Things I've learned from my children today.
Being unable to help is horrible. Boy One shut his finger in the car door and it hurt. This, for him, is quite unusual. Something in the volume control of his senses is a bit awry and, normally, he doesn't feel everyday discomfort. He often can't account for bruises, doesn't know he's cold if he's got goose pimples and hardly ever feels hungry or thirsty. But today he was crying and trying to run away from the pain. He'd return to me crosser and crosser that I couldn't make it stop. In the end I gave him Calpol and an ice pack, a disproportionately large bandage and, when I caught him, a cuddle. He's much better now.
Hygiene is a relative concept. Boy Two often looks a little grubby around the edges. His hands should be milky white, but actually look like he's been juggling coals. His mouth is often adorned with ketchup and a milky moustache is a badge of honour. I've tried very hard to get him to understand the importance of keeping clean - and, if you'd been here, you'd know our standards are enormously attainable - but I just don't think I'm getting anywhere. "Have you washed your hands?" From where I stood it didn't look like it.
"Oh, yes, with soap."
There isn't any point in babyproofing. Boy Three might not have any teeth, but he's getting to grips with lots of other stuff. In the past 24 hours he's managed to climb the stairs on his own, pull out the plug of my hairdryer and get himself out of his sleeping bag. Oh, and it seems he quite likes mackerel. There doesn't seem any point in bothering to find the fixings for the stair gate or the blanks for the plugs now, does there? I expect he'll be working the oven and lighting the fire soon - he's already had a good go at unloading the dishwasher and emptying the bin.