For the past week C has been away in Country Town while back in Sydney I have been a Single Stay At Home Mum Of An Insane Toddler, and lordy aint that been a barrel of laughs.
From the first moments of our day (known to most as the crack of dawn) to the stroke of 7.00pm when come hell or highwater he is firmly sedated and restrained (via sippy cup and zip up sleeping bag thing as inherited from his cousin Naughty Nephew the 3rd) it’s just go go go. Also ‘stop’, ‘get away from those stairs’, and ‘what’s in your mouth? Spit it out.’
Actually some of those above sentences are quite complex and practically Shakespeare compared to the standard of our chat during a recent attempt to hang out clothes:
‘Where are the pegs darling? Give me the pegs, no then put the peg in the bag. Put the peg in the bag. No, then give me the pegs. Give me the pegs. Drop the pegs. No, drop the pegs. Give me the bag. Drop the pegs. Pegs. Give me the. No, drop the. Ug.’
See now I’ve typed that out, it’s actually sort of like Beckett if Beckett was known for doing laundry which I’m not sure he is.
Let’s say ‘it’s been a challenge’ and then lets laugh hysterically. But not for too long because it’s currently nap time and that means precious Insane Toddler free time and god knows I’m not going to waste it on mirth.
Meanwhile my own cleanliness has taken a back seat. Showering for instance. Who was the greedy hedonist with way too much time on their hands who insisted that one should shower everyday? Madness. Now reading Maisy makes Gingerbread ad nauseum, that, that should be mandatory daily routine. Wait did I say daily? I meant hourly. Half. Because, she’s funny that Maisy. And clever. And so sociable with her friends, that chicken and that crocodile whose teeth are painted differently on every page. You fascinate us Maisy. And also, I suspect, hypnotise. Or maybe it’s the lead paint on the pages; you may be created in England but I’m sure you’re printed in China. Very soon I shall be reading out the lesser known sequel to Maisy Makes Gingerbread - Maisy makes Arsenic Tea. And then I’ll have a shower.
Next Saturday my baby sister K gets married. (Alright, she’s 28) Tricky and I have come to Newcastle early because we will be an enormous and essential help with preparations. But also, because we will be staying with the Grandparents whose middle names are Willing and Slaves.
And, in a stroke of incredible and bizarre Good Luck, also staying in the house is Rani, who was, many many years ago, our amah in Penang. She looked after K when she was a baby, as well as the rest of us, and now she’s coming to the wedding. It’s incredibly exciting because I haven’t seen her for 27 years. But also because we’ve been here for just on 24 hours and I’ve already had two showers, washed my hair, shaved under my arms and changed my undies.