The pre-schoolers arrived at the playground at 10:30 this morning, punctual as always. Each morning, the chaperones strap the kids into these large barrows (three to a side, like eggs in an outsize carton) and ferry them over for a brief, free-range fracas.
The kids recognize me now, and I usually indulge in a little belly-poking and raspberry-blowing — heroin to the average two-year-old. I was sitting cross-legged in one corner when a bunch of twobies descended on me, taking their turns having their tummies rubbed and shrieking in delight. After a few minutes, I looked up and saw Robert in the opposite corner of the yard, sobbing. Was he miffed to be missing out on the action? Or was he distressed by what must have looked to him like a scene from THE BIRDS?
I walked over to him, and he met me halfway and threw his arms around my neck. I held him and caressed his little bald head, and he snuffled for a bit, until he was sure that Daddy was safe and focusing his attention where it belonged.