Tadpole has started mothering Mr Frog and I.
“Mon petit canard,” she says tenderly, while pinching both my cheeks until my eyes water. I gather that this is meant to be an affectionate gesture. Note to self: must cut her fingernails tonight after her bath.
“Allez, mange!” she orders, as I try to work up some enthusiasm for my breakfast cereal, despite it having the consistency of cardboard in my dry mouth.
“Assieds-toi là , ma puce,” she instructs in a bossy tone, before proceeding to show me the picture she has been busily scribbling on. It’s actually quite a disturbing sight, when I examine it more closely. The drawing she had begged for yesterday, with a mummy, a daddy, two little girls, a pig, a spider and an octopus, now has all the faces blackened out. I decide not to let myself dwell on any possible pseudo-psycho explanations for this and instead concentrate on complimenting the neatness of her colouring in.
I know this is just a phase that she is going through, where she is showing Mr Frog and I the same sollicitude and affection that she showers on her favourite dolly. I am told she also takes great delight in mothering the childminder’s youngest charge at the moment, helping out at bottle time, asking her what the matter is when she cries. All seemingly perfectly natural.
But at the same time, I wonder whether, despite all our efforts to put on a happy, friendly front during this awkward time while we carry on living together, until Mr Frog finds a place to live nearby, she is still picking up on the fact that something is going on. Sensing that we both need a few extra cuddes and kisses. Attuned to the emotions we are taking care to rein in when in her presence.
This morning was downright spooky. As I was about to leave for work, Mr Frog being on Tadpole dropping off duty, I bent down low to receive my goodbye kiss. Mr Frog was on his knees in the hallway, cramming things into his bag.
Tadpole grabbed both of us firmly by the arm and pulled us together.
“Donne bisou à Daddy,” she commanded, her eyes very large and serious.
I kissed him lightly on the cheek, noting that I was not the only one with tears in my eyes.