Dad-D, Skye, Zac and the "Creep" of TimeBy Iain Millard 27th September 2015
We're on holiday at the moment and a couple of days ago we ate at one of the best fish restaurants in Andalucia - El Faro in Cadiz. Lou and I had been keen to try it ever since we read the reviews but as soon as we saw the plush interior - white linen table clothes, goblet wine glasses and crisp white uniformed staff - the highly likely possibility of a Skye "moment" sending the occasion into a spin almost had us heading back through the door. But having driven a hour to Cadiz we held our nerve and hoped our "little angel" wouldn't ruin our gastro treat.
Well, as it turned out Skye was actually an angel. Impeccably behaved, polite to all the staff, the perfect lunch companion. Anyone would have thought we were French. It's at times like these that I really notice how quickly she's growing up.
She's just gone upstairs to the "big girls and boys room" at nursery and at home she wants to help with the washing up; pulling her little chair up to the sink and rolling up her sleeves to lend a hand. Her vocabulary is coming on leaps and bounds and I'm equally mystified and mesmerised when she correctly uses the subjunctive tense. My little girl is growing up.
That's not to say that she isn't still every bit a two year old. Sometimes we get tantrums if I grate the cheese "wrong". This holiday - asking how she wants me to cut her melon has been like walking a tight rope over a snake pit over a mine field over a shark infested pool! At home there are two different toothpastes in her toothbrush pot. When I ask whether she wants blue or white she invariably says blue AND white and, in my opinion, the safe option is to put two different toothpastes on her brush. Is that wrong? Am I allowing Skye to get the upper hand or am I just choosing the right battles to fight?
Skye's a complex kid. They all are. Like a Radiohead album - she is so rewarding the more time you invest in her but she is still a kid.
But the clock is ticking and time marches on. A few weeks ago, when Louise's sister Angie was visiting, we went to Eat 17, a restaurant/bar close to where we live. The plan was to have a cocktail before I took Skye home while Lou and Angie went out for the night. Earlier in the day, we'd been at the annual Chatsworth Road Festival where Skye had her face painted and she was proudly dancing around the bar, her Spider-Man face paint, by now, decidedly smudged. As we left and Skye struggled down the stairs of the bar - make-up running - I couldn't help thinking this was a glimpse of things to come.
These glimpses into the future are exciting and daunting in equal measure. I'm sure there are plenty of challenges ahead but as I watch Zac become increasingly animated and find myself transfixed by his smile, his laugh and, most of all, his dolphin-cross-pterodactyl utterances, I know I need to live in the "now" and press "Slow Play".
Zac will have his work cut out with Skye but he seems - at 5 months - happy and assured; and I can't ask for more than that. I'm sure Kid B will be just as complicated as Kid A and I'm sure both will drive me round "The Bends" but as I see how quickly Skye is growing up I realise how precious these early months with Zac are, so intend savouring every one.
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