DAY NINE Todays picture was taken recently on a day trip to Whitstable on the north Kent coast.
Woke around 2am by a restful Carys again, we slept most of the rest of the night together on the couch in the nursery, she woke at 5.20am and played quietly with her Friesian cow which she has grown quite attached too and she keeps pushing it into my face to share the experience with me, what a good sharer. Today she suckles at from Sarah at 6am.
6.20 I attempt a quick nap, but I’m called to get Carys again, no luck there, I’ll be fully awake at 9am and then it’ll be too late for a nap, but I’ll feel tired after lunch, just when Carys is high as a kite.
6.25am Find Carys in her nursery quietly entertaining herself with “Drawer Emptying”, a solo pastime which involves throwing all her neatly folded (not ironed) clothes onto the floor, sometimes she may put a few back into the drawer, but this is only when she is running out of things to empty, it’s just to replenish her own fun really.
6.30 Carys is banging her new £12-Reduced-From-£18 shoes violently (she does everything heavy handed) on the floor.
6.45am I prepare double pear and weetabix for Carys’ brekky, but Carys has disappeared, she’s not anywhere in the kitchen or lounge, nor even her nursery, I look at the open door that leads to upstairs, oh dear I bet she’s up there – she is, half way up standing up on a stair grinning, chuffed with her mischief making. What if she fell, on my head it would be, what responsibility? And they’d put it in the Evening Standard – “BABY KILLER!, Man in £300,000 yuppie flat lets baby fall down stairs, callous Labour voter Steffan MacMillan tortured his baby repeatedly over… ” and on it would go and then I’d go to jail for it and they’d probably put me on the Child Abuser wing in a cell with someone called Bummerdog or somebody like that…
7am Sarah spoon feeds brekky to Carys from a metal teaspoon, which is devoured quickly, her arms resting at her side, her only body movement being her mouth opening like a fish. It can’t be too long until she makes the step up to 1.5 weetabii can it?
7.20am Carys plays ‘Emptying Nappy Sacks’ out of the scented nappy sack container, I constantly have to keep an eye on her, this incapacitates me from doing my chores, such as washing dishes or wiping the floor. This is quickly followed by rounds of ‘Emptying Wet Wipes’, and ‘Climbing Up Green Leatherette Armchair”, all fun for her, but would get me in the Evening Standard at worst or stop me from choring at best.
It seems Carys may be left handed, she uses her right hand to grip onto an edge, and uses the left to discard whatever she can grab, what would have happened to her in the Evil Soviet Union of Baddies? Would they have taken her away from us and‘train’ her to be right handed with electro shock treatment? How will she ever use a camera properly, they’re all designed for right-handers, we’ll have to go to special ‘Left Hander’ shops, it’ll be like being blind, will they give us a special dog? Oh god please let her be right handed, oh the shame on the family! What will they say back in Wales! we’ll just make sure she keeps her hands in her pockets every time we go visiting.
7.50am Sarah tries Carys’ new shoes on again, as she is in a good mood she may forget that she’s wearing the – nope she cries, she tries to scrape them off. Is this another monumental waste of money along with the playpen, swimming lessons and the Mothercare ‘black out’ blind? Can she go shoeless all her life like they do in Fiji?
8.15am Sarah departs for work, and leaves me with a shopping list (washing up liquid, bleach, toilet roll, fruit and vegetables), a cheque for all the mortgage and a list of playgroups we can go to today, I am revved up and ready to tackle the Peckham Librarty playgroup at 10 am-12 noon.
I don’t know what to do about my voicebox having a split personality, when in the house when with Carys it seems to jump an octave higher and my Welsh Valleys accent becomes a lot stronger, it resembles that female character in the Rentaghost TV show from 20 something years ago. But in public voicebox becomes himself again, deeper with a more clipped generic Welsh accent. It seems I have no control over this toing and froing, what if my Rentaghost accent takes over and becomes the norm? This split personality must confuse Carys, what will she think? That it’s normal to for your voice to behave in two different ways depending on what room you’re in? This is no good for no one.
8.30am I put Carys to nap, quite easily today not like yesterdays episode.
8.40am I do a spot of re-touching on the actress lady, and now all three shots should be given the big thumbs up.
10.06am Carys wakes from her nap, I know this from listening to her on the intercom fridge sounding device from Tomy, I go down and she is there standing up in her cot waiting to be retrieved, she has a big smile on her face when I enter the nursery, this warms my heart.
10.40am We head out for Peckham Library playgroup, I get there and am the only man in a large group of mums and babies, I feel out of place, they’re all singing, I join in with my groaning murmer. The playgroup leader races through all the songs, I slowly edge out of the circle so I don’t have to shout ‘snake’ or anything daft like that. After about 15 minutes another bloke comes in, thank god for that, he even sits next to me, suddenly I feel my groaning becoming melodic and my back straightens, are the wonderful bosom of manhood, we even have eye-to-eye-contact, albeit one of those accidental fleeting ones, the type of glance that sometimes happen on the tube. Carys is shy and she keeps hugging me close. The singing ends at 11.33am and the leader brings out a big box of toys, the kids rush round to it like Ethiopians picking up airdrops, Carys and I depart quietly, can’t be bothered making friends with the people here, as I have to rush back home before Carys gets hungry, I could give her mushy food in public, but where is there nice and clean to sit around this part of Peckham? Probably somewhere, but I don’t know of it, next to Knife Sharpeners or down besides the Pie N Mash shop, or sitting above the Big Girl fashion shop?
11.45am Arrive home for lunch, Carys eats banana, today holding the entire fruit in both hands and eating it like a grown-up, she refuses all different kinds of mush aswell as chipolatas and pear chunks. The banana is polished with a small fromage frais, which she has never refused, it’s a banker. I eat my hastily one handed (Carys is in my left hand) prepared lunch of left over couscous and left over lamb shoulder, gone are the days of my 12 ingredient sandwiches with various side garnishes.
12.30am Carys plays quietly and I wash dishes, kitchen surfaces and some of the floor, this is the best time to do chores as Carys is content to play on her own for about an hour.
1.50pm We go over to Harry Moody for a bit of swing action, I push her quite high and she is in fits of laughter, it’s a lot of fun watching someone else enjoy themselves so much.
2.10pm Thence we depart for Telly Hill park (South) and I put Carys’ new shoes on, she crawls off in them, scuffing the tips all along the floor, she then grabs a baby-walker and walks like I do when wearing ski jumping skis – very awkwardly. She hasn’t worked out how to swivel baby-walker devices to turn and avoid hazards inn her road, she ends up shunting into the side of a car, a two year old boy cannot get out of his car and shouts at Carys ‘go, go, go’ Carys’ face crumples and so I rescue her, she sits on my lap for the next 10 minutes just watching the other kids. I meet an émigré called Felix, from Paris and 26, he’s with his half Congolese daughter, a nice chap, we arrange to ‘see you around’, that’s’ like saying ‘let’s be friends partner’ in 70’s speak. The play leader tells me off for taking the pram onto the playing surface. Everyone is friendly here and I make eye-to-contact with a few more of the parents.
3.pm Playgroup ends and everyone heads for the small playground next door, it’s all built in chunky wood, to resemble a junior adventure park, perhaps to lull the kids into thinking they’re being adventurous? Shame only two swings here, now I know why the two fat ladies were hanging out by the gate in the playgroup, so they could get to the wings first – bitches. Meet a german dad on the way out, he has a new bike and I complement him on it, I have a long chat with him too, his name is Enkle, from down near the Swiss border, he keeps barking orders in Swiss German to his 2 year old son Anton, we also agree to ‘see you around’, wow two friends in an hour, this is the place to pick up dads indeed. Great to talk to other blokes, didn’t realise how much I missed that interaction this past 10 days.
4pm As we are going home Carys cries, I intuitively know that it must be her shoes that are bugging her, I am right, no tears after they come, off, she then tears her socks off, I wouldn’t have known that just two weeks ago, I would have probably thought her tears were because of half a dozen other things first, like nappy, hunger, chill, bored, uncomfortable etc.
4.03pm Sarah is at home, she takes over Carys while I prepare din dins, carys has avocado, pear and sweet potato mush which is mostly eaten, she discards her chipolata and pear chunks, Sarah and I have fish and vegetables for our din dins, then Carys joins in and tries to eat Sarahs food, but she just wants to chuck it down on the floor too. Carys is very similar to my grandmother’s old dog Llawen, in that he would never eat anything out of his own bowl, but only wanted human food that was tossed to him from the table, the same went for his drinking habits too, Llawen would quite often ignore the drinking water in his private metal drinking bowl and lunge for any cup that placed on the floor, his amazing telescopic tongue would just suck up half a cup of luke warm tea in a split second, then he’d slouch off sometimes with a victory belch on the way.
5.30pm After lifting Carys from her high chair we discover a pile of food that she had hidden beneath her, very crafty way of getting out of eating, I used to think it was just dropped, but the pile is getting bigger and bigger.
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