Finje is five. Should she chance upon a muddy puddle she can barely contain her desire to take a running jump with a two-footed landing, sole object to make the biggest splash possible. This she would no doubt get right on with if her miserable mother didn't admonish with predictions of impending pneumonia due to inadequate footwear.
I'm truly ashamed to say that yesterday, after hours of raking up leaves in the garden, I berated my daughter for launching herself into the middle of the pile and lobbing them up in the air with unfettered abandon and delight. No sooner did the scolding words pass my embittered lips, did I deeply regret them. Had I not been fantasising about doing that same thing the whole time I'd been producing my neat leafy heaps?
When did I get so old and grouchy? When did I lose my inner child?
Unless you're an Eskimo, you've doubtless been bemoaning the cold weather. When it comes to small talk, Germans and Brits walk shoulder to shoulder along the road of meteorological grumblings. Despite my best efforts to refrain, genealogy dictates that I succumb to the pressure and join the ranks of the disgruntled.
Some serious internal reflection followed my moment of parenting excellence in the garden and I determined to make it up to Finje by taking a stroll with her to her favourite park.
The temperature outside was -5°.
Following what felt like a period of three days donning all manner of fleecy, woolly apparel, we ventured out. It was nose-numbingly polar in it's coldness. Bracing myself against an icy wind, I glanced across at my little girl.
Grinning up at the gurning face of her mother, her little woolly hand took mine and she began to skip down the path, forcing me to do the same. As she skipped she sang. Her own made up verse, vaguely to the tune of, "You are my Sunshine!"
"I really love winter
Because it's nearly Christmas
And when it's Christmas, there's lots of snow
Then we can build a snowman with a snow cat (!)
And make snow angels in the garden"
And when it sno-ows
We can go sledging
And I can wear my bobbley-hat
And if I'm goo-hood Father Christmas will come
And bring me a microscope"
Rhyming is a work in progress but it cheered me up no end and we went on a search for the biggest, muddiest puddles we could find.