I love waking up in granddaughter Hazel Bagel's bedroom. It is so very, well, inspiring.
Above her very beautiful white cast iron desk is taped the instruction: "Wake
up with determination; go to bed with satisfaction." I'm doing my best to live up to this thought.
The owner of the bedroom was away in Disneyland Paris with a group of friends, all pretending to be six year
olds on the lookout for Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse and "that damned Mouse" - to quote Mr B. On our first visit to Disneyland, back in 1992, he was so fed up with The Mouse that when we stopped for lunch at the Epcot Centre he insisted we eat in what was euphemistically
described as "a typical English pub." Imagine the state of apoplexy induced in him when the butter which accompanied our bread rolls came in the shape of, yes, you've guessed it, "that damned Mouse."
it was because of Hazel's absence in the Land of Make Believe, that I had the pleasure of occupying her bedroom. For One Night Only, as they say on the billboards. I have to admit I didn't wake up with determination, not straightaway that is, because I hadn't
read the instruction above her desk before I toppled into her comfy bed and fell into immediate slumbers. Obviously, once I was up and instructed accordingly , I adopted a Determined Stance which lasted me most of the day.
The Twinkles - aka Tala and Lilia - don't appear to need inspirational texts to strengthen their resolve. At the Great Age of twenty-one months, they are just about the most determined characters it has been my pleasure to meet. What fun to have a whole
morning in their company!
"Did you know," one of the Middle of the Darling Daughters' kind new neighbours asked her, " that there are toys in that bush in your front garden?" It was true. The bush in question
appeared to have sprouted several dinosaurs, any number of small cars, a sprinkling of toy food, and an assortment of colourful mega blocks. It turned out that The Twinkles had invented a brand new game called Throwing Toys Out Of The Window. It's great fun
and certainly gets the neighbours talking.
As soon as I arrived, both girls brought me books to read. They know me so well. My favourite page in one book showed two children, bearing a pretty fair likeness
to The Twinkles, having a bath together. I returned to this page over and over again for the sheer pleasure of hearing them both exclaim: "Bubbles!" in twinly unison.
The house was under siege - or, rather,
a new boiler was being fitted - so it seemed an excellent idea to remove the Small Ones from the scene. This was something of a disappointment to Lilia who had developed a close interest in the work being carried out. The plumber, who had children of his own,
accepted her attentions to his labours with equanimity but was doubtless quietly pleased when we set off to the park. "To the park!" I declared, excitedly. We left the Toy Bush as it was, on the grounds that it - plus dinosaurs etc - would still be there on
our return, still ex irking attention from the neighbours. As a way of making the acquaintance of new neighbours it beats asking for a cup of sugar.
At the park we meet a small boy with massive dimples in
his cheeks. Lilia gives him a kiss. She is a Forward Hussy, of that there is no doubt. The Twinkles climb steps, hurl themselves down slides, jump like small but energetic kangaroos on a kind of trampoline set into the ground. They have only been moved in
a couple of weeks but already they are Quite At Home. Meanwhile their brother, The Rascal, is ruling the roost in pre-school which is thoughtfully equipped with a massive supply of dinosaurs. The Middle of the Darling Daughters urges me to hurry past the playgroup's
Windows on our way home, lest he sees us. Though with all those dinosaurs to take his attention...
We pay a visit to the little café near the Community Centre where my daughter orders brunch for the
two of us and cheese on toast for the girls. I can imagine this becoming a regular outing - the park, the café, the meeting with friends.
Driving home to Mr B, I go through in my mind all the events
of a morning spent with my Littlest Lassies. They are growing up so very fast, my Little Miss Blue Eyes and my Brown Eyed Girl.
They are fearless. And funny. And feisty.
Just like their mother...