Remember last week, when I told you that one of the things cluttering up my kitchen counter was the eye drops from when Monkey last had pinkeye?
I’m sure you can see where this is going. (See. Heh.) After blogging about it, I did a modicum of tidying on the counter contents, including bringing the eye drops upstairs and stashing them in my medicine cabinet. That probably happened on Thursday. On Thursday night, Mabel slept until 11.00 instead of the usual 10.00 for her first post-bedtime wake. I jokingly wondered if she was coming down with something. On Friday afternoon, Mabel seemed somewhat moist around the eyes, and she sneezed a few more times than I liked.
On Saturday morning, Mabel’s nose was streaming liberally, and her left eye was bright pink. Damn you, blog, I thought, if only I hadn’t taken that stuff upstairs, I clearly wouldn’t have had to bring it down again. Since I had it to hand, I decided to dispense with such formalities as doctors and diagnoses and cut straight to the chase. (I’m something of an expert in pink eye at this stage.) Mabel was not impressed with eye drops. In fact, eye drops are right at the top of the list of things Mabel hates with the passion of a thousand firey suns. It took two of us holding her down, and I still barely managed to pry her eye open enough to drip a drop in. Mostly over the past couple of days I’ve been dripping on to a tightly shut eyelid and hoping some goes in when she finally opens up to see if I’ve gone away. They need to invent some better mechanism for this stuff.
So Saturday evening was supposed to be a Moms’ Night Out. She had a good nap and seemed in happy enough form that night – we’d even gone out to eat, at somewhere kid-friendly but still with real wait-staff and menus that are not on the wall behind a counter, and it had gone much much better than the last time – so I thought I’d risk it. She was asleep at 8.20, and I told B that if she woke before 9.30, he could call me. Otherwise, I’d leave at ten. (The venue was five minutes’ drive from home.)
The local local, if I can call it that, is a clattery cafe by day, albeit with some impressive Middle-Eastern cuisine on the menu, and a hopping joint by weekend night. I was sent from the brightly-lit safety of the outer counter, where falafel and baklava reside beside apple pie and coffee, back to the bar to order my drink, and the dimmed lights and loud live music (live! music!) were an enormous shock to my system. For a moment, I couldn’t really remember how to function in this night-time environment. I felt there was probably a huge flashing sign over my head saying “Out of Practice” – or maybe I just wanted there to be, so that if I suddenly lost all control and started wibbling manically, everyone would understand. Fortunately, I didn’t have to fight my way through hordes of drunken rugby supporters or defend myself from the advances of smitten gigolos, and it was a fairly simple process to order a drink, pay for a drink, and remember to leave a tip on the bar.
I returned to our outside table victorious, and relieved to be back in the fading daylight, and we all discussed how we felt like saying, “But I have a baaay-beeee” to excuse ourselves in such situations. (I don’t know. Maybe they were just claiming they felt that way too to make me feel better.)
Halfway through my beer, the phone rang. Of course. As I’d predicted, Mabel had slept for exactly 40 minutes before coughing herself miserably awake. I bequeathed the rest of my amber liquid to the table (they said they’d see it didn’t go to waste) and vroomed home to find a teary, snotty child, momentarily lulled into calm by the soothing tones of Curious George as read by Daddy.
When the story was over, I took her up to bed.
[Amusing tanget regarding Mabel being up when she shouldn’t be: One day last week she woke soon after going to sleep and seemed to have had a bad dream. She was unhappy in bed and wanted to leave her room altogether. So, since we had been watching The King’s Speech, which (a) I was very much enjoying and (b) I thought would be nice and low-key for her to watch as well, I brought her down without much ado. She sat nursing and watching with us for about forty minutes, and I was just congratulating myself on the choice of such a baby-friendly movie when Bertie, at the urging of his speech therapist, let rip a long and mellifluous stream of cursing, ending up with a rousing, “… fuck, fuck, fuck, shit. Tits!” Mabel, who had been listening despite my hopes that she might be drifting off, let out a shout of laughter: “Mummy! That man just neighed like a horse! That’s funny!”
We agreed that it was indeed funny, and decided it was probably time she went back to bed.]
She’s much better now, thank you. And so far, no swearing.