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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Love is a child's dance and a teething rusk

It's lunchtime. Riley is sitting happily in the highchair, for once, gnawing his way through a teething rusk. Hi-5 music is playing in the background and when the synthesised melody of Keira's favourite song "L-O-V-E" comes on she hops off her chair and, like an obedient automaton, begins to do the accompanying actions.

I stare at the kitchen table before me. It is scattered with the usual suspects: playdough in all forms of consistency, unsharpened pencils, and magazines for cutting up. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to locate a stack of notes on whatever I'm working on at the moment. Currently, it is a heavily highlighted copy of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own.

The two-minute-odd peace may afford my ability to read a page or two. Scrape the pen through some wonderful sentence of feminist thought. Or, more likely, my mind will wander to other matters: is that cauliflower in the fridge going off? What shall I make for tea? Is Keira's throat sounding scratchy? Is she getting sick? Do we have medicine?

And if I'm really going to be honest, I'll admit my mind turns to my first two written novels, currently gathering dust on the bookcase in my bedroom, resigned to their drafted fate. I'll rewrite a chapter in my imagination and tell myself that one day I will pull them out again.

It is usually in such moments of reflection when Adam looks at me and asks, "What are you thinking?"

And because it is exhausting to pick a place to begin, let alone recount the story in its entirety, I usually say, "nothing" because it is easier.

Today, no one presses me for my thoughts; yet they were interrupted when I decided to watch, truly watch, Keira's dancing for the first time.

I hadn't noticed how she tries to sing along with the "L-O-V-E" song, but she can only manage to place every third word or so because it is hard to concentrate on dancing and singing at the same time. Yet, when the chorus is coming to an end, she knows what the last word is and shouts "LOVE!" at the top of her lungs and that makes up for the previous handicaps of the tongue.

Her movements are still erratic; stumbled. She reminds me of a miniature tinman, all lock-kneed and stiff. She is capable of making the 'O' shape by reaching her arms over her head and clasping hands but is lost (as am I) when it comes to making and 'E' shape for it involves lifting the leg at precisely the right beat before you need to put it down again. Yet she continues, and practices. She is getting better and she knows it. She beams. The song finishes and she scampers back up into her chair to eat her ham and cheese sandwich.

Behind me, I hear the sound of solid food hitting tile. The 'clang' means Riley has had enough of the teething rusk and I wait for the inevitable grunting as he begins to fight his way out of the restraints. I turn to him; he gives me a toothy grin and slaps the food tray with his hands. His face says, "You've got ten seconds before I lose my temper". Normally I rue his dramatic ability to change moods, but today I decide to embrace the moment of gladness I've been given and unbuckle him, pull him out, and give him a mama bear hug. He squeals, giggling; Keira squeals because she loves the sound of anyone's laughter and we all laugh at each other. At nothing; at anything; at ourselves.

It's not Valentines Day; it's a thousand times better. It's L-O-V-E, lunchtime style.

Written for Write Away Contest

Comments on "Love is a child's dance and a teething rusk"


Blogger Kimberly said ... (9:01 am) : 

What a beautifully evocative post. Your use of language is stunning, and your choice of theme, inspiring.

You make me want to read those novels of yours. =)


Blogger Tracey said ... (9:16 am) : 

Top post.
Now I'm going to be singing 'L-O-V-E' the rest of the day! I'm almost missing Hi-5 as by now my baby (8 now) has all but grown out of it! (Did I really just say I missed Hi-5?!!!)


Blogger Julie Q. said ... (3:55 pm) : 

This is really a wonderful slice of life. I can picture the LOVE dance - you describe it so colorfully. And the ending is perfect.


Blogger Libby said ... (4:54 pm) : 

Keep it up, children are worth the sleepless nights, aren't they?


Blogger Miscellaneous-Mum said ... (6:40 pm) : 

Kim - you flatter me, thank you :)

T - WOW - I didn't know you were familiar with hi-5. I kind of assumed they 'missed' your girls! ;)

Julie - Thanks for stopping by again. I'm a real fan!

libby - yes, they are. I sook a lot, but they are,


Blogger jeanie said ... (7:32 am) : 

lol I had to reread, as I thought the LOVE song you were talking about was the first one that came into my head, where the letters she would sing would be "MONEY"!!!

Absolutely wonderful writing.


Blogger Tracey said ... (9:37 am) : 

Missed Hi 5? Are you kidding? I made #2 a Hi 5 birthday cake when she was... 5 !!

Gee I've been up there with them doing all the actions.... "North South East and West..." and one of my favourites .. the animals one.. "So many animals inside of me" or something like that...

The three of them would argue over who was who.. Who was Charlie, who was Kelly... somehow noone wanted to be the dark haired one. (Maybe they didn't identify with her Asian features, I always found a bit mortifying that they didn't...)


Blogger Miscellaneous-Mum said ... (12:56 pm) : 

"so many animals" - yep, a goodie "Sometimes I'm a crocodile and I feel like snapping"

Oh, yeah, they're talking my talk


Blogger strauss said ... (12:58 pm) : 

Come on Misc Mum, drag out those novels! If the writing is as sensational as that post, I want to read MORE!
Thanks for sharing your moment.
Lunchtime is when I tend to scamper away for 30 minutes break, catch up on emails and blogs, while scoffing a sandwich.
Your daughter dancing to high-5 was such a lovely recorded moment.


Blogger scribbit said ... (7:43 am) : 

I'm so glad you've entered this in the contest, it's lovely. Good luck!


Blogger Erica said ... (11:43 pm) : 

Great post,

"And because it is exhausting to pick a place to begin, let alone recount the story in its entirety, I usually say, "nothing" because it is easier"

I relate to this sooo much.



Blogger Goslyn said ... (3:59 am) : 

What a gorgeous post. Your writing is so rich - I can absolutely feel the moment you are describing.

I know I wasn't the judge of the contest, but I think you were cheated of a well-deserved award.

Lovely, lovely, lovely. I am glad I found you! I will have to read more regularly.


Blogger Miscellaneous-Mum said ... (8:46 am) : 

Thank you everybody :)

That took me 10 minutes to write. Some days I've got it....some days I don't :( ;)


Anonymous SingForHim @ Real Life said ... (10:19 am) : 

What a lovely word picture. I could just see your little girl's dancing in front of the TV. Maybe it's because it is a familiar sight to me. My three girls love Hi-5, and so do I! I love how you gracefully wrote about all the emotions that happen in a mother's life.

Thanks for sharing this with the Mothers and Daughters Blog Carnival.


Blogger TaunaLen said ... (2:37 am) : 

What a perfect afternoon you've described! I am so glad I got a chance to read this.



Blogger The Surrendered Scribe said ... (10:49 am) : 

This is so relatable! I too have those unfinished manuscripts collecting dust where i imagine the ending and say oh nothing when people ask what I'm thinking about.

This is such a touching read!


Anonymous lynnae @ from under the clutter said ... (2:34 pm) : 

How precious! You have a beautiful way with words!


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