It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Well, if I am honest, no it did not, but I desperately wanted it to be.
Michael needed a break, and I was at breaking point, so I seized the opportunity with desperate hands.
When will I ever learn?
But how could it have not been a great idea?
Surely, an adventure is always a great idea.
“I’ll drive up and get you tonight,” Katie had said, half-jokingly, and half almost serious.
I had to stop myself leaping like a frog at the chance.
No no, it is ok, I will get Michael to drive us down tomorrow, I had responded.
The truth was I was not willing to receive such a generous offer. I always feel guilty about people willing to drive me somewhere, because if I could do it myself… Oh, if only I could do it myself, then nobody else would have to go out of their way.
Hurry up self-driving car.
Not that Michael will let me have one anyway, because he says the infrastructure will not be in place for them to be safe.
Between you and me, I have to concede he might have a point.
However worse than that, and possibly more valid, is his second point, which is they won’t happen in my life time, because look how long it is taking for us to build a second airport in Sydney, so even if driverless cars are available elsewhere, we won’t get them until they are almost obsolete. and people are simply teleporting themselves places instead.
But a girl can dream.
Besides, who knew if we put Emily in the car at night, if she would go back to bed afterward?
I am always nervous about breaking her routine like that, because I just do not know what the consequences are likely to be, or how far they will ripple.
I was surprised when Michael hesitated on the other end of the phone when I rang him to ask if he would drive us to the highlands for the weekend.
From my perspective, I was not sure I could do another same Saturday in a row again, and I thought he would be just as relieved as I was for the change of scenery. Of course, he relented and said yes, but it was not until I pressed him further that I found out his reluctance was because we did not have enough money for petrel.
Oh God, I thought, how has it come to this?
No money for fuel?
I have been trying to avoid our money issues forever in the vein hope they will disappear.
Surely if I don’t aknowledge them, they will cease to exist, right?
The guilt I feel surrounding our poverty and the knowingness that it is all on me is indescribable.
I am out of my mind with worry.
Last week I went through an entire yoga routine, and cannot remember stretching through most of it.
Holy shit, I thought again, how has it come to this.
No money for fuel means we are really poor.
But I do not want to be poor, I argue. I do not want to be scraping the last copper coin from the bottom of the barrel, and not know where the next one is coming from.
I have to wonder what is right about a situation I do not comprehend. Because surely there must be something.
Oh hello past life.
But how can we be poor, I wonder, given we live in a nice area, have an ok house, sleep on the best bed ever, I think Little’s needs are all taken care of, and we are most certainly loved. So how can our financial state be so unabashedly dyer?
Scraping by is one thing, but this is entirely another.
If something should happen to either of us, we are monumentally screwed.
Sorry honey. I am so sorry.
Later that evening as I scrambled to get things organised, still I could not shake the feeling this was a bad idea, I asked Michael what had prompted him to agree to our going away.
“The excitement in your voice”, he simply said.
I had to give him that one. I was excited. So I put my doubts to the back of my mind, and began to sift flour, cocoa, and brown sugar into a bowl. After all, we could not go to hotel Katie Lee’s without a chocolate coconut mud cake brick as our contribution to the sweetness of her hospitality.
Normally we would take more, but there was no time to get to the supermarket and stock up on supplies.
This was so last minute, and I could not quite believe Katie had said yes when I had suggested it less than three hours previously.
I was still waiting for the phone call to say something had come up, and maybe we could do it another time.
Be it Rosy or she were sick, or a family thing they had forgotten about…
Every time Michael took something to the car, such as Little’s blue chair, her pram, or a bag of toys, I kept thinking it were as though we were putting on stilettos instead of our hiking boots to go for a bushwalk.
Emily must have felt the excitement in the air, because she was awake and ready to start her day from 5:00AM.
Mamamamamma, her happy little voice called from her cot, waking me from my slumber.
I rubbed my eyes, and rolled over.
Can you get her, I asked my sleeping husband. After all, I was going to have her for the next five days. Or at least that had been my plan.
I thought I would take baby girl on the longest adventure we had ever embarked upon. Partly because I knew that being at Katie’s house, she totally gets it, and would have my back. partly because I knew that we were close enough to come home at a moment’s notice if need be, or things went horribly pair shaped. However mostly because my husband needed some well-earned time out.
I figured if we could do Katie’s for that long, then maybe we could do other trips further afield.
I have this fantasy of us travelling hither and dither to visit all our friends around the world.
Not necessarily all in one go, but in dribs and drabs.
Although I am open to a worldwide kick ass adventure thanks universe. So if you could have a quiet word to the Lotto Gods, then… I will not be turning the opportunity away.
Michael was so excited about his pending free time. He planned to sleep, sleep some more, clean the bathroom, sleep, read a book in the sunshine, sleep, work on the business, and sleep sleep sleep.
He really needs this, I thought as I burrowed further down under the blankets.
However I was too excited to go back to sleep.
I had not seen Katie in what seemed like forever and good Lord did I need some grown up girly time.
Girly time where clothing was optional, ferrel parenting was encouraged, and there was no such thing as time, place, or obligation.
Not that my new hobo parenting style needed any more encouragement, but you just never know what wacky why didn’t I think of that wish I had the balls to do that with Katie Lee you will find.
Although I think my stripping down to my underwear in our backyard in order to hop in the clamshell pool with Little might give that girl a run for her money. After all, we do not have the kind of privacy she does, and yet I still do it without a second thought.
Voyeurism or I just do not give a shit – who knows. And who the hell cares.
I have bigger things to worry about than someone glancing into my garden and seeing a half-naked woman.
What I needed most was coffee, cake, and copious conversation.
For weeks, my sense is that baby girl has been in a bit of a holding pattern. I thought that if she had the chance to play with Rosy, play with Benny, and play by herself in a different environment, this might ease her off the merry-go-round of stuckness in her own universe.
The girls have always had such a good time together; that it did not occur to me it would or could be any different.
In fact, Emily always has such a good time with all her friends, that I had never entertained the possibility of it being any other way.
Certainly, other kids tend to bicker and argue among themselves, but not with Emily.
She either walks away and does her own thing before it gets to that point, or she wins them over with her charm and wit, so they want to play with her.
Every time we have been in Rosy land, Emily has done nothing but benefit and learned from the experience.
She always comes home with a new set of skills, and I like to think that so does Rosy.
Rosy is fairly reserved, so it can take her a while to warm up to a situation. While Emily is usually straight in, boots and all.
Speaking of which, we are definitely going to need gumboots for this winter.
How is a mummy supposed to jump in puddles without them?
I am thinking something pink and spotty.
I was surprised to hear a message come through on my phone at 6:00AM. And even more surprised to note that it was from Katie. She is never up at that time.
I instantly knew our plans were about to be changed.
I was disappointed, but somewhat relieved as well. Given I still could not resolve that funny forced feeling I was having about the situation.
Call me when you get up, it said.
I had to laugh, because of course we were up.
Emily was playing in the lounge room happily, and the smell of coffee was wafting through the house like a snake charmers song.
My husband is coming home tonight, she said after we exchanged greetings.
But you can still come, she reassured me.
My first instinct was not to go.
After all, we did not want to intrude on their family time.
Paul works interstate three out of every four weeks.
Honestly, I do not know how they do it.
I do not know how anyone does it.
I like having Michael around.
Sure, those three months he spent at home a couple of years ago when he was recovering from a stress fracture in his right foot drove me bananas, but now things are different.
Thanks Little. You truly are our ray of sunshine.
I am not so sure it is the him being away part which would bother me as such, but the coming and going of it all, and the having to readjust to life either way.
I ummed and aaed about it, and almost let myself be talked into continuing with our plan, but then had to discuss it with Michael.
I knew he was desperate for some sleep, but was not sure how he would feel if I told him my apprehensions.
I knew spending time with them as a family would definitely be different, and it was not like Paul and I knew each other well. Our common denominator is our love for Katie and Rosy, and to be honest, I was not sure that would be enough.
I know how much Paul values his family time and I did not want to intrude.
Sure, we were in need of a break, but nothing that could not wait a week or three.
Michael’s only concern was that he did not want me to go if I did not think I was going to have fun.
The problem was I was not exactly sure if I would. However, we had told Emily and Rosy that they would be seeing one another, and we always try to stick to our word.
This way, we are hoping if our yes is always yes, then our no will always be no, and Little will always know where she stands.
We are hoping our consistency will maybe minimise some of those toddler tantrums. But who knows.
I thought Michael might crumple in a heap if I said I really did not want to go. Even though of course I knew my solid as a rock, darling husband would not. But still…
I rang Katie back, and said that we would be down, and that we would play it by ear.
She agreed that she would drive us back on Monday, thereby giving Michael a bit more of a rest.
For whatever reason, it felt like a long way to go for just one night, but in hindsight, perhaps that is what we should have done. I mean Michael had offered to come and get me the next day if I wanted.
I am not someone who likes to be in the car for too long as it makes me feel ill. Therefore, quite often I have to be talked into it. Things simply move too fast for my limited vision to compute, and my brain cannot cope.
Actually, maybe we should have just gone for the afternoon.
Oh whom am I kidding, we should not have gone at all.
Note to self, must follow instincts.
Michael packed Emily’s bag, and got her ready without incident.
I threw some clothes into a pack, gobbled breakfast, and hunted fruitlessly for my Bluetooth keyboard.
I hate going somewhere without a writing implement, because one just never knows.
Not to mention, I had a Blunder Weeks blog post to get up on the Sunday night.
For once, I had actually kept up to date with it all week, so was not going to have to sit there over the weekend, and frantically pump the words out in order to meet my self-imposed, but not often kept deadline.
I searched and searched for almost half an hour without any luck.
How a girl loses something that big and important, I will never know.
Then emailing my blog to myself took forever, because my computer is so slow. Therefore, we were almost an hour later in leaving than we had intended.
Literally as we were walking out the door, I asked Michael to grab the bag of balloons from the bottom kitchen drawer and the bubble blower as a peace offering for Rosy.
Michael was a good sport about the whole thing, but only because he knew he was going to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
We hopped into the car, and Emily chattered happily in the back as we wove our way through Sydney has clogged arterial roads toward the promised land.
Eventually she fell asleep, and so did I.
Michael says he loves to drive when his girls are asleep, but I worry our sleepy vibe will rub off on him, and maybe he will get drowsy behind the wheel.
He assures me that he would pull over if that ever happened, or if he needed a break, and history shows me that, he would. However still, I try to keep awake for moral support where possible. But sometimes, just as it was on Saturday morning, I could not keep my eyes open.
I really must buy a travel neck pillow.
Emily and I woke just as we were coming through the main township of our destination.
We stopped to pick up some milk at Katie’s request, and within five minutes were pulling into her circular drive.
I know, it sounds fancy doesn’t it.
I suspect it is more practical than anything else.
The house is a typical single story red brick Australian put together from forty years ago.
We did not recognise the man standing out the front on the telephone.
For a second I thought it might have been Paul, but how could he have arrived so quickly, I wondered as Michael questioned me about the strange figure standing in the yard.
It turns out it was Katie’s cousin I had heard so much about.
He seemed genuinely pleased to see us as he introduced himself.
However, I could not help flinching slightly as he ran his hand down my upper arm in a gesture of solidarity and pleased to meet you.
I am not used to people touching me in such an intimate pose so soon after saying hello for the first time.
I knew he had heard a lot about us, given Katie’s propensity for chatting, as I had about him. Therefore, it stands to reason he felt like we knew one another from way back.
However, it still took me by surprise.
I know it was meant to put me at ease, and perhaps in my pre-parenting days it would have. However now with Emily, I am like a lioness protecting her cub. I am more on guard and ready to pounce than ever.
That and I have been on the defensive regarding almost everything of late.
Public transport and people’s seeming inability to not watch where they are going, along with our prosperity being uncomfortably low, my eyes aching, and my concern over our future, my state of anxiety is at an all-time high.
I am back to jumping at loud noises, biting my nails, and swearing my head off. Which are all signs of my adrenalin not knowing when or how to switch off?
It did not help that I had some pretty strong pre-conceived notions about what he would be like, and I was on edge.
I do not trust anyone easily, especially men. And especially men I have not met.
Yeah umm thanks life.
So I guess in that way I am quite conservative, and like Rosy, it takes me a while to warm up to someone.
Katie’s cousin did his best to disarm me, and assure me he was on my side. And as I said, if I did not have baby girl, he would not have had to work so hard. I would have taken him at face value, and we would have been fast friends.
Sorry man, I hope you can understand.
He played the host beautifully by making us coffee, and smiling at Little, while Katie and I chatted, and Michael organised all our baby paraphernalia and explained to me where it would be.
Remember in the eski that we have formula, rusks, bottles, some fruit, and her solids, he said as he put my hand on each item.
My husband is great like that in terms of explaining where things are, and where they are going to go.
I have put your bag over here next to the rocker, he continued. Once again literally taking my hand and showing me where he had put everything.
He knows that once I have put a hand on something, I will remember where it is without having to think about it.
Katie is one of the chosen few who Michael has confidence in to take good care of his girls, which is why he has no problem in leaving us with her. Therefore, as he is explaining things to me, he is also letting Katie know about the routine, or anything else, which might be pertinent to the situation.
I could tell my husband was eager to leave and get home to his solace. SO after sculling his coffee, he kissed us good-bye and drove away.
Emily barely noticed her daddy leaving as there was Benny the dog to chase, new toys to find, one Rosy Posy Pie to look at, and Katie’s cousin to play with.
I do not know what it is about him, but kids love that guy.
Emily was no exception. Within a minute of him sitting down on the lounge room step, she was over by his side, showing him a ball, and making friends.
Strangely enough, I was not nervous about how things were unfolding. He was so present with my daughter, and so attentive, that I knew I did not have to fret.
Besides, Emily is a good judge of character, and does not go to anyone she does not feel comfortable with, and I allow her that discernment.
I think he is someone I would probably sit down and gladly spend more time with if the opportunity presented itself.
I would imagine he has many a story to keep a blind mama laughing.
Katie and I sat on the lounge chatting as the girls played. However, the moment baby girl did a big fat I am so excited to be here pooh, Katie’s cousin was out the door quicker than you can say Jack Frost.
It cracked me up completely.
You are hilarious dude.
As I was changing Emily’s nappy, she took off, and rubbed her poohey bottom over Katie’s newly cleaned lounge room floor.
The nappy gymnastics we have been going through lately have just started to slow down, and my cooperative sweetie pie is returning. However being at Katie’s was just too exciting, so of course Little had to take off before the job was done.
I mean who has time to have their nappy changed when there is so much to see and do.
After some serious hard-core lunch, whereby Emily ate hers, and some of Rosy’s, thanks for sharing your omelette girlfriend, it was time for Rosy to have a nap.
I tried to get baby girl down, but there was no way mama that was ever going to happen.
Katie and I struggled to put the portable cot up, but eventually figured that crazy puzzle out before plonking Little down in it with a bottle for good measure.
I knew she was tired, but…
Well at least she had a bit of a rest, I consoled myself as I poked my head around the door to the sounds of her happy voice calling me.
Come on sweetie pie, I said as I lifted her up and her little legs cycled with joy as I brought her to my chest and gave her a squeeze.
Squeezy cuddles are the best, and are sure to get a giggle.
Back out to the lounge room we went, where immediately she found Benny the dog and started playing with him.
This time my anxiety regarding Benny, and the potential, all be it a ridiculously remote one of him bighting her was much less. Although when all is said and done, he is a dog. So occasionally I had to quell my imaginings as I heard his snuff snuff, and the ominous silence of Emily’s I am really concentrating on what I am doing poking Benny’s nose.
Benny spent the weekend trying to find places to sleep where sweetie pie would not find him. However, she was like a huntress, and would take great delight in searching for him around the entire house until they met.
That is one of the things about Katie’s house I like, it is so big, that there are so many places for a curious baby to get lost, and I am fairly certain it is safe.
Katie like me had this pre-parenting idea that toys would be contained to one room of the house. Umm, yeah, right!
Our toys are everywhere, and everywhere there are toys.
To the point that before being Little’s mummy, I thought that anything toddler sized was pointless. However our backyard is now full of play equipment, and I am on a mission to aquire more.
I love the benefits of imaginative play, and want Little to have the best chance possible to find her way in this world.
I love looking at the colours dotted across our property.
Although I have to confess, the smaller puzzles and blocks crowding my lounge room are overwhelming.
Who needs four seats, I ask you.
Yes Little, I am looking at you miss climby climb.
Anything in baby land is considered a toy. Even daddy’s smelly socks and shoes.
A certain somebody who shall remain nameless likes to suck the shoelaces. Which is fairly good in comparison to licking the bottom of mummy’s thongs, kissing the glass on the train, or eating dirt.
When I catch her doing that, I often wonder what mineral is in the soil that she requires, because why else would she continue to seek that earthy goodness out.
I know about the synapse connections through the tongue, but surely, it is more than that.
Last week she tried to eat an ant.
Little deft fingers here are pretty good at picking them up.
Maybe she will be a brain surgeon. She has very good hand eye coordination.
Love you Little.
After Rosy Posy Pie woke up, we packed the girls into their respective prams, as is our tradition, and headed out to the walking track, which weaves its concrete way through the town.
We needed a park. The question was which park. The park with the swings or the park with the good slippery-dip.
We decided on the park furthest from town, and headed away from the sunset. Good slide it was.
Along and along we walked, through stupid zigzag car barrier after stupid zigzag car barrier until eventually we found the promised land.
Emily was so excited to see this new and interesting park, that almost the moment she got there, she did yet another big fat I am so so so so excited pooh.
The problem was neither Katie nor I had brought our nappy bags.
I could not believe it.
Each of us had thought about it, but neither of us had bothered to discuss it, let alone action it.
I am sure if we had said something to one another, we would have decided to take at least one of them.
This meant we did not have enough water for all of us, let alone a spare nappy for just such an explosive scenario.
What a rooky move, we decided, as we laughed about it later.
If the park had been close to Katie’s house then I am almost positive she would have run back for supplies. However, we had come such a long way.
I looked at Emily, then the park, then Emily, then Katie, then Emily, then the park again.
Ummm, what should we do, I asked. It seems like such a shame to have walked all this way only to turn around and go home.
We will go, Katie said, as I looked at the positioning of the late afternoon sun, and calculated just how far I would have to pull the pram behind me in order to keep baby girl’s eyes shaded.
But it is a new park, I said in protest.
Again, back and forth I looked, as I flip flopped in my mind about what to do.
It was a big pooh.
Little did not seem bothered by it, so after careful consideration, and somewhat uneasily, I chose to stay.
We will just have a quick play, I said as I watched Emily crawl under a peace of equipment.
The truth was I would have felt guilty in leaving so soon.
Partly for Emily’s sake, and partly for Rosy May’s.
As I have said, Rosy and Emily were having trouble finding their happy place, and I was hoping a good play in the park would placate the older of the two.
I mean she was a big park fan, and what better way to show her I was on her side than by having us do something she loved just as much as we do.
We all played happily for who knows how long. And by we all, I really do mean all of us.
Katie and I found a flying saucer swing, which we both fit on at once, and had no end of amusement on. Each of us lying head to tale with one leg hanging off the edge to push the unidentified flying object around its axis.
Our abandoned laughter made this difficult at times, but it was worth it.
We must have looked quite a sight to the passers-by, with our toddlers as onlookers as we swang around and around, giggling like schoolgirls.
In an uneasy truce, Rosy showed Emily how to climb a ladder. And even though baby girl understood the concept, and tried very much to mimic Rosy’s swift competent movements, she simply did not have the strength.
But thanks to Rosy May, now she knows.
Then they played on a single seesaw, as Katie and I tried to master what we refer to as the pirouette pole.
Sometimes we played all together as a foursome, and other times we played as separate entities.
It was lovely to be in an environment where we could just let go.
There is nothing quite like having a playground to one selves.
The sun was beginning to dip closely to the horizon when we packed the girls back in their respective prams, and headed toward home.
However, it was not long until Little demanded to hop out and have a cuddle.
I thought it was unusual, because normally she is pretty happy to sit in her pushchair. It did not occur to me at the time that the mess in her pants might be the reason for her protest. I had assumed it was because she was tired and grumpy.
After all, it was heading toward 6:00PM, and she is notoriously edgy at that time of day if she has not had enough sleep.
I mean of course I was aware of her poohey nappy, how could I not be.
If the smell from that little bottom was not enough of a reminder, my choice to risk nappy rash a keep us at the park was at the forefront of my mind.
In fact, for the entire time we were at the park I had strategized as to how I could get her home without the nappy.
Should I just take her pants off and let her sit in the pram naked on a blanket.
But if I did that, what if some pervert came along and looked at her.
If I put the blanket in between her legs like a makeshift nappy, would that protect her bottom from the pram buckles?
What if I took the nappy off, and put her pants back on.
But if I did that, then she did a wee, which of course she would, would not that then cause chafing, and make it worse than if I simply left her in the nappy?
I didn’t even have an extra layer that I could use of mine to wipe her down if need be.
This kind of ill preparedness is something I would secretly judge another mother about if I heard about it.
Talk about the universe teaching me a lesson by once again putting me on the opposite side of the coin to where I would ideally like to sit and preach.
On one level, it really did serve me right for maintaining such a bitchy snotty attitude about this. But on another more important this is not actually about me level, it was not fair for Emily.
I had even considered just stripping her down in the park and letting her play. However decided against that option because the crazy rubbery I don’t even know how to describe it black park surface which comes off in crumbs would have ended up all over her bottom, and that wouldn’t have been very nice either.
So up on to my hip she went as I tried to push the pram as well.
Maybe if I had brought the hippy thing with us, I could have managed, but as it was, I have no hips to speak of, and Emily was slipping down as we walked.
Katie kindly took our pram, and pushed Rosy and ours like a champion.
Clearly, that super mama had done this before, I thought as we trundled behind her chatting.
I mean seriously girlfriend, is there anything you cannot do?
After a little while, I managed to get baby girl back in the pram, but it did not last long.
The shadows were well and truly long by this time, and the sky was beginning to turn crimson.
The pram was not comfortable, mummy was not comfortable, so there was nothing else for it but to let Little walk.
So with each of her tiny hands wrapped around each of my index fingers, we began the long toddle home, while Katie and Rosy raced ahead.
I was surprised at Emily’s stamina, as she moved those baby legs as fast as she could. One foot after another.
The sounds of joy coming from her little mouth were exquisite to my ears.
She was so happy and proud of herself.
Occasionally she would become distracted, and have to stop and look at a blade of grass, a tree, or an imaginary bird in the sky, but for the most part, she was a focused machine.
Pitter-patter pitter-patter pitter-patter went her baby girl feet.
Sometimes she would allow me to carry her, but not for long.
God knows how many hundreds of metres we walked, but she was amazing.
For the most part Rosy took all this in her stride.
She sat in her pram, and just did her thing.
I think maybe once when they were close to home Katie got Rosy out for a run among the ducks, but I cannot be sure.
Only because they were so far ahead of us, I did not know. Because by the time we were all caught up, Rosy was in her pram.
My biggest concern when we reached the house was getting Little into a warm bath as quick as possible.
I had made peace with the fact that she wouldn’t be in bed at her usual time quite some hours back, so that was neither here nor there.
When we are at home, Michael and I tag team with the bathing routine.
He usually takes Emily to the park while I run a bath, pick up toys from the floor, and get her towel and pyjamas laid out in their proper places.
The towel just outside the bathroom door, and the pyjamas on mummy’s big bed in preparation for the fun part.
When they come home, either of us undresses her and does a quick nudy run through the dwelling before depositing her in the bath.
Usually I take care of most of the washing, unless we are having a difficult day, or I am on visual overload, and am unsure as to how safe I can keep our cutie cute cute cute.
Her bath involves some plastic toys, two face washers, one for her to suck on, and one for me to clean her with, loads of mummy asking baby girl to sit down please, the occasional slip under the water, and a copies amount of hard-core helicopter parenting whereby I kneel beside the bath ever alert and watchful with my hands for signs of danger. This involves my hands being either on her at all times, or inches away from her body as she crawls, sits, wiggles, and tries to walk in the tub.
Then when she is ready for her hair washed, often we call daddy, partly so we can squirt him with water as he enters our domain, and partly so he can make sure, she is all squeaky clean. Then I hand our bundle of joy to him, he wraps her in a towel, they race to the bed, where Emily spends the next five or so minutes having daddy chase her around and give her raspberries, tickles, up-side-down-world swings, they play flops, and stand ups sit downs make me upside down agains.
Then he puts her nappy on, either one or both of us rankle her into pyjamas, and we are done.
While this is happening, whoever is not doing the dressing, has to empty the bath, hang the rubber non-slip mat over the shower railing, close the blind in her room, make sure her dummy is in the top right hand corner of her cot, and all is ready for the next part of the ritual.
The next part of the great bedtime routine being that daddy gives her dinner.
Then she has a little play to quieten down, whereby sometimes mummy and her read books, and sometimes not.
Then I give her a bottle, carry her to bed, and pray to God that she goes to sleep without a fight.
Sometimes God does not answer my prayers though, and we have a battle of wills on our hands.
Why oh why she feels the need to resist that sweet beautiful slumber, I will never know.
Please Little please go to sleep my love.
Once we were inside, I made a line for the bathroom with Little under my arm.
There was no way I was letting that poohey bottom down on to the floor for a second.
As it was, we were both covered in it.
Oh honey, mummy is so sorry for not being better organised.
Talk about a pooh explosion.
I stripped us off, and put her in the tub before the water had stopped flowing because I did not want her to chase a curious Benny down the hall.
There was simply no time to grab a towel or get her nappy, pyjamas or anything else in its place.
As it was, Katie had to fetch and carry all those things for me.
How she does this on her own most of the time, I will never know.
I mean strategy and planning are one thing, but toddler reality is quite another.
I was nervous about baby girl being in a bigger bath. Not for her sake, but for mine.
Bath time is always intense, in terms of how hard I need to concentrate.
I wonder how sighted people do it.
Do they touch their babies as often as I do mine?
Not just the washing, but in general.
Constantly I hovered over her with my hands just off the surface of her skin. My arms creating cushions or barriers as I tried to pre-empt any slips or falls.
Constantly my brain has to think about which way she might slide if she loses her footing, and thus where and how I need to position myself so she does not knock out her front teeth, split her head open, or break a wrist.
Luckily, for us, Katie has the best bath mat, which covers the entire floor of her rather large tub, so this made my job that little bit easier.
Mind you, the stand-up sit down stand up sit down stand up crawl around sit down game Emily likes to play helped counteract any reprieve the grippy mat might have so graciously provided. Not to mention all the cool bath toys Rosy has.
Emily was in water heaven.
She normally does not stay in the bath too long, but on this night, I could not get her out.
I was glad Katie’s husband was not home as I brought my bundle of wiggly joy out to the kitchen. I mean given I was topless and all.
I remember thinking, that no matter what, I would have to be so well prepared for the coming evening that nakedness of any form could not occur. At least not on my part.
I was flustered after Emily’s bath, and needed half a second to pull myself together.
That task had taken a lot of cognition, and I needed to regroup before the potential onslaught of sleeplessness, which could be to follow.
This is why Katie helped get Emily dressed, and gave her dinner.
I know that relying on Katie to be the second parent did not do anything to please Miss Rosy May.
I felt terrible about it every time Katie offered to help me out.
I would try and explain to Rosy that Emily is my baby, and give her little jobs to do which are helpful, but… Something was not quite right all weekend with us.
She tried, and we tried, but nobody gelled. Not really.
I felt like Rosy resented us being there, and was feeling rather invaded and territorial.
Occasionally the girls would play together, but it was more of a tolerance on Rosy’s part than anything else.
Emily was desperate for them to have some fun, and would repeatedly attempt to win her friend over, but with little success.
I am sorry Rosy, we should not have come.
However, one of the reasons we go to Katie’s house is because she is such a soft place to land.
I know that if I drop the ball, then she will pick it up without question or judgement.
And let us be honest, I drop the ball a lot.
I am actually really nervous about Michael’s upcoming trips away. Because they will be the first time, I am alone with Little. As in truelly alone.
If Katie was not moving house, I would ask her to come up, or if we could go down, but…
A blind mama has to brave up sooner or later.
So I will practice weighing the bottles on the talking scales my sisters in law bought me, in order to get the measurements and quantities correct for baby girl’s formula.
I will get up in the middle of the night more to give said formula to also said baby girl.
I will not always hand the poohey nappies to daddy.
And I will stop trying to avoid being Little’s mother.
Yep, sometimes I do that.
I give her to her daddy, so I can have half an hour where I am not the mummy.
Do not get me wrong, I love being the mummy. However sometimes I want to be something else.
Lately I am finding myself desperate to build my career.
I miss my high-heals.
I miss that sense of purpose, and working on something bigger than myself.
I miss the buzz I used to get from being helpful, or of value.
I know I know, of course I am valued as a wife and mother.
What I mean to say is I miss working my brain.
Oh, that does not sound quite right either.
I mean if motherhood does not keep a girl on her toes, what will.
Yes it allows me to problem solve, be creative, be bossy, have an action plan, change said action plan, be spontaneous, flexible, consistent, clever, stylish, and all those other qualities a professional life provides, but…
I cannot say it is even adult conversation I miss. Because Emily and I have some pretty intelligent discussions.
I mean in some ways, motherhood gives me everything I have ever wanted in a job.
SO what is it I want again, and why?
Even if we won the lottery, I would still want to work and contribute to society in some way, shape, or form.
I guess what I am trying to say is, I want to make my world bigger so I can make Little’s world better.
Dinner passed without incident, followed by a tiny play before Emily began to lose it.
However, I was utterly shocked when after giving sweetie pie her bottle, she went down without a peep. As in simply rolled over and went to sleep.
We had put a blanket down under her sheet, as the cot floor was a kin to sleeping on the ground.
I thought for sure I would be in for a rough night, but oh how deliciously wrong I was.
Katie left me at home for an hour or so while she and Rosy went and picked up Paul from the station, along with what is fast becoming another Katie and Meg tradition of take away pizza.
Thank God for wifi, but oh, how lovely it would have been to either watch a movie, or better yet, write some of this blog.
However is not that always the way, the one time I did not have a keyboard, and it was the one time I could have made proper use of it.
By the time everyone returned, I was well and truly over the idea of dinner, and very much ready for bed.
In fact, I had struggled to keep awake in the quietness of the almost empty house.
However, I gobbled down my food as a woman possessed, as we all chattered, and watched Rosy’s antics.
She is such a cutie.
Paul is just the same as he was ten years previously.
A little softer around the edges perhaps, but fatherhood will do that to a man.
As much as I wanted to stay up and talk, my body needed to lie down and absorb the darkness of night. Therefore, I excused myself, and crept into the bed next to Little.
Oh my God, how I love sleeping in the same room as her.
There is nothing sweeter than the sound of her breathing.
I lay for a long time, forcing myself to remain conscious, just so I could stretch the blissful experience across moment after moment. I wanted to feel it from every angle. To ride it through space.
How do I explain the rhythmical magnitude of her life force, and its effect upon me?
I was flooded with gratitude, peace, and love as I listened to her sleeping sounds.
Emily Kate, you are beautiful!
You are beautiful, amazing, clever, powerful, joyful, and so many other indescribable things.
I love you so much.
Words do not begin to do justice to how daddy and I feel about you.
Your voice echoing through our world brings more happiness and warmth to my heart than it can hold.
Even the thought of you brings a smile to my face.
It was 4:17AM, which was really 5:17AM in body clock time due to the changeover in daylight saving when the baby girl woke for a feed.
Wow, I thought, as I fumbled for the bottle on the nightstand.
Katie and I had made up four full bottles in preparation for the potential choppy seas of spending the night in a new bed and unfamiliar environment, but it turned out we did not need them.
Emily guzzled her bottle, I changed her nappy, and she went straight back down to sleep.
We really must have worn her out yesterday; I mused as I rolled back over and snuggled into myself.
Even though Little slept well, I did not, as I was constantly waking in readiness to tend to her needs.
Sleep when the baby sleeps they say, but what do they know?
Sleeping when the baby sleeps is almost impossible when you are used to the baby not sleeping.
Thirty minutes later, she was awake again, so being the mama who did not want to get out of bed; I gave her another bottle, and brought her in with me.
I knew it would not work, but I also knew she was not quite ready to be awake.
Happily, we played quietly on mummy’s bed for an hour, occasionally dozing off together, but then waking fitfully.
However then the miracle happened. The cutie cute cute cute fell asleep with her head on my chest and her body in the crook of my arm.
It was divine to lay there asleep with her the way we used to do when she was a tiny baby.
Funny, because remember when Michael and I said we were never going to let her in our bed?
Well, now we miss that.
In my pre-parenting days, I used to worry that allowing us all in the same bed would destroy the intimacy I experience with my husband by sleeping next to him every night. And I worried it would create a clingy child. At least that is what I had been told – by parents who are against it.
However what we have found is that bringing baby girl to sleep with us on the odd occasion, has served to strengthen our connection and bond with one another as a family.
Thus, I was delighted with this unexpected turn of events.
It was close to 8:00AM when we stirred.
As so often happens, I wake thirty seconds before Little, and she seems to sense my state of consciousness and awakens. Even if we are in separate rooms, she does this.
Out to the lounge room we went to find Benny.
Emily was so excited to see him asleep on the lounge.
Benny I am not really sure you are supposed to be there.
Katie followed us out a couple of minutes later and ever the gracious hostess made a b-line for the coffee machine.
I had offered to bring ours down, but she had since purchased one off the buy swap and sell site, thereby saving the daily trip to the local service station to use theirs.
Shall we have blueberry pancakes, she asked, getting the eggs out of the fridge.
Sounds perfect, I responded as I began to feed Emily her oats.
I find it really difficult to think about what I want to eat until Little is taken care of, so Katie could have offered me almost anything at that point, and I would have said yes.
Luckily, for me, I know she makes great blueberry pancakes, chock full of goodness. The kind of goodness I could share with baby girl.
Sure enough, the cutie cute cute cute loved them.
In yet another olive branch, I tried to win Rosy over by having her hop in the shower with me.
I knew that showers were her favourite thing, and as it happens, they are mine as well.
SO Katie and I swapped babies.
She did Emily’s dirty nappy, and I took Rosy Posy to the land of bread and honey.
How do I put this; Katie has the best showerhead in the world.
It was a bit of a ratty morning in terms of weather, so the girls pottered through the house.
Rosy was not in a mood to share her toys, but Paul intervened as necessary.
I was a bit worried about whether Emily would take to Paul, as his movements, manner, and voice are so different to daddy’s.
For example, Paul’s happy voice is as loud and abrupt as daddy’s cranky voice. And I was worried Emily would be frightened by his quickness of movement, and comparative tone.
However, I need not have concerned my pretty little head about it, because they made friends almost instantly.
Katie told me that he kept pulling funny faces at her, which she would have absolutely loved.
I will have to ask Michael if he does that.
I wonder if Emily makes them as well.
She followed Paul around, gave him big smiles, and even helped him eat his breakfast.
Thanks for sharing buddy.
Between splitting her time with Paul, Benny, Rosy, Rosy’s toys, and generally exploring the place, I felt as though I hardly saw my daughter.
I am so used to having her climb all over me, that it was almost strange.
Her new enthusiasm for independent play is still something I am coming to terms with.
Do not get me wrong, I love it. I am just used to the physical contact these days, and feel as though something is amiss when I don’t have it.
Luckily, Michael gives the best cuddles, so even when Little decides she is too big for them; I will have my darling husband.
There was nothing else for it, we had to start going through Katie’s clothes in preparation for her big upcoming inter-state move.
I am going to miss her when she goes.
Admittedly, it took a little convincing from me on her part, but eventually I talked her into getting started.
And by a little, I mean a lot.
I love love love going through people’s wardrobes. Because obviously I get first pick at the discarded glad rags, but because I have, not only a knack for what should stay and what should go.
Cannot explain it, but I am spot on every time.
I know it goes against the whole blindy thing.
But I really am very good at this game.
Katie had a lot of clothes when we lived together. However, this was a whole new level of clothing clutter.
Back and forth, we went arguing over this pair of pants and that coat.
If she had gotten her way, she would have kept almost everything.
If I had gotten mine, she would have cleared out 80% of her things.
We compromised, or at least that is what she will call it. She got to keep a lot more than 50% of her attire. And that was just one cupboard.
We are yet to do the rest of the house.
I will be back girl, so be prepared.
Katie has this wacky sense of anything goes fashion. Rather like her universe, now I come to think of it.
I have always admired how she will throw the most random things together, and somehow pull them off. Combinations that I could never get away with in a million years.
She reminds me of my friend Vanessa in that way.
Admittedly, I am getting better at the funk, but it is a slow and incremental process.
However the biggest benefit to come out of this clearing ritual, not including we finally found the length short that looks good on me, was the lightness of spirit Katie felt afterward.
We made a pile for keeping, a pile for the opp shop, a pile for Rosy, a pile for me, and a pile of coat hangers.
The girls loved the hangers.
Meanwhile Paul did his thing, and reglued the tiles in the bathroom. A job he had been planning on for quite some time if memory serves me correctly.
Only once did he walk down the hall while I had my pants down.
Umm, yeah, awkward!
Sorry Mr Harris.
What was I saying about that no naked polacy while boys are in the house?
Even though he left us alone to play by ourselves much of the time, I have to say the feel was different.
I was aware of the dent in his week that Emily’s presents and I was creating.
At one point as we stood over the kitchen counter eating left over pizza, I suggested to Katie that we should call Michael to come and get us. Paul had intervened over some toy or another between the girls, and I just knew we were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Not because he had intervened, but because I knew we were taking away from his time with his family.
Thankfully, Emily seemed oblivious to mamas worries, or if she were aware, she simply let my anxiety slip off her back like water off feathers as so she should. After all, they were and are not hers.
I put Emily’s naptime to as late as possible, hoping that she would be sleepy enough to go down.
She had been snacking pretty much non-stop since we had risen, so lunch was not a big affair. I gave her a bottle, put her down, and prayed to God that she would repeat the previous night’s peacefulness.
I was fully prepared for her to not go down, so imagine my relief and surprise when she did.
I thought she might have opted for a power nap, given all the good things, which awaited her outside those meshy cot walls, but no.
My daughter slept for two and a half hours.
Two and a half hours whereby I fretted as to whether or not I should get her up.
Two and a half hours whereby we watched a crappy movie on netflicks with audio describe.
I had never watched anything with audio describe before.
It is funny, because I thought I would love it. However, it was almost too much information.
I am used to watching movies or television with only my reliance on the dialogue, so my brain found it hard to digest.
Who knew that facial expressions mattered so much?
And who knew there were so many of them.
Sweetie pie woke up happy and refreshed. I swear to God she grew taller while enjoying that little regroup.
There is a lot to be said for all those colours and objects strewn throughout Katie’s house. Not only do they keep a baby occupied, but also they make her sleep deeply to recover.
The remainder of the afternoon was followed with more eating, more playing, and more television watching by a certain madam butterfly bottom.
We do not normally have the television on during the day at home, so Emily does not get to watch it. Therefore, the magic screen fascinated her. Not only that, but there was a computer with pretty moving pictures, and a phone. Neither of which sweetie pie is allowed at home.
She was in electronic heaven.
The time seemed to fly, and before I knew it, my daughter was asking for her dinner, had done yet another major pooh, needed a bath, and went to bed.
This time, I was prepared for the bath, and no nudy run was required by either of us.
I tried to simulate her bedtime ritual the same as what daddy would do. SO we played on the bed, giggling and tickling as I got her dressed into her pyjamas before offering her some milk.
Once again, she went down easily and quietly.
Only occasionally throughout the night would I have to go in and give her some water, and settle her back down.
Good girl, honey. That was very good sleeping.
Paul had made a lamb casserole soup thing in the slow cooker for dinner, which was lovely, thank you.
After which I wandered into the lounge room, as is my habit, and sat down quietly.
Rosy came and sat on my lap, and we watched the iPad together.
She is a wiz at that thing.
After playing with her, I can see how one of these is going to be very helpful for Little – if we are ever in a position to afford it.
Meanwhile, Paul was watching television, and enjoying a couple of beers.
It was clear he wanted to chat.
The problem for me is that after someone has had a couple of beers, I tend to want to withdraw.
It is a residual behaviour born from having an alcoholic father.
I have some pretty fierce default settings around this stuff, which may not always be justified.
Therefore, I found it confronting to be faced with a situation of someone who wanted to connect with me, but at the same time felt as though they needed the help of some liquid courage to do so.
I only say that, because I am fairly sure he would not have asked me about my blindiness if he were sober, because his sense of social etiquette would not have allowed him to be so bold.
Therefore, on that level I understand.
However on another level, to my mind, alcohol is a disconnect. Particularly if one party is drinking, and the other is not.
This isn’t to say I don’t like a good drop every now and then.
Good Lord I have some stories from my younger days, which I hope Emily never learns.
However, I felt I was having a conversation from the back foot, and there was nowhere to move.
It did not feel equal.
If that makes sense.
Even though rationally I knew there was no need to worry, a more primal part of me felt vulnerable.
Back and forth our banter travelled, as I answered his questions regarding my life, what I could see, and yes indeed how beautiful my baby is.
Thanks for that last one Paul, yes, she is lovely.
However I felt it was all about him asking the questions, rather than a truly authentic let us get to know one another type scenario.
Sometimes he would ask the same question over, and I would give the same answer.
And over and over again.
The relentlessness and slight sleur to his voice took me back to a different space and time.
It sent me into a tale-spin, and I had to work hard on keeping a handle on my being.
My auto-response was to placate the man with the drink in his hand.
For just as the sound of the ocean, the scent of night jasmine, sunshine on my back, or a quiet afternoon in the kitchen baking chocolate cake brings a smile to my face, the crack of a tinny being opened makes the hair on my neck stand up and my entire body involuntarily stiffen.
My brain goes into high alert, and my addrenalin starts pumping as I begin to strategise the best way to keep myself safe.
All this happens within a tenth of a second, and I barely notice.
It is only the knot of dread in my stomach that gives me away.
Of course nobody else in the room is aware of my reaction, and nor should they be.
After all, it was Paul’s castle, and I was a guest. As far as I am concerned the gentleman can do whatever the hell he wants.
How was he to know that his attempt at kindness, is the one thing which sends me running for the hills and howling in despair
This is not something I am comfortable discussing. There is a shame around it so deep, so dark, and so disparraiging, that I prefer not to dig it up.
Paul, you are an amazing father, husband, and friend. But oh boy you can be a pain in the ass sometimes.
Thank you for taking care of my baby girl so well.
The funny thing is, even if there had been room in the conversation for me to ask anything, I wouldn’t have known what to say.
Partly because I had already gaged just how good a bloke he is by the way he treated Katie, Rosy, and my Little. And partly because I have gotten to know him through Katie Lee.
Again, thank you Paul.
I am the kind of person who is more likely to ask something as it comes up in an organic manner, rather than pump the questions out one after another. Unless of course I am deliberately stirring the pot. Which in that case, let the fun begin.
However as I said, I think Katie’s husband was just trying to get to know me better. I just wish he had done it over bacon and eggs, as opposed to a couple of bevvies.
Eventually it got to the point where I needed to go to bed any way.
Who knew what time Emily would wake for her next bottle, or how many times after that? Therefore, I excused myself, and headed to my room.
Once again, I lay there in a cocoon of bliss balls listening to my daughter breathe.
Oh my God Little, you take my breath away with your peacefulness.
Even thinking about it now, I realise how powerful you are, and how much I have to learn.
You are so present and trusting.
I need to be more of that.
down to how you launch yourself off the play equipment, the lounge, or a table into our arms. There is no hesitancy in your movements or mind.
You know we will always catch you.
I love that.
I wish I had that.
The night was a little more restless than the one previously, but still nothing like when we are at home.
Each time she woke, I gave her a big bottle, and put her back without fuss.
At home we have started to give her half size bottles during the night, but I figured when at Katie’s there are so many new things, and her brain is taking in so much, that she could use all the nutrition I can give her to help those neurons develop.
We were up early on Monday morning.
Thankfully, the birds at Katie’s house wake up later than the kookaburras at around our area.
At least it is light outside, I thought as I rolled toward those pretty blue eyes peeping over the top of the travelling cot.
Wake, Little said as she saw my face.
Do you want to come in with mummy, I asked as she jumped with excitement and gave her little heh sound.
I had just pulled her up on to the bed, and we were chatting quietly when Katie snuck in to see us.
Oh poor Katie, I thought as she gave Emily a big smile. She went to bed so late, and is now up again with us, I mused as I sat up and rubbed my eyes.
Coffee, she enquired.
Absolutely, I replied picking the baby up and following her out to the kitchen.
You can go back to bed you know, I said to her as I put sweetie pie down to torment Benny.
Sorry puppy dog, but no rest for the wicked.
We sipped our coffee quietly as Emily pottered about. She had not long since had a bottle of milk, so was not quite ready for breakfast with her usual enthusiasm. However I am sure if I offered it to her, she would have eaten it.
I love how much she loves her food.
Again, she is so present with every bight, and really feels into the texture and taste of things.
Even as she sucks those bananas down, you can tell she is really thinking about what she is doing.
I hopped into the shower without any forethought of Little. By this, I mean I forgot to consciously check with Katie if it was ok that I left them together.
Ahh, so this is how Katie felt the last time I was down and she left Rosy with me by the side of the road without a second glance.
I had to laugh, because part of me was mortified that I had not asked, or considered it more fully. But not mortified enough to get out from under that delicious stream of hot water and go and see if they were ok.
Wow, I thought, I must really trust her, I continued along the chain.
My heart skipping a beat at the revelation.
She’s fine, I told myself as I continued to bask in my favourite place.
Sure enough, I came out all refreshed to find Katie and Emily pretty much doing what they were doing when I had departed ten minutes earlier.
Michael rang and suggested that Emily and I stay another day at Katie’s due to the weather being so horrid in Sydney that morning.
Part of me was surprised he had done that, but another part of me comprehended what a big big deal it was for him to allow Katie to drive us anywhere.
Little had never been in another person’s car before. Therefore he was being extra super cautious, and the weather must have been shit.
Normally we would have jumped at the chance to stay and play one more day, but I knew it was time to go.
Nonetheless, I ran it past Katie, and we both agreed.
Paul had tolerated us for long enough, and now wanted his family back.
I completely understood, and did not wish to intrude any further upon their space.
However, at the same time, I felt like crap.
I packed our bags and placed them on the veranda so when he woke up, he would have a visual of my intent.
I did not want him to think we were in for the long hall.
I wanted there to be no question in his mind regarding my position.
The problem was, not being able to drive myself meant that I felt completely trapped.
Sure, I could have called my husband, but that would have taken him two hours to arrive, and I could have effectively been home in that time.
And even if I were not, I would still be waiting.
The not being able to get us out of a situation where we had outstayed our welcome left me feeling disabled.
Fuck, I hate that feeling, and spend my life trying to avoid or negate it.
It is humiliating, disempowering, and distressing to say the least. Especially now that I have Little.
All I wanted to do was pack our things and drive away.
Ultimately stopping somewhere on the coast for the night, so Michael could have some more well-earned time off from the role of carer. Be it for me, or for Emily.
What makes it even harder is that I know of so many amazing blind women, who present so much more competently and capable than I do.
They make it look easy. And I feel terrible that I cannot keep up.
For example, I may do Little’s bath now, but I did not when she was younger.
Quietly I sat and waited for Katie to be ready; wondering if this is how I would always feel no matter where we roamed.
Is this why I like our home so much, I asked myself as I sat with Little as she climbed on Rosy’s table and pointed at the birds outside.
Perhaps it is not so much the lack of money in my world that bothers me, but the perceived lack of freedom in certain situations.
I have it in my head that some serious coin would somehow solve that dilemma.
However, would it really?
Paul and Rosy woke at about 10:30AM, which is a monster sleep in in our world, so well done you two.
I tried to make myself as small as possible, As I did not want to be in the way.
Do not get me wrong, Paul was polite enough, of course he would be.
However as I said, I knew.
The feeling of I am ready to have you two gone now was palpable.
So after a while, I hurried things up a smidge by loading our stuff into the back of Katie’s car.
Emily was getting tired, and I knew she needed a nap.
My hope was that we could time it in.
However trying to coordinate two little princesses and their sleep patterns was not easy.
Eventually we took off, I gave Emily a bottle, and she was asleep within minutes.
Meanwhile Rosy May had given up her car seat for my daughter, and was sitting in the spare.
I had expected her to put up more of a protest, but she handled the change quite well.
Again I explained to Rosy that I was Emily’s mummy, and the reason Emily had a bottle was because she did not drink milk from my boobies – even though I wish she would.
Rosy looked at me with astonishment.
She is a breast milk fan, and could not imagine life without that sweet sweet nectar.
The closer we got to home, the better the weather became.
Rosy sat quietly in the back and played with her toys.
Occasionally she would get restless, and we would need to find different things to entertain her.
Emily woke up five minutes before home, and did a nice big pooh in her pants just in time for daddy.
Thank God, it did not go all over Rosy’s chair, because we would have been in so much trouble.
I was surprised when Rosy followed me down the path toward our door, while Katie hung back and locked the car.
It was almost as though she felt more secure knowing that Emily had a different home.
I did not tell sweetie pie, we were going to see daddy, but she did recognise our landscaping, and became more and more excited as we skipped toward the gate.
Her tiny legs running madly against my hip.
Daddy… Daddy. Where are you daddy, I called as I opened the latch on our green courtyard door.
Emily could barely believe her eyes when she saw him.
She gave him a where have you been look.
He reached out his arms, and she jumped in.
One whiff of her bottom, and they were straight upstairs for a fresh nappy.
When he came back down, Emily was tucked nicely in her favourite spot, and would not move.
Even as I held my arms out to her, she just looked at me, smiled, and snuggled in even further.
Oh, you missed your daddy, I said, as she wiggled her legs in happiness.
Michael being the ever supportive and amazingist husband had prepared a nice chicken stir-fry and rice for Katie and me.
He said he knew we would be hungry on our arrival, and he wanted to make sure we were looked after.
The longer they stayed, the brighter and more relaxed Rosy became, which was lovely to see.
Ahh, that’s our girl, I thought as I watched her do laps of our lounge and take a spoon full of chicken, or rice, or the occasional random vegetable.
Whereas Emily will sit and eat, Rosy is a drive by snack kind of person.
It finally looked as though she was warming up to us, and now the weekend was over.
She had not eaten much all weekend, and we were a bit worried about that.
Katie thought it might be tooth pain, which let’s be honest, is not much fun for anyone.
I hoped it was not because she was upset with Emily and me invading her world.
When they left, I was sad to see them go, because I had not felt like Katie and I had gotten enough time together.
However, on the other hand, I also felt as though something had been fractured between us, and I was not sure it could be repaired.
It had never occurred to me that the girls would not want to be friends, given how Katie and I are so kindred spirity.
I wondered if we would ever see one another again, or if this was the end.
I questioned whether or not it was worth taking Emily down again, or if we should just leave things as they were.
I was so confused as I walked back inside the house, made a cup of tea, and sat down to watch my daughter climb all over her daddy, and show us all the new things she had learned from Rosy May.
It was pretty clear as we sat with her; she was going to be walking within days.
Part of me was surprised she did not do it when we were at Katie’s, because the way she looked at Rosy, and tried to emulate her was intense.
Why would she crawl, if she could use mummy’s fingers to help her run just as her friend did?
Thanks Rosy, you are a good teacher.
When it comes to my relationship with Katie, we are extraordinarily open, honest, and non-judgemental of ourselves.
Sure, we may be different, and we may do motherhood differently, but we simply understand one another.
We respect the differences, celebrate our sameness, and explore the inner and outer realms of the universe with love, laughter, and lots of chocolate.
Love you Katie girl.