Wednesday 25 August 2010

Sunshiney Clockwork

Tuesday 29th June

It feels like the baby cried all morning. Tired? Hot? Hungry? After her lunch I changed her nappy and lay on Big Sister’s double bed, in the front cabin, and breast fed the baby to sleep. She is clean, comfy, soft, perfect, chubby and sleeping in a clean pale pink body suit that stretches around her rounded form; legs bent up, expression so peaceful. Out of the bedroom window I see a boat slow down very close to ours, at an angle that suggests they’re going to double moor against us. This is usual at busy moorings, especially in London. If you are arriving it is polite to ask permission if the moored boat owner is at home, but it would be pretty bad form to refuse permission – unless you have a very good reason (for example, a coots nest in your fender.) So I leaned out the window to see a mature gentleman on a pristinely painted, attractively kept boat. A retired couple; brass polishers. He asks permission to moor alongside.
“Of course, yeah that’s cool” I say.
“But I’ve just this minute got the baby to sleep in the front of the boat, so if you could just, when you’re tying up... you know...”
You can’t really ask someone to moor up quietly, especially not in the middle of the day. Ropes and footsteps across a steel roof inevitably resound noisily inside the boat but,
“Some people talk loudly when they’re walking across the boat.... Or shout to each other...” I explain weakly.
If this couple had a baby it was a long time ago and now I just feel like a moody neighbour begrudgingly allowing them to tie up.
Parents can be as grumpy as hissing geese when being protective eh?!

The Doctor is now in between contracts and oscillating between dimensions, so he’s home for one month! I am still completely busy all day but no longer stressed. The Doctor shares the childcare and takes one or other of the girls on an outing and I am only doing one thing at a time – not three! Instant stress reduction! When both girls require attention at once they get one parent each, so there are less crescendos of crying. The boat is a sun-shiney clockwork of family bliss, with things ticking over, the baby gets cuddles, Big Sister gets toys and activities, dishes are washed, meals are cooked, parents pass in the corridor and smile at each other while going about their parenting business, the beautiful chaos waltzes around the boat like camels and rickshaws on a Jaipur roundabout, and the universe is unfolding as it should.

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