This is Freddie. Freddie is the most loved Fox there ever was.
Freddie came into Squidge’s life when she was just a few weeks old, my own best friend introducing my baby girl to her own best friend. I love that. I love that Squidge loves someone else so much.
He comes with her everywhere at the moment. He came with us to the playground opposite our house. She pushed him lovingly back and forth on the swing until, inevitably “Freddie glide!” (Slide, of course!)
Squidge has always been so confident physically, very rarely is she willing to accept help. And I love that confidence, I want her to have it always.
But because she was so determined that beloved Freddie should enjoy the experience too and she would not let him go, she lost her previously confident footing on the suspended stepping stones.
I know every parent experiences the horror of slow motion. I saw her fall before she did and cursed my body for not reacting in time as she sobbed in shock.
I bundled her into my arms and checked her over, horror and tears coarsing through me. I had never seen her actually hurt herself before. I called Kev instinctively as I soothed her, convinced we’d be going to A&E.
As it rang, I asked Squidge where she hurt. She’d fallen forwards about three feet and I was terrified she’d say “head” or worse, nothing at all because I’d allowed her to be so damaged she couldn’t remember.
“Chiiiiin!” She wailed. I personally have split my own chin open twice so was terrified to look where she pointed. But there wasn’t so much as a graze. The sobbing subsided (from Squidge at least!) and Kev, thank God, was calm.
“I can’t even hear her crying.”
“She is!” I insisted as she wriggled out of my arms.
“What’s she doing right now?”
As I remained a tearful, guilty wreck on the floor, I dared to look up. And not only had our beautiful, brave, confident girl climbed back up onto the slide; when she saw me looking, she called out reassuringly “Mummy, I’m alright.”
And so Squidge and Freddie played on until she could be tempted away with an offer of tea and an episode of “Money” (aka Tipping Point) and I was amazed and humbled by the utter resilience in someone so small.
The guilt made my stomach wrench as my baby cried but that baby, she consoled me. Never have I been so reassured of the good job I am doing as a parent.
Mummy sees you’re alright Squidge. I think you’ve got this, baby one.