A kick to the nuts


After work today, I met my parents and my sister at the hotel where they’re staying. La Serpiente Aquatica Negra had been visiting them and making good use of their swimming pool, but she still had plenty of energy left over to run around the foyer of the hotel and fall flat on her face.

Every time she did that, the hotel staff looked aghast and moved to help her, but she just got up and ran on again. I suppose I’ve become inured to my daughter’s self-destructive tendencies.

We all went out to an Italian restaurant close by our flat. Our daughter was, for a while at least, happy to play with her favourite toy, a disc of bubble wrap, while we ate. As time went by though, and we exceeded normal operating parameters (kept her up past her her bedtime) she began to get increasingly distracted, manically pinging from one thing to another.

Then she kicked me in the nuts.

I should have expected this. When you pick up La Serpiente Aquatica Negra, she either goes up into your arms without protest, or kicks her legs frenetically as she gets airborne. It was this latter mode she was operating in when she backheeled me in the groin.

I put her down, and tried not to wince.

After that little escapade, she settled for a while, until almost an hour after she should have been in bed, at which point we fled with her back to the flat, gave her a quick bath and put her down to sleep.

Except this would be one of those nights where she was too tired to sleep and instead screamed for half an hour. My parents and sister came up to hear these screams, then sensibly retired.

This was a day when she demonstrated some new linguistic skills. She can refer to my sister as Auntie (well, at least as "Annee") and seems to fit that noun into something resembling a sentence. She can also say the word "ice" and recognize what it means. Soon she’ll be prattling at us at top speed, which I look forward to just as I dread the thought of the end of a placid life.


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