The strange thing about camping on my own for five days was the way in which I could feel it doing me good. I had booked to stay from Monday to Thursday, but didn’t feel like it was time to leave so I stayed an extra night. M and the Smalls came and got me, and I knew when I saw them that it felt right – like it was time to go home and be amongst them again. I had sort of rebooted my system by having some time out.
Just after we arrived back at the boatyard the Smalls had great excitement – a Very Large Catamaran was coming up the creek and was to be pulled out of the water. It doesn’t happen all that often, and it’s always fun to watch – the big rusty engine that looks like it should be in a museum, gets started up and helps to winch vessels up the boat ramp. The bottom of this boat was covered in weed, and when you looked at it closely the weed was DANCING. It took a while for us to decide whether the weed itself was protesting at the lack of water, or whether it was tiny worms on the weed doing the protesting. I think it was the latter.
I have recently taught Small Z charades. She is entranced. I can see how her brain loves all the ‘first word sounds like…’ – the whole structure of it. Tonight was the second time we have played – we were lying in bed, so our actions were limited. I started – mimed a book – three words… We invented a sign for ‘the’ so she got the first word straightaway. The second word proved difficult to communicate and then I remembered how you can break words into syllables.
First syllable sounds like…. I mimed casting a fishing line into the water. No luck. I did fish movements with my hand.
I nodded. Second syllable sounds like… I pointed at my ring.
“Ring! Fishing!! The Fishring?”
Third word, sounds like….I tugged on her hair.
“Hair? Hair! The Fishring Hair? Um… Sounds like hair? The Fishring… THE WISHING CHAIR!!”
And then it was her turn…
Two words, first word, sounds like… She performed a familiar karate move with her hands. Unfortunately the name of the move had dropped out of my brain. She was beside herself, to the point where she couldn’t help it and told me that it started with ‘P’. I told her clues were forbidden in charades. She karate-d and karate-d at me, to no avail. She moved on to the second word.
Second word, sounds like… She inhaled sharply and deeply.
“Snot?” I queried. “Sniff? Smell? Inhale? Snort? Snuffle?” Each of my suggestions frustrated her further until she was snorting in so hard she almost turned her face inside out.
“I give up,” I said. “You’ll have to tell me. Because I don’t think there’s a book called ‘Karate Snort’”
“MUM!” She karate-d at me again. “This is a parry!”
“Riiiiight!” I remained uncomprehending.
She inhaled violently for the millionth time. “And I am a snotter! A SNOTTER?”
“Parry snotter. HARRY POTTER!!!”
I shrieked. She then grew concerned at my silent shaking shoulders.
“Are you OK? Mama? Ha! Ha ha!!” She was gleeful. “I’m going to tell Dadda I made you cry laughing!! You’ve been so sad for so long and now you’re crying from laughing! PARRY SNOTTER!! PARRY SNOTTER!!!”
Definitely glad to be home