Soon my daughter Buzzfloyd's second baby will be born - in a month or six weeks; that sort of time. A while ago, she went to bed feeling rather 'big with child' as they used to say, and had a dream that her baby had been born and she had chosen her name. In the morning, she texted me to say, "Sardine is a girl's name, right?"
And this evening I have been busy on eBay and elsewhere, stocking up with the newborn essentials for la belle Sardine.
Meanwhile, the Wretched Wretch, their firstborn (in the photo above, exploring the Science Museum with his long-suffering parents), will be four years old this week. Today he has been playing in his sandpit in the garden, rushing in briefly to tell us he had dug a deep hole and found his great granddad (^)
He had a woeful incident at chapel this morning. It was Pentecost. He had been out in the Sunday School with the other children, but came through as the worship was nearing its end, and surprised the preacher in the midst of his closing remarks by soaring exuberantly up the aisle and rushing in a glad circle around the space at the front. His mama hastily intercepted him, but he went into total meltdown as she bore him away into the church hall where the Sunday School took place. “Not the hall! No! Not the hall!” he wailed as she carried him out.
Then as the blessing concluded, the other children from Sunday School were released into the chapel, soaring up the aisle and swarming gaily round the space at the front, red and yellow balloons and crepe ribbons streaming along behind them, images of the wind and flame of Pentecost.
I went to find the red-eyed and blotchy Wretched Wretch being comforted by his preternaturally calm and kind mama, then the Badger picked us up (the chapel is out in the country beyond the reach of public transport) and we set off home. A mile along the road light dawned. He hadn’t been larking about à propos of nothing in the chapel at the end there. He must have taken in his Sunday School teacher’s preparatory instructions to the assembled throng, and somewhat pre-empted the performance. “Not yet, Balloo!” is the banner nailed over his life.
He continues to fascinate and delight us. His parents post his sayings on Facebook for our edification from time to time. This week’s offerings:
To his father: “There shall be no more cuddles until the rainy season!”
Heard off-stage in the adjacent room by his mama: “I’m the King of the Castle and the King of the Dirty Rascals!” Followed by a thump. “Are you all right?” she called. “Yes,” came the reply; then, “Mummy, I can’t cartwheel but I can cartweasel.”
La belle Sardine will not be short of entertainment.