The Last Four Months
The last time I wrote was in, what? December. So. That’s four months ago. I was thinking: “That’s not so bad. Four months! What can happen in four months?”
But now I hear there are people who blog every day.
I have to catch up!
In this post, I will describe every day of my last four months.
I’ll begin with today.
At the moment, I am sitting at my desk and there is a midnight-blue ceramic bowl beside me. You know what, it’s not midnight blue. More a deep cobalt blue. No. Listen, I’ll take a photo of the bowl and post it here.
Great, so, setting aside the colour of the bowl.
Inside the bowl I have some grapes, a sliced-up orange, a plum, and two squares of Lindt 70% Dark Chocolate.
The plum is gone now. I ate it while I was thinking about the next sentence.
Huh. Now the grapes are gone too. A similar thing happened to them.
Outside, there is a very blue sky. The blue is nothing like the colour of the bowl beside me. Nothing at all. Also outside: it’s blustery. Right this moment, the bluster has stopped but the ferns at my window are still trembling.
There goes an aeroplane.
An e-mail just arrived!
Oh. It was just Shopfast with an Urgent Product Recall for Rogan Josh Simmer Sauce 540g. I don’t have any.
Charlie is asleep in his cot in his room next door.
This morning, Charlie woke at 6.30, and said, “Breakfast?”
“No, no,” I said, keeping my voice low and sleepy. “It’s sleeping time.”
Charlie yawned. I moved in closer, consolidating. “It’s the middle of the night!” I laughed gently and smoothed the sheet over him. “You go back to sleep now. Morning’s not for hours and hours!”
As soon as I said it, I knew I’d gone too far. He sat straight up and gave me a quick, shrewd look.
Then he turned to the window.
“Hey, Charlie! Here’s Teddy! He wants you to go to sleep!”
Charlie ignored me, looking around the waving Teddy, his gaze fixed on the window. A gleam of light hit the sill just beneath the curtain.
That was all he needed.
He stood up, gathered his yellow blanket underneath his arm, and announced, firmly: “BREAKFAST.”
My favourite breakfast television is Playschool, but oh no, we were much too early for that.
We were also too early for the animated boy named Poko. I like Poko too. He has such green eyes! And each episode something goes wrong, like the time when Poko was trying to bake a pie but the dog kept throwing its squeeze-toy into the pastry.
After breakfast, we walked up the street, Charlie in his stroller.
In the windows of the kindergarten classrooms at the local primary school:
T T T
At the store, we bought Pink Lady apples and October Sun plums.
I saw a woman who looked a lot like the actress, Toni Collette. A few moments later, I saw another woman who looked a lot like Toni Collette.
What are the chances of two Toni Collette look-alikes on the same street on the same day? Zero. So one of them must have been her.
At the video shop, I chose a Hi-5 DVD for Charlie. I handed over the DVD cover, my membership card, and the password. All that handing over. It seemed enough. But then I had to pay.
“I always forget about paying!” I said.
“That’s all right,” the young man said, “I’m here to remind you.”
Next, we went to the park and Charlie said, “Green”, heading to the green slide. Then he paused, and changed his mind. “Yellow,” he decided, and turned to the yellow slide instead.
I looked around to see if the other mothers had noticed. My baby knows his colours! But nobody seemed to be watching.
In this particular park, alongside the slides, there’s a miniature surfboard on springs.
I’ve seen kids of, what? Five? Six? I’ve seen them climb onto that miniature surfboard on springs, stand up and balance a few seconds.
Today, Charlie climbed on it. He stood there, swaying gently, arms out exactly like a surfer riding a wave - for what? A minute? More?
I looked around to see if the other mothers had noticed.
They were all facing away.
‘Charlie!” I said. “That’s great balance!” A mother finally turned in our direction. At that exact moment Charlie tipped forward and fell into my arms. The mother smiled fondly and turned away again.
He did it on purpose, you know. The tipping forward into my arms? He was ready to get off.
I thought about a few things on the walk home from the park.
One thing I thought about was the fact that I often spill water. I mean, when I’m carrying a lot of stuff, including maybe a small child and a glass of water, from one room to the next – well, I often forget that you can’t hold the glass of water sideways.
Also, I thought about something I once read: that you feel your most creative when you’re almost asleep.
Last night, Charlie woke at 1 am, 2 am and 3 am. Then, at 4 am, I woke to the sound of footsteps. A group of people in heavy workboots were running through the house downstairs.
“WHO’S IN MY HOUSE?! WHO’S IN MY HOUSE?!” I shouted. Then I screamed, a big, beautiful scream, to scare them away.
What were they doing in my house! In the middle of the night! And why were they running?! Why not walk?! Why the heavy boots?! Was there construction work in the living room?! Then why hadn’t somebody –
Then I realised I was dreaming.
Nobody was running through the house downstairs.
But the beautiful scream had woken Charlie, of course, and he was so confused I had to read him three picture books and sing him back to sleep.
(So, technically, Charlie, if you’re reading this, 6.30 was the middle of the night.)
And walking home from the park today, I felt at my most creative.
Charlie, too, I guess.
He fell asleep in his stroller.
The transfer from the stroller to the cot was successful!
I closed his bedroom door, went downstairs, got the blue bowl, sliced up an orange, added some grapes, a plum, and two squares of Lindt 70% Chocolate and came upstairs to work.
Here I am now.
I’m about to begin work. I’m halfway through the next Ashbury-Brookfield book.
But how can I write? The blue bowl is empty! Just orange peels.
And my camera batteries are dead! So I cannot photograph the blue.
But, setting aside the colour of the bowl, it looks like I’ve completed today.
I’m right up to the now!
Yesterday is next.