Ivy spilled hot tea across her hand yesterday. I knew exactly how much it hurt because I spilled a cup down the back of my neck in the bath that morning.
We were sitting on the rug, me with my tea, her with formula in her sippie cup. I was trying a new trick - let's both have a cup of tea, just cool, no pressure, look! your cup is just like mummies cup - when i turned away and back to see her lunge at the tea. Bad game - Mummies cup is the good one, of course.
There was a second's pause while we both took in the carnage, then an almighty wail from Ivy as I scooped her up and ran to the tap. I held her poor hand under the running water for about ten terrible minutes as she cried and cried. I could see the burn wasn't bad, but she was having a awful time being tortured under the cold tap. In the bathroom mirror she could see my face. I watched her looking back and forth between mummy and mirror-mummy, wailing, and could imagine her brain laying down a lifetime of emotional love-maps: 'Mummy is hurting me! Why? Mummy loves me! So people who love you hurt you? Never trust anybody! Never love anybody!'
I took her next door to see Helen the GP. Ivy had stopped crying by then, but Buce the retired anthropologist and full-time beardie-wierdie opened the door. Ivy, calm by then, took one look at Bruce and burst into tears again.
What a night for little Naughty Buttons.
Tomorrow is my birthday - no Keith, but the family coming down for lunch. Keith will be home at about 9. I think I will lay out clothes for him. There is a month every year when we are of different ages - he turns 36 in early August. Our system is that for that month he must wear what I tell him to. I see cardigans in his future....with great big buttons.