We’ve had a pretty good week, including playgroup, a clean house (somehow), a DAY OFF courtesy of my lovely mother-not-yet-in-law and a trip to the local museum with my friend Clever and her son, Atticus. Pickle said her first word in the aquarium – ‘fishie’. I’m not counting ‘no’ as her first word although I think it might end up being more characteristic.
On Saturday morning Trulove took the girls to the park while I nipped round to the corner shop (to buy Parmesan – and THAT is one of the reasons I love living in London rather than the village in the middle of nowhere in which I grew up). On the way they stopped outside a local house which was having a sale for Children in Need.
As I strolled unfettered down the road in the opposite direction, looking at the three of them, my family, my mind decided to inject a bit of The Fear into the situation. It went thus. On the way back, I turn the corner onto our street and see the flashing lights of an ambulance. There is a big white van at a straggly angle in the middle of the road, a shaking crowd around it. I can see a little pink scooter just like Ziggler’s poking out, crushed, from beneath the front wheel. Pickle is screaming. I run, heart in my ears. It was about here I gained control of my thoughts, shook myself, and got on with going to the shop to buy the cheese.
I’ve always been a bit of a fearful fantasist. Sausage used to complain about having to share a room/tent/ferry cabin with me on childhood holidays since I could conjure up supernatural beings/ axe murderers/ watery disasters so easily. But having children has exacerbated this tendency a billionfold. When they are tiny the unbidden image of finding them dead in the moses basket sends me dashing up the stairs every 15 minutes, or makes me press my ear to the baby monitor to check they are breathing. When someone else is looking after them I worry that they won’t know that Ziggler thinks she knows best about everything and will dash into the road when she fancies it. I imagine the sombre phone call from the hospital. I evoke policemen at the door, helmets in hand and wearing bad-news faces.
I guess parents have to have these imaginings to keep their babies as safe as possible. I’ve learned to manage the fantasies, though I know I’ll never be able to obliterate them completely without a lobotomy or some such. Bad things do happen but pleasegodtouchwoodandsalutethesinglemagpie let me not experience them in real life. Perhaps I’ll have rehearsed it in my head so many times that if the worst happens (pleaseletitnot) I’ll have some idea what to do.
Anyway. On a lighter note, what really happened was that they picked up an old ‘Lights Alive‘ at the sale. It gave Trulove and I a blast from the past, the kids met the neighbours and donated to charity, and they’ve both been playing with it ever since.