1. When I turn back Bettany has escaped -- somehow, over the roar of conversation, the rolling of the ride-ons and the voices of busy children, she has heard a mother opening a snack packet. When I get there she is signing 'please' and being adored and admired for it. 'Can I give her one?' asks the mother holding up a bag of rice cakes. It seems rude to say no, really.
2. Alec wants to leave, and then he doesn't and then he has a tantrum about it. We are rescued by a friend of a friend who says that her little lad did the same in the supermarket yesterday. 'Sometimes it helps if a stranger...'
'Yes please,' I say quickly before she can change her mind. She goes back and talks with Alec about how it's hard to stop crying sometimes and then she takes him by the hand and walks with us as far as she is going. I feel as if she opened the way back in and shoved Alec gently through it.
3. To have both children asleep when Nick gets home.