I am holding Emilee as she looks over my shoulder and contemplates the vista outside. She’s holding a piece of fried cheese with two hands, and she’s grimacing playfully as she flicks it between her teeth. she reaches for and picks up a carrot stick, puts it down again, picks up another, and feeds it to me. She continues this pattern as I type, two arms around her, the plate almost falling from the table. Carrot and celery fall on my lap as she sorts through the vegetables, selecting just the right pieces to offer. I chomp on them happily as she posts them into my mouth, and she smiles with satisfaction.
Then a new game. She starts dropping things onto the floor. “ooh” she says. She up-ends the plate. Holds it in her lap and piles things back on to it. Then again, she finds the window, with glistening dancing leaves and the call of birds outside. She bites me playfully.
her brother is next to us. In the time it took me to type this he has started and abandoned different imaginative games, and suddenly he’s asking me if the earth moves, and if I can find a picture of the earth moving in the sky. He reaches for some baby powder, negotiates for some to play with, thanks me for how much I’ve given him, and now he is weaving through my legs to reach the container and I have to stop now.
And I am back after what turned out to be “an event”. I have so much to tell you, and no energy for any of it. Em is asleep in her sling, heavy around my shoulders, and R is watching youtube videos: people playing with cars, and helicopters – always helicopters. The sound takes up all the space in my head, and I have no room to concentrate. There is only the slow breathing of my baby, the whir of the laptop fan, the dull ache in my shoulders, and the narration coming from the screen.