The road that we use to take Tom to his childminder's is closed. Due to the freakish nature of the road layout and traffic patterns that you don't notice until such things happen, this turns a five minute 'nip in the car' into a 45 minute journey of log-jammed commuter hell.
The work is scheduled to last 12 weeks.
The preferred option has become cycling. Tom has a chair that can fit on both our bikes with well-designed Scandanavian ease (it even has a Norwegian flag) and he perches up there behind us, bouncing merrily over the poorly surfaced roads that you never quite felt before.
After two weeks the novelty is wearing thin for Tom. In the morning and when picking him up he optimistically inquires 'Going in daddy's car?' and looks mildly crestfallen when the answer is in the negative. Clearly he cares not a jot that our fitness is improving enormously as we cut a dash through the local highways and byways. He's a little fed up of the whole pre-flight rigmarole with the fleecy beanie hat for holding his implant coils in place and the straps of the cycle helmet which mess with his whole personal space thing. He has recently developed some firm opinions about such matters.
The point of this story, other than adding to the wholesome family image I'm trying to build up, is that I talk to Tom while we're cycling along. I say talk; I call over my shoulder and Tom, occasionally, responds. Not to every word - stuff gets lost on the breeze or isn't easily interpreted but he hears some of it. Arms are snapped out sideways when I say 'lets be aeroplanes!' and negotiations about sweets begin when we ride past the corner shop.
Under his fleecy hat and cycle helmet, out of sight of my mouth and with the breeze blowing Tom can hear me. And that's pretty cool.