blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Eddie's routine

Eddie at breakfast time, Zigzag Cafe, Marsfield
This isn't at all like our previously trip to Australia, our activities being circumscribed by a six month old baby's needs. It's a restful mode of existence, I find. George takes Eddie for an early morning walk (while Sha catches up on some sleep) down Waterloo Road past the local shops and then a lap or two of the playing field. Everyone he meets says hello to George: "They're all Chinese," he says, "apart from one Indian man." The influx of Asian people to Sydney is very striking, with the younger generation wearing British style school uniform, with sunhats, and talking in Australian accents. Even so, we hear as much Mandarin being spoken as English, and at Macquarie University a large proportion of the students seem to be from China. Yesterday afternoon I went for a swim at the outdoor university pool, open to the public-- next time, to avoid quite so many children, I'll go at a time that isn't just at the end of the school day.

If everyone is ready in time we can have a sit down and a little something at the Zigzag Cafe by the shops with its outdoor tables in the plaza, circa breakfast time. The owner knows us now. Next door to it is the clinic where we took little Eddie for his 6 months old checkup. He also went with all of us to the West Ryde town hall with all the other babies for his inoculations.

There are several walks per day with Eddie in his pushchair. He looks at everything with great fascination: the traffic and people going by, the trees moving in the wind, the raindrops on his pushchair cover. Seeing the pushchair from a distance, I see his legs kicking up and down with enthusiasm. Sometimes he sits very still and falls asleep. The day is a pattern of sleep, play, feed, play, feed, sleep ... Sounds give him great pleasure, especially rhythmical music. George has been finding recordings of children's songs in different languages on the internet; Bulgarian, English or Korean, they're all surprisingly similar and familiar. We heard "The wheels on the bus go round and round" in Chinese. I love watching Sha sing Chinese nursery rhymes to her baby, some of them action songs.

At the end of the day, if the weather's fine enough, Eddie says hello (in his way) to one-year-old Eva next door, over the fence, and his parents read to him on the patio, sitting in the big wicker chair. He stares at the picture books with concentration, but doesn't point at things yet. At supper time he sits in his own rocker chair to watch us eat and goes "Mmm, mmm, mmm!" meaning, I think, that he'd like some supper too. Then comes the bath and bedtime drink routine.

All four adults are near enough exhausted by then, so our evenings haven't been very full of activity. We watch a few videos after sorting the washing, and washing up, and feeding the guinea pigs spinach and cucumber. Chris has been working on some maths problems for George's work and reading Aristotle's Physics written ca. 330 BC in a modern translation from the ancient Greek! He found this two-volume gem of a book at Abbey's bookshop on York Street, opposite the Queen Victoria Building. And I have been trying to summon up the energy to add to this blog.

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