I was sorely tempted to ask Young Faris to write the blog again today – until it occurred to me that he might blame me for today’s Most Embarrassing Moment when it was clearly his fault not mine. Well, OK,
as I am the adult I suppose I have to accept an element of blame but, really, it could have happened to anyone. That is, to anyone who was in charge of Master Mischief this morning.
It was Aquatots this morning and I was there. I wasn’t in the water, I was sitting on a chair on the side of the pool with those tasteful blue plastic overshoes covering up my red slip-ons. The Middle of the Darling Daughters
was in the water with Young Faris and five other babes and their fathers. The M of the DDs always comments on the fact that the other Yummy Mummies manage to sit out the exercise, retaining both their elegance and their composure while she is getting
drenched in the pool. I think she is having the most fun, personally.
There was a priceless moment when the trainer realised that Someone Who Will Be Nameless,
not content with the plastic swim toys, had swum off with her lunchtime apple and deposited it on the other side of the pool. I wonder who that could have been? This small incident apart, I was all admiration. Faris can swim underwater (with a
little bit of help) despite being only fifteen months old and will happily launch himself off the side of the pool into his mother’s arms knowing that she is just waiting to dunk him. Me, I can’t jump into a pool to save my life and always swim
with my head held high above the water.
I remember a holiday in Dubrovnik where we hired a boat with some friends and, after a short trip, anchored off shore so
that we could swim. I was immensely proud of myself for swimming round the boat, even though I was out of my depth. “I would never have known,” one of our companions told me with what I took to be admiration in his voice, “You were
swimming around like a ....”
Like a what? I was thinking excitedly. Like a dolphin, perhaps, energetic but graceful with it. Or maybe like a fish, skimming
the water to the manner born.
“Like a duck,” he finished.
Like a duck! A duck! I ask you, wouldn’t you be just a little bit disappointed to be likened to a duck, when you could have been a fish or a dolphin?
the end of the Aquatots session, I offered to get the Master Swimmer dry and dressed while his mum had a well-earned shower. I was doing just fine till the boy discovered the emergency chord, gave it an almighty yank and set off the alarm....
“I heard the alarm,” the Middle of the Darling Daughters said, when she emerged from her cubicle, “I thought it was the kind of thing Faris might have done....” Her voice trailed off when
she saw my face. “It WAS Faris?” She didn’t need to wait for the answer. At least, I comforted myself, we had made sure the alarm was in good, working order...
What a lovely time I have had “helping out” my middle daughter for the weekend. Among my new experiences was playing in the special kids area in Kiddiecare. This was great fun and we (Faris and I) stayed playing
there for ages mostly because once I’d actually sat myself down on the floor in a corner, the effort of getting up again was too much to contemplate in a hurry. Other children came and went, but we played on and on.
I had obeyed my daughter’s instructions to travel light – toothbrush and a change of underwear, she suggested – but I came a cropper on the very first evening when The Boy decorated
my clothes with his food. I spent the rest of the weekend sponging down my one pair of trousers with wet wipes and hoping nobody would notice the stains I couldn’t remove. Still when you are out with Faris, nobody has eyes for anyone but him.
Apart from pulling emergency chords, Young Faris’s other principal enjoyment comes from throwing things. I think he may well be a champion shot putter when he grows
up. I spent most of the weekend trying to encourage him not to hurl things across the room. I was starting to sound like a broken record. Then, back at our house this afternoon, playing ball in the garden, I found myself encouraging him to “throw
the ball!” No wonder the poor lad doesn’t know whether he is coming or going.
Actually, I have a feeling he knows exactly what’s going on. He
has me and everyone else wrapped around his little finger. What did I say, shame-facedly, when the Aquatots trainer came hurrying along in response to the alarm bell?
“Sorry, it was me,” I said.
Faris just smiled at her. Angelically.