Antonia aged three and a half is a glorious little creature. She was home sick today (I wrote this a couple of weeks ago), but was recovering well, so in between a couple of long sessions of watching cartoons, we did a puzzle and played lotto, and she happily stuck little plastic pins in to a board as I put Julius to sleep, making up stories as she went. Felix was out late so we had time to kill after dinner as well, and it really was so delightful. We had to read The skeletons and the Ghost train, and then we had to BE the skeletons riding on the ghost train (Antonia opted to be the dog). Then she wanted to give me a dancing lesson, and instructed me to find some soft ballet music. I have an old ipod with a very limited selection of music on it, so I went for Suzanne Vega’s Small Blue Thing, which she was perfectly happy with. Julius was captivated (he really was) by our interpretative dance – he even tried to join in. Then she wanted to go camping with her sleeping bag and a yoga mat. To begin with she was very annoyed that Julius was so interested in the yoga mat. She tried making a ‘line’ of toys to demarcate his side and hers, but after a while accepted my explanation that that just doesn’t work with babies. So after that we were all able to coexist quite nicely, lying on the floor next the play kitchen. I had to lie down and then wake up, and Antonia would serve me breakfast in bed, which I would share with Julius. It was just so nice.

Last week I accidentally read her a rather morbid Norwegian picture book in the library, and after that we had to take it in turns being ‘dead Grandpa’. She did a rather good impression!

This evening she covered herself with a blanket and pretended to be ‘treasure’ on a beach – I had to dig her up and try to take her home with me, and she told me each time, ‘no, I live here’. This was great as Julius could join in. ‘Treasure can’t talk’ says Felix. But this one can.

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