Monthly Archives: March 2013

Winter homesickness

It’s Tuesday, the day I spend all day alone with my children. My sister has sent me a copy of the great Australian classic “The Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek, ” with its beautiful line drawings of billabongs at night and isolated homesteads with decrepit windmills. I read it to my Polish babies, who show their gums once in appreciation and go back to windmilling their arms.

Later, I am pushing the pram through the snow, trudging through the tail end of a six-month winter as the wind howls and I try to balance an industrial strength milking machine on one of the baby capsules. I look at my peacefully sleeping children (Janek wobbling his chin in one of the private Roman orgies that fill his sleep, Maja with her hat pulled down on her forehead and her eyes scrunched up like a little Chinese girl) and am suddenly overwhelmed by a sad and terrible feeling that they aren’t mine. I wonder what I’ve done. They don’t even have my name.

In the evening when they fall asleep, I start crying and tell Marcin it’s  because I  will have to explain to my children what a bunyip is. Not to mention a billabong. Their heads will be full of the Warsaw Uprising and the Swedish occupation and an irrational mistrust of all things Teutonic. All those mundane but magical features of an Australian childhood will be alien to them. School uniforms, third degree sunburn, the sad and terrible sight of wilting Santas in December encased in organ-boiling red felt. It hurts me to think about what they will miss.

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The madness has subsided

This means there’s no excuse for not blogging. Last weekend I managed to read an entire article in the weekend paper for the first time since December. Actually, I read two- one about being a feminist with babies, and one about the parallel cases of Katarzyna W. and Casey Anthony, who both killed their babies, threw away their bodies and pretended they had been kidnapped. This choice of reading matter indicates such a radical shift in my interests and priorities that I am forced to definitively conclude that I will never be the same again.

What now? In possession of 2 currently sleeping babies, I am reviewing possibilities for my future beyond just surviving the next 10 minutes. Will I go back to work? How? When? What to do with 2 infants when I do? How to adjust to having a family? I am still not getting enough sleep and can’t quite get to grips with these questions in a sensible way. If I think about how life looked this time last year or the year before, I feel the way I did when eating my hundredth portion of Tajik mutton while looking at the inevitable poster on the wall showing crusty loaves and grapes and bottles of wine and a green velvety lawn. Sheer disbelief, in other words- disbelief so profound that it kills any longing. I simply can’t comprehend how easy life was 12 months ago, and cannot even begin to hazard a guess as to what it will look like this time next year.

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