Ernie was at his grandparents when I got home and Catie and Phoebe out at a party, but when they returned Catie went out to meet a friend and I had the rare pleasure of a couple of hours of play with my daughter without having to simultaneously watch my destructive son. We drew and coloured in some dinosaurs in her school weekend book and then had dinner and then played “Balloon Catch” a game with unspecified rules, meaning if I ever get a point I am instructed that I am cheating and it doesn’t count. It was spiritually invigorating and another reminder of how far my child has come since she emerged screaming her head off about four and two thirds years ago.
Ernie then came home and within fifteen minutes he had managed to dart upstairs before I could keep up with him and scribble all over a page of Phoebe’s weekend book (for the second time) and then get downstairs and somehow grab another pen and take it to the wall where we measure heights and scribble all over that as well. I caught him quite quickly but he’d already done some damage, whilst proudly pointing at it and saying “Ernie Tall”. Then when I got him in the bath I discovered he’d somehow managed to get a cardboard book in the water with him. Only in destroying finds he ease.
I am exasperated rather than angry and impressed by his speed. Each act of destruction creates a happy memory for the future, though not necessarily in the immediate future of my wife’s return. I had been eased into complacency by the comparative good behaviour of a four year old.
Good to be back though and good to be overwhelmed by rambunctiousness. The golden time continues. I’d be enjoying it more without the dread of work hanging over me and the exhaustion of touring. I love the me of the past who declared I would only do one podcast a week at most and have less respect for the me of the slightly more recent past who forgot about that and allowed loads of gigs to be put in. So I am doing Liverpool on Wednesday (which will take out most of Thursday as we drive back) and then Oxford on Sunday and London on Monday. Consecutive days? What the fuck was I thinking? Sadly I wasn’t thinking. The Me of the present always rues the errors of the Me of the past and then, perhaps as some feeble revenge, keeps inflicting similar discomfort on the Me of the future. I hate that smug prick.