Exuberance


Sydney Walk
March 8th 1853

Josiah is still reluctant to spend time with LB, but I have seen him standing over his cot when he is asleep and I know that he is as smitten with him as I am. When I heard him singing so softly last night – a tune I know his father sang to him – I could have wept with joy. My darling husband is fond of children after all and there is hope for us yet!

Mrs Doughty has been wonderful. She is managing all the business of the Press without Boo or myself to help her. Well, I have suggested that she contact Papa to see if he could offer his experience to the girls in some way and I believe he is often to be found there, no matter what time of day or night. I am glad that he has found a channel for his energies and that both he and the press will benefit from that connection, so I suppose I have still been of use to them despite my joyful incarceration in Sydney Walk.

This afternoon, LB was running happily around the hallway when he inadvertently trod on Villiers’ foot. The pair of them fell to such a peal of yelping that I had to hold tight to Dauncey to stop him jumping from the nearest window! Villiers hopped about the hall for a good five minutes, while LB stood against the front door calling for his mother, his nurse and, eventually, me.

Villiers is now in the kitchen with his foot in a bowl of warmed milk and a flannel across his brow. He does not say so, but I can tell that he believes LB hurt him with malicious intent, although the boy is adamant that he did not see Villiers beside him. I told Villiers that, if were indeed a deliberate act, a child cannot be taken from his home and everything he knows without showing some degree of wilfulness, but he is an old-fashioned sort in many ways and I am sure he is praying for Boo’s speedy recovery.Oh, the trials of parenthood and staff management!

LB is in his nightgown, playing in my room and is a great deal more settled. I am sure that he, too is hoping to hear very soon that Boo has been restored to good health. It is a guilty admission on my part to acknowledge that I am not.

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