Mum’s The Word - November 3, 2015

William Mellor at the beach
William Mellor at the beach
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“It’s William, isn’t it?,” the smiling lady said, as if it was quite normal for a 23-month-old to know a complete stranger in the departure lounge at Faro airport.

If I’d never seen this woman before, how on earth did my son know her?

And he obviously didn’t, by the confused look on his face.

“Uh-oh”, he said to her in response, before burying his head on my legs trying to pretend he’s shy.

Then it all became clear.

The smiling lady had been staying in the same Portuguese hotel. And unbeknownst to us, had been happily distracted from reading her book next to the pool – by a lively toddler chucking dive sticks into the chilly water so his poor mother (that would be me) had to brave the depths to retrieve them.

“It made me chuckle hearing him say ‘uh-oh’ all the time by the pool. I didn’t read much of my book, I could’ve watched him for hours,” the smiling lady said.

I’d been worried William’s fun and games had disturbed the quiet serenity by the pool – so it was lovely to hear his mischief had given others as much pleasure as it does us.

A few days later, we were at the beach, collecting shells, burying each other in sand and building sandcastles.

William said his trademark “uh-oh” every time he demolished each sandcastle we made.

Another smiling lady passed and said: “Hello, I recognise that ‘uh-oh’. You can tell it’s him before you even see him, I’ve been listening to him by the pool.”

His reputation obviously comes before him – uh-oh!