It is almost impossible not to be constantly busy with toddlers in the house. Ruby alone seems to leave chaos in her wake and with all the tidying, working, organising, cooking, shopping... well it is easy to get wrapped up in everything.
Yes, occupying a grown-up mind can be terribly boring. But very occasionally, if you are lucky, you get things in perspective by stealing a glimpse of the world through your two-year-old's eyes.
This happened to me on a warm autumn day recently, when Ruby and I were playing outside in the back garden. We kicked a little plastic ball about for a while, then Ru bored of it and wandered off looking at stuff, pointing and saying "WASSAT?!" before replying to herself: "Issa ball / issa grass / issa wimmle (that would be 'windmill')."
Suddenly, she squealed and burst into fits of laugher. I turned around to see her galloping on the spot, absolutely delighted with something - but what I didn't know.
"What can you see darling?"
I scoured for what was amusing her so.
"Is it the ball? Are you playing with your ball?"
Ruby's face changed. She glanced at the ball I was pointing to and gave me a completely non-plussed expression to suggest I was insane. It clearly was not the ball. So I went to pick up her spade.
"Do you want to dig in the...?"
Ruby squealed, jumped and galloped again and wriggled like she was being tickled all over.
"What is it darling? What's making you laugh?"
She didn't reply, she just kept laughing - really laughing from her belly. I checked for squirrels. In Ruby's book, squirrels are seriously hilarious, particularly if they make fools of themselves by falling off the fence posts. But there were none.
Ruby quietened down once more and was looking around, but seemingly at nothing in particular. I peered across the gardens to see if a neighbour was there, playing peekaboo with her or something. Nope.
Then, as I turned to look at her again, and her (frankly enormous, that's a different story) hair lifted up from her face, I realised what was at the root of all the hilarity. It was... the breeze. And, kneeling down at her level, I saw it too.
With each warm, face-tickling gust, the bamboo rustled and swirled; next door's conker tree whooshed, swayed and wobbled; a spider bounced on its web like a crazy bungee jumper; the dried leaves on the grass took off before tumbling and crackling down the path; even the net around the trampoline was fascinating as it billowed the wind. To Ruby, the whole garden was dancing.
And understandably, she was too.