This morning started at 6.00. I heard my bubba rousing, and wished through the wall that she would drowse again. And she did – until 7.15 am! But I was up. I am like a superhero, with special hearing powers attuned to one station: the sound of my baby’s slightest sniffle will wake me from a deep slumber and then I am on alert, waiting.
When she got up, I breastfed her. She likes to play games with me now as she feeds, watching me out of the corner of her eye and then springing her head backwards and smiling, as if saying, “Tah dah! Here I am!” Then she chortles and goes back to the boob. There are the inevitable, internal motions put into action by feeding, and so we, ehem, deal with that next. Then bubba is ready for fun. She can wriggle backwards these days, so I plant a trail of toys in a strategically wide circle, like the Howard government’s erstwhile Pacific arc of instability – both of us using our net to keep someone distracted from the main game.
Now begins my dash in and out of her bedroom, running chores which I can’t do while she is asleep. I refill wipes, nappies, check sheets, sort clothes, change bin bags, and grab my own clothes to wear for the day from the bedroom cupboard. I sweep back through the living room, making eyes and smiles at bubba, thus making sure I have a bit more time. Then I get myself and bubba some breakfast, and settle down to read the news on the iPad and eat some muesli while bubba shifts her weight experimentally from side to side.
At some point into my bowl of breakfast, I usually have to down tools and feed bubba her own oats and fruit. That is always a pretty hilarious business, especially now that she thinks the coolest sound in the world involves opening and shutting her mouth like a guppy, disregarding the food therein.
By now my husband is up, and having his breakfast and offering me a cup of tea which I like the sound of in principle, although I have become accustomed to drinking it lukewarm. He cuddles bubba while I do something or other which involves coming in and out of the room again. I check my schedule for the day, noting my first tele-meeting. My husband is ready to take care of our little angel when that comes up, interrupting his own business day. We cover for each other in this way throughout the day, although I still like to think of myself as primary carer – and am definitely still primary masher of all things nutritious into orangey brown purees.
When bubba complains, I put her into a sitting position for a bit of variety. We play like that for a while, and eventually she gets grumpy, and it is nearing nap time. We read Winnie the Pooh – the story of how he got stuck in Rabbit’s hole from eating too much honey. It is a touch and feel book which bubba now likes to turn the pages of before eating, which represents progress of the first order.
Two hours after her waking time, she is back in bed, and it is now 9.20 am, and I am readying my notebook for my meeting. I have a breathing space of a few minutes, because my interviewee is not answering just yet, having been delayed. I think of checking the emails, or reading the paper some more. But I sit, staring at my hands, enjoying the silence. Knowing that in these short moments are my daily breaks, which turn the squirly, busy feeling in my insides into a calmer thing which will purr rather than snarl when in company once again. I like morning time. It’s always the start of something new.