I finally delivered the last of my 2013 Christmas presents on Sunday…I think it is the first time I have started my Christmas shopping for the next year before I have finished distributing all of last year’s gifts. This particular present was for a couple of good friends who, despite only living a few miles apart, I haven’t managed to meet up with since last October.
It was lovely to catch up and remember good times with them over an (only partially charred) barbecue lunch. Catrin enjoyed the opportunity to show off and to boss someone else about…she was halfway through having her entire library read to her by one of our friends, who she was practically holding at knifepoint (well, plastic Lego cutlass-point, anyway), when she decided she would rather have a Duplo tower “the size of Daddy” and ordered my husband to make it so. He obliged and built the tower while we reminisced with our friends about a particularly memorable moment from a holiday we shared five years ago.
The incident we recalled involved a visit to a water park near to our hotel…we were having fun trying out all of the water slides and we had moved onto the top of a slide featuring a set of steep ‘lanes’ next to each other. All four of us sat at the top with the water jets pumping past our feet, counted down and pushed off to race each other to the water at the bottom. However, when we reached the splash pool, we popped up to realise that one of our number was missing and started to worry. We rapidly began searching the water to find her, believing that she might have banged her head or something and be drowning. A moment passed and we suddenly noticed that many people around the pool were pointing and laughing at something behind us…we turned and looked to to find our friend wedged at the top of the steepest part of the slide with her arms and legs outstretched against the sides like a terrified starfish. She held this pose for a considerable amount of time while two lifeguards on top of the adjacent slide shouted. “Go lady! Lady go! Go lady…. Go!” and many onlookers laughed so hard they weed a little bit.
As we mocked our starfish-pose friend about this one more time, Catrin carried on with her tower, looking like she was more interested in her Duplo than our recollections of the past. However, the following morning she dug through her Duplo box again and, with no involvement from me whatsoever, built the creation below. She then called me into the room to see it and said “I made you this tower and it has a slide on top but the man is too scared to go down the slide. He is silly because the tower is smaller than baby Beffan”. Sometimes it is very easy to forget that she is always listening and picking things up from us, even when she appears to be engrossed in something else…
The first day of the school holidays was well and truly sponsored by That Film…I was forbidden to call Catrin by her name and chastised if I failed to address her by the name of the character she was ‘being’ at any given moment. She is clearly a fan of method acting but it is a bit tricky to persuade Queen Elsa to finish her dinner when she is busy building an ice palace on the decking. I probably should have realised that her obsession had gone a bit too far when she suggested we rename her baby sister ‘Olaf’.