Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I call this house my home.

Having had (at my own behest) the Loving Hubby home a fair bit lately celebrating his abundance of annual leave, I’ve become increasingly aware that whilst we tread the same creaking boards and use the same loo, we have vastly different versions of the home.

I did not know til this last week that in the mornings and on autopilot I mosey round the rooms adjusting the blinds to achieve a kind of dim glow. Or that I will not play the radio for fear of bad music creeping in; I play only CDs and they tend to the ambient side now.

I have a bug up my bum about starting each day with the dishes cleared, but I don’t mind toy-strewn floors or neat piles of laundry-to-put-away.

Feeling at times out of sorts and fractious with the L.H at home I started to fear I was selfish about ‘hogging’ our baby, or just selfish about sharing space.
Then it started to dawn, as post-dawn the bright light would stream in, making any Finn-cries seem that bit sharper. The radio would go on, making my ears confused; do I tune in to it or the every-nuance-of-bub-talk that enables me to pre-empt Finn’s hunger, boredom or fatigue?

Finally I had the source of my angst. In this house lies many homes; those past with their extra walls, less walls, piled up carpets and layers of wall-paint, their outdoor loos and freestanding kitchens.
Then there are our versions as a DIY couple: carpet up, boards polished, lace curtains off, blinds up, bathroom out, bathroom in, concrete gone, veranda up.

Then the more routine daily ones. My home dim and near silent. His home sunny and throbbing with sound. A great many homes within a little bit of space.
And fair call I guess, the old lady whose weathered arms encircles us all each day is seventy. She’s allowed to be a little capricious, or demented.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dream feed

Around 3am there must be the first snuffles that alert me to begin waking.

I enter the room quietly in slipper-shod feet. I am still asleep but have drifted from bed to kitchen to nursery. The cats snore, entwined together on the leather couch, a warm fur-mountain of tails and paws.
In Finn’s room I pick him up, sleep-limp still and heavy, a little caterpillar cocooned in his duvet-thick swag.
We sit in the lamps dim glow and he looks at me with trusting seal-grey eyes.
The bottle-teat enters his eager ‘o’ of a mouth, instantly stopping another whimper. His plump lips close round it, then back he goes to sleep, sucking so hard the bottle emits a faint whistle as the air valve does its thing. I let my thoughts roam, and they are pleased and contended thoughts. I am careful not to look at the clock, and have strategically placed a toy in front of it. To look at the clock is to think of sleep hours remaining, to not look is to sit heavy and suspended in a glowing bubble of time-proof matter, a candle-lit cabin at sea, the Tardis in deep space.
Finn slurps at a steady pace, his eyes mostly closed, but occasionally opening to check the Goddess (she who giveth and taketh away) is still attached to the sweet and warm drink
Five minutes, eight, ten, not really counting but measuring out heartbeats in mls of milk. The house ticks faintly with snuffly possums that’ve come back in after an early forage.
Replete, he allows a fine dribble of milk to escape his lips on each side, his ‘milk fangs’ we call them.
I pull the bottle back and dab his lips, glazed like plump doughnuts with a slick of milk.
When I pick him up for a burp his heavy head lolls onto my shoulder and he goes as soft as a kitten.
Ergghh. He says. Good boy, say I.
I fold him into the cot and tuck him tight as tight can be. Snug as a bug in a rug, my Dad used to say.
As I turn to flick off the lamp I hear his gurgling and satisfied snores.
The house closes in again around this little moment, this dream feed, like a shell round a nut.
I return to bed and am soon, again, asleep.