Finding The Happy

Looking for joy in all the right places



Conversations with Daddoh

Now that we’re starting to have whole conversations with Arddun, Tony has taken to messing with Arddun’s head by deliberately calling a spade anything but, and seeing how she copes with dissonance.

Like this, for instance.

Arddun: “What’s your name?”

Tony: “My name is… Bill.”

Arddun: “Noo… it’s not Bill. It’s Daddy.”

Tony: “What’s YOUR name?”

Arddun: “My name is Arddun.”

Tony: “Noo… your name is Jemima.”

Arddun: “Noooo…” replies the sage child, “that’s Play School.”

Arddun, lately. (A sample)

“Come here,” says Arddun sternly, staring up at me from the other end of the garage as I close the boot and the garage door, and make my way to her. “Come here.” She extends a tiny pointer finger (palm side up), and curls it for emphasis, beckoning me – her mother! – as if I were a dog.

“That’s not how you speak to Mummy, ” I reply, and uncurl the beckoning finger and place her arms by her side. “Try again, please.” I run back to the other side of the garage.

“Come here, Mummy.” stern toddler

“Come here, Mummy – please.” patient mother

“Come here, Mummy – please,” stern toddler

“Alright, now say it with a happy face. Please come here, Mummy!”

She beams back at me now, sweet as cherry pie and lollies and the smell of sunshine in freshly-dried laundry. “Please come here, my Mummy!” she entreats me. Beam.

I run over to her, and level my face with her grinning one. We gaze at each other, smiling eyeballs to smiling eyeballs. I can smell her baby breath.

“What is it, my darling girl?” I ask.

And that’s when Arddun goes,


“How to make my morning” – Lesson #573

We had just finished breakfast, and Arddun was still sitting in her highchair and kicking her legs while I was getting ready to clean up her station.

All of a sudden, she started clapping her hands.

“You clapping?” I asked the obvious.

“Happy!” Arddun announced, grinning.

“Are you happy?”


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