Monday, July 14, 2008

You want me to eat that?

Last week a man from the moving company we are using arrived to give me a quotation. They do all the packing up for you, so he needed to ascertain just how much stuff we have. I started to worry as soon as he walked through the door. He was wearing a suit, had a public school brogue, and didn't call me 'Luv.' This, I thought to myself shaking his extended well manicured hand, is going to be expensive.

He explained that they not only offer a packing up service, but that each piece of furniture is individually wrapped in an appropriate protective material before being loaded. I thought back to the last time we moved, and the old scraps of carpet the chaps used to loosely cover a table leg here and there when they saw my panic stricken face.

Then, he went on to say, they not only pack, but can unpack for you on the other end. But even if you don't want to go that far (read: spend the equivalent of a small country's GNP), they still unpack and place all breakables onto a surface for you, and place all boxes and furniture in the corresponding rooms. They also unwrap the furniture and reassemble anything that had to be taken apart.

And if I still wasn't sold, he handed me an expensively produced brochure with pictures of couples relaxing and drinking glasses of wine amidst boxes. No doubt encouraging one to imagine that someone else (outside of the frame) was doing all the grunt work, making your move as stress free as possible. He also assured me that they handled work for Christie's and Sotheby's. I looked around at our things, a mishmash of some good and some rather cheap pieces of furniture, and said, as though I were surrounded by Chippendale's and Picasso's, "Yes, yes, that's good to know."

The other afternoon I walked past a very pregnant woman and what looked like her male colleague standing outside an office building. I noticed her because I thought to myself, 'Wow, she's got on a nice dress and heels, and looks very stylish despite having a big bump.' You tend to notice these things more once you've been pregnant, and appreciate just how tough it is to look even mildly attractive at that stage of the process. The man was having a cigarette, and I remember thinking that there is no way in hell I would have stood so close to someone smoking when I was pregnant. When I rounded the corner I noticed that she too was holding a cigarette. And then, as if in slow motion, she lifted it to her lips and casually smoked it.

I had an instinctive urge to run up to her and, well, I don't know. What would I have said to her when I got there? It's true, there are few things worse than an intolerant self righteous busy body. And it's also true that those few things include a selfish, inconsiderate eejit knowingly inflicting possible harm on their unborn child and not giving a shit. That and wearing hosiery with an open-toed shoe or sandal.

I've been making Julia's food. She can't talk yet, but the look on her face yesterday told me everything I need to know about my chicken with peas and carrots. She looked as though she were chewing on a particularly acrid-tasting insect. It was an especially harsh response coming from someone who seems to enjoy the taste of newsprint, leaves, and old slippers. Today I caved and got out the store-bought organic stuff. Same ingredients (no added sugar, salt etc) but this she wolfed down. I'm trying not to take it personally.

For those of you not on Facebook, Julia started crawling last week. Forget anything the experts might spout about human beings being hardwired to survive from an early age. Julia is drawn towards all sorts of death traps like a moth to a flame. Plug holes, wires dangling from the edge of tables attached to heavy electronic devices up above. Glass edges of tables, door hinges, inedible plant matter, and the aforementioned old slippers. It's a never-ending process of letting her head off in a direction (one doesn't want to hamper her illusion of freedom), and then picking her up just before she reaches said death trap. You then reposition her in another direction so she can propel herself towards the next potential hazard.

It doesn't help that we are in the process of packing up the house and the whole place is basically one big potential hazard. I've taken to going to the park with her and letting her run riot on the grass. No heavy objects, electricity, or glass. Just a plethora of potentially poisonous plant life, the occasional dog turd, and lots of flying insects. It's a tough choice to make each day.


Lou said...

When you get the new house you can call in some baby safety people and they can go round and make it safe(r) for Julia..... they can bring you all the products (like things to lock cupboards and block electric sockets etc) and then you can relax a bit more! :)

letters from london said...

Yes, that sounds like an excellent plan, thank you. Will google for the experts.