There are only three children here today. (Only three children! Practically a day off!) Two of said children are playing happily on the other love seat in the living room, a game that involves much giggling and manoeuvring of small blocks in and around the seat cushions while I fire off a two-paragraph email, quick-quick.
Nigel, however, is at loose ends, and the laptop which so engrosses me must be interesting! Oh, and look! Buttons! Lots and lots of lovely buttons! My right hand flicks his hand gently away at ever-decreasing intervals. (Flick.) I could - and should! - just focus (flick) on the boy for a sec and redirect him (flick), but I just want to get this one (flick) thing (flick) done (flick).
Now, Nigel isn't often at loose ends. Nigel is a lovely, lively 12-month-old, busy, quiet, happy. He spends much of his day toddling here and there, picking up first one item and then the next, putting them in his mouth, drooling, gagging, and throwing the now sodden item to the floor before moving on to the next edible treat. My home is littered with soggy bits of this and that. Once every couple of hours I go through with a shovel and a mop, and we're good to go.
But this morning, with less mayhem to amuse and, now that I've removed the box of kleenex and the cup of water that someone (not me!) left on the FLOOR, nothing edible or splashable in immediate range, he's toodled over to the laptop. It's not splashable yet, but given a few minutes drool time, he can rectify that.
A dimpled finger reaches for the button. "No, Nigel. Not for babies." Flick. He knows I'm not to be taken seriously, not as distracted as I am. Back comes the little finger, hovering damply over the keyboard. Flick. "Not for babies, Nigel. Just a sec." Fli--then I catch sight of his nose.
It's been a little damp all morning, requiring occasional wipes. What I see now is not longer "a little" anything. The cold has ramped up production: two thick yellow ribbons curl over his upper lip. Eew. "Bring me that nose, little boy," I instruct, reaching for one of the crumpled but clean (and miraculously dry!) rescued tissues.
Being a normal one-year-old, he goes into evade mode. Duck and run, baby! Duck and run! I am far too practiced to be so easily evaded, and the kleenex has swiped over his shoulder and wrapped round his seeping nose before he's taken a full pace, much too quickly for him even to utter the wail of protest he'd so richly inhaled for. Well, poop.
The trauma decisively over, he returns to the laptop. His little face peeps past the monitor. I reach for the kleenex. He eyes the kleenex, held ready and warningly in my hand, his finger hesistates in the air. His eyes flick from the keyboard to the tissue, temptation and trauma, back and forth, back...and... Nope. Not worth the bother.
A moment or two later, I'm done with the laptop, but Nigel doesn't care: he's dropping tiny toys in the potty. Who needs a laptop with a tissue threat when potty mayhem awaits?