10.45pm last night. I’m walking quietly to bed after a long day, peeling each foot gently and slowly from the floorboards beneath. Baby stirs in her cot as I touch the doona, as I feel its cool beckoning. My hand lingers above our bed as I look over to see her pushing herself to sitting. No! I look longingly at the little envelope of space between the sheets and Prince Charming in our softly lit room, where I was about to fold myself into slumber.
Baby’s eyes peer at me sleepily – momentarily – before her mouth widens into a loud cry. I turn my back on my bed, pick her up, give her a drink of water and whisper a few sweet nothings in her ear, my face resting on her soft moist cheek.
When I was a little girl my Nana made an enormous round rug which lived on the floor of her lounge room. We used to play tiggy around the edge, chasing, running and laughing before collapsing in the middle in fits of giggles. A while ago my Aunty asked me if I’d like Nana’s rug, and it came to live with us. Surprisingly (or not), the enormous rug from my childhood memories is about double the size of its real life ruggy friend.
Feeling in need of a bit of Nana, a sobbing Baby and I trace our way around the rug in a Step Shuffle Twist motion that she particularly likes. The Step-Shuffle-Twist can be ramped up to Deluxe Mode if you throw in a Pat and a Tune. The pitch of Baby’s wails called for a bit of Deluxe, and the Tune of choice was Wet Washing Hanging on the Line; a tune that may just be the breaking point for poor Prince Charming who is beginning to develop a twitch in his left eye that flickers to the beat of Wet Washing.
Within ten minutes her eyes were closed and her head heavy in the crook of my arm. We did the SSTPT for another five minutes for good measure before I eased her back into the cot, perspiring with anticipation – - -
PING. The eyes open, I sneak out of the room like Road Runner, smoke at my tail. But then I am stranded, marooned outside the bedroom, cold and barefoot, a prisoner of my own hallway. I am like [a really tall and female looking] Samwise Gamgee [with shaven feet], peeking out from behind the bushes [door] at the warriors of Mordor [my child in cot]. Unable to move for fear the eye[s] is [are] watching.
The cries continued… Why, Oh Why.
Babies are a such a mystery, aren’t they? Lucky both Prince Charming and I are particularly skilled in the area of Step, Shuffle, Twist, Pat, Tune (repeat, repeat… repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat… repeat… and so on).