Tuesday, 24 May 2011
The little girl with the pigtails sat herself in the bubble car that John was contentedly pushing around the room, turned to him and scowled.
She poked her tongue out until it was stretched to the roots, distorted her angelic features into a series of grotesque grimaces and prodded his pudgy fingers maliciously.
She reversed the car over his feet, sending him tottering backwards, tugged his hands away from the toy and finally,with a small but victorious squeal, whizzed away from him across the room.
John stood quite still in the empty space that she left, watching her go, his little face full of confusion, resignation and acceptance.
And as I sat on my hands, feeling anguish tear at my heart, and using every ounce of my strength to stop myself from running to him, scooping him up in my arms and smothering him with love, I felt as though I were rounding a corner into a new phase of parenthood, and that this one looked tougher and more treacherous even than the last.