Before we’d even left the house for playgroup, she’d tipped a full box of Jacobs crackers all over the kitchen floor. Who knew they would break into so many teeny tiny pieces? Wonderful. There they were, my guilty pleasure, destined to be cheeseless and uneaten. It was 9am and she’d been rummaging in the cupboard for “bic bics” like a feral creature. She’d already woofed down her weetabix and a yog yog. We were already late. Obviously. I crawled heavily on my on hands and knees to scrape the remnants of the cracker assortment into a pile as she repeatedly removed her “sockies” and “soooz”. Would we ever make playgroup?
Playgroup takes place in the local Christian Centre. Unlike, a few groups I’ve been to, it’s in modern surroundings and is quite well organised. Conveniently, we can walk to it, we meet our friends there and it’s a bargain at £1.50; kids get juice and a biscuit and can play with loads of toys, have a go on the bouncy castle and join in with a sing-along at the end. Yes, your child will be playing with used toys and yes, the kids have probably dribbled on the plastic food that your child now has in their mouth….hmmm – but, she gets to play, I get to see my friends (and know that I’m not the only one who is late/often dishevelled/spinning lots of plates) and the coffee isn’t too bad either. Mini Lass practically crowd surfs to get to the front of Sing Along, just in time for head, shoulders knees and toes….knees and toes. She’s in her element.
Today, as I tried to pay and sign us in, she was off. I mean, off. She didn’t look back. She was greeting everyone “hellllllloooo” and was giving a dramatic, royal-esque wave to her adoring public (you know, other mums/nans/volunteers and someone’s grandad).
She was first at the snack table, got her free biscuit and was off again. When everyone else was sitting, I spotted her coming down the slide with a Malted Milk in one hand a chocolate Bourbon in the other. She’d managed to get a biscuit from somewhere else (the floor? another child? her secret stash?) and like magic, she’d doubled her grub. She slid down and did not drop a single crumb. That’s Mummy’s Girl! Biscuits aren’t for wasting.
On her travels, in and out and underneath the grown-ups chairs, Mini Lass had managed to nick another little lass’s dummy. In her defence, it was identical to hers – so of course, she popped it straight into her mouth. The babysitting-nan of the dumbfounded, dummy-less toddler was polite when I give it back to her apologetically.
“Sorry, she’s got the same one, the cheeky monkey” I explained.
“You’re alright love” she said warmly. “Children are little devils. [Oooo, should we say that in the (whispers) Christian Centre?]
Mini Lass gave her a smile that was half angel and half rebel. Say no more.