Category Archives: Cats

Furry Dragon Beast #2

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Sorry for the hiatus (more of that later.)! Last time we left Cricket she had managed to climb onto Hoot’s back and was flying on the back of her furry dragon beast!

…I rolled over and threw an arm up over his back and grabbed the biggest handful of flesh and fur I could and heaved. We teetered for a moment and then I felt Hoot crouch closer to the floor and then lift up slowly and I went with him!
I’M FLYING ON A FURRY DRAGON BEAST AND I WILL CONQUER THE WORLD!!

And then I was falling and I grabbed Hoot’s tail for support and dug my fingers in as hard as I could and suddenly he was hissing and I could see giant fangs and smell dead people and fish. My dragon beast had turned. The world was now a dark place. The floor boards rose up and, as always, my face smacked into them. A wail built up and exploded out in a wonderfully cathartic expulsion of sound and then Mum was like a Greek Goddess at the first all-gender, ancient Olympiad, running naked through the house, wet hair flying out behind her, faster than any naked woman you’ve ever seen. My Greek Goddess scooped me up and snuggled me in-between two wet boobs. FUN! I slapped the left one as hard as I could. Mum seemed a bit frazzled. I don’t know why.

Wet, naked, boob feeding is a bit slippy so it turns out and as I navigated the slippery-dip a realisation slowly dawned on me. (I don’t think I’ve ever had a realisation before, let alone a dawning one.) Hoot and I understood each other! We had a conversation with real words, not just PORK RIB emergency words. We were simpatico. I can speak furry dragon beast!! Who knew?! I gave right boob a victory slap. (Like punching the air, but funner.) Mum laughed, which made me laugh. I’m so glad she thinks boob slapping is fun too. I do it again, but harder this time. Mum sighs and puts me down. She’s such an enigma.
‘Can I go get dressed, or are you going to lose it again?’
You may go get dressed, mother. I have important discoveries to discover with my confederate.
She put me on my play mat and turned to leave, looking somewhat suspicious I thought, which was completely unnecessary.
I look around for Hoot. He’s asleep with his chin resting on my bouncer. I roll to get closer. I’m not close enough. I roll the other way. Now I’m even further away. I roll back again. I’m back where I started. I roll the other way. I’m further away. This is annoying.
Hoot.
He doesn’t move.
Hoot.
Nothing.
Hoot!
I think a whisker twitches.
HOOT!
What?
He didn’t even lift his head, but I can hear him!
Come and get me.
No.
Yes.
No.
Why not?

Hoot?

HOOT?!
What?
Come and get me!
No.
Why?

Hoot?

Hoot?
Not so bright, are you, kid? I’m not getting up.
Why not?
I’m busy. Besides I can get anywhere I want, what can you possibly do for me?
I think about that. I roll and I think. One way then the other until I have it.
Hoot?
What?
            I have opposable thumbs.

Hoot?

Go on…
            With your legs and my thumbs we could, you know, conquer the world. We could open things. Things with food inside.
Hoot lifts his head. He turns it to look at me. He looks me up and down.
You’re going to need to lose some weight, kid.
            Ok! … How?
Throw more food over the side of the highchair.
Ok!… Hoot?
Kid?
            Will you help me up?
Don’t push it.
And his head is back down on my bouncer and I think maybe I won’t push it, so I cry for mum instead and this time she’s running with clothes on, which isn’t nearly so exciting as Greek Goddess Mum with the bouncing boobies.

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The Furry Dragon Beast

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Mum and Dad installed a gate to lock me in the kitchen where my play mat is. A gate. With a lock. And now Hoot is on one side and I’m on the other and it’s like a zoo but no-one knows who’s locked in and who’s locked out. I can’t even crawl yet so I don’t see why a gate is even necessary. Talk about over-kill. And now Hoot is sitting, staring at me and I have to talk to him through the bars like we’re prisoners. I’m telling Hoot about Iris pooping in the toilet like a real person and he seems very interested. His tail is swishing and I’m pretty sure soon it will swish right through those bars and I’ll be able to pull it. Pulling Hoot’s tail is perhaps the greatest discovery of all discoveries, because – are you sitting down? – it’s ALIVE! It moves all by itself!
Maybe YOU would like to learn how to poo in the toilet instead of in your tray of pellets, Hoot? I think it’d be so much more fun.
It’s talking about poo again. Like there’s nothing else going on on the planet than who’s pooing where and from whence poo came. It’s remarkably tiresome.
And then Grandma held ME over the toilet! But I didn’t need to go and I didn’t really get how to I think. But it was fun! Especially when she jiggled me a bit! Hahaha!
The giggle is somewhat cute, I’ll give it that.
Hoot?
Yes, kid.
What’s your tail for? I mean, what does it do?
It’s for balance, kid. Something you have an inordinately limited amount of.
Can I pull it? I’d REALLY like to pull it.
No.
Why?
It’s painful. It’s a significant invasion of my personal space. I am a God among humans and nothing on my person may be pulled, grabbed, drooled on, or hit.
Can I use you to maybe get upright?
I need to ponder on that.
What does ponder mean?
It means I need to think about it.
Ok… Have you thought about it now?
Ok, kid, you can try, but seeing you’ve failed so spectacularly to crawl, methinks pulling yourself up is maybe many months premature, but what the hell, it’ll be funny to see you fail.
Woot! Now?
I suppose, but one of us will need the management to open this interminable gate.
Ok. How?
You scream and I’ll yowl. On three.
Hoot?
Yes, kid.
I can’t count yet.
Right. Annoying. Go!
WOW! What a sound! We were MAGNIFICENT!!! I’ve never seen Mum run so fast! And with a towel wrapped around her, which isn’t exactly work-out gear.
‘I’m here Cricket! I’m here!’
She looked kind of surprised when she bent down, like she was expecting to see a severed limb, or at the very least, blood.
I waved. Hi Mum! Can you please open the gate? Hoot and I have things to do.
‘What the hell was that about?!’ She opened the gate and Hoot shot through. ‘I can’t believe you can’t jump this, Hoot. It’s less than a meter high. You’re a cat. A lazy cat.’
Ok Mum, you can leave us now. Hoot, come here.
Why am I doing this? Ok, kid, I’ve braced myself. Knock yourself out.
Mum left, shaking her head, and Hoot squatted on his haunches and all these furry muscles stuck out of him! He really is a magnificent God, just like he always says. I rolled over and threw an arm up over his back and grabbed the biggest handful of flesh and fur I could and heaved. We teetered for a moment and then I felt Hoot crouch closer to the floor and then lift up slowly and I went with him!

I’M FLYING ON A FURRY DRAGON BEAST AND I WILL CONQUER THE WORLD!!

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Fortitude

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When we last left Cricket she was performing a concert with her bestie, Iris, while Saff introduced Grandma Willow to Mrs. Iris…

‘It’s so nice to meet you Willow. Saff’s told me a bit about your exciting life. Sounds wonderful!’
‘It has its moments that’s for sure, but it’s just so hard with this lot living over here, especially with my little Cricket-Wicket being so fabulous and growing so fast.’
Grandma picks me up and I squeal. I didn’t know I was FABULOUS!
‘Yeah, it would be hard. I don’t know what I’d do without my Mum to babysit.’
‘I don’t know what I’d do without your mum to babysit either!’ Mum said that and Grandma looked a bit miffed I thought.
‘Oh? So you get Tess’s mum to babysit Cricket, darling?’
‘Only a few times, but yes, she’s been so lovely to offer.’
‘Yes, of course. So you’re on mat leave too, Tess?’
‘Yep, but I’ll be going back soon unfortunately. I’m a makeup artist and worked casually and for myself before we got pregnant so I didn’t get any leave entitlements and I think it’s time to go back now.’
‘A makeup artist, that’s great. How’s it going, working for yourself?’
‘I’d only just started really when I got pregnant, so I’ll basically be starting over.’
‘Tess is almost 20 years younger than me Mum.’
Tess looked shocked. ‘Twenty?! No, not that much!’
‘Mmm, yeah, I think so. I’m 42 and you’re 23 aren’t you? That’s 19 years…’
‘Yes, right, wow. You don’t look 42.’
‘I feel it today.’
Mum put her hands on the bench and stretched her back out.
‘23! Goodness, it’s like the 1950s again. Was Iris planned, Tess?’
‘Mum! Oh my god, she has Tourette’s sometimes. Sorry.’
Mrs. Iris laughed and it sounded like happy, like finally finding a green sheep. ‘It’s fine! She sort of was and sort of wasn’t is the short answer.’
‘I think I need the long answer, dear.’
Mum banged Grandma’s coffee down on the floor next to her. ‘Mum, seriously, wow.’
‘There’s not really a long answer, but the medium answer is that I have quite severe endometriosis and my doctors told us it would take many years if we wanted to try and fall pregnant naturally so we started trying and fell pregnant three months later.’
‘Goodness, that must’ve been a shock! And it’s the opposite of Saffron’s story isn’t it?’
Because I’m plugged into Mum I could feel her heart hurt a bit. Not too bad, but a little tug, like when you fall over, but on your back, not on your face.
‘It was a bit of a surprise. A good one, of course. And I guess it is the opposite of what Saff went through. Sometimes I feel bad that she struggled for so many years and we tried for a few months and were lucky. It’s been a bit of an adjustment period, especially career-wise.’
‘Yes, but it’s a blessing really, I mean, you have all this time now, and you can have lots of children if that’s what you decide.’
When Grandma said that I felt Mum’s heart hurt much more than the first thing she said. Face-plant hurt this time. I stretch my arms up to her but she isn’t looking at me.
‘Yes, I guess that’s true.’ Tess looked at Mum funny. ‘So, will you guys try again do you think Saff?’
‘Well, yes, I think so. We’re actually starting the process now.’
Grandma stopped squeezing my knees to stare at Mum. ‘Really darling? That’s… I mean, that’s wonderful. I’m a bit surprised, but it’s just wonderful. When does it all start?’
‘Thanks Mum. Well, I think it might start now. If we can do the first bit quickly and get to the egg pick up stage then it’ll be really helpful if you’re still here.’
‘Well of course I’ll still be here if you need me to be. That’s such good news!’
‘Well, we’ll just see how it goes.’
Iris started slapping her leg and looking at Mrs. Iris. That means Iris gets to poo in her bucket! Life is so unfair. Mrs Iris jumped up and picked Iris up.
‘Saff, can I use the toilet?’
‘Of course hun, you don’t need to ask.’
Grandma looked very interested as Mrs. Iris took Iris off to the bathroom. ‘What’s this?’
‘Tess is doing elimination communication with Iris.’
‘Elimination communication?’
‘It’s basically toilet training from birth, it’s pretty amazing. It’s common practice in heaps of places across the world and is just starting to become better known in the west. If I had more fortitude I’d do it myself.’

WHAT DOES FORTITUDE MEAN? WHY DOESN’T SHE HAVE ANY?!

‘Toilet training from birth? Wow! I need to see this!’
Grandma scooped me up and ran with me to the bathroom. SQUEEEEEE! And there was Iris pooing in the toilet LIKE A REAL PERSON!! Mrs. Iris was holding her above it and she was POOPING INTO IT! Ohhhhh how I wanted Grandma to hover ME over the toilet too! I went berserk in her arms to let her know.
‘You like that, do you, Poppet? It is pretty cool, isn’t it? Maybe you and I can try it while I’m here, what do you think?’
Oh Grandma, how I love thee.

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Fun and Funner

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When we last left Cricket, GRANDMA had just arrived for a surprise visit…

‘I hope the timing is ok. I was going to call, but you know I love a good surprise!’
‘Indeed you do, mother.’
Mum sits with us and the coffee smells good. I’m not allowed coffee. I’m thinking of staging a protest. Maybe I can get Grandma to help me.
‘The timing might force my hand on something a bit, but that’s ok. How long can you stay?’
‘How long can I stay? Normally you’re asking me how long am I staying!’
‘No I don’t.’
‘Yes, darling, you do.’
I sense Mum getting tense. I’m a barometer for Mum’s feelings. She doesn’t know this. She thinks if she sings or makes everything rhyme, or says everything with a very big smile on her face, even when she’s unhappy, that I’ll think she’s happy anyway. But it doesn’t work that way. Even though Placenta got taken away from me (my dear, sweet Placenta), for some reason they left the pink ribbon behind. I’m beginning to think I’m the only person that can see the pink ribbon. It stretches from Mum’s heart to mine and it’s always there, even when we’re not together. And through the ribbon I can feel everything she’s feeling. It’s pretty cool.
Mum tends to get tense around Grandma. I don’t know why because Grandma only has two settings – fun and funner. I hope when Mum and I are old we don’t get tense with each other.
The doorbell rings. IRIS IS HERE!! I go to crawl before I remember I can’t and face-plant the play mat. Mum get’s up to let Iris and Mrs Iris in and Grandma grabs my hips and lifts them up and pushes my knees together with her hands so it feels like maybe I could crawl. It feels amazing!
‘This is how you do it, Cricket-Wicket.’
Mum comes back down the hall with Iris and Mrs Iris behind her.
‘Mum, this is Tess and this little cutie is Iris.’
Grandma strokes Iris’s cheeks – she does have lovely cheeks – and everyone says hello and finally Iris is right next to me and we get started practicing for our concert straightaway. We’re a bit rusty, but I’m sure we’ll be amazing very soon. Mum is already bustling. Mum is very good at bustling because of how many things she can do at the same time. Dad can’t do anything at the same time.           ‘Who wants coffee?’
‘I’ll have one, thanks Saff.’
Mrs. Iris has a lovely voice. It makes me hope she joins our concert.
‘I’ll have one too thank you darling.’
Grandma calls Mum darling, just like Mum calls me darling!
Grandma sits on the floor with us and Mrs. Iris sits at the kitchen counter.
‘So are Iris and Cricket the same age?’
‘Pretty much. Iris is three weeks older.’
‘She’s very beautiful, what’s her heritage?’
‘Mum!’
‘What?! I’m interested!’
‘It’s fine Saff, she’s got interesting genes.’
‘Yes, but it’s rude to ask someone their heritage.’
‘Why darling? Why on earth is it rude?’
‘Because, I don’t know, it just is. Why is it relevant, why do you need to know?’
‘It’s relevant because I’m asking about Iris.’
‘Yes, but…’
‘It’s fine Saff, seriously, I’m not in the least offended.’
See?
‘Yes, Mum, I see.’
‘She’s a quarter Italian and half Chinese. I was born here, but my Mum is Italian, and her Dad is Chinese.’
‘Wow! Beautiful combination isn’t it?’
‘All babies are beautiful.’
Grandma tickles my belly and I crack up. I’ve only just learnt how to crack up. It’s hilarious! Obviously. Everyone loves it. Except Hoot. Mum and Dad always clap and laugh when I crack up, but Hoot just looks alarmed. Cats look kind of funny when they look alarmed so I just end up cracking up more and then he looks more alarmed. I think that’s called a venomous circle.
Grandma looks back up at Mrs. Iris and Mum.
‘So how do you two know each other?’
‘We met at Mother’s Group and now we see each other almost every day. I’m not even sure how that happened, are you Tess?’
‘Boredom? We started meeting for coffee every morning after nap time and it just stuck I guess. It’s great, and the girls love each other, which is really cute.’
The timing with that remark is a bit unfortunate because Iris had chosen that moment to pull my hair just as I decided to test my removable eyeball theory. It doesn’t mean we don’t love each other, it’s just what we do. Iris’s eyeball didn’t come out either, even though I felt definite movement, because Grandma prized our hands off each other.

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A bob, Mark, a BOB.

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We last left Cricket witnessing a discussion between her parents about whether she should have her own mobile phone after she carefully dunked her Mum’s phone in the cat’s water bowl. Hoot was so alarmed, he wrote another letter to the Management announcing his intention to roll a poo across the familial abode.
… ‘I know it seems ridiculous, but this generation will be connected from the very beginning, so maybe it’s not such a big deal, Mark.’
‘Yes, but I’m not sure the very beginning needs to be before Cricket can even talk.’

Talking is going to be the most epic thing that will ever happen to me. I’m going to call the CEO of the world the day I start talking. I’ve always wanted to talk to Mem Fox.

‘Well obviously it’s not to make phone calls on, it’s just so she isn’t so obsessed with mine. She can have my old iPhone 4 and we can just have music and photos and videos on it for her.’
‘I don’t know sweetheart, it seems wrong to give an 8 month old a mobile phone.’
‘Yes, it does, and I’ve already acknowledged that and I don’t disagree, but you don’t have to spend all day wrestling with her and then find your phone in the bottom of Hoot’s water bowl.’
‘Did you put it in rice?’
‘It was immersed, in water and cat spit, possibly for hours, I’m pretty sure it was beyond rice.’
‘You didn’t look at your phone for several hours? Really?’
Mum gave Dad a withering look. I know what withering looks are because I’m usually the cause of them.
‘The empathy is overwhelming Mark. And no, it probably wasn’t hours, but it was at least one hour. I do have other things to do than stare at my phone all day.’
‘I don’t doubt it, but I do wonder if you hadn’t used your phone so much around Cricket in the first place we wouldn’t be having this problem. Wasn’t it one of the mums from your mother’s group who said you shouldn’t expose a baby to a mobile at all?’
Gasp! My life without the magic rectangle would barely be worth living.
‘Yes, darling, the very same mum who sews her own baby wipes and thinks the 100% organic veggie pouches from Coles are devil’s food and most likely sterilizes her own nipples in 500 degree steam baths before each feed. The mum I’ll never ever ever match up to, whose breasts are gravity-defying alien life forms, who wears perfectly appointed make up every day and has a blonde bob. A bob, Mark, a BOB.’
Mum burst into tears. Not the pretty, quiet, Hollywood tears where people smile kindly and hot air balloons drift across an orange sunset – the loud, snot dripping kind that sound like Horshack from Welcome Back Kotter.
‘What you mean she makes her own baby wipes? How do you make a baby wipe?’
Even at 8 months old I know that that’s not what Dad should’ve focused on from all the things Mum just said. From my vantage point sitting on the floor, it’s hard to see Mum’s face properly, but I can see her feet and she’s stuffing them into her shoes with some ferocity. Shoes means business.
‘You’re an arsehole. I’m going for a walk.’
It took me a few precious seconds (I was still musing over ‘arsehole’) to realise Mum was going for a walk WITHOUT ME.
WAH-WAH-WAH-WAH-WAH-WAH!
‘But she’s crying now!’
‘Yes, she is, you need to comfort her.’
I strain my whole body as far as it will strain towards Mum. I move about an inch. My existence is just one, big exercise in frustration.
‘But she wants you.’
‘So she does. Good luck.’
And she’s gone and I’m beside myself with grief. Dad picks me up and I scream into his face as loud as god will allow, IS SHE EVER COMING BACK?! Dad looks alarmed which confirms my suspicion that’s she’s never coming back, so I cry louder and harder then I ever have in my long and illustrious career. Dad panics now and grabs his phone out of his pocket (I guess he’s not keeping it in his Doodle Bag today) to ring Mum to come back but it doesn’t connect and I shove three fingers hard into his right eye socket and scream into his left eye socket as hysterically as I can – I DROWNED MUM’S PHONE IN HOOT’S WATER BOWL, REMEMBER?! WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO? WE’RE DOOMED!!
And just at that moment, Hoot walked past us pushing a big round poo in front of him like he was an elephant in the circus pushing a barrel of monkeys.

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Doodles are amazing

IMG_5486-755958When we last left Cricket, she’d just heard that Grandma might be coming in a few weeks! There’s a chunk of text missing between that last post and this one because I haven’t finished it yet. Basically it’s a bit of background about the Mum thinking about doing IVF again.

Dear Management, 

Electronics in my water bowl. Really? This is really how much control you have over your mutant spawn? You really want to watch me shuffle off this mortal coil with sparks flying out of my whiskers? You’re not the people I thought you were. I knew life would change, you would change when the mutant barreled it’s way into our lives, but you care so little about me that you’re ok with your phone taking a swim in my water bowl? I repeat – really?

            The funny thing is I don’t feel all that injurious towards the Cricket; my murderous feelings are faced squarely towards you, Management, for your increasing and inexcusable lack of control.

            I’m currently feeling too sensitive to demand emolument. I’m going to do a poo in the kitty litter and then flick it out of the kitty litter and then roll it across the floor to an as yet undisclosed location. This is extreme, granted. I do not enjoy dealing with faeces, even my own. But I feel the need to roll some across the length and breadth of the abode. My food and water must not be trifled with. The very core of my being has been profoundly disturbed. Ergo, it is my biological obligation to execute an act proportionally disturbing. It’s biology. May you soon feel the wrath of my biology. Biology.

Insincerely,
Thiha Archibald Hootentoot the Third

Hoot and Dad are both boys. Boys are funny. They have doodles and doodles are AMAZING. They carry a HANDBAG! I wonder what they put in there?! I hope it’s books. I love books. I also love phones. Phones are magic rectangles that play music and have VIDEOS OF YOURSELF in them! I think Dad might carry his phone in his doodle handbag because I don’t see his phone very often. But Mum’s phone is FAIR GAME because she always has it out and I always want to play music and see videos of myself.

Mum’s starting to get very frustrated with my insistence though. Now I have the manual dexterity of a human being instead of a Labrador it seems she doesn’t want me phone-fiddling anymore. Sigh. We used to share everything. But that’s ok because I’ve demanded my own phone. I did this by hiding Mum’s phone so she’d realise she’s officially lost control of the situation and the only solution is for us to have our own phones. I very lovingly placed Mum’s phone in the bottom of Hoot’s water bowl so it would take her a while to find it. It turns out that Hoot found it first and he let Mum know by puffing up into a puff-ball and circling the bowl, making these funny growly noises. I thought it was hilarious!, but Mum didn’t. She was still upset when Dad got home from work.
‘I know it seems ridiculous, but this generation will be connected from the very beginning, so maybe it’s not such a big deal, Mark.’
‘Yes, but I’m not sure the very beginning needs to be before Cricket can even talk.’
Talking is going to be the most epic thing that will ever happen to me. I’m going to call the CEO of the world the day I start Talking. I’ve always wanted to talk to Mem Fox.

… stay tuned …

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Big Rock in a Jailhouse

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We last left Cinnamon Cricket realising she’d used one of her limited pork rib emergencies perhaps a little rashly…

In hindsight, this may not have been the PORK RIB emergency I first thought it was. Hoot is drooling on the floorboards just as I figure out that seeing the JITTERBUG is shaped like all the other CDs Grandma sends, it’s probably just a CD. Yeah, that makes sense.

Unless gravity is now backwards, Hoot’s drool has turned into tears. On top of that, his ears look funny and his teeth are showing – all of them. I think he might be mad. He’s very far down but I’ll try and get there; I think it’s important because I’m pretty sure I’m in clear violation of the PORK RIB rule and that’s bad. What if there’s cauliflower in my near future and Hoot doesn’t come? I need to make amends with giant pats.

There’s only one thing to do. I heave myself backwards with all the muscle power I inherited from my Dad. My Dad is very tall. Just his legs are 6’5”. Mum, though, is about the same size as Dad’s head, so really, there’s not much competition for me. Mum, innocently assuming she’s comforting me in her hour of need, has no earthly chance against my backward, inverted, double pike that has surprising velocity, even for the spawn of a giant.

I didn’t know floorboards hurt that much when you land on your face on them. I thought I was doing the right thing spotting my landing like a proper diver, but all that meant was I saw the exact spot on the pine floorboard my forehead split open. And the worst thing? Hoot took off before I even got to pat him. He was just a blonde blur and flash of angry teeth whizzing back down the hall with drool flying out behind him. He looks like a flaxen dragon shrunk down to cat size, I thought, before I realised how much my face hurt and started screaming.

I’m in a hospital and Dad’s on his way! WOW. I’m fine now, but Mum doesn’t believe it so she’s bursting into guilt-ridden sobs every 6.7 seconds and because of that Dad thinks my brain is broken and is leaving a meeting just to see!

Of course, the intensity of the guilt-bug-hugs is stuck on extreme and I’m pretty sure I have three broken ribs. I guess small people can be strong after-all. I must note that for future reference.

Dad is here! What a relief to be freed from the guilt-bug-hug. Dad holds me gently, like I might break at any second. Bless him and his precious ways.
‘What happened honey?’
‘Honestly, I don’t know. She just threw herself backwards with such force.’
Looks like Mum answered for me. It’s not what I would’ve said, but I guess it is pretty much the truth.
‘So, you didn’t have a good hold of her?’
This was probably the worst thing Dad could’ve said to Mum, ever. Her face went sort of like a plastic bag when you crumple it up to shove in the sausage thing. I could feel the conflict inside Dad’s body.
‘Is she ok?’
‘She’s fine. It looks worse than it is. I guess she’s got a hard head! They did a cat scan just to make sure and she’s fine.
WHAT?!!! I didn’t know a CAT was operating that big doughnut! That’s the most EPIC thing that’s ever happened to me! I can’t wait to tell Hoot and Grandma!
‘Are you ok?’
‘Not really.’
And then something amazing happened. Mum sobbed. I’ve never seen Mum sob before. She cries all the time, but that’s usually only when she’s staring at me with that funny look that only old mums who give up all their fallopian tubes, spent $30,000 and six years trying to be a mum get – usually when I’m on her boob, or pretending to be asleep. But these are loud sobs and her whole body is jostling around like an old towel in a tumble dryer.
‘Oh darling.’
Dad sweeps her up in a giant hug and I’m in the middle and they’re squishing my sore head a bit, but that’s ok because sometimes love hurts.

I know it’s been an EPIC day when Dad takes the rest of the day off! We all go home together and Mum and Dad spend a lot of time smothering me and then offend me with mittens. Mittens! I’m not a baby anymore, but apparently the bandage on my head is supposed to be there so now I have to wear mittens. Mittens.

The best thing about us all being home together is that mum FINALLY puts on the jitterbug CD! JITTERBUG! And it’s about a big rock in a jailhouse!! And the man singing about the big rock sounds like warm honey and it’s so catchy Mum and Dad DANCE! They’re not as good as Grandma and Granddad of course, but my Mum is a pretty good dancer and she makes Dad look better than he is and they’re so thumpy and jumpy Hoot swishes his tail back and forth so furiously I’m worried it might come off! Oh the FUN! I’m waving my stumps around in time to the music and making the bouncer almost take off! Mum has stopping sobbing and is actually smiling. She waves at me. ‘This is called the jitterbug, Cricket. Do you like it?’
I LOVE it! You guys look AMAZING! And something clicked in my head and I realise the DANCE is the jitterbug! Oh I love it when my brain works things out all by itself. Turns out my head is hard and smart. WOW.

 

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