Every great novelist needs a break now and then (preferably a lucky one), so in an effort to clear my head (and not just a blatant attempt to procrastinate), I took Amelie out for a walk yesterday. We ended up at the Marie Curie shop in Kemptown, where I splashed out 50p on a cuddly Boo from Monsters Inc...
I must admit, as I was doing up her toddler reins, I did start to wonder if they were getting a bit tight, and now I look at that photo, I think the answer's yes. Frankly it's a miracle she could still breathe. No wonder she started panting as we were walking up the hill. That lamp post's the only thing keeping her upright.
As it happens, Amelie had never heard of Boo, or Monsters Inc, when we bought it, and I spent most of the journey home thinking it was Dora the Explorer, but having noticed that the teddy bear in her hand had only one eye and six limbs, I put two and two together and hit the jackpot. Frankly it's the best 50p I've ever spent. Amelie and Boo have been inseparable ever since. They spent most of Saturday cuddling on my computer chair whilst watching Boo's Best Bits on YouTube. It's ten minutes long, so I only have to play it six times an hour.
To be honest, I'm glad she had company. Lisa went out at 5pm to chair an AA meeting in town, and Amelie found it a little distressing. She kept telling me she wanted to "go with Mummy", and insisted on keeping the curtains open so she could check for her return. I spent the evening trying to distract her by any means possible. At one point she had Maisy Mouse on the TV, Boo on the computer, Pocoyo on my iPad, and I was reading her The Very Hungry Caterpillar. And she still asked me when Mummy was coming back.
I finally put her to bed at 7 o'clock, and she went straight to sleep, cuddling Boo. But forty-five minutes later she suddenly woke up in tears, calling "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!" over and over again. Obviously I was sad that she was upset, but I was also secretly pleased that she wanted me.
So I opened her bedroom door and said "What's wrong, darling?"
She stood up in her cot and said "Mummy's gone."
I told her to live with it, and walked out.