It is Friday, there has been GBK burgers eaten, the couch is very welcoming, and I am drinking a little bit of Charlotte’s sauvignon blanc from Wednesday night when she came for a very dull dinner of sausages. Mark is watching an unidentifiable movie from about 1987 with Gene Hackman and maybe that guy from Pulp Fiction and the women have outrageously enormous hair like Anita Roddick’s from The Body Shop and long, shapeless pastel-coloured blazers. I, needless to say, am not.
Meanwhile, I am getting over the shock of my first real tantrum experience from the usually quite sensible Barnaby. I will spare you the details – but it was ugly, it was public, and it went on for about 35 minutes. There was biting, drool, swearing, pushchair direction sabotage and finally offers of help by alarmed strangers. I was totally cool and just ignored it, and sometimes did a bit of laughing. Kind of how you laugh a little bit at a funeral. Inappropriate and entirely wrong, but unavoidable. There was a plan to take the kids for a (bad) haircut at the Greek Cypriot salon, and then to the Spanish cafe for dinner to have some paella and then churros and hot chocolate, but Crazy Biting Feral Insane Children are not allowed such luxuries. So it was chopped up oranges, bagels and salami for dinner. And some Very Serious Discussion about acceptable behaviour. This is what they mean when they say parenting is hard, I suppose. That, and the fact that sleep-ins are a distant memory and that kids bend your glasses the wrong way so that they never sit on your nose properly again and they open your face creams and smear them onto the mirror and they pull out drawers-full of pyjama bottoms all over the floor every night because of wee-drips. Etc, etc.
And this comes at the end of a long week.I have been managing the school run on my own. These are the recurring things that I think about as I fight my way through the wall of grey car exhaust fumes and general city filth with a double buggy, baby in a sling (head lolling about relatively unsupported and receiving concerned looks from taxidrivers) and a boy on a scooter:
1. I am tired of walking through vomit on the Harrow Road. At 8am, the pavement is full of hoick, splats of vomit and dog shit. I have to weave in and around it all. It gets very tiresome.
2. I d not like that bit just where the bridge meets the road and there is a fire escape doorway which reeks of drunken man wee. The ammonia stink stings your nostrils every time you walk past, in winter, summer, rainy days, mornings and late afternoons. Even spacing your breathing doesn’t really avoid it. Sometimes there is someone sleeping there in the early morning. It must be unspeakably horrendous to spend the night there with the stink, the cold, the fumes and the noise.
3. The walk is hopefully making me thin; but it probably isn’t. Thinness may be too much to hope for, especially when I am in the habit of eating cake/ferrero rocher chocolates by the trayful; I really just want to wear fabulous things, which may be another desire entirely. Next on the list: a leather t-shirt. Which may be tricky from the breastfeeding perspective, but it will be sooooo stylish (and sweaty).
4. While on the subject of breastfeeding/myself, I have become rather preoccupied with Sarah Jessica Parker’s hair. Reruns of SATC play when I feed Ned his late-night snack – they are out of order so I get to see her and her disjointed and illogical hair journey. I am liking the short crop the most, and think I could artfully recreate that with the help of Stephen,the gay ballet dancing Irish Aveda stylist whom I so recently shunned. Stephen, all is forgiven.
Anyhoo, it is bedtime. Here is a picture of Ned at 5 weeks old. He is 7 weeks old now, and is perhaps the most lovely spotty baby is the world. He doesn’t bite me, in any case.