Ivy is becoming very definite in her tastes. She has only two positions: 'I love that' (Seinfeld, cheese, blueberries), and 'I don't like that' (my nipple, Pipey the water dragon, any food that I've put extended effort into making.)
Right now she's very into the Eagles, and made me play her song - 'One of These Nights' over and over in the car today. I'm a bit nervous for music class, returning next week, where the kids alll get up and perform at the end. I hope Ivy keeps to the twinkles and incy wincies, and doesn't throw in 'One of these crazy old nights I'm gonna find out, pretty mama, what turns on your lights.'
Also, she doesn't ask 'What is that?' Rather, she always has a guess. To a yellow bar of soap -'Izzat cheese?' To any song that comes on the car radio: 'Izzat Claire Bowditch?' To anything she wants: 'Izzat Ivy's?'
Little Ted is still fighting his position in the pecking order through the oldest tool known to man. In the bath the other day he pissed a tall arc that curved through the air right onto Ivy's head. She stopped in surprise, pushed her dripping fringe away from her eyes and said excitedly 'Do it again, Teddy!'
Some dodgy girls have arrived and set up house in the derelict 50's shack next door. It has million dollar views but is crumbling to pieces, and the owners - in their 70's - only visit occasionally to check on it. Yesterday I glanced out of the window to see a goat in our driveway. He took off, followed by a staggering sort of emo/hippie drug casualty. The safe money was on the goat. This girl looked like she couldn't walk straight enough to reach the methadone on her bedside table, let alone one catch a horned beast.
An hour later I was going out when she slouched past again.
'Hi', I said. 'Where's your goat?' 'Shit,I dunno,' she whined, and kept on going. 'Sorry, um, what should I do about the - are you going to find the goat?' I asked, my pitch rising nervously. 'Look, it's just a really bad time to meet me,OK?' she screeched. Her voice could strip a wall. 'I had to drive a bloody hour to get that goat and now he's bloody run away, and I've got the major shits so I just wanna go home.''But do you live here? Are you renting?' I pressed.'I'm, um caretaking,'she said, and darted away.
An hour later a big, black mangy dog with no collar started nosing around our bins. We're not judgemental people, really. Keith has many odd peccadillos, I almost never polish my hats, and Ivy is no stranger to the dreadlock, but at least we didn't release feral wildlife on our first day.
There goes the neighbourhood.