Tuesday, May 11, 2010

11. Listen, tomorrow I'm going to write about a dead bird on a wire, but today I just wanted to say this.

Well, it’s all great and there are days that start with a knock on the door, and it’s the glass prism I ordered, along with the glow-in-the-dark stars. I plan to make rainbows with this prism, and put stars all over my child’s walls, and this, it has always seemed to me, is exactly what it is to be a parent.

An autumn theme at his music class — they had to be trees, and fluttering leaves, also falling leaves, and stamping through leaves, and throwing leaves in the air — the children restless as leaves themselves, flying across the room to their mothers, or all of them suddenly thirsty at once, or wandering across to the jingle sticks and tone boxes, the teacher patiently sweeping them back into the circle.

Back home, the prism won’t make rainbows, only a pointless square of white. He keeps asking why I’m putting those stars on his walls. Cherry tomatoes spill onto the floor, and when I turn around he has stamped on each for the pleasure of the splat. Baking a cake for a visitor, and now there’s cocoa and cracked egg on the couch. The mixture’s done, just one thing left, ‘We need to add some water,’ I say, turning back with a quarter of a cup. But the two litre jug of drinking water was right there at his fingertips - and he’s pointing to the mix with quiet pride.

I baked the cake anyway. The visitor ate a piece. She said, 'It's all right. It's fine!' which was not what I had planned for her to say.

He’s supposed to be asleep now but he’s calling out, ‘I’m just eating my foot, okay?’ and ‘Can you take these stars off my walls?’