After effects


Last night was less raucous than I’d feared: I was home by midnight (although that was due to taking an early retreat from the fray – I don’t know when they finished, or where) but I was still fragile until about six this evening. Hangovers are horrible at my age, even vague ones from just a few pints of beer. Still, while I failed to go racing this weekend, I did manage to get to La Serpiente Aquatica Negra’s swimming lesson. She’s shown gratifying progress of late, now fully proficient at blowing bubbles, where a few weeks ago she hadn’t figured out the difference between blowing and sucking. She’s usually quite comfortable to go underwater too, which is more than can be said for me. I don’t like getting my face wet, and invariably forget that I shouldn’t inhale underwater, which is not so hilarious after the first time.

She must have been quite tired out by all this exercise though, for she fell asleep in the taxi on the way home and then slept for almost three hours, an incredibly long nap for her. For reference, the best we usually get in the day is 90 minutes, normal is 45 minutes and worst case is no sleep at all. When she woke up again, we took her to the shopping mall to buy a new swim suit, as both her swim diaper and her bathing suit are getting a bit small for her.

I’ve never seen anyone so happy to get into some neoprene. We put her into a nee swimsuit, this time with arms and legs to keep her comfortable in a cool pool, and protected from the glare of the sun, and she shrieked with joy and scampered out of the shop. I pursued her, right into the adjacent Crocs shop. One of her favourite things to do is to try to wear shoes that are too big for her. Not a size or two too big, but shoes that are my size, shoes that are half as long as she is tall. Eventually I wrested her away from the Crocs (my wife would kill me if this sartorial failure was inflicted on our child) and we took her downstairs to buy fruit and cheese, these being the high points of our Saturdays.

When we got home, we made the mistake of showing her the swimsuit, which meant she demanded to wear it immediately, which was not a good idea in our baking hot apartment, so I ran a bath and she sat contentedly in that for twenty minutes. Then more running around and yelling, until I fled to the local Mexican restaurant to get dinner (our stove runs off gas, and we’d just finished the cylinder yesterday and hadn’t got a replacement yet).

It turns out that as well as swimming, she likes pork-infused rice (La Serpiente has been principally vegetarian to date). She also likes getting avocado all over her hands and then smearing said avocado over everything in the flat, which was a joy to deal with.

After all this, we had to bathe her and put her to bed. Unfortunately, there was some kind of Chinese opera kicking off in the square tonight, and at 7:30 the crashing of cymbals was reaching a crescendo. We put our daughter in a darkened room, filled her with milk but it did nothing to prevent her screams, until finally I cracked and went back in to let her lie on my chest for twenty minutes. After that, not a murmur for three hours: I hope that means I can get a decent night’s sleep and hit MacRitchie tomorrow, for my inaugural taking-it-easy jog around the reservoir.

Actually, it wasn’t just me that helped her to sleep; a huge thunderstorm came in, which didn’t bother her at all, but pit a literal dampener on the proceedings downstairs, as thr audience appeared in danger of being washed away. I hope that means clean cool air tomorrow morning…


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