Thursday, 17 May 2007

Little Things

Ridiculous, isn’t it, how the little things occupy so much of your time. Some represent more than is apparent. Like the small globe in front of me, a gift from my daughter, containing purple and pink glitter and a picture of us in the misty chill of winter. But then there are the bills to be opened, emails to be sent, appointments to be arranged. Scouring pads to be bought. While around you people are getting sick, going missing, moving away, getting married, having babies.

I’m not quite sure where blogging belongs in all this. It brings with it problems of its own: template selection, etiquette, comments, quality of writing. And one of the biggest difficulties of all: keeping track of all the blogs. I’ve solved the problem by getting myself a ‘feed reader’. It took me a day to download (upload?) all the blogs onto it, but now it appears to work by sorcery. Every so often a little box pops up telling me that Wife in the North or Drunk Mummy have completed another small work of art.

Nevertheless it’s a little thing. Yesterday I was looking after my daughter and her friend, who were sitting on my head as I made my way through 100 of the world’s favourite nursery rhymes. Suddenly three fire engines lurched round the corner followed by an ambulance. Sirens whined, blue lights whirred, people arrived at windows clutching babies and looking on with fearful expressions. I opened the door and craned around the door jamb to see thick black smoke gushing out of the basement two houses along, across a small alleyway. Firemen in purple suits jumped dramatically from their vehicles, unfurling hoses and spinning taps. A couple of them ran down the steps into the basement and emerged a while later, panting, faces smeared with soot. It wasn’t like watching a fire on the news. It was real and urgent and frightening.

Although people with children were stopping to watch I didn’t want my daughter or her friend to look on so I closed the door. It seemed to be under control, but we carried on downstairs, just in case. Eventually I started cooking tea: browning chicken and boiling vegetables, listening to the girls chatting.

”Do you like pink or yellow?”
“Pink!”
“I like pink too!”
“Do you like pink fish, by any chance?”
“Actually I do.”
“I do too.”
“I’m going to be Sophie.”
“No,
I’m going to be Sophie.”
“No, you can be Amy.”
“Oh.”
“But in the next game you can be Sophie.”
“Oh, alright.”


I have all but forgotten about the activity outside. The doorbell rings. Seeing it is the friend’s father I open the door and exclaim brightly “Burnt the toast again!”
Suddenly I see the look of horror on his face. “I came round the corner and I thought…”

15 comments:

spymum said...

Snap! Aren't Wifey and Drunk Mummy brilliant reads! I haven't got around to doing one of those feed thingys yet though.

Gosh, it's a funny old time for parents at the moment isn't it? I sometimes wonder - if someone could have explained to the twenty-year-old-me how, as a parent, you suffer a thousand deaths worrying about the safety/happiness/security of ones child, would I have had one?

That me wouldn't have understood anyway! Great blog, btw!

@themill said...

oh, that stomach churning 'I thought..'
When the oldest son overturned a forklift in front of me...
When the youngest son, then aged 2, went missing for 45 minutes...
When the youngest son, then aged 13, was airlifted off the rugby pitch with a suspect broken neck...

Suffolkmum said...

I missed your one below (only been blogging for a few weeks but already finding it hard to keep up) and you got that post-holiday feeling spot-on. You have a lovely concise way with words - not surprised someone wants you to write for them! Loved the exchange between the girls in this one - deeply familiar! Fire sounds hideous.

Stay at home dad said...

Thanks Spymum. Yes I think they are required reading, and you're not bad yourself!

It is s strange world, but in fact in many ways life is easier and safer now, physically and medically, so really you are exchanging different freedoms.

@TM, Yes, I hadn't even given it a thought. Luckily I rang my wife before she got home.

Horrible childhood events. Presumably, and luckily, they were all ok?

Hello Suffolkmum. Thanks, very kind. You need the feed reader! I think the fire was dealt with fine. I haven't wanted to nose too much.

Drunk Mummy said...

Dear SAHD - thank you for your lovely compliment. I have been called an 'artist' before - but not in a nice way!
I think you did the right thing keeping the girls away from the drama. How much better to be talking about pink fish, than the horror of a fire. They don't get much time to be so oblivious of these things. String it out for as long as possible.

Stay at home dad said...

Agreed. All true! How was the netball?

@themill said...

Thank you SAHD, yes they were all okay. Only I was left a quivering wreck!

Drunk Mummy said...

We was robbed!

Stay at home dad said...

@TM, it's coloured your life and they forgot years ago I bet!

DM, sorry to hear it. Er, I was going to make a netball remark but I know absolutely nothing about it...

rilly super said...

someone once explained the analogy of time being a large jar. Your life consists of some large pebbles which are the important things, then some gravel which is the next level of importance and which fills in the gaps between the pebbles after you have put them in the jar first, then sand, which is the trivia of life which you slip in to the smallest gaps if there is any space but which are expendable. I don't need to tell you whether blogging and worring about it the slightest is pebbles or sand stay at home dad. I must say I do enjoy your blog by the way. I must look into 'feedreaders' too...

Stay at home dad said...

Thank you Rilly. Your post finds you in contemplative mood!

I agree with that analogy in principle, but in reality it is the sand that ends up taking up much of your time. It gets everywhere, as anyone who has been on the beach with a small child will attest!

rilly super said...

if you get to the beach with your children then at least there are some pebbles SAHD

Stay at home dad said...

In my recent experience there's a lot of rain too...

Elsie Button said...

Hi there, i have tagged you. not entirely sure what this means but if you look at my blog it might make more sense. if you have already been tagged just ignore me. sorry i didn't tag in the correct way - my brain is far too frazzled to work it out. elsie

Stay at home dad said...

Poor you! Thanks - I will look into it...