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Yes yes, I know; I do not call, I do not write. It’s not my fault. I was kidnapped by buccaneers and forced to prepare croquembouche in a cave for the wedding of the Pirate King.
1. My children do not get knock-knock jokes. I tried “Knock-knock”, “Who’s there?”, “Interrupting cow” on the pigs this morning, and they thought that was the end of the joke and laughed hysterically.
2. You know what pleases me about babies? Most things, actually, but other than that? I like how they manage to give off a very low impression of helplessness.
Take young Morris, for instance. Being a wee bit gormless and hampered by his fats, he is still more or less immobile. He does not sit, he does not crawl, he rarely rolls; mostly he just lolls about like a sea-slug. If he wants to be taken anywhere, he has to be carried; similarly, he is of course incapable of feeding or changing himself or doing anything remotely useful.
But does this distress him? Does one feel a sense of pity looking down at his stationary self? Not a bit of it. By sheer chutzpah and joie de vivre Morris manages to convey a sense of autonomy. One gets the impression he is doing what he wants. Lying on the floor staring at the ceiling, he acts as if he is exactly where he wishes to be. And should you pick him and take him to a window to see the chickens, well, he wanted to do that too.
It’s impressive. And presumably one would not feel the same way about, say, a quadriplegic. And I realise it isn’t a trait that applies to all babies; there are go-getters in the infant community who register displeasure at their lack of crawling ability, and pitch out of one’s arms trying to reach the curtains.
But Morris does not. He takes life as it comes and finds it goodly. He is secure enough in his place in the cosmos that the thought people might find it tiring to lug him about simply does not occur to him. “Here I am,” he says. “I have joined you now. You’re welcome.”
3. We’re buying a house. Rather, we’re attempting to buy a house. It is a hideous, grinding, demoralising process and I don’t want to talk about it.
4. Few things in muggy weather make me as ambivalent as cosleeping with a fat, loving baby with a low melting point.
5. This baby.