Friday, August 29, 2008

Antoine is 1!

His favourite thing is turning on and off the light. He pushes the switch, points to the light and sings a little delight song. A while ago, we gave him Isabelle's yellow sunglasses. He sang the delight song and pointed to all the lights. He thinks wearing the sunglasses turns on all the lights.

As my dear grand-father put it "When Newton discovered the law of gravity, he could not have been more pleased!"

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008


i dream of little girl's dresses. this one from Sugar City Journal. oh, and this one too. the operative word here being 'dream', my sewing-machine collecting dust, so thick you can cut it, while i try and collect the bits of my life (crazy-quilting, that's what they call it). anyway, seems you don't have to make dream dresses. you can also win them. see here: Garden Party Frock GIVEAWAY.

hope springs eternal.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


... two minutes to meltdown point. i bet you can't tell, looking at these gorgeous babes singing, that i would be screaming off my head in just another 120 seconds. the scary thing is, i couldn't tell either. it didn't feel like a hurricane. yes, i was a tad tired (antoine hasn't let me sleep for more than three hours at a stretch a single time in the last 9 months). it's true that dinner wasn't anywhere near being ready, and i was rather ravenously hungry (what with the six nursing breaks a day a boy needs to recover from his adventures, and the four afore-mentioned night nursings, this here mama can get quite hungry). yes, the floor of the living-room was literally littered with various miscellania (sunglasses, bits of food, clothes, dolls, saliva, paper, crayons, trains, necklaces, cushions, bicycles, books, blankets, tufts of cat hair, newspaper clippings, bread crumbs, dirty diapers and torn plant leaves), some of which had recently caused me pain in some way or another. it's true that antoine at this point wouldn't settle for anything less than his three favourite activities, i.e. climbing the stairs (not allowed because of neck breaking), eating cat food (not allowed because of being vegetarian baby) or playing with the gas buttons of the cooker (not allowed because although quite desperate not yet ready to commit family mass suicide and also because food simply will not cook unless heat is applied to it by means of gas, and no food means more HUNGER, see above). it's true that isabelle wanted a snack RIGHT NOW, and no she couldn't wait for dinner (maybe because she knew that without gas she'd be waiting a long time) and could i read a book to her, and could i play the evil step-mother in cinderella, and could i please right now, right now...

as i was shutting my camera, and to my great surprise, my mouth opened, and a roar rose from my toes. it filled the space with sound. no words, just this wall of sound, for protection. i saw their eyes shut down, the lights going out. shock absorption. i felt myself disappear, further and further away.

and then for once, just for this once, i managed to stop right there. it wasn't hard, really, i simply turned off the sound tap. and felt, gropingly, for the furry thing underneath the sound. the tight tight chest, the turning churning stomach. the ache in the belly. the stone in the throat.

i sat down on the floor and cried. until they crawled off their perch and came to comfort me.

i know what i need. i need a nap-sitter. i need someone to come in, maybe for just one hour every day, after lunch, so that i can sleep. and then i promise, i solemnly swear, i will be human again.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


marc took this picture last week. she was running around naked with her little boy friend, 'wij zijn echte piraten, mama!'. the little boy is leaving for Senegal in two weeks time. most of the time, she doesn't know what that means, but then suddenly it hits her, and she bursts into tears. she will be missing him. he is her special friend. such a big girl. rings under her eyes, going to bed too late, waking up too early. and things on her mind. things she doesn't always share anymore. her hair so wild. a soft nest for invisible birds. 'mama, mijn haar is echt een jungle... kijk daar komt de tijger, grwraaaah!'. when she can't sleep in the evenings, she sits with us on the little balcony up front, watching the night blanket cover the town, sipping fresh mint tea with honey. telling stories. the other night, right in front of us, the big dipper. 'mama', she said, 'het is de eerst keer dat ik echte sterren zie... mama, zijn de sterren ver?'. and she has a tatoo. my girl.

Friday, August 08, 2008

rainy day

wet washing
on the balcony
getting wetter

variation on cobra pose

lie flat on your belly
with a cat sprawled on your buttocks
inhale and raise yourself on your hands
shoulders low, neck long
exhale all the air in your lungs
keep the position and squeeze the root lock

have an 11-month old stand by your head
grab you by the ears
kiss you on the mouth
jump up and down using your (low) shoulders for support
smile at you

when you cannot hold on anymore
release the position

continue for three minutes