My head is full of house plans. The floor plan is pretty much done, but we have reached a kind of crescendo this week as we frantically fiddle with windows, and try to cram in as much storage as possible. Most difficult has been figuring out basic bathroom and kitchen layouts (there will be another crescendo with these rooms later when we choose actual fixtures). We are trying to fit so much into such a small house that every single square centimetre is precious.
I’m finding it very hard to really believe that these sketches I am doing (often while stirring the porridge, or pretending to watch some trick the kids are doing) will somehow become real spaces that I will one day walk through. Every now and then a small detail clicks into place and I start to get a faint picture in my mind, but it’s like a dream – I glimpse it but I can’t grasp it. Exposed clinker bricks arranged in a sun-shape around a round window; a green velvet curtain; a deep japanese style bath under a sloping roof – these are some of the images that tantalise me.
At the same time, I am trying to be my best buddhist and live as fully in the moment as I can. This often strikes when I am keeping Arlo or Huey company when they are on the outdoor dunny. They just love a bit of company and a chat while they do their business, but I like to stand angled slightly away from them, and stare at the line of the hills and breathe. It seems so very important not to waste a moment of living. Being here is one thing. Another thing is the tiny lives of my small children zooming past.
Jinny has been sick with a urinary tract infection, and it is only with the benefit of hindsight that I realise (now she is on antibiotics and feeling better) just how crook she has been. These last two days she has spent long stretches of time just noodling around by herself, picking up a wooden block, putting it in a bucket, putting the bucket on her head, picking up a piece of elastic, putting it in her mouth, leafing through a board book, mooing occasionally, dancing and bouncing every time she hears a fragment of music. Every now and then she does something she thinks is hilarious – like climbing into the new wooden walker – and looks up with a hoarse giggle, fully expecting that I will be smiling and laughing right back at her.
‘Tycho Destructo’ as he really ought to be called also spends ages noodling around, but his noodling mostly consists of pulling things off shelves and pushing them around the floor, so that I keep finding things in very odd places. He is also on a new mission to climb everything he can get a toehold on. When I pick him up he wraps his arms around my neck and holds on tight. His fat little hands are brown and paw-like.
It rained all morning and so I promised Arlo and Huey a rainy day movie after lunch (we watched ‘Laputa – the Castle in the Sky’ – it was more full on than I remembered). After lunch the sun came out, but I couldn’t renege and so it was 3pm before I managed to get them out of the dairy. They put on their gumboots and we meandered about, ending up at a puddle on the driveway that they stomped in so hard that there was mud in their hair and I had to take their pants off. I had Jinny in the sling on my back, and Cristina brought down Tycho, who ended up on my shoulders when she had to head back up to the dairy before me. As I was walking back up to the dairy with all four kids, Bert called out ‘you should write a blog post about two mudlarks and two babies on your back!’ So here it is.