I awake screaming. It is good for my lung development. The Irishwoman comes and sings “good morning, good morning” while opening curtains and turning on lights. She looks awful. I can’t understand it – I woke her up six times last night to make sure she was okay. Something terrible must be happening to her while I am sleeping. I will be more vigilant in the future.
We stare out the window for a while. This is an activity we both enjoy. It’s dark out there. Then The Irishwoman strips me down and steals my nappy. She is collecting them, I think.
We go to the couch. The best thing about the Irishwoman is her edible body parts. One is small and one is big. The small one leaks so she always smells great. I latch on, but the Irishwoman appears to be closing her eyes. I pull her hair to keep her focused.
The Frenchman appears. He stumbles towards the kettle. He does not sing any songs about it being a good morning. When he has made coffee, he takes me from the Irishwoman and gives me breakfast. The best bit about breakfast is throwing my spoon on the floor.
The Frenchman and I play on the mat. I am much better at playing on the mat than he is. He is just kind of lying there with his eyes half open, occasionally stopping me from falling over. I am doing lots of cool things. Hitting stuff with other stuff. Knocking things over. Grabbing on to the edges of furniture and pulling myself up. Putting things in my mouth that you would not believe I’d be able to put in my mouth.
I see the cat. Oh joy oh rapture. I make my softest sweetest sound. Why won’t she come to me?
I begin to miss the Irishwoman. I scream until The Frenchman shows me that she is lying in bed. I scream until she gets up. The Frenchman lies down and the Irishwoman and I go back to my room.
I have to be quite strict with the Irishwoman about her naps. She is reluctant to take them, and even when I get her to settle down beside me quietly, she tries to get up again when she thinks I am asleep. You’ll be glad to know that I prevent this, vociferously. I need to make sure that she gets enough rest. It is simply a convenient coincidence that when we nap her edible body parts are right where my mouth is.
When we wake up, the Irishwoman eats soda bread and jam and breaks off chunks to give to me. I am not sure this is age appropriate, but I can’t deny it keeps me quiet.
We stare out a different window and this time the Irishwoman sings a song that goes, “here comes the Sun, little darling.” Every day the same. Would it be rude to suggest that she expand her repertoire?
The Irishwoman puts me in my crib standing up and helps me to hang onto the side. I can see myself in the mirror and, wow, I am impressed. Can you believe how good at standing I am?
We play a game called Peekaboo where the Irishwoman disappears and reappears. It is hilarious. You should try it. We play airplanes and upside down and woo up in the air – all extremely funny. The Irishwoman tries to eat my belly, but she never can. She thinks I’m laughing with her, but really I am laughing at her.
The Frenchman comes back. He is much more fun to talk to now, which is good because I have a lot of news. He gets excited when I say “dadadadadada” and claims I am looking at him when I say it, but actually I am just practicing consonant sounds.
The cat! Light of my soul. I make my softest sweetest sound. But why won’t she come to me?
Suddenly everything is terrible. I hate toys and I hate the Irishwoman and the Frenchman and I don’t want to be picked up and I don’t want to be put down. The Irishwoman thinks I need another nap but she’s wrong, I don’t, I’m not even….
Awake again. Lunchtime! Lunch is my favourite meal of the day because it’s the one they let me eat myself. Today there is an assortment of painstakingly prepared baby foods for me to smear all over myself or throw on the floor. Occasionally I even put something in my mouth. This is called Baby-led weaning. The Irishwoman read about it in a book.
The Frenchman and I play the xylophone. He performs the opening of My Heart Will Go On. My sound is more metal. My lyrics are Dadaist.
There: the cat. Heart of my hearts. I make my softest sweetest sound. Why won’t she come to me?
We take a walk. Have you been outside? Wow. You have to put on a stupid hat first, but then let me tell you. There are squirrels. There are branches. There are people. I would like to go closer to the people, but The Irishwoman and The Frenchman are antisocial. Sometimes the people point at me and say “awwww, look at the little sheep.” I do not know why.
Back home, the Frenchman and the Irishwoman get very enthusiastic about something called cocktail hour. The Irishwoman feeds me dinner and tells me how good I am. The best part about dinner is throwing my spoon on the floor.
After dinner I am allowed to take all my clothes off. Have you ever taken all your clothes off? It is the best. You can pee everywhere. When I am big, I am never going to wear clothes.
I see the cat. I make my softest sweetest sound. Why won’t she… wait… here she comes. I reach out and grab a fistful of her velvet belly. “Rawreek,” she says. Then she is gone, leaving longing in my soul. And hair in my hand. The Frenchman will not allow me to eat it.
The Irishwoman puts me in my pyjamas, then we all read stories. My favourites are “Peek A Who,” a poignant tale of things rhyming with Boo that have been forced into hiding; “Au Bain, Petit Lapin,” about a rabbit with high standards of personal hygiene; “Where is Baby’s Belly Button” (spoiler: under her shirt); and “Feminist Baby,” a propagandistic screed about sharing toys with girls.
The Frenchman kisses me goodnight and The Irishwoman sings me songs and rocks me until I am sleepy but awake, then puts me in the crib. The Irishwoman read that putting babies down sleepy but awake is how you teach them to sleep on their own. This was also in a book. When she leaves the room, I cry for half an hour, partly because I do not agree with the tenets of sleepy but awake, and partly because The Irishwoman and The Frenchman are terrible parents who do not love me.
But I will explain my objections to sleepy but awake to The Irishwoman later tonight. At midnight. And 1am. And 2am. And 3am. And 4am. And 5am.