There seems to be a basic instinct in all young children who visit our house to make high pitched screeching noises and run after the cats, who roll their eyes and belt in the opposite direction. Ella was a bit shy when she came to visit us last weekend in our unfamiliar house, but that didn’t stop her from engaging in a bit of cat chasing.

Each time we have children come to stay I realise how very un-child proof our house is. It felt terribly unfair to constantly tell Ella not to do things, so on Sunday morning Naomi and I lolled around on the couch and watched Ella methodically pull books off the bookshelves and hand them to us triumphantly. I took the opportunity to re-alphabetise my fiction, which might seem like a pointless sort of thing to do, but when you have a lot of books and your husband is moping around the living room asking for something to read, it makes it easier to locate one of the two or three authors he likes to read.

Ella also quite liked the chooks, who followed her around as she toddled about in her very tough little bare feet. I feel that I’ve done a good job socialising these chooks – they follow me around the garden, put themselves away at night, and lay lots of eggs. I have been rewarding them with rotten strawberries. Best chook parent ever, that’s me.

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