Evening conversations

"Little ninety-four."

"Little ninety-five."

"Little ninety-six."

"Little ninety-seven."

Jamie and I are engaged in a favourite post-bath game of his – counting to a hundred by alternating the numbers back and forth between us.  The ‘little’ isn’t part of the usual game, but started, of course, because of my habit of calling him ‘little one’ – he’s now started replying to that with "Little two!  Little three!" and on this occasion I just picked that up and went along with it, to his delight.  (Any mention of a number, in any context, is fair game for sequential counting – he will immediately repeat whatever phrase you used with the number changed to the one immediately before or after it.  Earlier, while in the bath, he confused me by counting "Every two, every three, every four…"  He was, of course, riffing on "everyone".)

His eyes are locked on mine, his smile huge at the fun.  "Little ninety-eight!"

"Little ninety-nine!"

Jamie backs off a couple of steps and spreads his arms wide for emphasis.  He pauses.  He pauses further, drawing out the suspense.  And then… "Little one hundred!"

Giggling, grinning from ear to ear, he dives into my arms and we share a tight hug.

Tucking him into bed, I chat to him as always about what happened during the day and about what the next day will bring.  What the next day will bring in this case, hopefully, is a meet-up with the other NCT group members.

"And baby Edward will be there – you remember baby Edward?  And this time there’ll be another baby, called… Henry!  And there might be another lady there as well.  This lady’s still got a baby in her tummy, like Mummy."

Jamie thinks this over.  "Is that Gordon?"

"Is what Gordon?"

"Baby in lady’s tummy.  Is that Gordon?"

I think I’m going to have to clarify to him that not all babies are called after Thomas the Tank Engine characters.  As grateful as Barry and I would have been for any extra inspiration while we were struggling with name choices, I have to say that ‘Percy’ is absolutely out.


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