Apron strings

In the midst of all that angst, it’s been an interesting experience loosening the apron strings ever so slightly today.

It has become a bit of a custom to swap children during the holidays, taking Smudgelet to the childminder’s to play with his best friend and bringing home said best friend’s brother (bored at the childminder’s with all the under-nines) to play with Tiddles who is of an age with him. They’re delightful company and he’s a good influence on Tiddles, methinks.

So Miss-ultra-protective, realising her teenage son is getting on a bit now, decides to let go the reins just a little bit. The two lads are given some money and dropped off at the swimming pool for a couple of hours. Then, once they are wrinkly, they are transported into town with money to buy their own picnic and then relocated, complete with football, at the edge of the forest. It’s a small forest, well known to them both and very popular with families, so as safe as you could ask a forest to be. The only known dangerous wild animals are the red squirrels who could probably give you a nasty tickle. So I steeled myself to leave them to their own devices – a picnic, a walk and a kickaround with the football – for an hour and a half. I came home to make the most of my freedom – why is it I paced the whole afternoon until it was time to go and collect them?

Tiddles tonight rang Miss Lovely to arrange his fourth date. Ooooh! Mind you, I have to say she’s a bit of a girl. I seem to have lost touch with thirteen-year-old girls, they seem a bit of an alien race to me. But she’s good for Tiddles and he likes her company, so that’s good enough for me to put up with the giggles and silly girly comments. I loved it, though – he walked miles during the phonecall as he went to his room for privacy, returning to the lounge every three seconds to check his arrangements with me! It’s a bit of a logistical nightmare, though… and somehow seems to work out that I shall have to spend some time alone with this strange creature, the teenage girl…. a prospect almost as daunting for me as it is doubtless for her.