Monday, 4 October 2010


Ali's first word is 'byebye'. It is her new response to anything and everything. Not yet a year old and already versed in the transitory nature of life.

Ali is petite for her age and wise beyond her years. She is just the sort of baby that sweet grannies on the street like to 'coocheecoo' (although Bog Standard Gran has learned her lesson with Ana). A typical encounter goes something like this: BS Gran says 'Hello poppet'. Ali crinkles her tiny brow, eyes brimming with a vast knowledge of life, the universe and everything. In this moment she reminds me of Odin, listening intently to ravens as they whisper about the end of the world. Solemnly, earnestly she utters it: 'byebye'. Gran giggles like a child, then totters away, her day made by this chance encounter with Chaos.
The raven quoth 'byebye' evermore.
There is something about earnestness in children that makes grownups bust up laughing. In my past life as a short person this used to drive me nuts, because like Ali I had concerns before I had the words to articulate them--concerns that I wanted people to take seriously. But the more serious I got, the more tall people laughed. Odd. As a serious tall person nobody finds me funny anymore.

Speaking of funny, something I really don't find humorous these days is pediatric insomnia. Every night I turn out the light and count fibs like sheep so my brain can drift off: tonight she will sleep, tonight I will sleep, tomorrow I will feel rested, tomorrow I will only drink one container ship of coffee to function, tomorrow Ana won't wear me out like a treadmill, tomorrow when my head hits this pillow and my body hits this mattress I will not crash like a beat-up old truck zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

I wake at eleven to byebye tapping at my chamber door. Then one. Then four. Why do my ears hear her every byebye? Why does my baby wake up all night? Nobody knows, certainly not her. By six her good morning byebye seems less out of place.

To everything a season. This shall pass. I know that I will miss these younger days when she and I are both older and better-rested. Speaking of which, Ali has sprung from her nap and is calling for Mama. So byebye for now.


  1. So beautiful. I love tasting your vocabulary as I read. Say hello to ByeBye.

  2. I just caught on that these are your writings–very witty writings! Sorry we aren't able to drop in every now and then. Blessings!

  3. Great blog!! my first time here. It's all a phase and will pass darling *sob*

  4. You know what I love the most about this post? You write in such an interesting way, without worrying about whether you'll come across like a pretentious smart-arse. Or maybe you do worry but write it anyway. I wish I could be more like this.

    So true, too, about babies with big concerns - when they're having a crazy tantrum about something totally illogical, they really do feel that everyone is unjust and the world is about to end.

    Sleep... one day we will get there, I hope.

  5. Thank you IP, lovely comment--I'm definitely more arse than smart, but too sleepy at this point to do much about it. Lovely to discover your blog recently, hope you are getting more sleep than I you say, one day we will anyway.

  6. So beautiful. I love tasting your vocabulary as I read. Say hello to ByeBye.