My eldest places her pink bunny on the toddler swing, carefully doing up the seatbelt that will not hold her bunny until it nibbles the correct side of Alice’s mushroom, but she does it up anyhow. Her bunny falls to the ground. She picks it up, dusts him off and places him tenderly back onto the seat.
She pushes the swing with all the care and love I used to push her. She’s bigger now, and no longer needs me, ‘I can do it,’ she insists whenever I attempt to recreate one of those earlier moments. Now I get to sit and watch her. I smile, I can’t help it.
‘Watch her,’ she says to me, running over to get her croissant. She tears off a chunk with her teeth but she doesn’t race back, the way I used to with her. ‘Tell me when the swing slows and I’ll push,’ hers is a much more relaxed approach. I wish I’d been more like that. Less panicked that something disastrous was going to happen the minute I turned my back. She eats her croissant leisurely.