew.
Feeding sticks to ten confused and irritable swans: that’s two, as well.
Putting Thomas the Tank Engine in time-out, while wearing a handbag round your neck as a baby-carrier: that couldn’t be more two if it tried.
It’s definitely not going anywhere yet.