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Monday, April 12, 2010

The thing about major childhood accidents is that you can't let them bother you. Just witness Marie's carefree and casual look of disdain as Amelie heads face-first towards the tarmac...

Fall Girl
Mind you, you should have seen her two seconds earlier with her foot sticking out, trying to trip Amelie up.

Obviously I didn't help the girl either, but I was busy compiling the documentary evidence with my camera for the impending child protection case.

To be honest, I should have known something wasn't right when Amelie turned to Marie yesterday afternoon and called her a cow. At the time I thought she was just naming farm animals, but I realise now that it was actually a perceptive recognition of the woman's true character.

I thought something smelt fishy when I took the photo on the left, but I decided it was just the turtle's nose in the background. I should have known it was actually the stench of corruption in the once peaceful land of childcare. Marie's clearly trying to get Amelie to look at the camera so that she can give her a sharp slap around the back of the head.

But child abuse aside, we had a very nice afternoon with Auntie Melee yesterday. She arrived at lunchtime in her yellow Panda (which confused Amelie no end after all I've taught her about animals), and I immediately served her the world's biggest lasagne accompanied by some undercooked garlic bread. She couldn't finish either. I tried not to take it personally. Frankly even Amelie refused to eat the garlic bread.

But with the food eaten (and the Gaviscon drunk), Amelie demonstrated to Marie her technique with a toy buggy. The girl's learnt a lot from all the times I've taken her out, and made her way around the flat, banging the buggy against walls, doors and bookcases until she'd shaken it up and down and from side to side so much that her baby fell out. That's pretty much how I do it when I take her to Asda.

So with Amelie keen to break out, and Lisa close to a break down, Marie and I took the toddler out for a run along the seafront. We followed the route of next Sunday's Brighton Marathon by heading along Madeira Drive to the Sea Life Centre where the finish line will be. Frankly it's the best plaice for it. Marie's actually done a marathon in the past, and I've eaten a few Snickers in my time, but the one who really took to the course was Amelie...

I only managed a few seconds of footage, because at the age of eighteen months, she can already toddle faster than I can run backwards. I think someone should be marketing rusks as a high energy food.

Anyhoo, our attempts to wear Amelie out failed spectacularly, and the moment we got home, she continued with her trouble-making. But the good news is that by the time Marie left, she'd taught Amelie to say "mischief". The bad news is it doesn't actually stop her doing it. But at least she now tells us what she's up to.

Amelie and I walked Marie down the road to her car at teatime and waved her goodbye. I think she wanted to leave before I served dinner. We'd only gone ten yards when I realised I'd put Amelie's shoes on the wrong feet. I wouldn't mind, but when I met Marie on Brighton beach a year ago, she noticed that I'd put Amelie's jeans on back to front. If Social Services had a clothes abuse squad, I'd be in prison by now.