The final four logo candidates are going everywhere with me. They are my new best buds. They hang out in the changing bag, all laminated and glossy and quivering with graphic potential. They skip out of the bag on demand and flip themselves into the unsuspecting path of any friend or foe and buzz with a 'Pick Me!' kind of vibe. Their backs are adorned in clusters of multi-coloured Post-Its scrawled with reasons why people like or dislike them. They're taking all the criticism very well. I'm impressed by their commitment to the cause. I just hope the winner can handle the giddy heights of success.
I had let loose the very same candidates only two days ago, across a friend's shiny kitchen table. We stood over them, supping coffee, gazing down, discussing the merits of each one as my nearly four-year-old son (Big Tot) and eleven month old baby (Little Tot) dashed in and out between us and a pile of Transformers on the living room floor.
My friend, otherwise known as Auntie Carol to the Tots, or Babysitting Guardian Angel to me, slapped a Post-It on her favourite and offered me another coffee. I was tempted but knew the dinnertime clock was ticking so told Big Tot he had five more minutes to play with Optimus Prime. Not practising Mindfulness very effectively that day, my mind was racing ahead to the usually clumsy event of preparing dinner in the world's smallest kitchen with Little Tot around. He apparently thinks we are the very same being and we must not, at any cost, be more than an inch apart. Whilst I'm told this is a normal stage in his development, it does not mix particularly well with hot pans and whirring ovens.
Auntie Carol suggested a safety gate at the kitchen door might solve the problem. Blooming genius. Why the flip had I not thought of that before? Living in a bungalow I'd kind of written off the whole safety gate thing and, of course, I have many dead brain cells due to producing babies and I am unable to think up such genius plans for myself. Excellent. The next day I would go out and purchase the finest safety gate imaginable and normal standards of catering would resume in my household.
Or maybe not. That night's offering didn't even make it to the plate as I spent pretty much the rest of my day at the Burns Unit with a very distressed and sore-pawed Tot. The poor thing had seen a chance and taken it. For all of five seconds that I was dumping a washing basket in another room, Little Tot had army-crawled his way over to the closed oven door, pulled himself up on it and pressed his little nose up to the hot, hot glass. I've never heard screaming like it. I felt like my heart was going to combust. Luckily it did not and I found the sense to submerge his hands in cold water whist I worked out something resembling a plan. Car. Drive. Hospital. Now.
I'll spare you the details but there was a babysitting rescue team involving the famous Auntie Carol, long waits to see doctors, blister examining, blister popping, blister cleaning and blister bandaging. There was also a huge blistering of my ego which I'm still tending to. As you can imagine.
So now I know his burns are only superficial. And now I know he's capable of eating a custard cream with only his thumbs. Now I feel a little calmer.
So, naturally, there's also now a safety gate in place. A beacon of safety for the home. A white, slatted, metal metaphor for mindful transition between domestic realms.
And quite clearly an outrageous tripping hazard as demonstrated by yours truly sailing through the space between aforementioned bloody safety gate and kitchen unit and crash landing on my left knee resulting in burning pain and huge, bruised, bumpy swelling. Safe? Gate? Grrrr.
Apart from slapping some high-vis tape onto the hilariously named 'step-over' bar on the bottom of the gate, I don't really know what else to do. Nurse my knee a little? Breathe deep? Slow down? Muse on some beautiful philosophical parenting concept?
And that's when I remembered Auntie Carol's Post-It on her favourite logo candidate. And decided to cut myself some slack.
Go safe, go well,