Edward’s current favourite book is one of my childhood picture books, and after spending many years in humid conditions in Daintree the slightly musty smell of the pages make me sneeze. “Sunshine” by Jan Ormerod is a wordless book, a series of pictures of a little girl getting up for the day, and then waking up her parents (at 7.20! on a work day! I have long since driven off at such an hour), and so on through their morning routine. I describe what the little girl is doing and Edward focuses intently, fascinated by the little details of their morning.
“And then she has a wee on the toilet…”
“And washes her hands…”
“And then she brushes her teeth.”
“She doesn’t brush her teeth with wee, that would be unhygienic.”
He looks at me scornfully, and indicates that I should turn the page. He has no time for my off-topic ramblings. I clearly do not understand the simple joy of chanting “wee!”. Adults, man. What can you do.
“Book! More!”. We read it again. The illustrations are lovely, and I can vaguely remember – although it is probably an invented memory – being very fond of the book myself. There is a companion book called “Moonshine” which is more suitable for a bedtime story, being about the end of the day. I have ordered a copy. Edward will no doubt continue to prefer “Sunshine”. 20 months is a contrarian age – at least, that is my impression of it. This is exacerbated by the fact that Edward hasn’t yet grasped the meaning of “yes”, and answers all enquiries and suggestions with a firm “no!”, regardless of his intentions. His other all-purpose response is an interested sort of rising “mmm”, which I enjoy immensely and start elaborate conversations with him in order to hear him “mmm” along in obliging tones. Perhaps it’s not such a contrarian age after all. “Oh, mother… that is yet to come,” Edward thinks merrily, “mmm”-ing along to keep me happy in the meantime.