Monday, August 16, 2004


Today Helena refused to let me remove her pyjamas.

She was a little dopey this morning, though clued in to the preparations we were making to leave the house. An easy-going, ya-whatever mood. Except for the pyjamas.

So off we went to the park in sleepwear and sandals.

I felt a little silly, mildly embarassed about it. There were all the neighbourhood girls in their summer dresses, much nicer today than their usual grubby shorts and T-shirts. Helena didn't mind one bit.

Of course, there are days I wish I could stay in my pyjamas, and there are the times when I have worn them to the corner store, ducking out for a litre of milk, always in winter, when I can throw a long coat over top, and I feel a thrill.

Ah, to be a toddler, free of the social conventions of appropriate clothing. I, as her mother, on the other hand, expect raised eyebrows and stern looks, directed at me on her behalf. Mothers should know better.

On arrival at the playground, Helena looks at me and says, "Pail." It takes me a minute to understand that she's saying "pail." "Pail. Pail. Pail." I forgot the pail, the shovel and sieve. She closely examines the basket beneath the seat of the stroller, just in case. How could I forget the pail?

Fortunately, Helena had, unbeknownst to me, tucked a plastic cup into my bag earlier in the morning. That'll do.

Today's word of the day: swing. And we swinged and we swinged and we swinged and we swinged. Swang. Until Helena fell asleep.

(Yesterday's word: pickle. Which is a very funny word. Particularly if you say it repeatedly for any length of time. Is that how it's going to be — a new word every day? How big should my vocabulary be by now?)

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