The other day our cleaner cleaned the Cupboard of Fear in twenty minutes flat. This is the kitchen cupboard where all the oil and soya sauce bottles are kept – they drip and the drippings all get together and harden over time into a sticky cement. I haven’t cleaned it for over a year and was afraid of it. S is a lovely girl although she only speaks Bulgarian and about twenty words of English including ‘Oh my god’ – but I am good at miming various cleaning techniques (as my family will tell you) so language isn’t a problem.
She won’t use the kitchen bleach spray in the bathroom though because it says KITCHEN on it and will only use the BATHROOM non-bleach spray. She clearly sees me as a bit thick because I fail to see the distinction, and privately thinks I am endangering my family by using cleaning products in the wrong rooms. The alternatives are: standing over her when she is cleaning the bathroom to make sure she uses some bleach spray, or buy some proper BATHROOM bleach.
After the rain last night the garden is lovely and damp, and I think I can get away without watering my courgettes tonight. Some of them actually look like they might turn out ok if I carry on loving them with tomato feed.
Rose is absolutely obsessed by getting her hands into soil and compost: it’s partly the tactile fun of course but mainly the way I leap up and race over shouting, to dust my tiny seedlings off her pudgy mitts yet again. It’s not altogether relaxing hanging out in the garden with Rose because she has defined each area in terms of its physical and behavioural boundaries. So she will spend a certain amount of time happily playing around with her push-along plastic lorry, visit the sandpit and then plunge her hands into my busy lizzies. Or she might cuddle a cat, bring us books to read her, and then go speedily back to the spot where the irrigation hose is buried just next to the shed, grab one end and crack it like a whip. These are things which she honestly does know she’s not supposed to do. I know she doesn’t speak yet but she responds to speech and obviously understands the meaning of ‘no’.
Sometimes it’s incredibly obvious that it’s a game for her, and she enjoys seeing us jump around and make loud noises and silly faces. She tips the water out of the cats’ bowl, waits for us to react, laughs and scampers off, thrilled that she’s made us chase her. I can’t wait until she can talk. No more violent pointing followed by frustrated tears when she can’t explain what she wants. In those situations I am pretty sure she is usually asking for the dangerous knife/breakable crockery/alcholic beverage. So no would be the answer in any case. I do love the fact that she is developing her own personality and wanting to show us she is an individual.
She is getting very good at posting little plastic shapes through the appropriately shaped holes in her educational toy. She’s one, do you hear me, one.