I have baby Camille staying.
Yes, my tiny four month old granddaughter has been left in my care for five days!
Last Wednesday I rushed around in the truck familiarising myself with the latest thoughts and objects for modern-day baby care. Sure Start (a government-sponsored initiative found at our brand new, all singing, all dancing community centre) were hugely helpful and loaned me a baby chair, a play mat – suggested that I should enlist for baby signing, baby yoga, baby massage, baby play, baby swimming and baby fun, also, just for Robert, a lively, not-to-be-missed Saturday session for dads and their youngsters (Robert’s face was a picture when I suggested it to him). Any problems I encountered could be dealt with at the baby clinic…but, did they have a wet nurse, I pleaded, no, no, not an item of equipment generally asked for now. I left arms overflowing with bobbing, wibbling, flopping, tinkling, music-singing redblueyelloworangegreen essential, couldn’t-be-without baby basics.
Next port of call my friend Rosie. Rosie is gorgeous, enthusiastic and full of energy and to boot she has baby Erin just a month older than Camille. Rosie is knowledgeable on all things modern baby and would help out in any emergency, but oh, no she is away for the weekend! Yes, she tells me, whilst weaving a band of cloth in some complex arrangement around her with huge dexterity and efficiently popping Erin into it – they are going camping, though, if the floods get much worse they might call it off, anyhow here’s Erin’s chair. This amazing contraption talks, sings, whistles, jumps, vibrates, lights-up, plays music and tells you the baby’s fed-up. I reverently placed it in the truck…and oh, calls Rosie, they like these springy, movie, dangly thingies at this age!
My truck looked a hybrid – mud, farm dogs (muddy), bucket, licks and sacks at one end and an explosion of colour, contortionist shapes and sound at the other.
On to Samantha. Samantha is my next-door-neighbour at next-door-farm half a mile down the lane. She is hugely helpful in providing all kinds of baby things belonging to her Jack and Anna. She lends me a cot, pram/pushchair and all the bedding I need. We pile it into the truck
So we’re alone! Berengere has been and gone leaving me with an amazing five day supply of frozen breast milk (what a feat!) and Camille’s feeding times and routine for the last two weeks…
Everyone is fully confident I’ll do fine – well, you’ve had four of your own…yesss, but they were mine and I’ve never done the bottle thing – don’t be silly – you’ve fed lambs!
She’s a doll! A rosebud! Totally enchanting, calm and happy. We are all captivated by her.
And I’m coping. In fact, loving it!
(ps – the weather looks to have changed…we might be able to do our harvest)