(Or, A Reluctant Father’s Guide to Child-Raising in a Post-Apocalyptic World. Explanation.)
I wander into the kitchen cum dinning cum living room that makes up the entire back quarter of the townhouse. Somewhere my foot hits a plastic train, and I hear the oversized wheels rattle as it runs under the couch. Sam twists in my arms and he’s already running to the toy as I put him on the floorboards.
From the pantry I pull a 500mL plastic bottle of spring water and crack open its cap. I pop the lid of the kettle and upend the bottle into the opening, and leave it to drain noisily.
I twist the gas knob and set the burners going with a long match. The box rattles emptily. One more thing on the shopping list.
While the kettle hisses, I stand in front of the pantry and do a stock-take. Breakfast cereal packets line the top like happy, fun-coloured bricks. Next shelf have stacked dozens of packets of raw fettuccine like piles of cut logs. Sitting next to them is a battalion of pasta sauce jars. Instant coffee and baby formula are on the bottom shelf, along with bottled water.
I shake one of the formula cans, and hear the complementary measuring spoon rattle in what’s left of the powder. How could I let that get so low?
“Sam,” I say to the nappied bottom and stubby legs sticking out from under the couch. “We’re going shopping.”