So, here is Magic, about a year on:
Relatively handsome, leonine-like, a noble beast, a bit foxy. He and I walk up to school twice a day, past the same kids and families and commuters. And he does annoying things like eat rubbish and pull me to the wall so he can sniff wee which yanks my shoulder and sometimes threatens to trip me up and my hands get little rope burns.
But the thing that kills me is that a large percentage of said kids and families are really scared of him, and do these daily dramatic and sometimes hysterical freak outs when they see us, sometimes with screams, often involuntary jumps, and almost always a massive sideways manoeuvre where, in the vain hope of not having to go near us AT ALL they throw themselves hard up against the curb of the oncoming traffic and they stiffen and lean back and stare at the Terrifying Dog Of Fluffiness. And he is always on a very short leash, attached to me, who is in turn attached to a sweet baby in a sling, with a bunch of small kids tagging along, all patting him and talking to him (when not kicking each other or scaling subway walls). And I wonder to myself
MUST WE DO THIS EVERY DAY?
And I feel embarrassed, and I apologise, and I sigh and wonder why everything feels so hard.
And on Saturday, I took him into Hyde Park and he ran over to a team of small boys playing organised football and he ate their post-match brownies. And on Sunday, I took him for a walk in the rain and he found a big muddy puddle and he started this embarrassing game he plays where he splashes and then he barks hysterically at the splash then he splashes some more and barks at his splash and it goes on and on and on. And there was quite the crowd of amused onlookers while he played his game, and then I tried to get him out but he was waaay too into his game and then a man walked by and tried to coax him out with treats and Magic The Greedy ignored him and I was getting very wet and bored and embarrassed as my calls of increasingly insistent Magic! Come! were utterly ignored then finally, after the splash game had gone on for about 20 minutes, a lady in Wellington boots rescued him and me from the shame of the splash game. He looked like this:
That face is what you call “Unrepentant” and “Not Bothered”.
So all of this embarrassment and bother has given me new forehead lines. LOOK!
They are new, and they are MEAN. They are there even when my forehead is resting. If I could be arsed, I would Botox them away in a thrice. See how my eyes are blazing with the injustice of Anglo-Saxon ageing? Even my nose seems to have taken on an outraged incandescent glow. Pah.
In other news, Barnaby is about to turn nine. Here is his birthday wish-list:
Longer than the Bible. You’ve got to admire his optimism, though, right?
We all got onesies in the sale. Mark has a skeleton, I have a monkey suit. They feel completely lovely and yet so revolting, kind of like when you are recovering from a vomiting bug and you wrap yourself up in an old duvet and it smells a bit like sweat and sick but you are too weak to do anything about it…that is what it feels like to wear a onesie when you are 36. Here we have a very tightly fitted Gorilla and a Wolf, dancing just like Richard Simmons would do, were he dressed similarly in a polyester animal suit:
CRIPES! It’s school run time – or, as we like to put it, The Dog Walk Of Shame. Here’s one last photo of the delicious Otis, who can now roll over, suck his toes, giggle and generally get me up twice a night. My Gina Ford Baby-Wrangling-Powers have thus far failed to work. But HOW CUTE IS HE?!?