This weekend has been marked by 2 public outings with the babies, one more succesful than the other. On Saturday we went for a farewell lunch with Marcin’s parents and mine, who are leaving this week. Maja and Janek obliged us by remaining unconscious for the entire lunch, waking up at the end to eat and fall straight back asleep again. It was a very strange feeling to see my little wombat son with his wrinkled brow sucking on a bottle in his pyjamas in a restaurant on Plac Konstytucji, and made me realise how divorced from the outside world I’ve become.
On Sunday, riding our wave of left-the-house-successfully-with-2-small-children excitement, we tried again, catching the bus up to Żoliborz to eat a hamburger with a swarm of (mainly child-owning) friends. Janek objected loudly to this excess of socialising, and I found myself pacing up and down on the periphery of the occasion as I’ve seen so many others do before me, attention desperately divided as I tried to simultaneously soothe a recalcitrant infant and pretend that I could still behave like a normal grownup enjoying the society of my peers. Marcin felt comforted by the event, feeling like part of a tribe. I felt faintly excluded, no doubt getting my karmic come-uppance for all the times I’ve been irritated by other people’s focus on their children. The people most interested in our kids were the other kids, especially our friend’s daughter Matilda, who fed Maja and was fascinated when I told her that when I’d first seen her, she had been even smaller than Maja was now.
Anyway, I suppose that this is just the beginning of a long process of assimilating my private baby-world, with its musty milk odour and wakeful nights and raging self-doubt, with the sane exterior universe where nothing much has changed. One day I will be a full participant again- meanwhile, it’s worth keeping my hand in.