The day passes quickly without incident until they come through the door; they being Z, and A, here to spend a few minutes having a natter with me just after lunch. What strikes me first is how striking the resemblance is. Z has her mother’s eyes, flowing hair, and – from what I’ve heard – her penchant for good natured deviousness.
When they first arrive, Z is hiding behind her mother, peeking out now and again like only children do, somehow believing that there not being a direct line of sight means they are hidden from view. A and I catch up about work and the latest office gossip, whilst trying to cajole Z into taking the hand I have proffered several times. Nothing works. By the time our catch up is done, they both leave me to the company of my headphones, and the pile of virtual paperwork I have been working through.
She does find her way back to my desk, this time less self concious and more willing to engage which is how we end up talking about her first week at school, how her friend F is also in the same school, the pasta lunches (which she doesn’t like) and trying to unlock my phone whilst I read the numbers to my pin out to her.
In between we run through a pile of pink and green sticky notes, drawing stick figures and colouring in hair and lips. She decides her father deserves a small tuft of hair – a la TinTin (my Daddy has no hair she says, somehow alluding to the fact that painting on any hair is somehow embellishing the truth).
That is how my quiet afternoon vanishes, sucked up into a vortex of entertaining and bonding. If there is a silver lining, it is that my child minding/ entertaining skills have not gone the way of all things lost, yet.