As it turns out Milo’s white plastic spoon is his ‘transitional object’, an object used by a child usually between the ages of 6 months and a year to help counteract the separation anxiety that comes from increasing mobility and awareness. In short Milo’s favourite toy, his white plastic spoon, is the personification of his mum.
If I understand the academic perspective on this, and I am confident that I have it 100% right, the white plastic spoon is akin to Kuepps’ Horcrux. It is a powerful object in which a fragment of Kuepps’ soul has been hidden, presumably to lay the platform for immortality. As all readers will be aware there are only two other previous documented historical figures who have successfully jammed bits of their soul into physical objects; Herpo the Foul and the late, great Lord Voldemort. Auspicious company.
While Voldemort split his soul into 7 Horcruxes (Horcrux? Horcri?) to stretch the books out a little I believe Kuepps’ soul may be distributed between a plastic spoon and a wooden peg, perhaps in a 70/30 split. Having made this startling discovery I have immediately moved to a regime of strictly hand washing the spoon, no dishwasher with its high temperatures and harsh chemicals, and only pegging clothes to dry inside our apartment. I dare not think what might happen if a stiff breeze arose and the peg was carried up with a billowy shirt and over the balustrade, lost forever.
Thursday was the ‘Family Fun Day’ of my dreams. We skipped Swim School because Milo and I had a date at the Sydney Opera House for a performance of ‘Kids at the House’. We all travelled in, met no less than two grandmas (Oma and Lali) and a grandfather (Opa) for lunch overlooking the harbour before Milo and I dashed up the Opera House steps for our cultural engagement.
Kuepps asked me afterward what the performance was like, and I found it difficult to answer. Essentially a guy sat on a stool and waited for the doorbell to ring, which it did regularly. Each time he went to the door he retrieved a box of some kind which invariably had some sort of mundane object in it; string, baking paper, ribbon, that sort of thing. He then spent 3 or 4 minutes playing with each item in a repetitive and prosaic manner (eg. placing the paper on his head and allowing it to fall to the ground whilst repeating the word “whoops”). This went on for about 20 minutes.
Milo, along with the other assembled culturally savvy children, was mesmerized. I am confident this was the first time in Milo’s life he has sat in one place for 20 minutes. He was also almost completely silent, which doesn’t even usually occur when he is asleep. Milo kept one hand on my knee, one hand on his spoon and ventured out a foot at a time toward the stage, before returning to my lap. At all times his eyes were locked fixedly upon the rather languid and mundane activity occurring on stage.
This is where we learned about the Horcrux.
Sitting next to us was a university academic, expert in childhood development, who had played a role in devising the performance, which I think was one half entertainment and one half research. We were the live baby testing. The academic was fascinated by Milo’s spoon and asked whether he also had a comfort blanket of some kind, or something else soft. When I answered it was a spoon only, or occasionally a peg, she explained the concept of the Horcrux including the history of Herpo the Foul. She further explained that Milo’s well-being and Kuepps’ earthly life depended on the safe maintenance of this object. At least that’s what I think she said; I was captivated by the man on stage scrunching and un-scrunching a roll of aluminium foil.
The academic did tell me, as Milo stabbed away at her leather-bound diary with his spoon, that he was the first child she had ever encountered with a plastic spoon ‘transitional object’ and that she thought he was a “cool dude”. Academic confirmation of my existing suspicions.
At the conclusion of the performance Milo and I dashed off to reunite with our family and we then boarded a ferry to Manly with Kuepps and my mum. Milo seemed captivated by the water and determined to plunge into it, a desire we did not accede to.
At the other end we met our cooking and blogging friend and her little boy, to debrief on the slow cooked lamb of the previous Friday, to stroll along the beach and to bark at seagulls. Milo, quite exhausted from all the foil scrunching and the ocean-going fell quickly into a peaceful sleep in his pram.
We marvelled at the dolphins, sand and backpackers that beachside Sydney has to offer then reboarded the ferry to take us home to the grimy but honest Inner-West.
Milo enjoying the nice train station view
After the vigorous activities of Thursday, Friday was a day to relax. Kuepps worked from home so I could visit the physio in the morning. When I returned home I witnessed a seasoned professional in action; Kuepps with Milo asleep in the Ergo carrier while she simultaneously commanded a teleconference and kept one eye on her Horcrux, which sat unattended on the stairs.
Once I got over the feelings of redundancy Milo and I satisfied our Friday Bunnings ritual which was targeted at the Milo Urban Garden Project (MUGP) and before long it was time for the evening activities. Our dreams of a Friday evening West Wing fiesta were dashed by the youngest member of our family who wanted either: a) to be part of the action, or b) for there to be no action. There was no action.
- Hours spent pressure washing the terrace – 0
- Hours spent devising strategy for ‘Settlers of Catan’ in order to beat my little brother – 0
- Minutes spent combining mine and Kuepps’ faces on morphthing.com to determine who Milo most looks like – 0
- Hours spent dividing and re-potting Bromeliads for the MUGP – 1.5