Teddy is on two feet, and every time he sees a phone he says 'Ah-ro.' Ivy will not take off this Warnie t-shirt, and only answers to the name 'Anthony.' I'm weddinged-out and Keith is under pressure - funding submissions, university politics, the existential crises he faces as an attractive feminist in a crazy, mixed-up world.
As for me, time is not my friend. I'm planning the wedding, wrangling the naughty-buttons and trying to keep the house off the public health blacklist. I'm way behind on email and phone-call returns, and I've been buying bread, and washing powder - two things I haven't had to buy from months. It's freakish how much work a wedding takes. I miss keeping up with the lives of my blog-buddies, and spending time processing my own thoughts and experiences through this blog. I can't wait for the wedding - a festival of fun and romance- but man, I'm looking forward to post-November, when I can settle back into the everyday rhythm of domestic life.
Keith has been in the Arctic Circle talking solar research with fellow eggheads, and we've been staying with Nanna and Pop. Having showers standing in half a foot of cold bath-water, trying not to get sexually violated by an 80 kilo Golden Retriever, and planning the wedding with Mum.
Have the babies after the wedding - I get it, I really get it now, Mum. I'm at the pointy end of the to-do list and the details are killing me. Conversations with caterers/florists/hairdressers etc all go a little like this:
'So the actual wedding is on the 24th of - Ivy, don't hit your brother with the spoon. Sorry, October. It's at the - Ivy! Listen to his noises! He doesn't like it! The beach, sorry, what did you say? Ivy! Stop it right now! - I'm so sorry, just a minute - Dodo is going on the naughty shelf. We don't hit Teddy. The beach, and then - Ow! Teddy, my hair! -at a community hall, where - oh, Christ, sorry, Ivy, please, Mummy will just be five minutes, can you just - hello? Hello?
I've got Westfield-flu after having to take them both on so many shopping trips. One memorable day, with Mum, Ivy threw the worst tantrum ever. It went for about forty minutes, at varying pitches. In between shrieking fits, she did quiet moaning exercises, gathering energy for the next attack. I tried to ignore it all, and towards the end of the mission, attempted some positive psychology; i.e: 'Ivy, you've done a good job controlling yourself for the last few minutes. If you can keep us this happy behaviour you can have a balloon from the lady. ' On the way home I put on my stern voice and tried to discuss The Incident. 'Ivy, that was very, very naughty, what you did at the shops. What was going on there?' Ivy was happy to talk though what she learned. 'I did cry and cry and cry, ' she said thoughtfully. 'And then Mummy did give me a balloon!'
I couldn't look my mother in the eye.