Jeanne Ellin: books and babies

Jeanne and baby boys

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Books and babies

Jeanne and baby boysMy book bearing volunteer is back. Hurrah! She arrived this afternoon despite the rain and cold bearing two full bags. She has no car and a busy life. We had a wonderful bookish chat – she is a writer too. Such a refreshment to talk about books, swap recommendations and discuss our writing. A real high spot in my week.

After she leaves, I pile my booty according to author and topic and gloat. The serious research books on world embroidery are for a poetry project. I want to build a glossary of embroidery terms to use in a series of poems. The deadline for submissions is April. I must keep a close eye on that. Deadlines can feel a long way off then arrive too suddenly, almost unexpected.

The rest of my booty is not high-minded at all. More mental candy floss for when brain is sluggish or I need minor pain relief. Simple plots are easier to follow. In romance the ending is always happy and the plot is a simpler track than more challenging novels. I do enjoy historical fiction and crime set in foreign lands. An easy and enlightening journey into another culture. Just in the middle of White Heat by M J McGrath. It’s set in the Arctic with an Inuit woman as crime solver. It’s good.

Just made a visit to my daughter and grandsons. She has had no sleep for three nights as the twins are teething and infected. Two ten minute walks and a bus trip. I totter out, balance worse than usual today after so many days in. I’m bearing grapes and dates. Also Vicks for chesty small people. Find them all in a sorry, fretful state. Am glad I made the effort. Daughter was able to wash, dress and eat while I offered arms and lap for small, unhappy people. No smiles or giggles today. They are feeling rotten.

Balance poor, so lifting boys a scary operation and even making and carrying drinks takes careful concentration. But so glad to be even a little help.

A moment of laughter. Our shy boy decided that today his efforts deserved applause. He placed one block on another and catching our eyes clapped his hands. We took the hint. Then he knocked the bricks down and paused for more applause. He seems very taken with giving and receiving feedback. When his mother sang a nursery rhyme he clapped her first song choice. After the second song, he just turned and tottered away with that characteristic nappy swagger.

After being clad only in nappies all morning, both boys resisted the idea of getting dressed. It not being a day for battles, we left them till our quiet boy decided to raid his clothes chest and come back with his new trainers. With great difficulty he was persuaded to wear socks. Then we found that he only wished to wear one shoe. He spent several happy minutes walking unevenly up and down, the lights in the heel of his trainer sparkling as his mother and I laughed.

His brother contented himself with eating grapes, seedless, one in his mouth and one in each hand for efficiency.

I leave after four hours. Daughter has had several drinks and lunch and got tea cooked. I need to have enough energy to get home. Home by two thirty. Get ready for bed as I know co-ordination will worsen. Good that I made soup yesterday with the chicken wing bones. That is evening meal sorted with some fresh fruit and a drink of nut milk. Two of my favourite television programs to enjoy. In bed by nine pm. No problem getting to sleep.

Jeanne Ellin

About Jeanne Ellin

I am a poet working at living a creative life in a one room flat, companioned by a menagerie of chronic health problems. I began this series of posts after being inspired by two women younger than myself, who, fearful of their imagined old age spent in ill health and poverty, committed suicide. I explore every year as a bonus of adventures, with moments of discomfort or fear, but with unexpected treasure to be found - helped by a sense of the ridiculous, a world perspective and creativity.