Thursday, September 24, 2009

sleeping with the toddler

"i thought to myself, she's going to crush my windpipe, i am going to die here in this bed, and ruth will wake up to find my dead body". . . andrew's words to me over breakfast coffee yesterday, the morning after amelia had 'slept' in our bed. i use the word 'sleep' loosely because it doesn't really describe her ninja moves. we checked as soon as it was light, but she hadn't sprouted cloven hooves in the night after all - regardless of how our bodies felt. we were subjected to horse-strength kicks and gorilla whacks, as she migrated at top speed around the bed in her sleep, at times doing 360's in the space of a minute or so; faces, chests and other more vulnerable body parts just got whammed out of the way if she encountered them. when she was AWAKE, it was all andrew's party, with him being subjected to WWF body-slams (she calls these 'kuddles', standing up to full height then 'slamming' herself across andrew's chest saying 'kuddle dadda' while he rolls into a little defensive ball - not easy when you are as big a target as he is - to minimise the bruising). she means well, and once she has flattened him, the kuddles are very soft and sweet, but she has no idea of how strong she is, so any expression of affection was bound to be painful.
as if that wasn't tiring enough, this frenetic pneumatic m.o. carried over into our train trip to brussels - 3 hours on a high speed train with amelia singing 'baa baa black sheep' and 'twinkle twinkle' at the top of her lungs, humming the same ferociously, and as loudly, while having ning, then bellowing out the words 'i'm shouting dadda, i'm shouting dadda' as andrew waited for coffee in the bistro car to the amusement of people around him. the photo was taken when she has finally crashed out - hard to believe that delicate little face hides the spirit of a rhinoceros isn't it?
she is now sitting at a desk with around 40 felt tip pens and colouring pencils to hand, madly drawing spots and lines and wiggles, announcing that she is drawing squares and circles and 'writing' the names of her friends (squiggle = bhasu, line = keira, spots = jess etc etc), in between experimenting with different tops of pens to see what fits on what, and singing 'we will, we will . . . rock cue - rock cue' a la freddy mercury, followed by one of her own little songs 'happy in ear happy in ear (happy in there happy in there), a variation of 'baa baa', a little confection consisting of one word 'cranes cranes cranes' in honour of the building sites we visit every day, counting to ten in song, 'old mcdonald had a fard (sic)', and announcing that she is doing 'nice drawings'.
the fact that it is 5 am, and most of brussels is still asleep fails to register with her. luckily, we are on a main street so there are all night kebab shops, early morning patisseries, street sweepers, rubbish trucks and emergency vehicles to keep her amused when drawing loses it appeal.

coffee. stat.

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