Saturday, September 06, 2014

Magic carpet, things to eat and mothering skills.

1. To be swept up by our friends and whisked away into the deep Sussex countryside on a visit. I like this particular friend because we both speak nineteen to the dozen -- mainly about work with words -- and I never feel as if I ought to be polite and slow down for her.

2. Diana's garden is full of good things for our children to eat. I crack nuts with my teeth and hand the kernels to Alec; I lift Bettany up to pick white grapes from the vine. I am sent off to find "a collapsed tomato plant in a tyre", but the seeds from our haul are running down my greedy baby's sleeve by the time we get back.

3. I am astonished and awed to see Diana's daughter-in-law arrive with a baby on one arm and a bouncy chocolate brown puppy attached to the other -- that's some accomplished mothering going on there.

4. Bettany bites the back of my leg as I reach up to put something in a larder. I read the riot act and put her on the doormat. She doesn't seem to understand but sits there so patiently and politely that I want to melt, but of course I can't because biting is becoming habit of hers and is about as serious as it gets in the infant world.


  1. I often think that those who, happily and successfully, take on puppies at the same time as babies, and they are surprisingly numerous, must have a really special gift. The dogs the puppies grow into are often rather special too.

    Lovely stuff here as always, I'm very impressed by a mushroom gathering cleaning lady (only in TW? Or maybe France...)

  2. A friend said that at their daycare a known biter would be assigned a full-time watcher to catch the behavior before it happened. A family story is told of my father as a boy, grabbing his younger brother's arm and pulling it in front of an oncoming bite. Somehow "He bit his own arm" didn't keep him out of trouble with his mom, but Uncle Don never bit my daddy again . . . not recommended, though, I like your method better ;-)

  3. When my kids were little my mother-in-law swore by the 'bite them back' method.

    1. Did it work for you? I'm not sure I want to get into a biting war!


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