The hotness. The extreme hotness. Most of the time I really want to relocate to the northern rivers, but there are some days up there that give me the occasional second thought. This day was one of them. I knew that, being a Wednesday, it was a Jen-Hell day of kid chauffering, and I decided to not go along with her and stay around the house with Small Z for the afternoon.

On the mat

Even though I had said I would deprive her of my company, Jen then performed a miracle. Small Z had reached her morning skank hour, and as I was about to take her out to the garden flat, Jen said “Give her to me – I’ll put her in the Happy Hangup.” I looked at her pityingly, the way I look at my mother when she suggests “Just putting her down in the cot.” and said “No worries, be my guest.” I went and perused eBay on the computer with my ears pricked up for any action. There was none. There was just Jen, emerging from the room fifteen minutes later looking smug. She had got Small Z to sleep.

I did silent screeching, and begged her desperately for details. Imagine if my mother could get her to sleep! The wonder! The freedom!! Jen’s trick was to bounce her in the HH and say “Hello Zoe!” whenever she sounded unhappy, and for the rest of the time hummed disinterestedly. She felt that the fact that she didn’t particularly care whether or not Small Z slept had something to do with her success as well. I was so convinced it was a fluke that I got her to try again before she left for the afternoon. She repeated the feat. I swear, I spent several minutes just looking at her. Transfixed with awe. I almost cancelled my plane ticket home and stayed up there…

And did I mention she then fed me croissants with Nutella? Have I ever stayed with a hostlier host? I don’t think they come much better than that. I was also introduced to a pickle laden sandwich that also featured mayonaise and, I think, cheese? It was the most intriguing sandwich I have had since being convinced to try a toasted banana and peanut butter combo…

Anyway, on our afternoon alone, Small Z and I pretended that the house was ours. I nuded her up and gave her a bowl of cherries and nectarines to eat and smear with on the deck. They were a great success. I washed her off in the sink and then washed the deck. We then did rides in the little wagon…

On the wagon

There was some quality time spent lying on the couch of my dreams as we both stared up at the ceiling fan, some guitar playing and some book reading. Just as we started to get a bit bored, our friends came home, laden with MY FAVOURITE DINNER!! Pizza and chocolate mousse from Milk & Honey. Did I mention the pizza? DID I MENTION THE MOUSSE?? I almost rubbed it all over my body, but that would have angered my tastebuds. We ate it on a blanket outside on the grass. Then the weather kicked in and the thunder was large and the lightening bright. The power went out, and we spent a little while making animal shadows with the torch, before I went back to the garden flat, where Small Z slumbered, ignoring the big noises of nature. My tummy and I lay down next to her, perfectly content.