I slept in this morning, having scheduled my alarm for 5.40pm rather than am. Edward cried out and woke me up just after 6, and I walked down to his room, telling him to lie down and I would make him a bottle of milk. He understands this concept now and plugs his thumb into his mouth, waiting fairly patiently for me to return (as long as I don’t dawdle over the task too long for his liking). I gave him his milk and left him lying in his room while I hurriedly got dressed. He made whinging sounds of protest. I normally lie next to him while he has his morning milk, chatting to him about who he’s going to spend the day with and what we can see out the window. He in turn informs me of such things as the fan being on, and the fact that he can hear a cat outside. “Omn! Aaaa!”, being on and cat, respectively, those single sounds becoming more complex communication when accompanied by an energetically pointing or waving hand.
Edward trotted closely behind me on my way out to the kitchen, and then said “Mup! Mup!” in urgent tones, clinging to my pants. He wants to perch on my hip, watching me cut his sandwich and spoon some yoghurt into a container. Parenthood has made me very adept at preparing food with one hand. He likes to suck his thumb and grip painfully onto the back of my hair with his other hand. “Don’t pull my hair,” I say many times a day, and tap his hand. He lets go, but will absentmindedly grab onto it minutes later, particularly when he is still sleepy in the mornings and I’m rushing to get us out of the house. Sometimes I think his ideal comforting toy would be a revolting stuffed animal covered with hanks of my hair.
We drove to my brother’s house, listening to The Good Lovelies sing Backyard. Edward enjoys most of the music I play in the car, applauding with a grinning smile at the end of each track and saying “More? More?” until the next one starts. I drop him off, switch the music to a podcast, and start my trip into work. People, mostly those whom I don’t known well, often respond to my description of my four day working week with a frown. “Oooh, four days, that’s a lot,” they say. I enjoy the time away from parental responsibilities. It’s lovely being able to sink into my thoughts, and read books on the bus, without having to go and investigate suspiciously silent moments or deal with toddler meltdowns. But coming home at the end of the day never fails to be wonderful, even if I’m greeted with tears or ignored in favour of a particularly absorbing activity. At some point Edward’s voice squeaks “Mup! Mup!” at me and when I pick him up he leans his head against me, and twines his fingers securely through my hair. This habit is somehow less annoying at the end of the day; a sweet trait of babyhood rather than an irritation, something that I will probably miss in years to come.