It's a year since I wrote my first blog post: a whole twelve months of revealing little secrets about my children to a small community of strangers. It still feels like a rather odd thing to do, but I'm hooked now.
Yesterday we went on our bi-annual pilgrimage to the local 'baby-sale'. I have to mentally prepare for these days; a necessary evil, it seems to me. Children's clothes, shoes and general stuff is so expensive that the only way we can do it is by making considerable purchases of nearly-new goods at a fraction of the price they would be in the shops.
The trouble is that the baby-sale is not a pleasant shopping experience. It is a frantic, frenzied grabbing competition where only the toughest will survive, snatching out dangerously in an effort to locate that Jojo Maman Bebe bargain or Monsoon special.
In exchange for waiting patiently and keeping her baby brother entertained whilst I wrestle with clothing racks, Gertie gets to choose a toy to take away. So it was odd to hear her say, very firmly, "I hate baby sales, Mummy," as we were en route in the car. (Of course, I hate baby sales, but I can't imagine why she should have this strong reaction.)
I thought I should get to the bottom of this, so decided to probe a little further. "What exactly is it that you don't like about them?"
This floored her for a minute. She thought very carefully, then said, "What does 'hate' mean?"
"Um. It's when you really, really, really don't like something..."
Later, as we came out (me, armed with bags of winter stuff; she, clutching her new cuddly hippo, which she christened 'Vanessa'...?) she told me that actually she didn't 'hate' baby sales. I think she genuinely didn't know what the word meant.
I felt quite pleased that it had taken her three and a half years to come across the concept of hate.
Then, on reflection, worried that she had now encountered it too early in her little life.