Wednesday, September 15, 2004

come to mama

Soon after the Christian prayed for us, my six-month-old washing machine broke, I got attacked by magpies, and I set fire to a teatowel and burnt the oven handle.
Being attacked by the magpie was funny. There I was being pursued down a deserted stretch of road where the “For Sale” signs are still only dotted on bush blocks, not houses. I was alone in the bush, but still, blushing madly. You can’t help feeling ridiculous when it happens, because you’re being chased by a bird, for god’s sake. There was that snap of the beak at my earlobe about ten times before I remembered I had an apple and starting throwing chunks of it at the bird, til it got the hint and withdrew. The baby slept through the whole incident. Later, another magpie (I will assume it wasn’t the same one) calmly walked through the cat-sized crack in the backdoor, took a look around my study, shat on my favorite purple cardie, and walked out again.
Then I was baking a cake (Schwaebischer apfelkuchen) and left the teatowel hanging just slightly in the oven door, and it ignited in two seconds. Luckily my mum was with me at the time because it gave me a fright.
The washer breaking down was the most annoying thing, happening just when the baby was sick and there was five times as much laundry to do. The service guy had to come three times because the first time he didn’t have the spare part handy, and the second time the spare part he brought was broken. So then there was about three hundred loads of washing to catch up on. As it happens I enjoy doing laundry; the neverending ritual of folding little colorful bits of fabric into smaller and smaller squares, standing out in the sunshine pegging out clothes in pleasing color combinations…ah yeah, I love all that. Never would've believed how much more laundry you have to do when you have a baby though.
Yesterday I was thinking about how so much of human behavior is so repetitive. Like many writers no doubt, I have a pretty clean house. And having a baby is an opportunity to get even more anal about it. So now every morning after I let the cats out I get on my hands and knees and wash all the slate in the kitchen and living room. It's totally “I wax on, I wax off”. So Zen. I remember The psych lecturers used to be fond of explaining that the more clean and neat someone is, the more likely it is their mind is all messed up. But surely some of us are just excellent procrastinators. And hey, isn’t cleanliness next to godliness?
I also had to babyproof the house last week because he can drag himself around now. He has the run of the house, which, contrary to expectations gives me more time, since he amuses himself exploring.
Oh, and have I told you lately how I love him? I love how we share the same sense of humor. I love his naughty grin. I love how impressed he is with himself when he masters something. I love how he can "come to mama" now. And I was so relieved he only had some kind of 24 hour bug.
But enough schmaltz, eh?