Nov 1, 2008


Phew..! That was scary – just met myself coming back on the train! Must have been me. I have been dashing and sleep walking hither and thither for the last few weeks (since returning from my Scottish holiday) lending a helping hand in a family (sickness) crisis. Have been returning home every 5 days or so, to check my mail and get a bit of sleep..zz.. before rushing off again.

As I mentioned to Steph of ‘the biopsy report’, who recently enquired as to ‘wherefore art I was’ (!) my main task has involved the night-shifts, caring for two little grandsons...YAWN.. and it seems that as soon as I have fed and changed the baby, rubbed Vick on his chest, sprayed salt solution up his tiny nostrils and settled the little chap down (for the umpteenth time between midnight and dawn) the 3 year old gets up needing a drink of water, a pee, a cuddle and a bit of a chat..(SCREAM!). Ah, I don't mean that. I could eat them up with a spoon really.

Seriously though, I have plumbed depths of energy and patience unplumbed for almost 40 years (since my youngest was a babe) and have battled the complexity of applying expensive, modern day elasticated paper nappies, to a tiny wriggling bottom - and having the fastening tags keep tearing off (!) Whatever was wrong with good old Terry towelling nappies(?)…. apart from having to dunk them in a bucket of cold water first, to rinse off that gooey, smelly, yellowy stuff and then having to boil, dry and air them…. Hmm. On second thoughts, I’ll master those tags!

And what about those modern day boxes of baby milk, designed to reduce Houdini to tears of frustration?! Apparently all you need to have, to open the lid, is strength, patience and double jointed index fingers and thumbs, pressing hard in sync’ at the back and front of the lid… and voila! Or in my case ‘#!!*?! It wont open’ (scream!) and reach for a knife….

But worst of all (and the stuff of which my granny nightmares are made) are those finger fumbling, technological baby appliances; such as child car seats; maxi-cosies; adjustable high-chairs; and folding pushchairs and prams - and all of them bristling with immovable levers, knobs and complicated strap fasteners, requiring the same kind of synchronized pressing, as the milk container. Only this time it is the sides of the clasp you have to press to release the fastening straps… grr.. And if you press one side out of sync’ with the other, the whole appliance gets stuck and won’t open (!) and the poor screaming baby is doomed to spend the rest of his/her days trapped in some unrelenting, brightly painted, musical, nursery rhyme singing appliance…sigh. Whatever happened to plain old buckles? How did (we) older generations manage without all this stuff?

Oh Lor’, as I said to Steph on ‘Highland Fling’ comments, I sound a right 'Moaning Minnie' now, don’t I, and I really don’t mean to be - but really, these last few (testing) weeks have set me thinking and I do wonder about the sanity of women in their sixties going off to that Italian fertility specialist for IVF...!!

Still, on the brighter side, all this baby-sitting activity has melted 5 kilos off my middle and I can actually zip and button my jeans again, without having to lay flat on the bed or floor, yippee!

Will be returning to my little charges tomorrow - but OOOOHHHH how blissfully I shall SLEEP in my own bed tonight!