Coffee in hand, I read a mini magazine that I’ve been meaning to take a look at for about 2 months.
I read a short story about taking time for yourself. It describes a middle aged woman celebrating her birthday with her family, in-laws and all. It’s hectic, it’s stressful, it is not the birthday that she wanted. The story ends with her fainting in the kitchen, possibly from stress, possibly from appendicitis. The woman ends up in a hospital bed, happy to be alone at last on her birthday. I thought it was a sad story.
I flip through the rest of the contents, sipping on lukewarm coffee from the cafetiere. My daughter is sitting in her high chair, sucking on pieces of toast, the light spread of strawberry jam probably being the persuasive taste that keeps her eating.
I notice that she is running out of squares of toast (some are on the floor), so I put down my coffee and mini magazine to grab a yoghurt from the fridge.
I don’t know if it’s the right yoghurt for babies, but it’s cheaper. My daughter has a dairy free diet, so it’s a soya-alternative blueberry yoghurt pot, but not the baby kind, because for some reason the baby ones are 50p more than the adult ones. Bloody capitalism.
I grab one of her plastic blue baby spoons, take the lid off the yoghurt pot, and of course lick it clean. It’s like eating a blueberry muffin in yoghurt form – so yummy.
Violet gets excited to see the yoghurt pot. She has good taste.
I start to spoon-feed some yoghurt to her, smaller spoonfuls because she will push out food with her tongue if there is too much in her mouth. The yoghurt is a beautiful lilac colour, it looks like food from out of this world, maybe one of the cooler planets, like Neptune.
After just a handful of mouthfuls, there’s lilac yoghurt all around her mouth. I know that she won’t finish the whole pot, or at least, I am worried that I shouldn’t let her finish the whole thing, just in case of high sugar content – so I take a spoonful too.
I do it playfully – I take a huge heap of yoghurt, slowly draw it up to my mouth as she watches, then dart my eyes left and right as I quickly put the delicious blueberry flavour in my mouth, as if I am a cartoon thief, maybe TopCat or Jerry from Tom & Jerry, trying to hide something from somebody whom I have taken it from.
I look at her again as I swallow, raise my eyebrows and smile. Her expression turns into a big Cheshire cat grin, her eyebrows lowered and her four little teeth just about peeking through. The Cheshire cat grin looks even more magical with lilac yoghurt around it.
I then give her a smaller mouthful and we take it in turns, still being silly when I eat the yoghurt. Her smile continues to be magic.
I decided to document this moment as it happened. It may be small but it is sweet.
In a life that feels so full of gloom, so heavy with stress, I relish these little parts of my day, because they are what get me through to the next breakfast time.
I’ve always believed in savouring the moments. In the end, they are the only things we’ll have.
– anna godberson