I do realise that I hardly ever mention Jack, apart from in Second Child Syndrome he has never had a post dedicated to him. When you're the youngest and can't speak/whine/negotiate/bribe you tend not to get much of a look in I'm afraid. He is lovely though, and going through a Duck Phase at the moment. This is not, as you may be forgiven for imagining, an actual fixation with ducks, or even one duck in particular, not at all. We call it the Duck Phase because (apparently, I'm no Duck enthusiast except if it's number 72 on the Jade Palace menu) when they hatch out as Ducklings they decide that the first thing that they see is their mummy and fixate on her for life. Fantastic evolutionary idea if the first thing they see is Mummy Duck; instant rapport and easy discipline for Mummy Duck as offspring simply follows Mummy around and around, simple. Not so clever though if Mummy Duck has been taking a well earned break from egg hatching (she's allowed some life you know) and Baby Duck hatched out of sight only to open its world-new eyes and alight on a brick. A brick is a jolly useful thing obviously if you want to build a house or some such thing, but it makes a pretty rubbish duck. It doesn't peck at seed or quack, it doesn't flap its wings, indeed it has absolutely no wings at all with which to demonstrate flapping to its new offspring, and it's a dreadful swimmer. Sinks, you see, straight to the bottom. In fact a brick would be the best thing ever if you needed to drown a duck, but not to teach it to swim. A Rubbish Duck is all I can say. Baby Duck would be at a disadvantage from the start, all the other ducklings would be waddling after Mummy Duck to the water to try it out for the first time, while Baby Duck was left, standing very very still trying to look as oblong as possible, next to its Mummy, the brick, wondering when it was going to teach it anything useful.
Anyway, Jack is going through this Duck Phase in that the first thing he sees in the morning becomes his fixation. He loves it, it is his new best friend, he wants to marry it. And to prove his commitment to his new fiance he absolutely has to carry it around with him all day. On Saturday he wanted to marry the broom. Not his own, appropriately sized plastic broom, oh no, Mummy's big wooden dangerous one. Said broom was dragged from place to place, had to be found its own place in the car, was used to sweep the toys up in creche and carried home again, exhausted, to bed. Yesterday was Tupperware Box Day, easier obviously than Broom Day but more reluctant to be useful at creche. Today it's Half A Coat Hanger Day. I'm not sure why or how we have half a coat hanger but at this moment Jack is proposing to it earnestly. It has been used to poke the dog, eat porridge and lever a dog biscuit from under the sofa.
The only way out of this that I can see is to pre determine his crushes and present him with an object immediately upon waking. Tomorrow I'm giving him a carrot to fall for. It's small, easily inserted into the car, not sharp enough to hurt the dog when poked and can double as a snack in creche.
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