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19th April: Herman

And the moral of the story is: Trust your instincts, your two year old does not know what’s best.

Let’s rewind.

We live right by a park. I spend at least 85% of my life there. We often nip over there late afternoon so my two Labradors boys can let off some steam before I murder them tea.

I decided to take the Baby over there on her trike thing. The Big One asked to go on his bike too. Fair enough.

It would’ve all been ok had the Fusspot not demanded to go on his too. He can’t even pedal. Let alone steer or brake. I should have been firmer, I should have seen the iceberg.

There are only two little roads to cross. How difficult could it be??

The way there was ok. The play at the park was great. And then the hail came…

Once again I am a spectacle. The Big One pedals as if he’s in the Olympic Velodrome, I run with the Baby on her trike yelling him to slow down. He can’t hear me due to all the speed and frozen water pelting his ears. Massive hailstones bounce off the Baby’s head and she screams in agony.

Fusspot is, of course, stationary. Weeping. Miles back.

I find myself, yet again, in the unenviable position of choosing which child to save. Although today we have the added frisson of getting soaked through in the most painful way imaginable.

And then my friend appears. Hallelujah.

My theme today is friendship. I’m lucky to have made a great mob of ‘mummy friends’. It always sounded so tragic pre-kids. Friends based simply on the fact that you procreated within a few months of eachother. But I quickly realised that it is a lot more than that. These women become your allies. Their kids like cousins to yours. They’re the ones who ‘get it’. They’re the ones who leap out of their car in a Hailstorm and race your children home with you.

I received Herman from my friend next door. A bubbling pot of yeasty goo akin to a sample one might see at a male fertility clinic. Nuff said.

Herman is a German Frendship Cake, a sort of baking chain letter. The premise is that you receive him, along with instructions on when he needs stirring or ‘feeding’. You keep him on your worktop for 10 days during which time he grows. You feed him flour, milk and sugar. On the tenth day you split the dough into four. Bake one, and give three away to friends so they can start all over.

We followed the instructions and Herman thrived under our care. On the last day, I duly delivered three new Hermans to some friends. Me and the boys baked the fourth.

The house smells divinely of cinnamon as he bakes. My favourite cooking smell.

A sweet idea. I can’t quite shake the thought that it started off on some German’s work top decades ago. And that it has been festering away ever since. No one else seems to mind that though. Our faithful pet gets scoffed in cannibalistic style.

One of the three goes to my saintly hailstorm friend. Whatever would I do without them all?

End up on the news probably 🙂

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