Thursday, October 07, 2004

long weekend

Having houseguests is great, except when they don't pull their weight. I was amazed that I ended up cooking dinner for my guests, after they'd seen me slaving away all day in front of them, cleaning floors, chasing the baby, organising the baby's feeds, feeding and changing and bathing the baby, taking laundry off and on the line and putting loads of laundry on, taking him out for an early spin, getting the Sunday papers, organising the guest room and tiptoeing around at night trying not to wake everyone when the baby woke.
So there I stood as they occasionally drifted in to chop a vegie before repairing to the living room again where one buried her nose in New Idea and the other in Dickens's The Old Curiousity Shop, and they drank wine and called out further instructions.
But we had a lot of fun while they were here, and they took the baby off my hands a couple of times, which is always a well-needed break. They came bearing gifts, too, including the wine. Babies get totally spoilt, don't they? Among other things Harley now has his first pair of hibiscus print boardies, little surfer-boy-to-be that he is. We took some photos at the lake so maybe I'll get to post a nice one on the blog. One guest was the baby's city-dwelling single auntie who fascinates him because she sounds exactly the same as me, so he gets his mummy in stereo; and my sister's friend, a journalist.
We took the baby and my sister's friend around to see our parents. We all sat in a circle in the grass and tried to eat poppyseed cake with homemade marmalade while thirty chickens and a baby tried to break through all the barricades. My mother, holding a white chicken on her lap, said proudly to my sister's friend, "This one is a genuine Leghorn. You know Leghorns? L-E-G horn?" My sister and I laughed as my parents regaled my sister's friend with chicken stories. A couple of chickens mated in front of us as we ate. Have they no shame? I observed how my parents are more interested in their chickens than their grandchild. But my sister's friend just smiled and listened.
Later, on the phone to my other sister, the one who has kids, I said I don't really mind about them relaxing and not helping with housework because after all they've been working and needed a holiday, and anyway, until you have kids yourself, you just don't understand what it's like. I didn't understand when she first had Raphy, my first nephew. I didn't have a clue. I didn't know it was a 24-hour job where you sometimes are on your feet literally all day.
I said at least our sister makes such an effort to see her nephews. My sister snorted and said, "Yeah, but when she rocks up in high heels you kind of know she's not really there to play with the baby."
Ah, well, Harley will just have to have one fabulous glamorous city auntie who sweeps in with presents and interesting companions and sweeps out again.