There’s something about winter Sundays (and despite sunshine, birds in song and the windows thrown open to let in the fresh air it is still winter) that has stillness at its core. Time doesn’t stand still exactly, but it’s full of a cosy hibernation as the four of us settle down to an afternoon of quiet inactivity.
H and Kitty opened up a toddler friendly craft kit to make tiny purple felt hairslide (yes, the Father of the Year award for dedication to hairslides is winging its way to him as we speak), Elma nursed, snoozed and wiggled tiny feet, and I turned back time for a week or so to the days of snow, and the combined joys of Kitty, Grandpa and a great expanse of the white fluffy stuff.
Dad came up to visit last week for a few days before Elma’s baptism and Kit could not have been more excited; I think she spent the entire time blissfully shadowing him and offering a running narration on the minutiae of daily life:
“Grandpa, what doing?”
“Grandpa eaty breakfast.”
“Grandpa put shoes on.”
“Grandpa put hat on.”
“Grandpa, what doing?”
Rarely have Mama and Daddy been so wholeheartedly displaced in her affections, and he wasn’t even bribing her with chocolate.
With snow still blanketing the garden until the Sunday morning, our potential excursions were reduced to ‘places we can walk to and take Elma in the sling because the buggy can’t cope with the snow’. So we went to the playpark.
Our village playing field had clearly seen a lot of tobogganing during the days when the school was closed but there was still more than enough snow for Dad (who lives in Devon where snow is more of a once a decade kind of event) to throw himself enthusiastically into the construction of a “baby snowman”, under the direction of his tiny overseer:
“I helpy Grandpa make snowman!”
If his usual medium is sand, his constructions skills are none the worse for it, and we produced a very respectable snow baby, with grass sticky up hair and twiggy arms. We loved it.
But our real mission had been to make it to the toddler playpark and though much of it was still several inches under, we did at least find the swings in the village, and later on the swings at St Nick’s in Warwick.
They say it’s the simple things that give you the most pleasure; well one of my simple things has to be the sound of Kitty’s laughter as she swung back and forth. I suspect Dad rather enjoyed it as well.