I have entered a new parental rite of passage, and it hurts. Barnaby is seven and he can read well enough to come with me on trips to the charity shop to pick his own books. And he has begun picking joke books. Today, it was cat-themed. It all goes like this:
Barnaby: Mum! MUM! MummummummumMUM!
(that bit goes on for hours until I whip around angrily from cleaning up milk/dematting the baby’s hair/falling over scooters/playing Draw Something and glare and shout WHAT? in a mean snarling tone).
Listen to this one!
Where did the cat take the cow when she went to America? Moo York.
At which point Barnaby literally convulses with a maniacal laughter, willing the jokes to be funny, even though they are statements of bad wordplay. Kathy Lette would be in HEAVEN. Which is all very well when you have heard two or three in a row. These books, however, have CHAPTERS. Chapters of weak one-liners related to cats through tenuous and nonsensical links, and they are read out to us ALL AFTERNOON. And you can’t be rude, because the kid is seven, and learning to read, and to read out loud to an audience. So we sigh and turn once again to our enthusiastic son, and attempt to engage authentically while thinking about holidays in Turkey and roasting a chicken. I suppose this is just another of those things that happen to all parents in time, like discovering you only really like the kids when they are asleep, and that they are supposed to see a dentist from time to time, and that they will keep growing even if they only eat plain toast, cucumber and bacon. PHEW about the last one, eh?
So. Other than that, we have all been getting wet and cranky in this oily rain. The Jubilee was a fizzer, and it felt like everyone else was having fun except for us, but I suspect that actually everyone was equally wet and kind of underwhelmed. We tried to see the flotilla but just got wet and lost and ended up going home, on a crowded steamy bus, smelling like wet labradors with our sodden flags and shivering children. Here we are before we set off, as enthusiastic as you please, attempting to be a bit British, with me in a homage to the Queen, looking like I was 45:
That’s a jelly of the young Queen’s head, in case you were puzzled. And the table, at 2:53pm before the deluge:
And then we had to give up and head inside, all 30 of us, to our flat, to cut into wet cake and drink rain-splashed Pimms, until we dried out. Happy Jubilee all round. It wasn’t quite the celebration we had hoped for, really.
Then last Saturday, we left the flat for a walk to Portobello for Ghanaian curry and chocolate crepes. Just look at our innocent fun!
When we got back, the front door to our flat was kicked in, the lock hanging from the hinge and the laptop, headphones and my iPad gone. It was an extremely irritating and boring thing to have to deal with. We had the forensics over to dust our doors down for fingerprints and the police around to ask us questions and give us leaflets about Avoiding Burglary. Which was a little bit too late, really. And now I have morphed into a Neighbourhood Watch Co-Ordinator. Of course, I have so much more time on my hands now that the iPad doesn’t distract me from my domestic tasks. SIGH.
I shall end on this. The baby is toilet trained. He now wears knickers, and he stuffs them with cars or small teddies and wanders around with things poking out of his pants. Often multiple pairs. Here he is, with poor old teddy in his undie-pouch: