I stick my head around the door and scan the little faces. Elsie's eyes meet mine and she grins, slowly rising from her sprawl on the floor next to a little blond boy. She points at him and explains, wide-eyed 'dwah-buh beri booli ooh.' I nod and smile as she walks over to me, open the little gate and kiss her head.
After exchanging pleasantries with the lady on duty, we walk hand in hand out to the corridor, Elsie pausing briefly to wave her other hand and solemnly declare 'bah bayeee' as the lady smiles and replies with 'a demain'.
I lift her onto a chair in the cloakroom and she tugs at her slippers. As she puts them in her shoe bag, I lace up her trainers and ask her how her day was. After a brief smile, a thumb is stuck in place and she listens patiently as I explain what's going to happen next. 'We'll walk home, and when we get back you can have something to eat.' I say 'Nana, kek?' she asks hopefully. 'Well, you've got rice and mince and courgettes first of all, and we finished the banana cake at the weekend, remember?' I remind her. 'But if you are still hungry after your rice, you can have some leftover brownie if you like.' I get a questioning look, so explain: 'the chocolate cake you helped me make, with cranberries in.' She hears the magic word and repeats it 'kek!' paired with a satisfied nod.
I hold the door open and she trots through, already pointing through the glass front door at something that has caught her eye outside. I take her hand and we head home. Home to the kek.