Thursday 5 August 2010

Slugs and shipwrecks

Monday 7th June.

A bad night’s sleep. I dreamed of slugs trying to crawl on me, they come out at night in the kitchen. We evict them each evening but still find slug trails under the bed in the morning. I imagine a silent advancing army of slugs, yet their wiggling slimy trails suggest more that they did a merry dance, silently mocking me while I sleep.

Baby sister fed at 6.15am. I’m so tired. The Doctor takes care of her until 8am so that I could sleep some more. I left the dishes. Packed laundry for the launderette. Made packed lunch. At park by 11am. Big Sister happy. Baby sister having lunch. By the time we get to launderette and shops both kids are happy, fed and sleepy. This means I can go to a couple of shops, and do useful errands. Then head to Kensington to the Pirate Ship Park (Princess Diana Memorial Playground). Big Sister wakes up in her favourite playground! Surprise! Breastfeeding Baby sister; Big Sister does a wee in the sandpit and requires a complete costume change.

The trick is to keep all three of us happy at the same time, like three happy spinning circus plates. The pirate ship has run aground, shipwrecked on a children’s sandpit. Palm trees and random rocks are scattered beach-like. There are sunshine paddling pools and man-made rock pools. Big Sister concentrates hard on moving sand from one place to another, slowly, deliberately building a little pile: And I cannot help her, “because Mummy, it is dangerous and not for grown-ups, just for children.”

A brilliant and happy surprise when we got home; The Doctor is home early and doing the dishes as we arrived.

Later, in the still of the night, The Doctor is reading a Carl Sagan book, and I’m breast feeding by a twelve volt night light, listening to the comforting sound of summer rain, pattering on a steel narrowboat roof.

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