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.
Amongst the many, many joys of parenting, there is little to match the first gummy smile of a newborn baby, or hearing a tiny toddler address you as ‘mama’ for the first time. Little that is, unless you count the first time emotion overcomes you, and you swear like a debauched sailor in front of your off-spring, only to have your revoltingly sweary phrase parroted back to you by your delighted child.
Like the seriously predictable family that we are, my husband and I took Dulcie and Himself the Elf to a National Trust garden on Bank Holiday Monday, and had a small difficulty exiting the attraction’s drive and getting on to the main road. It had been an early start caused by our lark-like baby, the day punctuated with rather trying behaviour from both off-spring. We had carried a pink scooter all trip after Dulcie lost interest in it thirty seconds after the tantrum she threw when we suggested it was left in the car. The rain appeared to have been lured out by our picnic. And then, just as we were ready – indeed more than ready – to leave, it seemed impossible to actually get on the road. “Oh for expletive, expletively expletive’s sake!” shouted my husband. “Oh for expletive, expletively expletive’s sake!” repeated my thrilled daughter. More than once or twice. Continue reading