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I mentioned on Instagram earlier this week that I’d found a fir cone for Mouse, which she immediately claimed was a dragon egg. It hatched this weekend – into a fluffy toy dragon – as if by magic.

The whole scenario kind of reminded me that Mouse is growing up. I think raising children is like that – for a while you coast along on the same road, at the same level, then suddenly you notice a bit of a leap in their imagination, skill, maturity, physicality, temperament. Something will make you stand up and think “you’re growing”. It’s scary and lovely and happysad, for it marks the continued departure of your baby, making way for the next stage.

On Saturday, I had another one of those moments. We were all packed into the girls’ playroom, pissing about on the floor and trying to get Moo to crawl. She’s SO CLOSE! But more on that another time. Mouse was jumping up and down on the tender floorboards like a bull, so I attempted to guide her onto another activity. “Will you draw me something on your easel? Maybe a man. A man with hair.”

“I’ll do it, I’ll do it right now.” she muttered.

A few second later, I looked up. And by christ, she’d drawn a man with hair and a bonus pair of legs. All bar a scarily accurate Daddy Pig which I think was a fluke, this is the first time I’ve seen her draw something recognisable, to a brief. My husband and I shit ourselves with joy and heaped praise on her until she blushed. These are the moments, aren’t they? The pivotal snapshots in time, the ones that count. THIS is parenting.

Meanwhile. Moo crawled backwards and got her leg wedged under a chest of drawers. And the baby dragon? Mouse named him “Sweetie Love”. FFS – can’t win them all, right?


Mouse is stood in front of her easel, having drawn a pretty respectable stick man.

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