Let's start at the beginning. Her birth. Or more specifically, My Labour. Here I am lying in bed with my wonderful brave loyal poodle Peggy lying right next to what must have been a v. warm & cozy part of my body. Later on, Peggy who was blind, used to sometimes ride up in the pram with Billie-Mae. I'm sure people didn't know whether to call the Child Protection Hotline or the Animal Welfare League.
MBF (my best friend) Marge is sitting next to me desperately trying to bone up on what was about to happen by reading a book about having babies without any anaesthetic or trauma or something, as she was supposed to be my helper. None of us knew anything.
My husband, Gunnar & I had never gone to pre-natal classes mainly because my doctor said that I was too nervous & it might upset me. She was definitely right about that.
Marge is not wearing a wig. Don't forget it was still the eighties. It was a giant Afro Perm job that probably looked sensational in her head before she had it, but couldn't take the transition into reality.
Anyway, twenty-eight hours later, after a whole hospital's worth of drugs, topped off with an emergency caesarean, this amazing Red haired creature was born. I was totally expecting a blonde. Her Canadian grandparents, who have a family tree with names on it straight out of The Lord of the Rings, immediately called her their 'Viking Goddess'.
As you can see from the next two photos, I had Absolutely No Idea how to look after a baby. I remember when we were leaving the hospital, this Old Nurse was desperately trying to tell me how to bath her. And how to avoid nappy rash. And when to start introducing solids. And how to get her into the Poshest Girls School in Sydney. I just smiled & nodded.
Once we got home, I got a shock. No one told me she would cry & not stop. And no one told me that a three week old baby would Absolutely Not Love going to the Paddington Markets on a saturday.
Sometimes I would sing every song I could remember from 'Funny Girl' to her. My favourite was 'Don't Rain on My Parade'. Who could forget those immortal words - 'Don't tell me not to live, just sit & splutter/Life's candy & the sun's a ball of butter/don't bring about a cloud to rain on my parade'.
Mae would just look at me with a slight frown.
Amazingly, she survived. And as I have said before, with Bell& Trumpets . Here she is with her step-brother, Tyler having breakfast at a really swanky resort that we stayed at on an infamous holiday. I've always loved this photo, but now that I look at it, both of them look Slightly Irritated or should I say, Pissed Off. Maybe it was the sun in their eyes.