There has been a great exodus down memory lane here recently. My parents' recent 50-year celebrations brought a sheaf of unseen photographs of us all growing up, many of us at the ages my bots are now. Rose was horrified. "Didn't you ever brush your hair, Mum?" She had a point. Boris Johnson has my teenage hair. It looks marginally better on him.
Freddie scanned every photo for signs of naughtiness, which, given it was the seventies, was a fruitful exercise. "Is that your Snoopy lighter, Mum? Did you drink that rum and coke on the table? It's quite dark, did you stay up very late?"
The cousins all piled down for half term last week; we took the three boys to a pub to hear a skiffle band and eat pints of prawns. They wanted stories of their babyhood; my sister and I, slightly horrified at our incipient Alzheimer's, scoured our shrinking brains for new tales. Happily, they are word-perfect on the family fables and were completely sidetracked at being allowed to fetch soft drinks from the bar like proper lads, so I think we got away with it. I vowed to try and write some down before they sling me into a retirement home; I berated myself horribly for not having kept up the Notebook of Adorable Things that has about nine entries.
Today, I am looking after a 9-month old baby girl for a friend. She has eaten envelopes, the corner of a maths book and fistfuls of bread and honey. She moves like a ninja whenever I turn my back; she has pressed all the buttons and reset the printer forever.
I am remembering exactly how my own children were at this age; those gummy sticky beams of sheer joy, the primitive desire to cram absolutely everything in one's mouth, from a camera to the dog's tail, and the furious Glasgow-drunk fist-swinging before falling suddenly asleep under a chair.
It is also a matter of absolute astonishment that I even managed nine entries in the NAT.