1. My guests are late, which means I get a little extra time cuddling Nick on the sofa.
2. Cat takes a no hurry attitude with her children. There is no rush to get up the stairs, so Ellie can climb by herself without being carried.
3. Although she is not yet two, Ellie recognises letters, even in an unfamiliar font. Cat has taught her using people's names and a cushion embroidered with the alphabet. A shopping bag suddenly becomes a family album, as Ellie shouts out the names.
4. Nick and I are caught Alan admiring the baby who has been left lying on the sofa for a moment. 'You're communing with Daniel,' says Alan, seeing that Daniel has one of our fingers in each of his fists.
5. Cat excuses herself to feed a fussy Daniel in my room 'The bed might be a more familiar set-up'. When I go in to check she is all right, she has snuggled herself under the covers, and is looking at my slightly disordered quarters with the sort of new-eye attitude that I ought to use all the time. Later Ellie comes in and stands at the side of the bed, her head just above the level of the mattress. I lift her up so she can admire the metalwork flowers and leaves at the foot of the bed. She counts them. 'Number one, number two...'
6. Ellie knows Each Peach Pear Plum, just like her godmother.