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Extra: Ordinary Moments

Extra: Ordinary Moments

I took Matilda to get new shoes this week. We (read: "I") made the mistake of going to a shoe shop with the kids' section downstairs and no lift access. Never mind. Buggy and worldly belongings abandoned behind the upstairs till, we headed into the pink-blue-black basement and joined the (last-day-before-school-starts-gaaaah-silly-me) queue; the displays were not nearly as neat when we left as when we arrived.

As ever, I let Matilda choose her own shoes. We went home with the brightest pink Mary Janes covered in slightly paler pink flowers. We also nipped into another store where she chose lurid pink wellies. There will be no mistaking her for a boy for a while.

I can't fault her: pink is a much more appealing colour than black and navy blue (as much as Steve might argue this point); I just wish it wasn't so tied up in gender stereotypes.

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She wasn't the only one getting treats this week. I bought myself a plant called a platycodon astra because its huge white flowers were so ridiculously cartoonish I couldn't resist (yes, I've turned into someone who impulse buys pot plants). According to the internet, platycodon astras are better known as "balloon flower plants"; I hadn't heard of them before, so I'll take the internet's word for it.

The name is perfect, anyway. The buds really do swell and rise like hot air balloons. I now want them all over the garden; all summer, our flowerbeds would look like a balloon festival, with white, pink and blue flowers puffing up all across them.

In the mean time, I have just the one balloon flower plant sitting on the mantelpiece, making me smile. There are lots of other new plants in the garden, though, but I'll tell you about them another day.

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On Wednesday, Karen brought her family to visit. I had forgotten how tiny and delicate-looking newborn babies are; I don't remember Matilda ever being as small and scrunchy as Willow but the photos prove she was.

Matilda and Sorsha spent most of the visit emptying toys onto the floor and, four days on, I've still got no idea where they hid the top of the orange Hide 'n' Squeak egg (and it's starting to really bother me).

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Speaking of infants: Matilda turns sixteen months old today and I've already bought her a second birthday present. For £5 in a supermarket sale.

Obviously, I can't tell you what it is in case she somehow learns to read and navigate the internet in the next eight months, finds this blog post and ruins the surprise. Not that I worried about picking it off the shelf in front of her, leaving it lying on my bed for an hour while we played "Where's Daddy's deodorant bottle?" (under the duvet, always) or shoving it into my wardrobe while she watched. I'm making the most of this period when she has no concept of gifts.

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There has been some gorgeous weather this week. We've paddled in the river and drawn on the garden path with chalk; we've stamp-stamp-stampety-stamped around the garden and we've hung out in the park; we've been to a gala where we banged drums and stroked two different owls (squeeeee!). I even froze some nasturtiums in ice and felt like a proper Pinterest Mom (yes, with an O), although Matilda was less impressed.

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And there has been some wet, windy, cold, autumnal weather, too. Matilda has been pale and snotty (which I blame on teething) and I've been pale and headachey (which I blame on tiredness which I blame on teething), so there have been a couple of days spent holed up indoors watching TV (how I love Nelly and Nora), doodling and searching for the top of the orange Hide 'n' Squeak egg.

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What have you been up to?

P.S. Polly just fished the top of the orange Hide 'n' Squeak egg out from under the sofa. Where I had looked at least twenty-seven times. Gah.

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