Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Is this happening in your neighbourhood?

I heard a mother moaning the other day that she finds it really difficult to get her baby and the shopping inside and that, like most people, she'd rather carry the baby and ten bags than do two trips. I'm glad she hasn't spied me packing or unpacking the car because while it used to be easier (if heavy) as I waddled with two capsules, it now goes something like this...
Leave Twin 2 in the playpen with an interesting toy while I grab the nappy bag and Twin 1. Put down the nappy bag and unsnib the front door so I don't accidently lock Twin 2 inside and have to break a heritage window with a wheel of the wheelie bin (learnt the hard way). Double check the front door and juggle Twin 1 on my hip (who is ringing the doorbell) while I try to find the car key. Locate the car key and run Twin 1 out to the car listening to Twin 2 shriek as he realises he's been abandoned. Buckle in Twin 1 and bury him under a pyramid of toys. Turn on the car, undo the window a few inches. Turn off the car, lock the car, run inside to collect Twin 2. Listen to Twin 1 shriek as he also realises he's been abandoned. Tuck the car key into my bra (my mum's tip which is spastic but I'm too tired to think of another regular place I won't lose it -- flawless as long as I remember to put on underwear). Collect shoes, socks, and blankets that Twin 1 has strewn on the way to the car. Do this slowly as I am in the geographic mid-point between Twin 1 and Twin 2and can hear neither. Manage to convince myself that this is getting easier and the boys are adjusting to the system. Take another step and hear Twin 2 bellowing. Start to jog as he sounds just like somebody is extracting limbs from his body one by one. Trip over the nappy bag I left at the front door. Collect Twin 2 who, it transpires, has all limbs intact but won't look at me he's so angry. Worry about the emotional damage Twin 2 is suffering and whether, as a result of this neglect, he will drop out of school and end up an angry junkie in gaol. Wipe Twin 2's face, pick up the handbag and nappy bag and limp down the hall with Twin 2 still sniffling but tearing out the pages from Twin 1's favourite book "A Guide to Roast Pork and Ham this Christmas". Hear Twin 1 bellowing from the car. Confirm that neighbours have now gathered around the car and are assessing the temperature (17'C) and whether they should break into the car for fear Twin 1 could be suffering from hypothermia/heat exhaustion. Twin 1 cries louder to assure them that indeed he is suffering from both and that they really should consider calling the Department. If they could understand baby sign language they would realise that he's even providing the name and number of his preferred case officer. Fortunately, they can't.
Grope inside my bra for the car key. Miss it. Feel it slide down the front of my dress until it is jammed between my new tummy and the maternity knickers. Wriggle while trying to hold onto Twin 2 (hamming up his neglected face for the crowd). Shimmy until the key slips out from under my dress, and slides under the car. Holding Twin 2, grope around under the car until I find the key. Scoop moss out of Twin 2's mouth. Stand up and then break up the crowd (literally) when I bend to open the car door and my handbag (which Qantas made me store in the hold on our last flight) and the nappy bag (which could, if pushed, transport a tiger), swing down off my shoulder, batting a nosy neighbour into the gutter. Struggle with Twin 2 who reminds me and the neighbours how much he loathes the car seat by standing in it and refusing to bend. Snap him in half, possibly breaking both his legs. He certainly yells as if I have. Shut the car doors, jump in, wave merrily and try to act really together as I drive off, pages from "A Guide to Roast Pork and Ham this Christmas" fluttering in my wake. Look in the baby mirror and realise Twin 2 is wearing neither shoes nor socks. Return home to collect them from the pavement and find they are now sitting on the fence, smugly placed by the conferee of whispering neighbours who have also gathered up "A Guide to Roast Pork and Ham this Christmas" and put it in the recycle bin. Make a joke about it all being a bit like a crazy Egg and Spoon race. No one laughs.
I wonder how that woman with the cricket team and the minibus does it? My tip is that the minibus has never had to have its 5,000km service as she never leaves home. And that, dear Follower, is perhaps the only solution.

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