1. The ice cream chimes ring out, and tinies run out of the bushes where they have been playing. Their dads, who are lounging on the grass outside the pub, call: "You've already had some, go back." And three of them burst into wide-mouthed howls. The dads laugh guiltily.
2. We are sitting in the park, Alec and I. A two-year-old girl strolls up and examines him. Then "Sit?" I nod, and she plumps herself down next to Alec on my legs.
3. Alec won't go to sleep and won't go to sleep and won't go to sleep and I have to work and I'm running out of time. "I give up," I tell him. "I'm going to come to bed now and and I'm going to lie here and feed you." Within 15 minutes he's so deeply asleep that I can work next to him. So much of motherhood is about surrendering.