Yesterday I was feeding Sylvia when I heard Rose singing tunelessly, but quite pleasantly, as she came down the stairs. She advanced into the room wearing her ‘princess’ dressing up dress, holding her arms up in a ballet position, and walked slowly towards me as her song swelled to a magnificent conclusion. She held the last note for ages and then sank a graceful bow, murmuring ‘You’re very welcome’ to her adoring public. Which was me. And Sylvia a bit, though one of her ears was glued to a cushion so she probably couldn’t hear most of it that well. Rose did several encores of her extemporised lyrics and then removed her dress, tights and knickers and folded herself up on a stool complaining she was cold.

Rose is so keen to be a ‘ballelina’, I’m thinking of taking her to a class but only if it’s mostly mucking about, don’t want to destroy her enthusiasm with too much discipline, yet.

We had a lovely trip to visit a new friend last week, and in the park Rose sat down while I was trying to change her wet knickers so she got loads of gravel and twigs stuck to her bum. I got most of it off but on the walk home she stopped for ages and stood there fishing around in her bum crack. Finally she came up and pressed a small piece of straw into my hand saying ‘I found it in my bottom mummy’. Lovely.

On Tuesday I went to Claridges for tea as part of a family treat from generous rellies visiting from Oz, it was bloody great. Got all dressed up and sat in a bubble of vicarious wealth enjoying tiny pastries, bone china and loos where you throw the towels in the bin, for a couple of hours. That is definitely my real life, all the other time I spend in that council house in South london is just like a holiday for me to get away from the smell of money. When I got home Rose was so excited to see me in a dress, she was screaming ‘mummy! you’re beautiful!!’ then when I came down after changing back into my council house uniform of horrible jeans and a saggy top she said ‘mummy, you’re not beautiful any more’. True.

For the record Sylvia loves bananas but hasn’t worked out how to keep them in her mouth or swallow them. We have choking dramas every meal time. Seems ok with ricecakes though.


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