My youngest daughter is a Ladybird (a member of the local Rainbows - pre-Brownies.) Every week her mummy takes her down to the church hall, she participates, and then I collect her at the end of the session.
Just like did with her sister, now a Brownie.
She's usually made something, like a hat or a hanging thing, or a paper plate with paper poppies stuck around its periphery - for Remembrance Sunday.
This evening the things on the table at the end of the room defied my attempts to categorise. Unusual.
The leaders explained, for the benefit of the more dim-witted parents, what they were.
Not one alike, each the product of a child's imagination, all amazing.
Ah, but glittery glue. Lots of it.
It gets everywhere, no matter how carefully it's applied. I hate slimy sticky viscous things. But the inevitable beckoned so I picked the thing up, and immediately an antenna dropped.
Oops! I never was the most graceful individual. Clumsy, though age is improving me.
I was more circumspect when we left for the car park, not trusting my littlest offspring with the task of moving the monster from hall to car.
Me: "Er… can you please reach into my trouser pocket and get my car keys?"
We chose a safe spot on the back seat for the glue and sock, and waited for her big sister to finish Brownies.
All the while I gave a running commentary, ostensibly for my daughter's benefit but a safety blanket for me. The pressure inherent in such situations is probably beyond the understanding of a non-parent. I'm sure it would have amused any adult within earshot.
We always chat about stuff during lulls between life and life, my daughter's and I. Stars &amp; planets, cars, condensation, school lunches and their friends and creations. Today not much chat, aside from a few words about her new thing. It's got rice and lavender inside it and smells lovely. We'd best not let Ruby dog anywhere near lest…
Daughter 1 emerged a few minutes later, we buckled up and drove home.
Home, tea, change, ready for bed, tidy, teeth, night-night…
Though I know she wants to take it to school tomorrow, I'd forgotten if she'd told me the most important thing, so I just woke daughter 2 to ask her what the sock monster is called.
A frown, obviously. "I haven't named it."
And that was that.