We’ve just got Josie around during the day this week as the big three have all been busy doing “Oliver!” When you suddenly find yourself only concerned with parenting one little person (and perhaps this is a specially keen feeling when you HE and perhaps spend a lot of time feeling everything needs to be fully ‘lived’ to make it worthwhile and educational) it is easy to see why people get such joy from grand-parenting.
It is astonishingly easy to be at home with just Josie; she is very self contained but hands out delicious parcels of love and affection and attention. It is very easy to enjoy being around her. Perhaps it is just the simplicity of it, perhaps it is the quietness and slower pace, or perhaps it is her. She is very smart and intelligent, very funny, outrageously full of grumpy personality. She is fun to be around.
Yesterday she, Max and i loafed at home. She supervised Max building a new roof for the rabbit hutch and did lots of Fimo with me, made and ate lunch with us and she and i read “How Babies are Made” and “The Emperors Egg” and did several jigsaws. i endeavoured to fill in the gaps i discovered in her education (which i blame her sisters for); she was hitherto unaware of what a butterfly was, didn’t know they started as caterpillars (no self respecting oldest HE’d child would not know these things at nearly 4!) and most worryingly of all, had no idea how to awaken a magically sleeping princess, demonstrating clearly that she has not been dumped in front of Disney often enough. (Obviously i could put “not been read enough age appropriate stories, but that would lay the blame at my feet).
Today we went with Kate and Madison to Hammerton Zoo; it is a smallish place with a concentration of lemurs, monkeys and birds plus a few larger cats and an interest in breeding programmes, which it seems rather good at. I’ve tended to think it pricey in the past, probably still would, but if you only take 1, it is not too bad and the pace is right for a small person. I like the fact that nothing too big and scary exists (though Josie was scared of several of the odder birds) and that you don’t need to rush to get round it. I liked most of all that i just got to enjoy it through the eyes and at the pace, of my smallest child. I liked not feeling pressured to ‘work it’ – we had the odd conversation about what things might eat (nobody eats Josie’s, though the wallaby with a Joey poking out of her tummy caused some consternation) and where they might live (same place as Dora) but mostly we just oohed and aahed at birds with blue faces and monkeys with dirty bottoms.
She did know that a Cheetah was the fastest animal in the world. Gotta give Dora her dues for that. 😆
We saw a couple of scary things, both of which didn’t have names we could find and neither of which i knew. Nor are they on the website. One was, i assume a carrion or bird of prey; tall like a crane but dressed like a Dickensian lawyer, humped up with black tailcoat and white shirt, no neck to speak of, feather that grew like thinning, mussed up greying hair on his head and an absolutely fearsome triangular beak that must have been a foot long. His wing span was enormous, probably nearly 5ft and he looked like he might not leave you standing if he set about you. I certainly wouldn’t have been wanting to look nearly dead anywhere near him. He flew a bit near the wire (clipped wings but was trying) and scared the pants off Josie; Madison didn’t even notice as she was trying to retrieve her crisp from inside the fence 😆 I’d love to know what he was, he was damn ugly, that was for sure.
Edit: Found him, a Marabou Stork – like i say, damn ugly! Undertaker Bird, they call it and it shares the largest wingspan of any land bird with the Andean Condor. Funnily enough, the other girls told me about THAT when we were discribing this bird to them; they’d seen something about it at Twin Lakes.
The other was on the way out; they were across a field but when i first saw them i thought they were some kind of fake entrance decoration. Two HUGE donkey type things; they must have been the size of a full grown horse, with enormous ears, shaggy hair and the most South American Pinata shape to them you’ve ever seen. They really did look like they were the type of donkey made of straw that people bring back from Mexico, brought to life with magic. White noses, white socks and just HUGE! I want to know what they were too.
Collected the girls and then had a hectic few hours which i’ll gloss over but the girls all had a good time with Kate, Summer and Madison while i dashed about like a blue ***** fly. Did i mention i am bored of business ownership?
Tonight we finished The Railway Children and as predicted i blubbed in the way my mum used to do. The girls laughed at me.
“Oh my daddy, my daddy!”
I can comfortably predict i will also sob through the film. 🙄