It is 3:30 on Sunday afternoon as I sit down to write.
Michael has taken advantage of our Easter egg hunt being cancelled due to the storm clouds hovering over our suburb, and only our suburb, and gone for a swim.
Little has wedged herself behind the television/toy shelf cabinet, and is currently posting her Peter Rabbit stacking boxes through to the front of the shelves.
She is sitting on her wooden blocks, and frustrated that she cannot reach them.
I have offered to help, but she has pushed my hand away in an act of independence.
I do not know where she gets that.
I did not even get a smile when I poked my head from the opposite side of the shelf to say hello.
Therefore, it is with the scraping of cardboard across IKEA’s version of wood I sit down to this week’s Blunder Weeks post.
I wonder how long I will have before she is climbing up my leg.
There are three water crackers surprisingly still in their container in the middle of the kitchen floor.
If I can redirect her attention to those, I should get another five minutes.
Oh how extravagant it would be to put the television on to occupy her while I recounted our week.
However we have gotten this far without the third parent, so let’s see how far we can actually get.
If the clamshell pool were not full of water, I would open the doors out into the garden, and let her play.
However, it is too heavy for me to lift by myself, and although emptying it with a bucket is an option, she will not let me.
Miss swimmy swim swim has taken to hopping into that thing fully clothed.
I suspect that we will be practicing putting plastic coins in the electronic piggy bank before I get to the end of this paragraph.
Now if only I could think where our big red tunnel is located.
I bet Michael took it back down to the garage along with the rocking horse, frog, and tricycle.
What a strange seven days it has been.
Everything feels very contrast and jagged, like an old faulty film reel, which flickers badly between snap shots.
On the one hand, I am hopeful, and on the other, I am in utter despair and desperation.
This afternoon I am definitely swinging toward the latter.
My throat is tight, my stomach in knots, and my anxiety regarding our current financial situation, and our future is at an all-time high.
While yesterday, I could not have been any more content as I watched Little explore her new environment, play in her new car, and crawl in and out of her pool at will.
The sun was shining, we had a sweet autumn breeze, there were people playing happy games of tennis on the courts, the birds were singing, dappled light played through the leaves, and the cutie cute cute cute was happy happy happy.
Yes, that’s right; baby girl has her first set of wheels.
Thank your local freebee website.
This is exactly what I was hoping to score for her after she experienced daddy pushing her in the Flintstone’s car at the play centre last week.
Surely, this is a sign that the universe is listening.
However, on the work front, every potential project has fallen through at the last minute.
I keep seeing myself scrunched up in a tiny glass box, inside a bigger glass box, inside an even bigger glass box, and so on…
I imagine myself smashing out of the first box, only to be confronted by the next, yet everything still continues to feel taught and strained.
When we were out for our family adventure earlier, which translates as a drive just out of Sydney and back again, while baby girl has a nap I thought I was going to throw up with the worry of it all.
All this has me wondering, are we headed in the completely wrong direction? ,
Then I will read an article regarding someone who has cracked the forgotten market, is doing what they love, and making a real difference, and I am all inspired again.
Every time I go to act upon something, which needs to be done for the business, I become completely overwhelmed with the decisions, which need to be made.
Last night, after deciding on a particular SSL certificate, which is an absolute for any website in my opinion, I came across an article, which had me second-guessing my options. So now, I am back to square one with that tiny detail
In a bid to stimulate the stagnant energy in our micro economy, I have been clearing out my wardrobe, and putting some of the items up on the freebee website.
To be honest, it started out as a way of being seen to give back, because as I said, we have profited from other peoples “trash”, and I did not want to be seen as just a taker.
The funniest thing is, what I have noticed, is that the more outlandish my sales copy, and the more tongue in cheek I become, the more people engage with my content.
Sure, they may not be interested in what I have to offer, but they are loving my quirky humour.
I am even getting a bit of a following.
This in turn has me thinking about how to approach the product descriptions for the website, and I am excited.
Where I have been coming undone is that I have been trying to do this like everyone else, instead of being myself.
I know I know I really ought to know better.
What has struck me most about this entire accidental exercise in community building is how clandestine things seem in the freecycling world.
Here is how it works, if you have something you no longer need, you take a picture, write a brief description, and post it on the site.
It is all very clinical.
Then whoever bids on it the fastest, comes and picks it up – usually from outside the front gate, or on the veranda.
There is very little contact between either party apart from a private message arranging the transaction.
To my mind, it is almost as though people are a shamed to be benefiting in this way. Be it the one who is providing the goods, or the one who is receiving them.
Therefore to have people liking my funny quips, and commenting even though they are not interested per say, is fantastic.
Monday seems a world away, but here goes:
Good morning Emily, I called from the comfortableness of our big warm bed.
She had been babbling happily for five or so minutes, and was just getting impatient.
Usually we know when she is awake for the day because she starts talking. Whereas when she has not finished sleeping, she cries.
I had been waiting for her to stir for quite a while. However, in my chronically tired and worn down state I did not get up and make the most of the time – not in any productive way. Instead I had rolled over, thrown an arm around my husband, and burrowed back under the covers into a semi-
As usual my dreams had been horrific, thus going back to sleep was not exactly an appealing option.
I hopped out of bed and picked Little up, and then put her next to daddy so she could climb all over him.
Within an hour, we were out the door and headed to her twelve-month check up at the early childhood clinic where she received a clean bill of health.
We were not particularly concerned about anything, and did not have any questions, so it was a pretty unremarkable visit.
Baby girl played with the box of toys in the corner while we spoke to the midwife.
Michael said he was really impressed, because when she first found the box she crawled back to him as if to ask if it was ok if she upended its contents.
I had been wondering how they were going to weigh her, given what a wriggle pot she is. However, I need not have worried, because instead of the flat laying downy scale they used when she was a baby, they put her on a little chair scale.
We returned home so Michael could take care of some boring ass details regarding his secret men’s business, of which apparently I do not have to worry my pretty little head about, and Emily could have a long luxurious nap – at least that was the hope.
As usual, I was running late with her blog, and spent the time typing away frantically.
What can I say, last week was a big one.
When she woke, we went down stairs for lunch, and daddy headed off for a swim.
He was just heading out the door, as in keys, towel, swimmers, and kisses for Little in hand, when I called him back for a spontaneous conversation regarding how burnt out I am feeling.
Our plan of attack is for me to find a hobby for no other reason than I enjoy it.
Sounds simple enough, right? However, my disability ensures that I make the most of any logistic, which in turn means nothing can have a singular purpose, because I spend too long waiting for public transport that I have to make up the time elsewhere.
Ok so that may be a little simplistic, but trust me, it is a blindy occupational hazard to make the most of any task, and make it count.
Part of me also thinks it comes from being a premmie baby, and having to fight so hard for life.
I have always been in a rush, and instinctively, innately, and intuitively know I cannot take each breath for granted, because there was a time when breathing on my own was not an option, and my cells remember the consciousness of having to fight.
Therefore, the question is what pastime to choose.
I am thinking along the lines of Aerial Silks – challenging, singular, graceful, and something very very tactile.
It has come to my attention that I still get anxious being left alone with Little.
Of course, we always have a good time, and it is not as difficult in reality as I anticipate it to be in my mind, but my apprehension is crippling me on some level.
I hope to God Emily does not pick it up, because I would hate her to think it is because I do not love her.
I worry I am not going to be able to take care of her, or keep her happy. I worry about how to occupy our time, and fill her world with fun and stimulating things to do. I worry she will get hurt, or sick, or sad, and I will either miss it entirely, or will not have a remedy.
I worry, I worry, and I worry.
Do other mamas feel this way I wonder, or is it just me.
This week I have been hell bent on acquiring fun things for us to do in the backyard. Be it a drivy car, some toddler climby equipment, some more puzzles, and oh please God a cubby house.
This is because more often than not, the cognition demanded of me to get us to the park, or anywhere else other than home is ginormous, and by the time we get there, I am worn out and already wondering how we are going to get home, thus do not enjoy, or don’t have as much energy to enjoy our outing.
Therefore bringing things to us is where I am currently situated in the great adaptive parenting conundrum.
I hate that term by the way. I mean who among us is not adaptive parenting.
We are all making this shit up as we go along.
To me, this seems like yet another label designed to stigmatise and draw a line between the able bodied and disabled world.
I bet it was an able-bodied wanker who came up with it.
Yeah, umm thanks for nothing dickwod.
I do not dare research the term, because I am afraid my head might start spinning on its axis in fury with what I might find.
Getting baby girl out of the house of an afternoon lately has been tricky because of the pesky rain.
Michael does his best to take her to the park, or at the very least, a walk to the supermarket for milk, but it is not always possible.
Not to mention lately they have had to come home due to someone having a dirty nappy.
Speaking of which, I have completely let the team down this week in that I have let her cry in her cot because I thought she was just battling the sleep fairy when really she has had a pooh in her pants.
When we tried the music last time, she did not like it. In terms of she sat up and sang along instead of going to sleep. However, I think we might try that tactic again. And maybe I will take away the dummy.
The midwife said Little should be having a Sippy cup of milk instead of her bottle now, but I am not sure how I feel about that.
Giving her a bottle is one of the ways we connect. I am not sure I am willing to give that one up quite yet. And I am fairly certain, judging by the way she reaches for it, neither is she.
Not that mummy is allowed to hold the bottle as such, but I do give good hugs.
Speaking of which, when I pretend to squeeze her tight, she giggles.
Although she will pretty much giggle at anything these days. Especially daddy.
Getting her down of an evening is taking forever. Now madam butterfly bottom wants an audience in order to go to sleep.
There seems to be no consistant technique, which works. Be it a cuddle, a back rub, a hand held, daddy’s hand on her tummy, or leaving her to cry herself to dreamland.
Last week she fell asleep while leaning against the cot bars pulling my hair.
Tuesday morning someone did not wake up until 8:15AM. Again, I was half awake waiting for her.
I did not want to move in case I woke her, and granted the rough night she and daddy shared, I did not want to wake him either.
This in turn made me late for work.
It need not have, but if there is one thing I hate, it is rushing around trying to get organised.
Sometimes I just want to take five minutes and enjoy my morning coffee.
I want to hear the birds in the garden, play with Little, and chat with my husband about the morning’s bullshit political landscape.
Sometimes I even just want to hang the washing out before I leave, because then at least I feel accomplished before I have begun.
Sure if it were important, I would have absolutely been on time.
However, we are luxuriously lucky in that we can afford for our schedule to largely revolve around her royal cuteness rather than the other way around.
I mean we tell ourselves
We are in control here, but let’s be honest; we all know we are not.
Sure bedtime can be anywhere between 5:00PM and 7:00PM, but that is about all we routinely abide by.
Meanwhile daddy and baby girl went to the park, unloaded the dishwasher, cooked dinner, and used every toy in the house.
Wednesday was another fairly quiet day at work, so I made the most of the beautician. As in really really made the most of her.
Why oh why does my leg hair insist on growing back – honestly!
Afterward I met daddy and Little playing among the trees outside our house.
They had been throwing the ball to one another for ages. As that is Emily’s favourite game this week.
Well that, and of course upside-down world.
They had already been to the good park earlier in the day, but everybody knows too much playing is never enough, so then we headed down to the play equipment where Little showed me how well she can climb up the steep steep slippery dip.
I had never walked her across the rickety bridge before, so that was pretty exciting.
We had a lovely time playing on the swing, watching her toss bark into the air, going on the seesaw, and all manner of things.
We saw the most massive branch break from the most massive of gum trees surrounding the park, and almost hit a couple of teenagers on the head as they sat waiting for their tennis coach to show up.
After that happened, it was pretty much our cue to leave.
Thursday was an early start because it was acupuncture day.
Sorry honey, I know you were not impressed with your 6:15AM start, but in my defence, I tried to be as quiet as possible when sneaking out the door. Maybe it was the ghost I had to sidle past at the end of the path, which woke sweetie pie up not five minutes after I left.
Work was really quiet, so I gave myself an early mark.
Meanwhile Emily and daddy went to the zoo, where they accidentally saw an elephant show, followed by a bird show.
Little loves birds, and even in the middle of the elephants throwing a football around, she spotted the five little ducks went out one day.
But wait for it, just when you think it cannot get any better, they had lunch with the goats.
I have no idea what this means, as they did not elaborate, but I gather it was pretty good, given how happy they were when they arrived home.
Work was a non-event, and for whatever reason I was sad, stressed, frustrated, and mad while I was there.
However, the moment I walked in the front door, an overwhelming feeling of peace and space greeted me.
As I sat in the sun working on the Blind Mama project, I was suddenly grateful for all the things about our home, which made me, fall in love with it in the first place, but have most definitely been out of love with lately.
There is something enchanting about being guarded by a tall wall, and a thick wooden gate at the front.
I like our two stories, our white bricks, the green grass, and even our crappy courtyard.
Michael says the light changes depending on the time of year. I can only assume he means it gets better in the winter because the sun is lower in the sky, and thus can reach further with its golden rays into the depths of our dwelling.
It was nice to be the first one home for a change.
I propped the gate open with one of Michael’s thongs, just in case Little was asleep and he needed to take her straight upstairs, and went to make a cup of tea.
Too bad we were out of said beverage.
After they arrived home, I thought Michael would go for a swim. However, he did not, but of course, Little did.
It was all about daddy though.
Sure, having afternoon tea outside with mummy was lovely enough, but just as it has been all week, the moment she hears her daddy’s voice, I do not exist.
We played with her ball, shared a biscuit and an apple, stacked a couple of blocks, and…
And Emily stood up all by herself for the first time.
Michael and I looked at each other in disbelief. Each of us trying to figure out how she was doing it, and not quite being able to comprehend that the other was not supporting her.
She simply picked her ball up, put it over her head in victory and stood strong and tall with her legs far far apart.
Then, she did it again.
Of course, we tried to get a photo, but by the time we were organised, she was over it.
She had actually taken her first step the afternoon of her family party, but it was so quick neither of us was sure it happened.
They say these things happen overnight, and Michael reckons we are in for it now.
However, I think she will crawl for a bit longer yet, which is absolutely fine.
For one, it means she is still a bit slow, and secondly, it is good for her brain development to be on all fours. Which is why we have not encouraged her walking.
Sure if she wants us to walk with her, of course we do. However, we have always waited for her to give the signal.
She is advancing at the speed of light at the moment.
Every day it is a new something she could not do the day before.
Then it happened. The thing, which has sent me over the edge into fretville.
Michael’s tooth snapped off.
Here I was thinking I had done a lovely thing by putting the chips and biscuits left over from the party the week before on the table while he pottered about the yard, but no.
No no no.
I felt terrible when he told me. Not only because it was after hours and we were headed into a four day weekend, and not only because surely it must hurt, but mainly because I don’t know how we are going to pay for it to be repaired.
This is just another thing, which reminds me what a shit job I am doing at providing for us.
I hope that the dental hospital can offer some assistance, at least in the short term, but holy moly… For months, I have wanted us all to get, our teeth checked, but we have not had the funds.
In the meantime, I keep coming up with possibilities, then oscillating dangerously between yes they can work, and no, they most definitely cannot.
I keep hoping we will land on our feet, but it is not looking good.
Thursday night was a nightmare in terms of getting her down.
I am thinking she had a touch of heat exhaustion from her big day.
Yes, the pram has a cover, but Miss I am so clever I can take my own hat off, will not wear one.
Friday was a reasonably early start, and I got up with Little.
She had woken every two hours on the dot for Michael the night before, demanding milk.
Now we are not sure if it is a massive growth spirt, and she needs needs needs the sustenance, or if she really is playing us, and just taking advantage of the routine.
Some nights it feels more manipulative than others.
When daddy came down stairs and flicked the radio on, they were playing the Easter Bonnet song from the Judy Garland movie, Easter Parade.
I nearly cried with joy as Emily sat and danced to it.
That is one of my favourite movies, and we watch it every Easter as part of our tradition.
I tried to get it on video, but my phone did not pick it up.
I had turned voiceover off in order to capture the music as well, without Siri n the background, but…
Anyway, unbeknownst to me, Michael was dancing with her, but he was out of my range of vision.
This set the joyful tone of our day.
We sent daddy out on a treasure hunt, courtesy of the local freecycling website, of which I am eternally grateful, while we made hot cross buns.
By this, I mean Emily had a nap while the doe proofed, and only woke up in time to pull my pants down as I kneaded the dough into a fine elastane mass.
I love working with breads and pastries.
Michael also managed a swim before arriving home with our goodies, of which I am particularly pleased.
So thank you everyone for helping a blind mama out, I really appreciate it.
We spent the afternoon snacking on watermelon and oranges, while daddy built our new play set.
We cannot quite figure the logic of it out, so Michael is going to build it an extra platform to make it easier and more practical for climby legs to get across from one slippery dip to another.
Another restless night brought us to Saturday morning where it was my turn to do the buffet breakfast thing with Little.
We had a great time with solids, toast, and fruit while daddy made the most of his sleep in.
After breakfast, Michael scrubbed the moss off the front path, and washed Little’s new car for her.
We then sat and had coffee in café meg together, which we have not done for ages.
It was nice to catch up in that way while sweetie pie was asleep.
As usual, Michael went for a swim, and we stayed home.
I did not say anything to Emily as we stepped into the yard.
She needed a bath, as watermelon is very sticky.
Thank you clamshell pool to the rescue.
She had been splashing for about fifteen minutes when she saw her new pride and joy.
Being the slack mama I am, I thought about pushing her around the yard, but decided against it.
I figured once I started that game, it would never end.
So while she was fascinated with her new standalone toy, I would not disrupt the status quo – or at least that is how I justified my hands off parenting technique for the day.
However when daddy came home, they were out the gate and checking the mail before I knew it.
The look of sheer delight on her face when she realised it moved was priceless.
I have never seen a smile that big.
You’re so beautiful honey.
Again, while we were having lunch earlier that day she stood up by herself. But this time without a big purple ball to help.
We are convinced she is growing again, because she is very fally overy.
The poor little thing has bruises and scratches from being in the wars so much.
It is lovely we can play out in the yard more, now she is bigger.
Yesterday we lost her afore mentioned purple ball in the shrubbery, but mama could not see it, so we could not go and get it.
Not to mention I am worried about the spiders.
I cannot be sure they are in there of course, but nor can I be sure they are not.
The last thing daddy did yesterday afternoon to complete our day of play was to hang up her tree swing.
We are slowly fashioning one of the best backyards for baby girls to play in ever!
Last night I sort of lost the plot regarding her 10:00PM snack.
I decided she was expressing a want, not a need, and we had a standoff for the next forty-five minutes over it before daddy intervened.
We had been offering her water rather than all milk all the time over the last couple of nights, and sometimes it worked, sometimes it did not.
Last night, it did not.
The problem was, once I had taken my stance, I found it difficult to relent. Not because I wanted to be right, but because I was worried if I caved, then it would teach her all she had to do was cry a little harder, fidget a little more, or scream a little louder and longer, resulting in her getting what she wants.
Yeah umm, I do not know what to say about that.
This morning was another early before 6:00AM start – making it three from three.
We brought her in with us in the distant hope that she would resettle. And although she is a little better at trying to go back to sleep with us, she is by no means there.
This morning’s classic comment came about when she heard the kookaburras laughing. The sun was not quite awake, but she told me the birds wake.
Of course, we knew she could say bird, but to put the word wake next to it in its correct context was too funny.
While earlier in the week one of her birthday cards fell off the piano, and she pointed to it and said card.
Her comprehension of language is crazy good.
Breakfast this morning was another three-course banquet-involving yogurt, toast, and two different fruits.
And let’s just say her enormously full poohey nappy reflected as such.
We spent the morning outdoors, her showing me her car, crawling around the yard, eating dirt, climbing up the new frame, trying to get into the pool, and having morning tea.
However, our highlight was her walking around the yard with her Zimmer frame.
Granted it was backward, by a lot of people’s standard, although I thought she was quite clever inn that not only did it afford her easy access to the buttons and lights, which controlled the music, but also it made for a much more stable base.
Once again, Michael and I indulged in a cup of coffee, a hot cross bun in the café before it began to rain, and we decided to go for a drive.
However since I have started this post, Michael has returned, I have scrubbed the kitchen floor, changed Little’s sheets, spent way too much time on Facebook, read books with Little, and watched crap on television.
Of course, Michael took Emily to the park, and they had loads of fun.
Madam butterfly bottom is so big now that she can go down the big steep slippery dip by herself.
Head first no less.
Thus how she got friction burn on her nose.
On the third attempt she turned herself around and went feet first and what do you know her nose stayed off the slide surface.
We never imagined she would be able to slippery slide alone. Not for any other reason than because it seemed like such a toddler task, and we have had a baby for so long.
However here we are, graduating from the fog of baby land to the chaos of Toddler Island.