I have a little dream, and this is what it is.
Henry and I are indoors, because it’s raining. I have been very energetic and have invented exciting things for us to do all day (this is a dream, remember): we’ve built forts in the living room and had paper aeroplane competitions and done some pirate housework. But we’ve run out of things to do now. So we get on our matching aprons, I stand him on a chair at the kitchen counter, and we bake stained glass biscuits and print Daddy’s name on them, ready for when he comes back to a jam-smeared, sweet-crumbly-smelling house.
In my head, on the day this happens someone will turn up at the door with a medal and a laurel wreath and crown me a good mother. Until then, I can never quite believe it. Everyone has their own markers of motherhood. Stained glass biscuits are one of mine.
We’re not there yet, not least because I can’t trust him to stand on a chair without leaping off, or go anywhere near a hot saucepan without wanting to put his face in it. But we do have baking aprons, and today it rained. So we made sunshine-coloured playdough.
It is the easiest thing in the world, playdough. We were pleasantly surprised. I used this recipe and some natural yellow food colouring. The mixing and cooking took ten minutes or less.
It was less firm than I wanted, and left an oily yellow residue all over the table, so I think perhaps I didn’t cook it for long enough, or was too enthusiastic with the food colouring. But we are big fans of playdough around here. Something he can poke with a fork and spoon, without the commitment of putting it in his mouth? Best day ever.
Then we ate cinnamon bagels, grapes and chicken for dinner, sat on the kitchen floor, while he climbed on and off my knee and showed me pieces of cheese. Tables and chairs should probably be among my parenting goals, too. Somehow, I can never bring myself to be terribly bothered about them.
Here’s to rainy days, baby aprons and a boy who will eat, even just on the kitchen floor. Here’s to biscuits and blanket forts and paper aeroplanes on rainy days still to come. I’m still holding out for them. I can’t wait.