“My bird is called Freida,” says NG as we walk back from nursery. “And she is going to make some cakes in the kitchen.”
“OK,” I say, looking at the toy she is holding. “But it’s a plane, not a bird. And why does she like making cakes?”
“Because she is called Freida and she is hungry ‘cos she is a little bit ill,” she says simply, before skipping down the path towards the playground.
I don’t know why the stuffed aeroplane has suddenly become a feathered baker but to be honest, I have other things to think about.
- We are going on holiday and I have swim nappies and 264 packs of wipes to buy.
- The Duchess of Cambridge is visiting Portsmouth when we are away and I’m a bit fed up I won’t be around to see her appropriately nautical attire.
- I am hungry ALL THE TIME, because it’s quite a challenge producing enough breast milk for NC, who is eight months old and feeds like a vulture.
- Seven out of twelve of NG’s little nursery friends have come down with chicken pox.
At nursery that morning, the place was deserted, with the feeling of a turkey farm on Boxing Day. “Don’t worry,” NG’s key worker had said cheerfully. “She’ll probably get it within 7-10 days.”
“But we’re going on our one family holiday of the year on Saturday. For a week,” I’d said dully. “Is there anything I can do to prevent it?”
“Oh dear. Not really,” he’d admitted. “It tends to spread like wildfire once a few of them have it. Still, it’s much worse in adults.”
“My husband hasn’t had it,” I’d said, looking at him hard. “So I’d really rather not have to look after them both in Greece if I can help it.”
“Oh, lovely! Greece! Eat lots of moussaka, won’t you? You’re looking a bit peckish,” he’d said, and tripped off to find someone’s spare waterproof trousers.
I am peckish, I’d thought. In fact, I’m starving. Luckily, some kind people at Freida’s Kitchen sent me some breastfeeding bars to ‘boost supply’ and I’ve been devouring them like a bird of prey for the last couple of weeks. They’ve got fennel in them, which is quite strong, and I feel like I’m eating particularly nutritious birdseed but actually they’re amazing because I still have loads of milk, despite running round like a headless chicken.
“Shall we take your plane …”
“Sorry. Shall we take your bird with propellers and little windows to the swings?”
“Because Freida the bird is a chicken and she does have pockets.”
“Like my friends. Little red spotty pockets on their arms.” She jabs her forearm up and down for emphasis.
I have a revelation like when I open the fridge door and find there is, actually, half a bottle of wine left. “Oh, you mean chicken pox.”
“My friends have got it and Freida has got it too.”
“Right. So shall we just go home then?” I ask hopefully.
“No. We have to go to the doctors so Freida can get some special medicine for her pockets.”
“Where are her pockets?”
“Here.” NG points to the aeoroplane’s chest, where she has actually drawn little squares. “She can make baby milk there too if she wants ‘cos she is a lady.”
This is all a bit much and I still have to buy swimming nappies so I just pretend to call the doctor and make an appointment to keep her happy. And I Google ‘chicken pox medication’ because I have to go to Boots anyway and forewarned is forearmed.
I was provided Freida’s Pantry super charged breastfeeding bars in return for an honest review.
KEY TO CHARACTERS
Characters are abbreviated as follows:
NW – not William (husband and father)
NG – not George (daughter, sister and two and three quarter year old)
NC – not Charlotte (son, brother and eight month old)
NL – not Lupo (a Labrador)
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