Dec 17, 2014

Sleep Eludes the Infant On a Thing-Packed Day

Wednesday, like many days of late, was mind-buggeringly hot.

We had arranged to go out on a bike ride, to test out Eloise's new whizz-bang you-beaut bike, with Jessica. Her Mum texted to say that the wheels were pumped and she was raring to go, and I tentatively, not wishing to appear like a Jessie, replied to the effect that it might be a little warm, but no reply...

So off we rode round to their house, through the blistering heat, sweat running down my back and doubts running through my mind, to find Mum texting us back to say yes actually, now you mention it, etc etc.

So instead, we opted for Plan B, a revisit to the Obliteration Room, where the air conditioning is set to stun and a few hours of entertainment was sure to be had.

With the car parks full with the air-conditioned cars of air-conditioning seekers of like mind to us, we ended up parking at the far end of South Bank, and walking through the blistering heat with Lyra in my arms and a bag full of provisions, when who should we meet but Claire and Georgia travelling the other way, bound for the South Bank pools. After a brief hello-what-are-you-doing-here-isnt-it-a-small-world-goodbye we made our way on, stopping for a brief hello with a mystery Mum outside the Museum whose baby interested Lyra (now on foot now that we were under cover).

Jessica: "Was that a random stranger you were talking to then or someone else you knew?"
Me: "Yep, a random stranger."
Jessica: "You're not supposed to talk to random strangers, you know."

Anyway we obliterated the Obliteration Room for an hour or so, which was cool, and full of cool coolness-pilgrims. I took a call from Valerie and she requested a mercy mission in the afternoon to the dentist to fix her broken tooth - her car was at the fixer-uperers. Then Jessica, with Mum's money in her pocket, decided it was catering time, so we retired back to the Museum Cafe where they attempted to blag me into buying them fizzy sugary drinks. Instead we bought mountains of junk food, and ate it. Dinosaur Nuggets and Chips and Velociburgers. I ate the chips, and had a sandwich.

Back in the Hot World, we returned to Jessica's where swimming was done, and a lot of water splashed around, before leaving, just the three of us, and sojourning down to the dance school to pick up a DVD, then over to Valerie's to pick up Valerie, then to Ashgrove to drop her off at the dentist.

"I'll only be five minutes" she said. "We'll drive around the block and get this sleepy-looking child to sleep" I proclaimed. We drove around the block five times and we drove round the block five times more to get that infant off to sleep and I'd almost got her there before we hit a speed bump a bit too fast and she jerked awake and that was that. No sleep for Lyra.

Anyway, Valerie retrieved and delivered home, the question was, what to do now? And it being Christmas time, we went and bought our real tree and attempted to load it into the car.

Loading it into the car involved a wholesale rearrangement of the back seat architecture, with the booster/child seat swapping sides in order to facilitate the folding-down of the two-seat side of the back seat assembly, which allowed the tree just to fit in with its crown gently tickling my gear knob.

The needles got bloody everywhere. "We're going to be itchy" opined Eloise. "What nonsense" I archly retorted. "Since when did pine needles make us itchy!"

Lyra enjoyed our trip home in a miniature forest. If I could find our copy of Where the Wild Things Are, I would have showed her the bit where a forest grows in Max's bedroom. That's just what it was like in our car, notwithstanding that the tree was horizontal and kind of thrust into her face, with its fragrant needles tickling up against her most pleasingly.

Every time I changed gear my elbow rubbed up against piney twigs and needles. It wasn't long before I started to get itchy. Eloise got one of those looks on her face, when my ill-advised counterpoints have found me out.

We lugged the tree up into the house, and installed it in the living room, then installed the lights and the decorations upon the tree, and switched on the lights. We admired our handiwork, attempted to prevent Lyra from uninstalling the lights and decorations, and reinstalled the lights and decorations, beginning a cycle of installation and uninstallation that will no doubt last well into the new year.

Like the extra hoovering. Bloody needles.

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