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From Play Dates To Christmas Plates

Week 40

We have just put Little to bed after yet another cracker day in the Darcy household.

Over all this week has been fantastic.

However, it has flown by too fast, and as usual, I am struggling to keep pace. That was up until Friday when the best osteopath ever, John, gave me a treatment; I had one of the worst migraines I have experienced since just before falling pregnant.

Pound pound, thud thud, oh my God I think I am going to throw up. It is too loud, too bright, too white, too crowded – has stamped and stomped in the space between my ears for at least ten days previously.

In vintage Meg fashion, I was hoping it would dissipate of its own accord the way they sometimes do.

Unfortunately writing this week’s post feels sticky. The keys are clunky and heavy under my fingers, and my mind is muddy. The words make me chase them like naughty little children ignoring their duty. We kicked it off on Monday morning with our new friend Nicki, and her kids Beth and Xanda at the park. Whereby Emily had a fabulous time eating bark, sharing food, and watching the other kids climb the equipment and run around. We even got to see a brand new baby, which was Emily’s first time at being bigger.

When we came home for elevenses, she was all worn out. However, nothing a quick twenty minute power nap could not solve. Then we were off again.

A long luxurious water mellony lunch with mummy, while daddy went for a big boy swim in the Dam, followed by an Oh my God you are such a mess, we better just get in the baby pool and have a swim, swim.

Mummy was not intending on getting in, but sometimes it is easier to surrender to the moment. Therefore, once again I found myself fully clothed, sitting in the blue clamshell daddy found for us, and pouring water with a bowl over baby girl’s head, while she squeaked and splashed happily.

I wanted to sit with her longer, but was concerned about her not wearing any sunscreen, as I had not lathered her up before our fruity feast, even though daddy had left strict instructions for us to eat outside.

Everything at the moment is a splash splash motion. Splash splash mummy’s shoulder, splash splash the lounge chair, splash splash the carpet, splash splash the wall, and splash splash her toys.

Michael says this is a motion she does with her whole arm, and does not bend her elbow or wrist.

To me it is such a baby girl movement, and I secretly hope she does not learn to use her body like a big girl too soon.

However, my favourite motion is when she runs her dummy up and down her cot bars like a cutie cute cute cute jailbird with a metal cup.

Click click click click click, one way, and clack clack clack clack clack, the other, it is adorable.

Later that afternoon Jessica brought Emily’s little cousins over to play, and drop off some books.

Michael was so excited when the first title he pulled out of the box was Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr Seuss. He tells me this was a childhood favourite, and he cannot wait to read it with Little.

Thanks sissy, there were some sterling titles among that mish mash collection.

Tuesday Emily and I stayed home, once again relegated to the alfresco dining area due to our extensive mess making abilities, while daddy snuck off for another big boy swim.

This once again meant we had to have another delightful swim in our little plastic lake after lunch to wash all our foody finger paint off.

I am loving this new ferrel parenting style. How do people handle this feeding caper without a pool?

We were having so much fun that mummy barely made it into a dress before Emily’s friend Ronja arrived with her mummy for a quick play.

They asked us to go for coffee with them, but thankfully, Emily needed a nap. As in really really really needed a nap, so we could not go even if I had wanted. Which I sort of did, but not knowing Ronja’s mummy well, and not knowing how much she understands about what I see, I was hesitant.

It took me by surprise actually, because I thought I had covered every scenario of this mama caper in my head.

So why was I having such a strong reaction to such a simple request.

Then it occurred to me, we have not been asked out for coffee by another mama before, and to be honest, it is not something I have ever considered as a possibility.

Sure sometimes we used to meet our friend Dave up the street, but that was different. Dave understood how I operate, so it was never an issue. Besides, we always had the same table, at the same café, thus limiting any confusion. Moreover, Dave did not have another pram, let alone a baby.

As it stands now, we always meet the other parents in the park, at the library, or Michael goes with Little to their houses. Therefore, coffee in a big girl café is not something I have a contingency plan for unless I am with Katie Lee.

However how would I go about pushing the pram with someone I did not know well? It was too hot to put Emily on my hip, and then what would I do with her once we sat down.

I mean usually she ends up on my lap regardless, but I could not wrap my mind around the situation fast enough.

All I could see in my mind’s eye when I projected forward was a picture of sweetie pie sitting in her pram playing with her toys while the grownups sipped our beverages.

It was not until after the girls had left I began to wonder with horror how I would have navigated the pram beyond our letterbox, let alone beside Syren, between tables, or behind chairs.

Sure I was feeling more pram confident than usual, as I had wheeled Emily all the way to our park and back the previous day, so maybe it was possible to take this bad boy further. The problem was, or rather still is, I need to do it with someone I know well first.

So here I am back to square one regarding my fantasy about putting baby girl in her pram, and taking her anywhere I want just like all the other designer yoga pants wearing mummies.

This is not to say I do not love having Emily on my hip, or in my arms, because absolutely I am so lucky I get to have her so close. However, in the utopia of my imagination, wouldn’t it be nice to have her sitting comfortably in her pushchair?

Wednesday was our second stay home day.

Mummy spent most of it in her pyjamas in front of the computer building the rough draft of the Blind Mama blog, while daddy and Emily made mischief downstairs. However, Michael did manage to find room for a swim at his favourite place late in the afternoon.

Thursday saw mummy back at work as usual, while Emily and Michael started preparations for our Christmas weekend.

Finally, I had an epiphany regarding Michael’s Christmas present, and totally nailed George Street to purchase it. Thankfully, I found it courtesy of the sales assistant in the first shop I visited. Because I am not sure, how far I would have pushed my expedition if it had not crossed my path so soon.

Oh whom am I kidding, I would go to the end of the earth for that man.

However in this case I am grateful I only had to go as far as a single shop before the perfect gift presented itself in all its’ simple glory.

I have been wracking my brain for months regarding what to give him for Christmas, and have come up with nothing but impossibilities. Thus, I wonder how I had not come up with this brilliant idea sooner.

I do not know why, but orientating around the city lately is really hard work. As in insanely cognitively taxing. There is so much to listen for, so many people, and so many little changes happening to the environment I normally know so well.

I swear to God I counted no less than six different types of Christmas songs along with a coffee machine, an overhead announcement, several chairs scraping, the hum of the escalators, two buskers, what sounded like countless footsteps, one baby crying, and a thousand other tiny sounds as I stood for a second gaging my barings, bewildered, and overwhelmed in the city Westfield, wishing I could see, because then I would be able to find the pop up personalised decoration stand.

I do not know how to explain how exhausting it is to navigate the cityscape with my ears right now, so when people do not offer me a seat when I miraculously stumble on to the train, it makes life almost impossible in the moment.

Sitting like a statue and not saying anything, hoping I will move on, or thinking I can see the seat “over there” as my cane taps your foot is not going to change the situation. Especially when I courteously ask you to move so, I may sit down. Either explain to me why you deserve the seat more, or politely move your lazy ass.

Thank you.

Friday Michael and Emily took up the gauntlet in search of Uncle Randal’s personalised Christmas decoration, before heading to the library.

My two explorers returned triumphant with a royal blue ball ball covered in gold glitter writing and stars. Randal was most impressed.

Our long-term plan is to have one for each of our loved ones, so every year we may hang them on our tree as a token of our affection.

Story time at the library has finished for the year, but they went anyway, just to keep the routine.

Michael tells me they had a fabulous time by themselves, as Emily rolled around the room fascinated with the extravagant lighting, while daddy read books aloud for her.

He thinks she is too young, and does not pay attention. However, I can assure you she reads her books to me all the time.

We sit in the rocking chair together, we snuggle in close, I choose us a book, and she opens it and babbles.

Our stock of print/braille books has not arrived as yet, but when they do, I will have some serious catching up to do.

I have always wanted to read to Emily, and not being able to do so have left me feeling hollow and inadequate on some level.

I never know what to ask her about what we are reading, because I do not want to give her false information.

What does actually happen before we say good night to Mr Darcy?

As it is, Michael is currently familiarising himself with one Beatrix Potter’s entire work – for Emily of course.

Friday afternoon Auntie Colleen came over to visit Emily, and exchange Christmas gifts. I am so pleased they are getting to know one another. It is important to us Emily knows her Godparents.

While on Saturday Uncle Randal came over for the first of our three Christmas lunches.

We spent the afternoon outside enjoying the hot Australian summer. Hopping in and out of the baby pool, and generally catching up in the casual way we do.

Mummy officially welcomed back wine on to the agenda, and let me tell you it was delicious.

Emily has most definitely weened herself from my breast, so there was nothing else for it, but to pour myself a glass, and hijack her pool while I enjoyed the milestone.

Today we headed up to Michael’s sister Jenny’s for the second Christmas gathering where Emily scored well on the present front.

A sand castle building set and beach paraphernalia from grandma and grandpa, and an assortment of awesome toys from the sisters.

We could not be happier with her bounty thus far.

Thank you everyone for your generosity.

It was strange to think back twelve months when we were imagining what it would be like to have Little with us.

However, it was even stranger to actually have her, and be the person Emily preferred above all others.

Sometimes I still cannot quite believe I do not have to hand her back, let alone I am the mummy.

We spent much of our day on the floor, with Emily dividing her time between daddy, grandma, the big girl cousins, and me.

I did not make it as far as the dining table where the grownups sat, but I did not care. In fact, at times I barely noticed they were there, because we were having so much fun.

This week has been a great week for playing on the floor with baby girl using me as a climbing gym.

I keep reminding myself it won’t always be like this, so I need to soak up every second of the hair pulling, nipple tweaking, nose picking, teeth tapping, shoulder clapping, water splashing goodness.

The moment we arrived home this afternoon, Emily and I hopped in the pool, while daddy walked off lunch.

I wonder what we did before the adition of our new water features.

I think Emily and I have spent five of the last seven days playing in the water at least once if not twice throughout the afternoon

Who needs showers when we have this little blue gem readily available?

Obviously, on the toy front we have an influx of new things to keep Emily entertained.

This week her favourite has been the pool. Followed closely by the activity table, mummy’s measuring spoons, and owl.

Naughty dolly is making her presence known in the toy basket. I know this, as I have to put her away at the end of each day.

While crab is the best pool toy, followed by pulling mummy’s top down, dead leaves, and finally the purple fish something.

Food wise we have had a fun week. Watermelon on Monday and Tuesday, balsamic vinegar on Wednesday, dry ginger on Saturday, and prawns today. She was not big on the ginger, but absolutely loved the prawns.

I wonder if this means daddy will buy us some more.

We tried olive oil, but unfortunately, it was not of a good enough quality to be satisfactory to either of us. Emily cried as it burnt the back of her throat, and I completely understand why.

Saturday morning has become our baking morning, where this week we made gingerbread men. They did not work out as ginger like as we would have hoped, and a certain mama could not be bothered icing them. Never the less, they are somewhat Christmassy at their core.

Everything regarding the movement report is going well. Little has come leaps and bounds this week in terms of how fast and well she can crawl.

Her poor little knees are a mess, and sometimes they get so red and uncomfortable, she has to move on her hands and toes like a puppy.

We feel terrible, but there is no avoiding this stage of her development.

Early in the week, we had to put the wooden gate up as a barrier to the doorway of her room, because she is getting too clever, and we do not want her to fall through our nineteen seventies standard bannisters.

Part of me is fairly certain she would only ever crawl from her room to ours, but it is so not worth the risk.

We have been trying to teach her about the edges of things. Particularly our bed, but it is a slow lesson to grasp, given how often she scuttles to the edge of anything, sticks her head over, and before you know, it is hanging half way to the floor. Thank God, we have quick reflexes.

Our little monkey legs is getting more and more climby. She is beginning to use anything she can to pull herself up on to her knees, and even sometimes her feet.

The problem with that last manoeuvre is her legs look a little like Bambi, and she falls down.

I feel sorry for her when that happens. Because she is trying so hard, and it is such a shock to her system.

Wednesday morning she face planted off the back of her rocker as her and daddy hung out the clothes. Not because she was not strapped in, but because our little escape artist figured out how to wiggle her way out.

She is so clever.

Now for her language acquisition. The greetings game is still our favourite, and thankfully, I have my sweet voice girl back again. However, what is most interesting to me is her new ability to differentiate and repeat the beginnings of words in context.

B is for birdies, and she often says it after squealing back at the birdies in the garden, and I say birdy, then she says b in response.

This morning it completely cracked me up when daddy mentioned his intentions to eat until he got fat, and Emily said fa in response. Then she told him to get up. As in literally told, him in words we all understood.

There have been more and more moments like that this week.

I have been working hard on breaking down the sounds of words for her, and it looks like it is paying off.

Michael says she accidently called him mum the other day.

Vavavavava is her favourite sound of the week. Along with a wawawa adda ttt fff and bububub. Who knows where her ca sound has gone. However, I still cannot figure out what oyoyoyoyoyoy means when she is upset.

I know I claimed I would have no problem with understanding her, but holy moly I have no idea what she is trying to tell us most of the time.

For example, is wowo still Ronja or Rosey depending on the context, or is it something else entirely?

It has been a rough week in terms of sleep. Getting her down during the day has been a mixed bag.

However I was so proud of her, because on one of the morning naps, I cannot remember which, she actually self-settled without her dummy.

One minute I could hear her through the monitor cooing quietly, and the next it was blissfully silent.

I crept in to find her up the opposite end of her cot to where I had lay her down, fast asleep, bottom in the air, head to the side, and dummy in hand.

She never stays where we put her these days.

Gone are the mornings when I could put my hand down, and know exactly where she would be. Now our little butterfly can be anywhere within the creamy confines of her shabby sheik little girl bed.

I love finding her poking her little hands through the gaps between the wood reaching for me as I walk in the door. It is so cute to see her on her hands and knees, peering with those big blue eyes in anticipation of our fetching her to freedom.

For the first half of the week she averaged thirty minutes per nap, one nap per day. While we have had some long nights, be it her not settling early in the evening, not going back down after her midnight feed, or her waking up so so early.

Her bedtime has slowly been creeping later and later, and I am worried she is not getting enough sleep.

Although on Wednesday night, she gave us seven straight heavenly hours of unbroken slumber. Oh, my God, it was good.

Part of the problem is her teeth have been still giving us grief. On Friday, her third tooth finally broke through the gum, but yesterday we could not find it again.

Poor Little.

This week feels as though we have lived at least three lifetimes. Honestly, I have no idea how Michael is still standing. He must be so tired. He has been doing most of the night shifts.

Who knows what next week will bring, but I hope it involves some better quality sleep for a certain cutie cute cute cute.

Published inThe Blunder Weeks

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