The children are, I'm pleased to report, rather unimpressed by all the attention. As the feature relates, I have been keen to keep Athena on board with the project from the start. Perhaps too keen, on occasion. I ask her how she feels about seeing her name and picture in a newspaper which thousands of people will read, and she sighs. Conspicuously impatient with my fussing over her feelings, she cocks a finger at her own expression; this face is most definitely not bothered.
The biggest talking-point within the family, though, has got to be the dress Athena is wearing in the main photograph. When I speak to my Auntie Chris on the phone, she tells me that she's sure a piece of it ended up in the patchwork she has been working on. She has been working on this patchwork for about twenty years, so it would perhaps be more surprising if it hadn't ended up in there. I talk to my sister about it, and we work out that it's actually a hand-me-down from Athena's cousin, Lucy. We have never gone quite as far as they do in the kiddie fash-mags, and decked the offspring out in designer labels from head to toe, but we've always tried to supply our little ones with nice new clothes. And now our big spread in a national newspaper shows our first-born wearing a cast-off dress, probably because she had grown out of all the others. Thus are ordinary necessities captured for ever, when no one is looking.