Isaac, he very happy boy. Chuckle, chuckle, yes. With the aid of all six teeth he is endeavouring to show me just how happy with the largest of all outsize grins, saliva drib-dribbling down his chin. Another frontier crossed, another summit scaled. Oh yes, now not only can we get onto the small sofa in the living room we can now get onto the big sofa too. Hooray! Very big sofa this one; nice view from the top, lots of crawling room and all sorts of opportunities for worrying the parents over potential accidents. More saliva dribbles, more face-splitting smiles. He very, very happy indeed.
Mummy's face stiffens in horror. "Surely he can't throw himself over the back of that one?"
"No, too high," I reassure her and move the CD player, already in theory out of harm's way, further from the reach of baby fingers. The grim reality is that nothing in Isaac's range is safe now, nothing at all.
Having said that, it's nice to see Isaac smiling again. The wandering Winter lurgy struck him down last week, transforming a smiling, content little boy who slept peacefully through the night and ate everything put in front of him into a little bundle of misery who refused to sleep during the day, woke up screaming during the night, demanded constant companionship and would eat nothing but runny Ella's Kitchen veggie-meals. Our vast supply of muslins, recently made reduntant from their usual role of cleaning up milk-vomit were abruptly rushed back into service as handkerchiefs. Needless to say, Isaac did not appreciate their re-introduction. Actually, he didn't really appreciate much, poor lad.
Nor did the rest of us. With the possible exception of Graham we all had rather a trying week. Housework, except the essentials, went to pot. I was grateful that Winter had finally put in a belated (and
short-lived) appearance. The days were sharp and sunny, with frosty
mornings and skies of a pure Winter blue. As a result Isaac and I were
able to spend several mornings out and about which I believe was
beneficial for the moods of both. Even so, by Wednesday evening I was sunken-eyed and profusely bearded; the kitchen floor was sticky with strawberry jam and the upstairs bathroom was rich in several species of bacteria previously unknown to science. I took things in hand; broke a razor blade shaving on Wednesday and then had a hefty cleaning session on Thursday morning which fortunately coincided with Isaac's almost complete return to health and happiness.
Now, in the full profusion of health, Isaac sits enthroned upon the sofa, happily surveying his new territory. Graham comes charging in from pre-school and hurtles onto the sofa next to his little brother.
"Are you a little naughty scamp?" he yells sardonically and lies down. Isaac promptly sits on his head. Hilarity ensues.
Outside, Winter has changed back to grey and soggy rain, drops spot the window and the blue skies of last week are hidden behind the clouds but inside the sun is out again, the family has a smile back on its face and we are all very grateful for that.