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It was quite nerve-wracking because we’d been away for a day which makes all the difference We were

Posted on 05 August 2010

It was quite nerve-wracking because we’d been away for a day, which makes all the difference We were all raring to go, and went straight into rehearsal Working with Denis Lawson is brilliant. My Week

Five days in the life of Lou Gish, the only woman in the cast of `Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against The Eunuchs’, with Ewan Mcgregor, at London’s Hampstead Theatre
SundayMy only day off since we started rehearsing the play at the beginning of October. Missed everyone, because we’re all so used to being together Just chilled out and watched TV. Ate a huge amount of food and went for a walk with some pals In the evening, went out for yet more food with my sister.

Limped back, exhausted, to bed.MondayGot to Hampstead Theatre around lunchtime Gagging to see everyone. You imagine yourself as the aunt to whom you could talk to about anything and that you would be OK. It’s funny, you have this image in your head of what you would like to be in their life.”So even though we singletons do not have parental responsibilities, we are under just as much pressure to be the ideal aunt as our siblings are to be perfect parents We just hope they will not be disappointed.. “But also I get involved in baby-sitting and baby-bathing and it’s wonderful to watch him develop.”I’m looking forward to when he starts talking and I can hear what he thinks about the world. “Parenting is extremely exhausting, but I can walk away,” she says. “In some ways it’s an advantage because you don’t have to worry about respecting the space of the other parent ,who is not your blood relative. You don’t have to be so polite in your relationship with the child, and you don’t feel that hesitation about offering help or taking part in his upbringing.” Although Karen would like to have children one day, she realises like Caroline that having children is not easy.

They used to bore me.”Karen feels that her relationship with Jack is that much more engaging because her sister is a single mother. I feel much more involved in parenting and can have conversations with colleagues that I probably couldn’t have had before about children. She says: “My sister is a single mother and I was with her at Jack’s birth. I came into work the next day and said `I’m a father!’ because I had seen the miraculous thing of someone being born.”Now many people around me ask about Jack as if he were mine because of the way I talk about him. I’m very close to my two aunts and spent a lot of time with them when I was a child, and I hope my nephew and niece will do the same.”But being an aunt is not just about having a new form of usefulness – it also makes conversations about babies that much more bearable. Karen Barr became an auntie 15 months ago when her nephew, Jack, was born.

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