Spent the day trying to catch green snot streamers with tissue, kitchen roll, towels, anything to hand. In fact Rose was sick yesterday morning which may well be due to the virus. She came in at 5.30am saying ‘I’ve got a really, really bad headache’ which translates as tummy ache. This is one of those Rose-isms I must record – one that springs to mind is ‘radigator’ which is nice, and they do have a bite when they are hot so there is some logic in the alligator association. Also there is ‘barbecube’ and all those past tenses like ‘I doned it’ and ‘I felled over’. V cute.

She was quite pale and wan in the morning but by the afternoon the colour was back in her cheeks and the situation indoors was becoming serious, so I took her outside for a little fresh air. I’m never running around on the communal grass in the close again, my trainers were literally coated with dog shit and it took about 2 hours walking in the park today, scraping my foot through gravel, puddles and mud like some strange medieval penitent, before they were clean. After a play in turd central we walked up to our local Tesco metro and window shopped which must have seemed very strange to the security guy. He sees us in there a lot so maybe the idea of bringing in a pre-schooler just to have a serious discussion about the range of jelly sweets, then leave, doesn’t seem so odd to him.

For the first six years living in this area I knew about 6 people, but since having children I can’t go out of the house without bumping into other mums. On Friday I met up with a mum from Rose’s old nursery, bumped into another friend I know through Jason, then on the way home I saw a friend of another friend picking up her daughter from school and on the bus home met a friend of my neighbours. Today at the park we found Rose’s best girl friend, Alannah with her granny who is an interesting woman. There is nearly always someone to talk to in the park, and I’ve met some strange and some wonderful types of people. This parenting lark pushes you up the sociability scale and no mistake.

When we were coming in from the park this afternoon, a local lad was giving his dogs a run round the poo-zone in the close and they rushed down our garden path to sniff Rose. When I shouted at him he said they were just puppies. No hint that he was sorry for not being able to control them. Naturally I am now fearful we’re going to get some burning dog excrement through the letter box in revenge for bossy middle class telling off. Unlikely though as would require him to actually pick up his dog’s leavings. Sorry about this, bit of a pathological obsession of mine which I’m probably passing to my children.

This morning digestion was all restored and me and Rose made pancakes together, she really did help with stirring and even flipping. She ate two which made my heart proud and Sylvia chucked hers on the floor. Over the course of the day Rose also helped Jason make a Christmas pudding and then me make dinner. She’s actually starting to be a net benefit to the cooking process, until she gets bored and walks off that is.

Sylvia had a lovely time at the park today too – she spent about an hour in the sand pit and waved at all the babies she could see. She is getting to be a good climber- if she paddles out of the room and goes quiet you will usually find her clambering up a set of steps. Today she wanted to play the piano so she climbed up a stool and then onto the piano stool. Strange that she can climb but not walk. Maybe she concentrates on the things that interest her, not the boring stuff she’s expected to do. My friend said she has character – this is when she pushed a three year old boy who was getting up in her face. Ah character, that’s what we need more of in this house, people with character.

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