1. During lunch I hear Alec chatting to himself upstairs, so I know he's woken from his nap. I go up to get him -- quietly -- and watch him unseen though the gap between the hinge and the door. He's sitting on the bed, his hair sleep tousled, looking with great interest at something out of the window. After a while he makes some of his favourite sounds, not words, just sounds that he likes to feel in his mouth. Then I go in, and he has such a smile for me.
2. "Now let's glaze the outside. Dip it like this," she says, showing me how to lower the bowl in so that an air bubble protects the inside -- which is to be shiny white. I know exactly what she means, because I do the same thing in Alec's bath, to amuse him by making a large bubble pop out from under a submerged cup.
3. "Was he all right?" I asked Nick. When we parted so I could go off shopping while they went to the park, Alec was howling: "Mummy! Mummy!" and I'd been feeling guilty for not... I don't know, explaining to him properly. "He was fine," says Nick. "We saw some flags and he forgot all about you."