Is Himself the Elf on some sort of quest? Has something been hidden somewhere, in our house or any other venue we visit, something so precious that every drawer, box, cupboard and bag must be emptied in the pursuit? He is like Gollum in search of the ring, and nothing on earth will deter him from the search.
“He’s rooting in my kitchen again!” is the cry from Dulcie, and also from the grown-ups. More upsetting than him tipping out a carefully arranged shopping basket of wooden fruit from the tiny play oven, is the ice-effect he has created on the kitchen floor by opening a drawer that seemed to be elf-proof, and flinging a glass bowl onto the tiles in order to get a better look at a stray strand of uncooked spaghetti underneath. His rage as I removed him from the area gave the whole scene an apoplectic, apocalypse feel as everything disappeared under a cloud of glass, anger and icing sugar.
As well as my adoration for anything published by Persephone books and my annual binge on George Elliot, I do have some very low-brow tastes. I occasionally buy Grazia magazine. I have watched Take Me Out. I always reach for the magazine of any weekend paper before reading the news. So I tried to show Dulcie a bit of sympathy in the library this week when she picked a book that frankly appalled me.
The library is a dangerous place yet we are drawn there at least twice a week. I find it financially draining, as I break my resolve to take out one book at a time and leave with armfuls, which I obviously can’t read within the allotted time and end up with nasty fines. Himself the Elf can make anywhere dangerous. He pulls and wobbles and is drawn to sharp corners on tables and unstable chairs. He has learnt this week to throw. Not just letting go of things or flinging them, but to properly HURL. It fills him with glee and he winds himself up into a frenzy of exhilaration, and of course, the library provides many, many missiles. I find shelves empty faster than I can refill them and order is swiftly, and loudly, replaced with chaos as he ricochets around, hands always busy.
Strangely, I find this easier to cope with than the dangers the library presents for Dulcie, who cannot resist the carousels of DVDs which we are not getting out, we are just here to look at books, yes, you may look at the DVD cases, and yes, I know they have Barbie and the Magic of the Crystal Rainbow Castle or whatever it is you are clutching but we are not getting it. Because I haven’t got any money with me. Well, yes, obviously I have some money with me because yes, we did get change in the supermarket, you’re right, but it isn’t for taking out DVDs etc. etc. Continue reading
Each week comprises of (I’m using a calculator and still my tongue pokes out of corner of mouth in concentration) 168 hours, of which 15 of them are Dulcie-free. Put like that, it doesn’t seem much but at the start of half term, it seemed to be a yawning mass of extra minutes that must be filled to the satisfaction of both Dulcie and Himself the Elf, without the house descending into mindless squalor. “What are we doing today?” Dulcie would ask at breakfast. “Is this a preschool day or a weekend?” Neither, I would think, sometimes quite desperately. And good question, what are we going to do today? But the days have whizzed by, with Halloween celebrated, some cold time in the playground endured and a search for a particular item at the library all punctuated by the gentle narrative of Himself the Elf having a burst ear drum and a reaction to his penicillin. There have been rivers of snot from both children, which Dulcie can sometimes wipe for herself and Himself the Elf never can. My jeans look as though a colony of slugs has been crawling all over them. We have a large stash of baked good including cup cakes and jam tarts, and no-one really seems to want to eat them. Is this connected to the snot of the chef? Probably. Continue reading