"There, he looks lovely now." Patience wearing thin.
"She looks lovely now!"
It's an on-going game. I say, "he," she says, "SHE!"
"Look, Mummy. Sukie Jack Connor is waiting for breakfast." Oops.
"Does he like porridge?"
About 13 times an hour, this gendered mistake. All teddy bears are male to me, just like all cats are female and all dogs are something never to be let inside the house, regardless of chromosomes! Teddy Bears are Edwards - blokes!! My own little brown childhood bear, the one without any stuffing left, is still around, demoted to the toy box: he's called Knuckles, still one of my proudest name-giving achievements.
I heard the faint knock again. I didn't answer. I had a shower.
Through the steam of the faux-glass doors, I see the figure of my child, brown thing in hand. I hear her crying.
Sigh. "What is it, Celeste?"
"Sukie Jack Connor's pony tail breaked!"
"For God's sake, Celeste, I'm in the shower. I'll find him a new one when I get out!"
Right! I grab a towel, storm to the kitchen, find some more red wool and tie it extra tight round his ears that would be purple if he had any sense of feeling. Sorry, HER ears, SHE.
"There, SHE's got new pony tails now."
Knock, knock. Louder. And, "Becky, there's a parcel for you out here." My neighbour, V.
MY SECRET POST CLUB PARCEL!!!!!!
I squat and bend my still wet arm around the door, pull the packet into the warmth of our flat and read the message on the envelope, from which I determine that it's been posted to me by Ellie at Insomniac Mummy.
"I want to open it. I want to open it!"
No. It's mine. I never get to open anything that isn't electronically sent these days. I'm taller than her so I stand up, full of excitement.
Ellie, I think, has done her homework on me because inside MY parcel is a book of knitting patterns for children. Beautiful children with beautiful clothes. And two balls of the softest baby bamboo red wool. Thanks Ellie, I absolutely love it and I make you two promises:
1. I will learn to knit something more sophisicated than woollen squares that are used currently as blankets for Sukie Jack Connor.
2. I will not hang any of that gorgeous wool from said teddy bear's ears.
You have my word :)