First of all – if you haven’t yet responded to the post below this one, please scroll down and leave your comment! And many thanks to those of you who’ve commented so far.
Meanwhile, a further bit of trivia for the Jamie And Katie Show:
As we ate dinner a couple of nights ago, Barry mentioned to Jamie that, some time soon, we might take him to a large toy shop in a neighbouring town, about thirty miles away. Jamie considered this carefully and homed in on the salient point.
"Thirty miles? We shall count to thirty," he declared, and did. "How many miles is Mothercare at?"
Barry estimated it to be thirty-one miles away. Jamie counted to thirty-one accordingly. "So what shop is at thirty-two miles?" he inquired, on a roll now.
We do not, alas, keep track of the exact details of which shops lie on circles of each possible defined radius from our house, so were unable to offer him any very definite answer to this. So Jamie moved on to asking how many miles Nana and Granddad were at and how many miles Granny Constance was at, and counting each of those while running in circles round the table (all this counting was far too exciting for him to sit still for anything as mundane as eating dinner). What really impressed me was that, when Barry told him that Nana and Granddad’s house was 120 miles away, he counted – correctly – by tens to get to that number, instead of trying to count all the way to 120 by ones.
"And where do you live?" he asked me. I spent some time trying to figure out whether he was actually using pronouns correctly for once and did indeed want to find out where I lived or whether he was, as is usual with him, using ‘you’ to refer to himself and wanted to tell me where he lived, before it occurred to me that it was somewhat of a moot point since the answer was, after all, exactly the same either way. I gave him our address (which, incidentally, he knows already, since he read the house number off our wheelie bin and we taught him the road name to go with it).
"And that is at one mile," Jamie concluded. I clarified that, if he was talking about distance from here, then it was actually at zero miles. But I was still impressed that he was grasping the concept.
Totally other thing that I wish to record: Yesterday he offered to help me put the laundry away. I shall store that moment up and treasure it to sustain me through his teenage years.