Wednesday 18 August 2010


Saturday 19th June.

Mooring: Angel, Islington

Wake up tired, so tired, feeling heavy, groggy, sluggish. My sleep was interrupted by the baby squealing, babbling, making happy noises. I feed her, I try to doze, she goes on and on. I love her but it’s never ending. I shout at her to shut up, I say,
“I just want a day off, it’s relentless, seven days a week, day and night, I don’t want children EVERY DAY!” I am clearly having a tantrum. The Doctor makes no comment. I feel stupid and selfish for saying it all out loud. It’s not the baby’s fault.
My inner monologue is off again: Look at the floor, it needs sweeping. The Mum should sweep it. The dishes need doing. Children to wash and dress and feed. What is depressing is that I know once I get out of bed I’ll begin work, (before I am even dressed my job begins,) and goes on and on all day and doesn’t stop for more than a minute or two (not even long enough to drink a cup of coffee uninterrupted) and very often I am attempting this stupid thing we’ve dubbed ‘multi-tasking’. Which, in actual fact means simultaneously starting perhaps three jobs and then getting interrupted by two tiny people who have five more urgent jobs that need doing. And my miserable monologue moans that I am not doing enough because every job is incomplete. I cannot finish the (insert housework task here) because I am playing (insert toddler activity here) and cannot finish that because I am interrupted by the baby, who requires (cuddle/ nappy change/ teething gel) *delete as appropriate.

Don’t think that The Doctor doesn’t help. He is always the first out of bed. He gets Big Sister up and makes her breakfast. He makes me a coffee, while I am still in bed with my miserable inner monologue. I take my first sip of warm caffeine and I am comforted. I relax.
“Thank you Doctor,” I say gratefully. “This is my favourite part of the day. The bit when you make me a coffee.” I breathe a sigh of relief.
Big Sister’s doing star jumps, but she calls them Pop Star jumps. The baby is chubby and perfect, soft and smiley and dressed in a pale pink bodysuit. I love my two little girls. All is right with the world.

Later that day two boats went by “buttied-up” – tied side by side, being propelled by only one motor. I recognise the boat name of the legendary single mum; she’s heard of me too, on the towpath telegraph.
“Is that you?” she shouts my name across the cut, holding babe in arm. The Doctor and Baby Sister are looking out the window.
“Yes, we are gonna meet up soon!”
“We’re mooring up!” she gestures,” here”.
“See you soon then!”

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