Saturday, April 25


Madeleine jumps for it. It is hard being a kid - especially like yesterday when I wear my cow suit to the school-drop. Eitan disconsolate and I am ready to take it off until he gets snippy ("all you want to do is embarrass me!" he wails) and I decide to prove a point. More wailing and I threaten (dare, really) Eitan to stay home if he's embarrassed. Madeleine watches transfixed, scoring so many points on sooo many levels without having to raise a finger. So there I am, on the playground, surrounded by children and feeling like the pied-piper - and you know what? It was totally fun, and I loved the attention... which is why it hurt at bedtime when Eitan tells me: "all you want is attention for yourself" and I had not thought of it that way. Yes, I need to treat these kids like.. little dudes, and not inside my own personal vacuum.

Madeleine joins Friday-night-fives which takes place in next-door Barnes and something from Mad Max - 12
miniature, astro-turf'd pitches, surrounded by 12 foot, meshed ring-fences containing the football action while friends, parents and siblings hang from the outside screaming bloody murder. Madeleine's school team first time together and a year-younger than their competition, who cream them 16-0. My heart goes to her, Jackson and little Mattie and the two others I don't know who play valiantly and are beet red after the forty-minutes of "play." From pitch, we go pool - where Madeleine and Eitan have moved to the next level of development. For Madeleine, this means proper training and equipment - kick board, pull-buoy and flippers. Eitan swims sets. We drive home afterwards exhausted - me included, feeling their happy fatigue+Friday - and everyone in a good mood chattering away. We listen to The Virgins in the car CD who at one point use the "F" word, which gets an immediate reaction - both, in unison: "he's not allowed to say that!" then, slight delay: "Snap! - got you! Snap! Snap! Jinx! Double-jinx! I said jinx first!" The loser, of course, not being allowed to speak until named by the other. Just like I used to do with Katie in second grade. But tonight, there are no losers as we head alongside the Thames at dusk, greeted eventually by Sonnet who is home early when she was otherwise to catch-up from jury duty. Life is good.

Eitan and I discuss body-types for sport - distance runners slight, basketball players tall &c. On swimmers, Eitan notes:
"swimmers need a small head so it doesn't get in the way." He's half-right, too, but glazes over when I discuss the concept of drag.

Madeleine wonders if somebody can sleep on the wing of a plane?

"You would most certainly fall off. If it was moving."
"You could use super glue."
"Super glue can rip your skin off if you pull too hard."
"You think you know everything, Eitan!"
"Well that's because I do."
"Dad, tell Eitan super glue would stick me to the wing and that he doesn't know everything!"
"well, Dad doesn't know everything and he certainly doesn't know anything about super glue."

Madeleine observes me writing notes on their conversation:
"You sure can right fast Dad!"
Eitan, matter-of-factly:
"Of course he can - he is an adult."