‘Mummy, I don’t want to go on the big boy swings. Can you lift me into this one instead?’
We were in the local park, on one of last week’s baking hot mornings.
‘No, Austin. You’re nearly five. You’re too big; you’ll get stuck.’
‘I’m not nearly five. I’m four-and-a-half.’
[He's four-and-three-quarters, actually. But I thought it best to abandon this bit of the argument.]
‘These swings are for very little children. Even Gwen’s getting a bit big for them. They’re really meant for girls and boys who are under two.’
‘Pleeease, Mummy? Please can I go on it, for one last time?’
It didn’t feel right to deny Austin a final swing in the baby seat. I hauled him up (he’s no whisp of a boy; I feared for my back). But, as he fannied around, changing direction so he could look out over the green of the park, and ‘see the kites’, I felt a pang of sadness.