Max came today. He’s three; so much to do.
The garden is crawling with autumn. Inside I am vacuuming it up. Outside, Max is spreading it out. There are millipedes under the woodpile. There are slaters. Max collects them up and introduces them to the sandpit. Not for long. Sugared with sand, they all die. Max lies on the bricks. He will also die. This means lying silently for a long time and saying nothing. Then he collects some birdseed. He is a crow. He is a road worker. He is ‘her’.
He spades elm leaves, flakes of gold, into the air. He is hungry.
He says, ‘No’.
He fills a tiny bucket with leaves to help me. It takes half a day. He releases a thousand caterpillars into the front garden. He is covered in sawdust. He says he may turn into a parrot, and I say, ‘Good work”, and he says, ‘Where are the potatoes?, and I say, ‘Gone’, and he says, ‘That’s so funny’.
He drives a lego car around, delivering cactus plants to the places they actually want to be. He exaggerates his shoulders to show strength. He puts a snail into a safer place.
I hang the washing, and Max helps, securing one small face washer with twenty five pegs. It takes twenty satisfying minutes. He is Bob the Builder, and he needs petrol.
He checks a spider’s web.
The day ploughs on; there is only finding and shouting and joy. There is no time for anything else.