1. Alec starts to feel overwhelmed by the company of mothers and babies. He squirms, thrashes his arms and spits out my finger, struggling, struggling to tune out and go to sleep. I start to sing one of our lullabies -- Dirty Old Town -- and he catches my eye, sucks on my finger and relaxes. I feel as if I have lit a lantern to lead him out of a dark place.
2. A schoolgirl walking down the train is covered in embarrassment at seeing one of her parents' friends. She half-smiles and then doesn't know what to say or do. The lady mouths a kind 'hallo' and then goes back to her magazine.
3. I'm not going to bolt my supper while Alec fusses 'a-heh, a-heh, a-heh'. I'm going to feed him first, and then I'm going to scramble my eggs.