By fervent request of myr s, we trooped back to The Plough for a Sunday Roast today, and had a slow couple of hours soaking up the atmosphere, talking to other diners, and saying hello to various dogs roaming the public area. The cub was as restless as usual between bouts of fierce attention to detail, while myr s was disappointed that the landlord wasn’t present as they missed his broad Irish accent and humour and haven’t seen him since before the first lockdown!
Then,with the cub champing at the bit, I walked him over The Green to the playground that has served so many over the years. We used to take the Charleesi there regularly, so memory lane yawned wide, contrasting with the newer equipment currently installed but still latching on to the activity of watching a child chamber everywhere, and pushing them on the swings.
Just a quiet moment of reminiscing, and then just for good measure I tweaked my back a bit – so hello painkillers and deep heat this evening…
The cub has recently discovered a new activity that has gripped his attention – playing darts. He’s now old enough to be trusted with proper sharp darts rather than the magnetic set that has adorned the door next to his desk, so lady s has registered him with the local darts academy.
His grandfather is of course extremely pleased, and has invested in a high end board and a selection of flights and components so that everyone in the house can have their customised setups to suit their play style. The cub has a practice routine to do every day and so it was that we ended up in a mixed doubles series of darts matches last night. I was in a team with lady s, and the cub was in a team with his grandad.
It was just a lovely quiet family moment of playing together with quiet banter, promises of being dumped if it ended up needing a double one to win, and hardly anyone being hit by rebounding projectiles. I suspect there may be more this afternoon while lady s is at work.
There’s nothing quite like the sound of what might be a river outside your window to add a certain frisson to the decision to open your eyes in the morning. Half-buried under duvet and a small mountain of soft toys, that was my first conscious sensory input this morning.
The knowledge that it was an Inset Day, and that lady s and I wouldn’t have to do battle with the cub to go out in that weather arrived soon after. It didn’t stop me opening my eyes to check that there wasn’t actually a river flowing down the wall. As it turned out, the auditory confusion was coming from driving rain against the window panes and sill, a fast flowing drainage overflow pipe, and some kind of outlet releasing steam from somewhere.
Content that the room wasn’t about to flood, I’ll admit I did then turn over and do my best to burrow back into the nearest pillow and snuggle for a little while longer. There are worse ways to start a day, even if you know you’ll be spending the rest of it on the train home.
Neither of us wanted to get up, even though daylight and pre-booked train tickets wait for no one – but I was at least already dressed when the cub burst in wanting morning cuddles. I was honoured with at least ten seconds of enthusiastic cuddles before he bounced off in search of breakfast, a charger, and his Switch (more or less in that order). He is never that bouncy on a school day. To be fair, neither am I.
One of the guiding principles of dating lady s has been that it is public, known to all, and that includes her son. He is very much a typical boy of his age, so has taken our comings and goings in his stride, tolerating us as only he can.
But an interesting development has come about recently, where I’m greeted with big hugs and involved in conversations. It’s nice. It doesn’t stop him occasionally being a little ratbag when it’s time to get dressed for school, but again that’s business as usual.
It could just be that he’s just buttering us up with his birthday and Christmas both in the near future, but even the anti-school protests have mellowed, so perhaps he’s just… growing up?