Curling up on the sofa with Ida for a bit of Show me show me I wondered why the drawling southern belle Bo-Peep seemed just right. I suppose rationally she’d be better suited to a rural accent. Maybe from Yorkshire, or Somerset. Or most sensibly, Welsh – the spiritual home of shepherdesses surely? How many sheep are there in New Orléans?
I think it’s all about the dress. All those ladybird illustrations of a corseted, hoop-skirted Bo, bedecked in ruffles and bows, have obviously become tangled up with the cover of Gone with the Wind stacked at the end of mum’s bed.
My old ladybird books have been on my mind as Ida has liberated a handful from one of the boxes under the bed. She’s very taken with the bunnikens series especially Bob Bobkin the squirrel who gets lost in the wood after he disobeyed mother’s orders.
They are very moral about listening and being good and in the worst doggerel ever. I love reading them to her though. Rhyme is always soothing and these naughty disobedient woodland creatures are always forgiven, rescued, found and tucked up in bed with love and penitence in their hearts.
As I say, soothing.
School has restarted and we’re settling into a comforting routine. I’m trying to tackle some of the chaotic corners that have built up around the house. I take to heart the status’ about life laundery a friend who declutters professionally puts on her fb page.
Ida scorns her pushchair and insists on wellies for every journey outside for when there are puddles. We don’t have a car though so sometimes the pushchair is pretty necessary for the l o n g journey home and I have to tow it outside with her howling in protest, attempting to shut the door on both of us. It’s me that misses it the most. Carry my own shopping? Unthinkable! I remember weeping when Zeph finally outgrew his pushchair and doubt it’ll be any different this time.
We collect leaves and acorns on our short sweet journeys around the city. Everything is fascinating to her. We study the hedges festooned with fat garden spiders and the rowan trees drooping down heavy with bright red berries. When we get home for lunch she helps me butter the toast and passes fabric for me to cut into squares for patchwork. We savour the hour before picking up Zeph – spending it in small absorbing tasks. At the moment we’re very much on toddler time. I try not to fret at its wandering path and embrace it instead.
The days are full of Beautiful Things.
My mum brings round a cape I used to wear as a child. My Grandma bought it on a holiday in Austria and bore it home in triumph. One of my earliest memories is of fingering the fascinating silver buttons. It’s very satisfying to see it on Ida.
The hat is the one I knitted on my new circular knitting needle. Ida helped with loud encouragement. The hat was actually meant for Zeph but luckily he’d prefer a red one as Ida insisted on claiming this one. I finally realised you had to move the wool backward and forward to knit ribbing. It’s all very obvious once you see but I feel pleased at working out a new skill – like Rachel from Growing Things and Making Things says, it all builds up and makes your knitting smoother and more satisfying.
She’s a good model. My favourite thing about this hat is when she’s cross with us she pulls it down over her face to shut us out. Brings a smile to my face every time. Like a recalcitrant budgie.