I adore Oliver, my sort-of-Godson (CofE mama, Jewish papa). When Clare asked me seven years ago to take a role in his life I burst into tears, and I’ve never stopped being completely honoured to be a part of his (& his little sister Lulu’s) life. Even when they wake me up by jumping on my head (many times last summer) or fill my Marant boots with tiny plastic animals and I step unsuspectingly into them (this evening).
I haven’t yet bought Ol the set of drums with which I’ve been threatening his parents, but I do like buying him parent-teasers, so for his 7th birthday I spent a very enjoyable half an hour or so on the Hawkin’s Bazaar website buying him the kind of stuff that made my heart sing at the same age.
There is also a dinosaur inside an egg (hatch it in a glass of water), and a super complex dino rubber for his school pencil case. (No, American readers, it’s not what you are thinking. Rubber = eraser.) We had a splendid time after baths this evening sending the slinkie plinking down the hall stairs, mesmerised by its rainbow colours. (For some reason they are called springies now). I sat at the top with the infants, (well, apart from the bit where I found myself lying face down the stairs at 45 degrees, with Ol sitting on my back, whipping me. Not sure how that happened. Just call me Jungle Gym Sasha) and Clare stood at the bottom, judging who was best at getting it to bounce from stair to stair. I was sadly worsted by Ol. No change there then.
Then it was off to bed for stories. I had also bought him the Enid Blyton Faraway Tree Boxset at Clare’s request, and I read him the first two chapters of The Enchanted Wood. So far removed from my day to day life – both book and child, but nonetheless treasured, for all that.
(NB The Faraway children are no longer called Jo, Bessie, Fanny & Dick, I noticed this evening. They are now Joe, Beth, Frannie & Rick.)