OUR LITTLE girl turned two yesterday. We marked the occasion with a weekend in Chester that involved a luxury hotel suite, pizza and a late night and a trip to what must be the country’s best zoo. Before we set off, Little Buddha received all kinds of Hello Kitty goods. I hope she wasn’t disappointed because in the run-up to the big day she was very clear about what she wanted: CAKE! Hopefully Colin the Chocolate Caterpillar sufficed, as well as a chocolate sundae for tea, breakfast muffins this morning and a chocolate carrot for the journey home.
Predictably, it feels like our daughter is a bit more advanced than our son at this age. She’s already christened a potty (about a year ahead of her brother), her vocabulary expands by the hour (but maybe that’s as much the result of having a big brother as her gender) and her tantrums are far more dramatic. She’s far more independent than he was then (and sometimes is now): for example, he has always welcomed cuddles and kisses but she dispenses them with the generosity of an insurance company loss adjuster
THE FUNNIEST thing in the history of the world has got to be kids farting. I should know because our 18-month daughter, Little Buddha, is a human Gatling gun some days. And no one finds it funnier than the little trumpeter herself. After each little bottom bellow, her eyes will widen, she’ll look up for our attention – or is it acclaim – and she’ll giggle and sometimes clap her hands.
It’s a good job she finds the whole practice highly comical because she also gets blamed for her older brother’s more constant expulsions. The sound of a church mouse riding a scrambler will emerge from the usual riot in our lounge and we’ll hear Boy Wonder cry with admirable theatre: ‘Little Sis, you big stinker!’. It doesn’t matter that the toxic effects of his bolognese obsession give him away each time. He sticks to his buns, chiding his innocent sister for supposedly serial crimes against the nasal passage.
I don’t know where he gets it from. Oh yes I do. Me.
APPARENTLY, A few days ago, the Duchess collected our son from nursery and suggested that when they got home they could make me a card and a gift to celebrate Father’s Day.
Boy Wonder flatly refused, telling her: ‘It’s not my job to do something for Daddy’s Day. It’s your job. My job is to run around and have fun.’
A few minutes later, the Duchess was still reeling from his bold response, when he looked up at her with his Serious Face to tell her: ‘I don’t think we should have a Daddy’s Day. I think we should have a Children’s Day. Can you do something about it?’
This time, the Duchess wasn’t so flummoxed and coolly replied: ‘In our house, sunshine, it’s Children’s Day every day. Don’t hold your breath.’
IS IT FAIR TO INFLUENCE YOUR KIDS’ POLITICAL BELIEFS? Tonight, I was getting Boy Wonder ready for bed and I complimented him for doing as I asked and not being ‘naughty’. His face grew serious and he told me the following:
‘Do you know the Iron Lady, Dad. Well, she was very naughty. She took jobs away from daddies and mummies and they couldn’t earn pennies. Their little boys and girls didn’t have any food to eat and everybody was very sad.’
For a moment, I was speechless. The Duchess is working tonight so I can’t check yet but I expect that he saw the film poster on a bus or billboard and asked her about the identity of the woman with the bouffant hair and cold face. The Duchess obviously didn’t pull any punches and we’ve now got the future president of the Communist Party in our midst.
Little Buddha is 10 days old. Here are some reflections:
- As the opening sentence shows, we’re currently measuring her life in days. Soon we’ll move to weeks and in the spring we’ll probably start using months. It won’t be until her second birthday that we’ll count in years, and even then we’ll qualify it with halves and quarters.
2nd February, 8.00am
The delivery suite is so busy we were lucky to get a room. It’s basic, with an old bed and no en suite bathroom – at least we’ve got one and the Second Coming will have no illusions about our austere times. There have been a few traumas in addition to the human traffic jam, which has drawn in several of the embattled midwives. It means Debbie has had to abandon the maternity assessment centre and will now stay with us for the duration to deliver our baby. Understandably, she seems impatient to get on with it and return to her duties. The Duchess, however, wants time to freeze and is no longer keen to have a baby.