OK, so it’s not actually Easter yet, but I’ve been at home with Millie today as she has broken up for Easter.
And we’ve had a wonderful day. 🙂
There was no rush to get up and ready this morning, so nobody got stressed or cross; we had our breakfast, the girls got to play on “the iPhone” (in reality my Android and old iPod Touch), I shaved my head and had a shower, then we left to take Amber to nursery. There was a little twinge of guilt that she was being packed off to nursery, as usual, when Millie wasn’t, but it soon passed. Amber hasn’t been to nursery for over a week, since my parents looked after both girls previously, so she’s had a bit of time off.
Anyway. Millie and I dropped Amber at nursery and she waved goodbye happily enough, then we began our Daddy-and-Millie day.
First port of call: a newsagent in Sidcup to renew my Oyster card. While I was doing that Millie browsed the magazines; I happened to notice the same Winnie The Pooh Panini sticker book that she got last week in amongst them and had an idea. I asked the shopkeeper if they sold the packets of stickers for this book – they did, so I bought Millie two packets.
She was absolutely ecstatic about this! It was a joy to watch her face and see someone made so happy by two 50 pence packets of stickers.
Next we went to Morrisons, just around the corner, to get some cheese muffins (I love cheese muffins of a morning – when I was unemployed I had them almost every day!)
“Daddy,” said Millie, “since we’re not in a rush today…” – and just hearing those words made me feel a little sad, realising that Millie’s not stupid and is aware that we’re in a permanent rush on weekday mornings. Hearing her say that made me instantly stop and decide to do whatever she wanted since, as she’d pointed out, we’re not in a rush today.
“Daddy, since we’re not in a rush today could we go and look at the fish?”
Again, I could have kissed her (in fact, I did). All she wanted on this day, when we had time to spare, was to go and look at the Morrisons’ fish counter.
So we spent ten minutes looking at the octopi, the trout, the unpronounceablename fish and back to the octopi. It might sound silly, but it was a lovely shared moment.
When we got home Millie wanted to do some arts and crafts, so I drew her a princess carriage being pulled by a horse and cut it out. She coloured it in while I pottered about in the garden for a while.
Then, with the sun hot in the gorgeous blue sky, we had lunch in the back garden during which Millie asked me to tell her about:
- All the French words I knew
- My trip down a sewer (here, under Monday 8th May 2006)
- The names of all my teachers at school
- What people I knew from other countries
- How I knew stuff
- How old I was when I learned stuff
It was just great fun simply to be sat outside chatting with Millie, to have a proper conversation with her, be genuinely interested in everything she was saying and not to have to feign any interest (sorry, Amber, you’re cute and all but your conversation veers towards the repetitive at times…)
Then we went to the cinema in Bexleyheath to see Winnie The Pooh – which was surprisingly funny, actually. Much funnier than many “adult” comedies I’ve seen in recent years. Millie ate a “medium” popcorn the size of her body – I’ve still no idea where she put it all and was astonished to realise that it bore an uncanny similarity to her Panini sticker book!
We also went to the library, where Millie has discovered a latent love of barn owls, of all things, thanks to a book she picked up at random (I got a book on the history and recent explosion in popularity of zombies). We also went to Wilkinsons to get some seeds and discovered that they were charging £1.89 for a very small bundle of twigs for gerbils to gnaw on. I tried to explain to Millie that we have a wood behind our house and can get literally thousands of twigs for £0 and 0 pence, but she remained unconvinced.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some reading to catch up on and – with tomorrow’s weather forecast to be fantastic again – have to plan a picnic at Foots Cray Meadow…
(not my most elegant conclusion to a blog entry, I’m afraid, but I’m tired and on holiday so meh).