Woman and child

Postcard photograph: Lakota woman & child. The Lakota are matrilineal and children belong to the mother’s clan. Traditionally women controlled the food resources and movable property. Photo circa 1910 .  nativenorthwest.com

Postcard photograph: Lakota woman & child. The Lakota are matrilineal and children belong to the mother’s clan. Traditionally women controlled the food resources and movable property. Photo circa 1910. nativenorthwest.com

Writing Prompt No. 39

She ties her baby in the swaddling cloth she’s wrapped around her body.

Who gave this to her? It might work in the deserts and communities of a faraway country but here in rural England, it is not working very well. She looks at the instructions again, watches three Youtube videos and tries once more.

Wrap around your waist, cross over your shoulders, remember to cradle your baby. She mutters as she struggles with fabric, small arms, legs and a head. The head that must be supported at all times. Oh, and the soft spot. Is that her brain under the skin where her skull bones don’t quite meet?

This is going nowhere.

She unties the knot and starts again. Ah. Okay over the shoulders first, hold baby, wrap around your waist and hips. Voila. Now get to work. You can clean, do all your jobs while keeping baby close.

She gingerly lets go of her precious creation. The baby’s weight drops but is caught by the wrap. She holds her close just in case something slips. Okay. Right. Let’s get the washing out.

It’s hard to bend down with such a load on the front of your body.

She tugs open the washing machine door and starts to pull and drag the tangle of clothing out into the basket. She looks down. A tiny hand. Tiny fingers rest against her chest. Almost soundless breathing. She stops for a moment to check she still is. She yawns a tiny yawn, eyes open for a second before closing.

You sleep when baby sleeps - said the midwife. Fat chance, she thinks as she pushes the washing basket across the kitchen floor with her foot.

Feeling brave? Want to share your own version? Please feel free to do so in the comments below.is