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From Adventures Abound To Horsing Around

Week 56

I should preface this week’s post with several warnings.

Firstly, there will be a soapbox heavily involved. Therefore, if you do not want to hear me preach from it, then step away from the page.

Secondly, I am in a particularly bitchy mood, so this is not going to be pretty.

I have had the headache from hell for God knows how long, and even the pain relief with the word fort in the name is doing nothing to ease my discomfort.

I am the bear with a saw head. So watch out world.

How I am supposed to teach Little how to be gentle with herself, when I cannot do it for myself, I will never know.

Granted, maybe if I did not feel like I was failing on every front; it might be a bit easier.

Fuck, I am a terrible mother.

And that ladies and gentleman, has set the tone for the rest of this peace.

Thirdly, my syntax and spelling are especially especially shit this week.

I wonder how it can be Friday already.

It is a quiet morning at work, which on the one hand is good, because it means I get to enjoy this kick ass coffee and chocolate croissant, while I begin to recount the happenings of our week.

What can I say, yesterday’s was so good, I had to do it again.

Actually, I had wanted to get my coffee from somewhere else, but the barista remembered my order, so I felt bad to refuse him.

Way to get a girl to spend more money in your establishment dude, even if your coffee is crap.

See people, service will trump most of the time.

However, back to the work front, on the other hand, I am not making any money, and oh my God am I stressed.

Stressed stressed stressed strung out stressed.

I am so stressed that I am almost in denial regarding how dyer things are, because the idea of us actually getting through the next month is so far out my realm of possibility, that I cannot wrap my head around it.

For months, I have been thinking that it would be April when things began to turn around for us. I cannot explain how or why this is in my head, but I cannot shake the feeling that the wheel of fortune has stretched itself almost to the limit in one direction, and is about to fling back in the other.

However, in the meantime, my faith is being tested.

What are we going to do?

I am finally at the point where I need to be doing something with more meaning on a professional level.

Not just a job where we make enough to get by from week to week, and hope for the best.

I am hankering for something bigger, brassier, and that pays better.

I want to feel good about leaving the house.

I want to be intellectually challenged.

I want to work on a project where I can create a difference.

However… Oh my God however…

On the other hand, I wonder if I am depressed. I am so tired, and so defeated. I do not have the energy to fight.

There are so many causes, which keep crossing my path, particularly around inclusive design, which I know I could be of value, or I know someone else who could help make a difference in the world, but honestly, I cannot see the point.

Nothing is ever going to change.

This shit is relentless.

For example, it has been brought to my attention that not all, well actually hardly any playgrounds are designed with universal principles in mind. Basically, this means if your child has special needs, they are unable to access the equipment the way abled body children take for granted. Therefore, their play and integration into society as a matter of course is diminished, as is their skill development, and by extension is the development of their non-disabled peers.

At least that is how I see it.

I mean how are we supposed to raise a society of empathetic, tolerant, and flexible adults, if right from the get go, people with disabilities are inadvertently, or not so inadvertently excluded from the mix.

The parks and playgrounds of our suburbs are where kids learn to socialise and interact with one another in a broader context.

They are the proofing grounds for what the next generation will become. So surely, it makes sense that they are built with a more flexible and innovative mindset and set of design practices.

Sure, I understand we cannot please all of the people all of the time, which is why the phrase universal design has been ditched in favour of the more flexibly named inclusive design. However, the point is, town planners, politicians, and decision makers could be doing a lot more to make this a reality.

And no, it would not have to cost any more money, if that is the argument. In fact, it could cost less. But let’s not have logic or common sense get in the way of a supposed budget.

It angers me that the councils I am aware of, do not employ access consultants, who are specialists in the built environment, and how people access, engage, and interact with it, on the books as a matter of course.

Decisions on upgrading our equipment are being made by ignorant careless wankers who do not give a toss, or a thought for community expectations or needs.

Ok, so they may not all be careless, or ignorant, or even wankers, but you know what I mean.

There needs to be more forethought, and possibly more research and community awareness and consultation around this stuff.

I mean how can they possibly operate without an inclusive polacy or framework in place, and think this is acceptable. Or worse, use standards, which are out of date.

I know it would take only a couple of well strategized and articulate conversations in order to help said ignorant careless wankers see the light, but again, what is the point. You cannot make people care about something they do not care about. And you cannot make people understand the consequences of their actions, when they have no emotionality or personal context from which to relate.

For many bureaucrats, their job is just a job, and they simply do not realise what they do.

Obviously, I am upset by it, but more than that, I am overwhelmed. I am so overwhelmed.

Whether it comes back to, we are so far in survival mode at the moment, that I simply don’t have the energy to eat this elephant, or because the relentlessness of my own disability has me on the back foot, I cannot say.

I feel I should be braver, smarter, and more strategic in how I approach life, but I just do not have the will.

Not to mention that society thinks they should be able to access my brand of expertise for free.

Why, because I am disabled, and am therefore undervalued, and they are doing me a favour by offering me the work experience.

I want to shout back at them that I matter, and my contribution is of value, and will actually save them money, time, and resources. However, I simply nod, smile, call them dirty names in my head, and thank them for their time.

Grrrrr, I am so angry!

In a bid to keep me buoyant, Michael keeps reminding me what a powerful agent for change and influence I am, and of all the qualities, he fell in love with, but they seem to bounce off my ears before I can absorb the truth of his comments.

All I can do is focus on what I am not doing. What I am not providing. And who I am not being.

I know I am bigger than all this.

I know I am happier than all this.

And on some deep dark level, I know I am enough.

If only I knew how to put those things into action, and leverage them to get us out of this shitty situation.

God I hope he is strong enough to stick this storm out with me, because from where I stand, right now, it is not a pretty picture.

Sorry lover.

Maybe, just maybe if money were no object, then absolutely I would know how to tackle this, and many more injustices, which are pissing me off right now.

I want to make a difference; honestly, I do, but…

But, all those things above.

I hate feeling defeated.

No, it is more than that. I hate feeling powerless.

I feel so small, and the universe is so big, but this is not a comfort.

It seems I have lost my perspective.

I am worried that Michael’s reluctance to help with the website for our business means that we are going to miss out.

I am worried it is going to be one of those regrets, where I wished we had taken more action.

I know what we have to offer can make a difference to people’s lives, attitudes, and confidence, and that shit matters.

I just wish we were further along than we are.

Right now, this company is an expensive hobby we cannot afford, but an aspiration I cannot afford to give up on.

I need this!

Unbelievably, it is not actually about the money. This is one of those things, that even if we won the lottery tomorrow, I would still work on.

Oh my gosh imagine that! Imagine if I could go around the world with our funky canes, and other cool stuff, speaking to different groups of people, doing my blog, writing books, and generally just having a good time. That would be amazing.

Michael could actualise all the ideas he has in his head, and then some.

Baby girl would have two happy and productive parents, who were living on purpose, and showing her how much fun the world can be.

What a life for Little. She would love that.

There are so many places I want to go and see.

I have this idea of taking blind adventurers hiking and holidaying all over this glorious planet of ours.

Now that would be cool!

At the moment, I live vicariously through my friends Chris and Heather, because they have an awesome nomadic life.

Monday we were still at hotel Katie Lee’s.

Emily woke early, although not too early, all things considered. I mean the birds were up, the sun was up, and daylight saving had just ended.

It was adorable to see her big blue eyes pop up over the cot railing and say hello.

Do you want to come into bed with mummy, I asked as I stretched and rolled toward her.

She gave a little laugh and a jump, which means yes.

She was sitting on the bed when Katie Lee came in and offered us a cup of coffee.

I was surprised to see her up, given I knew how late she got to sleep.

We must seriously wear her out, I thought as we all trundled out to the kitchen.

Rosy goes to bed later than Emily goes, and subsequently gets up much later. Which means Katie gets the bulk of her sleep in the mornings.

I don’t think we saw Rosy’s pretty face until almost 10:30AM that day.

Well done little honey. You’re a good sleeper inner.

In the meantime, Emily pottered and played the way she does, while I organised our things so we could leave.

I made sure everything was out on the front porch before time, so that Paul could have a visual of my intent.

Oh what I would have done to be able to pack our own car, and simply hop in and go home.

It was not that we were missing daddy, but rather we, we being me, felt as though we had outstayed our welcome.

I know I could have called Michael, and saved Katie the trip, but even that would have taken two hours for him to arrive, and I just wanted to be somewhere else.

I fantasized about just being able to take Little and maybe spend the night in a hotel somewhere on the coast. But…

I had to keep mentally slapping myself, and sucking it up.

The situation was what it was. It was what I knew it would be coming into it, and after all, that was my choice.

But I hate feeling marooned like that.

Eventually I got everything into the back of the car; we strapped the girls in, and headed to Sydney.

This was Emily’s first time in a car other than her own.

I am not quite sure if Katie knew how significant it was that Michael allowed her to drive us home.

He had run earlier to suggest we stay another day because it was raining so hard in our area.

He never does that.

After a quick bottle, Emily slept most of the way home while Rosy chattered.

Thanks for giving us your car seat for the ride Rosy May, we really appreciate it.

And of course, thank you Katie for driving us home.

I deliberately did not tell Emily we would be seeing daddy, and it was not until the front gate that I began to call his name.

He said the smile on her face when they saw one another was priceless.

He took her out of my arms before I was barely in the door, and gave her a big huge loving I missed you I am so glad to see you cuddle.

Even after he had taken her upstairs and changed her dirty nappy, and she was sitting in her spot, when I approached she did not make a move.

Normally she will jump from one to the other of us like a flee. But nope, this was all about the daddy.

Ever the thoughtful husband he had prepared lunch for Katie and I. Knowing that we would be hungry upon our arrival, after which Rosy and Katie headed home.

Thanks darling, it was delicious.

We spent our afternoon watching Emily Kate stand up all by herself.

It won’t be long until she is walking, we said to one another on more than one occasion.

Stand up sit down stand up plop down stand up flop down stand up sit down stand up wibble wobble flop plop sit. And so it went.

Then as usual just before bath time, Emily and daddy went for a quick trip to the park. Just to make sure there was enough dirt under her fingernails to warrant a nice warm bath.

By the time we finished, she had to skip dinner because she was too tired and just needed to go to bed.

I was relieved when she went down without a peep. However too bad it did not stay that way.

Sorry honey.

She woke up almost every hour on the hour. And was pretty much up from 3:00AM on Tuesday morning.

I think Michael gave up and got up with her by 5:30AM, but talk about undoing the sleep he had caught up upon the two nights previously.

The superhero husband has done every morning this week.

Whether that be because he has a couple of trips away lined up, and knows that he is effectively guaranteed a good night’s sleep in the near future, or just because he senses how overwrought I am regarding our situation, and can barely hold it together, I cannot say.

Either way, thanks honey.

I was glad not to be going to work on Tuesday, as I was so worn out from our weekend away.

I had hoped the change of environment would have energised and inspired me, but I was flat as a tack.

It was abundantly clear that Emily was not herself, and in desperate need of, and I am almost walking but everything hurts and my mummy cannot figure out where the ouch is service from the best baby mechanic ever.

Clearly, mummy had to get on top of her shit and make it happen.

Tuesday morning Emily and daddy went to the good park to meet their friends, so I could get some work done on the website.

Yep, still slogging away at that monster.

By the time, I am done with this beast I will be an expert. Therefore, anyone who wants a WordPress site built for them should approach with caution, cash, and chocolate. Copious amounts of chocolate.

Oh my God, what am I saying! Chocolate will not pay the bills or buy Michael some new clothes.

Cash, cold hard gorgeous practical used for exchanging goods and services cash if you please.

And depending on the terms of our agreement, you can consider it done.

I promise it will not take me nearly as long as this first one has, as I have made every plausible mistake, and been stuck in every snag of indecision of overwhelm known to man and cyber-snob alike.

But I will breathe life into this monstrosity yet.

After all, I have wasted too many hours, resources, and pretty brown hairs, on it to back down now.

Emily and Michael must have had a good time, because I did not see them for almost two hours. And when they did arrive home, daddy put the sleepy head in her cot straight away, before heading back out himself for a swim.

When she woke, we did our usual long ladies lunch thing before heading into the backyard to eat some leaves.

However when daddy arrived home, they were back out down the park for another round of slippery-dips, swings, and wood chip throwing.

We have a champion playground goer on our hands.

Again, this gave me more time to work on the website, and although it may have taken me three hours to figure out how to get the home page to act like the home page instead of the questions page, I triumphed over the evil little gremlin living inside my dashboard trying to thwart my intelligence.

Take that sucker!

Too bad, I cannot get the graphics to do what I want though.

Still, a girl has to take her wins where she can get them.

Getting Emily down was a bit of a nightmare, but I guess that is not unusual.

The only thing, which kept me sane throughout the ordeal, apart from knowing that it was much worse to be her than me, was that I had organised to see John, the baby mechanic the next afternoon.

It almost goes without saying, that it was a rough night.

Poor sweetie pie must be teething, because she is chewing on everything and anything. Even her fingers. And she is back to bighting mummy’s shoulder.

I know it is not out of frustration, because there is something more urgent about how she does it.

I only hope the finger sucking does not become a habit.

Yep, I still have it in for the dummy. But still have not done anything about tackling that mountain of pain.

Wednesday morning her and daddy were up nice and early to greet the day.

All their chores were done by the time I called out to Miss Emily to come and jump on me as I lay hiding under the covers.

How on earth they get two loads of washing hung out, the dish washer unloaded, breakfast done and dusted, and the occasional drive to the mailbox in before I surface, usually no more than two hours after they do, is beyond me.

Still we are lucky to get some toys scattered across the lounge room floor, and a full buffet breakfast in before daddy gets up if it is his turn for a sleeping.

Wednesday morning we pretty much just pottered around the house before Emily had a nap.

Michael and I have taken to having our coffee outside again, and putting Emily in her tree swing while we drink it.

As is part of our summer time routine, Michael went for a swim and to run errands while I stayed home with madam butterfly bottom.

Before I knew it, it was time to get baby girl dressed, put her on the hippy thing, and head into the city to see John.

I had balked at the appointment, because I was not sure how Little would cope with being out so late. However when it came down to brass tacks, we could not afford not to go. She was uncomfortable, and none of my ex-baby-whispering tricks worked.

Ok, so clearing the lymph from just below her right ear, helped a little, but there was still something else going on apart from an earache that I could not quite identify.

I considered taking the pram, but decided against it, as the cutie cute cute cute was so cuddly and snuggly that day. Therefore it made sense to have her on my person.

I think I am lucky like that. In terms of I don’t insist on using one device over another. So the times Emily needs more physical contact, we opt for the hippy thing, and the times she is needing her space we go for the pram.

Or at least that is how I try to work the situation.

Only sometimes is it about what my need is more.

And by that I mean, the sometimes that I am so exhausted at the thought of having to go out, we simply stay home.

I feel so guilty when that happens, because I don’t think Emily should have to miss out purely because of my disability.

I mean of course I do what I can to counteract such limitations and logistics, but sometimes I have to confess to it being all too hard.

Sorry sweetie, I am doing my best.

Right now, there is not enough fuel in the tank though for my best to be anything more than a lame assed attempt at whatever this is.

Sadly, my exercise regime has fallen by the wayside, and this lack of endorphin provoking activity is not helping any of us.

I feel fat, sloppy, and slushy.

Only once have I put the weights back in my pack this last week, and even that was only five kilos.

How do I get it all done?

How do I move my body, and the business?

It seems to be one or the other, yet neither can survive unless they work in tandem.

Have I mentioned how grumpy I am of late?

Happily, we hopped on the train, and left daddy to his own devices.

Having baby girl on my hip is so easy.

There were not too many people who were interested in making friends, so we had to amuse ourselves on the way in.

Half an hour is a long time when all you have is a mummy, and some train glass to kiss.

I have since decided it could be worse. It could be drinking the left over water, which pools in the door seal of our front loading washing machine.

I swear to God if she gets sick from that because a certain handsome husband has not wiped it out after each use, I will do unspeakable things to his genitals. And I do not mean the good type of unspeakable. I mean the unspeakable unspeakable, which may or may not involve his favourite cheese knife.

Yeah, you heard me darling.

We had five or so minutes to pass while waiting for John, so I thought I would make things a little more interesting. So instead of going our normal way to his clinic, we by-passed through Victoria’s Basement, which is basically a kitchen wear shop, stacked to the hilt with breakables on every jutty outy surface, and beyond.

There are boxes of glass wear and crystals stacked hither and dither on tables, on the floor, behind pillars, and all over the place. And it would not take much for a careless swing of the cane to nock something over, let alone a quick curious hand…

Yep, baby on one hip, big bold nappy bag on the other, one long white cane, sunnies, and the cutest pair of shorts courtesy of Katie lee, and through we went.

It was a brash move I know, but it really had to be done.

I wanted to be the blind chick with a baby in a china shop, even if only for my amusement.

What can I say, I was not feeling particularly accomplished that day, so I had to do something to up my sense of meaning in the world.

However, that buzz was short lived, so then I walked the nine flights of stairs to get to John’s instead of taking the lift.

It was not as difficult as I expected, and we got to level eight only one flight of stairs sooner than I thought, but still, it could be easier and faster if I kept it up more often.

The security guard looked at us as if we were nuts.

Emily amused herself once there by unstacking every lacrosse ball on the shelf, and trying to eat the pretty soaps, which were also at her level as we waited.

Our appointment with John was short but sweet, and definitely effective.

Emily did not enjoy it at all though.

Sorry honey, but we had to make things better.

John, as usual, you are a genius, and we are happy with your work.

Afterward Emily had to stop and play with our friends Kirsty and Kim, who mummy happens to work with, before we braved the peak hour traffic.

Oh my God, now that was an experience.

I knew it would be intense, but I was not quite prepared for just how oblivious people really are at that time of day.

Thankfully, for all concerned, nobody bumped us, because heaven help them if they had.

Seriously, what do sighted people do with their eyes?

DO you see anything?

I was grateful to make it on to the train and find a seat without incident.

The vestibule was crowded, but a big big thank you goes out to all the commuters who waved at Emily as she enthusiastically waved hello as everyone walked by us on the platform.

She has only just learned to do that, so I appreciate the interaction and acknowledgement of her humanity.

And yet another big big thank you goes out to all our fellow passengers who smiled, said hello, picked up her toys, made eye contact, and even shared their time, seats, and words with my baby girl as we journeyed together like the proverbial can of sardines.

You made our trip home so much more enjoyable.

We have never been out that late before, and she was a tired cutie cute cute cute.

I had accidently left her emergency bottle of milk in the sink at home, so if it was not for the good will of all around us, it could have been a long trip for everyone. Especially Little.

I felt so clever being out in the almost darkness, as though I really had achieved something.

SO again, thank you all for your kindness.

You will never know how much I needed us to have a positive experience.

I try and avoid peak hour where possible, but this one had to be done.

However, it is with pride I can say we have nailed our first peak hour experience on Sydney’s public transport, and are looking forward to our next milestone of blind mama aspirations.

Hello airport…

It took sweetie pie a little while to unwind after we got home, but oh, how well she slept.

On Thursday morning, she woke in high spirits.

She and Michael had arranged to go to grandma’s house for lunch.

I had been meaning to ring my mother in law for days, but had not gotten around to it, so was glad that Michael had taken the initiative.

He would not let me in the kitchen to make a cake to send with them for morning tea though.

Only because it was so last minute when he told me.

Again, I let his wisdom prevail, because I suspect he sees something within me at the moment that I am unwilling to see myself.

Work was quiet, so after three hours of nothingness, and a computer with no battery life because guess who forgot their charger, I came home.

It was nice to have the house to myself for a couple of hours, and although I frittered the time talking to my friend Liz, when I probably should have been doing other things, I have to admit I did feel better after our conversation.

Thanks Liz, you’re the best.

Meanwhile Emily had a really good sleep on the way to grandma’s, and spent the morning playing on the floor with her.

They had lunch together, followed by more playing before getting in the car to come home.

Again, Emily slept most of the way, and was a bundle of joy when they walked in the door.

There were so many things to say and cuddles to give.

We had to duck out to the supermarket and a quick trip to the doctors for mummy, and although it was no picnic in the park, it was better than nothing.

We are sorry to report that only five out of the six magazines sitting on the doctors weighting room table had a Kardashian on the cover.

The last one was a golfing magazine.

I knew that getting her down that night would be a challenge, but not in a nails down a chalk board way, but in a I have had such a big exciting day way, and you weren’t there mummy so I have to keep talking until I fall asleep type way.

She was like a Mexican jumping bean with her movements as I sat by her cot, and let her hold my hand and wriggle about.

It took almost an hour, and a bit of a tag team between Michael and me, but finally finally we got our baby girl to sleep.

Friday was another workday for mama, which is when I started this bad boy.

Apparently, it was too wet to go to the park that day, and sweetie pie fell asleep five minutes before they were due to go to the library for story time.

Michael could not believe it when she slept for almost three hours.

Well done cutie cute cute cute.

As usual, they met me at the station in the afternoon, and we came home for afternoon tea.

I used to fret about Michael’s habit of biscuits and cheese before dinner, but now I have embraced it.

Now we all sit down on the kitchen floor and have a snack, even if dinner is only half an hour or an hour away.

I mean does it really matter.

As long as the guy keeps making me my coffee in bed of a morning, who am I to fight the system.

Thanks honey, you rock.

I made the fatal mistake on Friday night, of putting Little down, and walking out of her room straight away.

Honestly, I was sick of watching her go to sleep. I mean what is that about.

I just wanted to put her down, have her roll over, and nod off into sweet dreams.

But no.

No chance, no way, no how.

I was about to pay for my selfishness, and oh boy was it going to cost me.

She screamed the house down as I sat on the top step outside my office and monitored the sound of her tears.

I knew she was pushing my buttons, and it was all I could do not to throw her empty bottle of milk down the stairs in protest.

I don’t know what it is about that particular cry, but oh my God. Any vestige of maturity or adulthood I have seems to go out the window when she uses it.

It drives me bananas within about three seconds.

I guess it isn’t her fault really. I mean I am so angry at the world of late.

What I really need to do is let go of my judgement of her, and just roll with it more.

Sorry sweetie, mummy doesn’t know what has come over here this week.

I don’t want to be this bitter bitchy person, but oh my God!!! I don’t even know how to describe it.

Everything pisses me off.

The obvious unsustainability of the National Disability Scheme which is about to be rolled out in July of this year pisses me off.

People’s use of mobile phones while they are walking instead of watching where they are going pisses me off.

A late running train pisses me off.

Losing my keys pisses me off.

A shitty cup of coffee, broken escalator, crack in the footpath, or teenager smoking pot in the park next door pisses me off.

The colour red pisses me off.

Yeah, I know I am in sane.

This is definitely not the week to cross or challenge me.

Whenever I announce I am going to bed in a certain tone, Michael knows there is something upsetting me. Which is why by 8:30PM on Friday night we were tucked up in bed. Me avoiding the world by burying my head under the covers, and he reading a psychological thriller beside me.

When Emily woke for her bottle at some point during the wee hours, rather than bringing her in with us, I got up and simply gave it to her in her cot.

I want to see if by doing it this way, she will learn to wake up less, because she knows she won’t be getting out, so what is the point.

The half size bottles are working well, and I think we can almost bring it down another 20mls, but who knows.

Again, I am still conflicted about this whole waking for a feed or three in the middle of the night.

It is still the same old argument regarding brain growth and development verses is this just a habit.

It looks like mummy has some more research to do.

I had hoped at 5:30AM on Saturday morning even though baby girl called out her version of hi, that she would go back down after a bottle.

Umm, no.

I was surprised when Michael got up and took her downstairs.

I had thought that it surely would have been my turn.

By 9:00AM, we were on our second or third cup of coffee, and sitting outside once again with Emily in her tree swing as we sat enjoying the morning sun.

Michael then went for a swim and to do the groceries, while one cutie cute cute cute and I continued to play outside in the yard.

Up and down her climbing frame, she went as I sat and watched.

Finally, finally, that sense of peace and contentment I had been craving all week descended over my being as a blanket of peace.

For twenty minutes, I watched our beautiful daughter practice her climbing and stepping and sliding and crashing.

For twenty minutes, I knew that all was well in our world.

I was not worried about money, our future, my next career move, or keeping the roof over our head.

For twenty minutes, I could bask in the accomplishment of Little being happy, and my knowing that we had provided her with the opportunity.

It is not that I am hell bent on her having a million things, but rather her having the time and space to find happiness, explore the world, enjoy her imagination, and use her body to capacity.

This is why I wanted us to have a climbing frame in the yard.

Having something big for her to play with means that I can sit back comfortably, and not have to listen for other kids, or worry about her safety too much.

That was quite a stack you had my little love. Are you ok?

Michael may not always understand the method to my madness, but I know if I follow my instincts on some of this stuff, he will see it after the fact.

Thanks for being so supportive honey.

He arrived home with bags upon bags of groceries just as I was getting Little ready to go out and meet Nicole and nanny.

It was Nicolas’s birthday, and we had arranged to meet in the city for the afternoon.

I was not sure what we would end up doing, so I packed everything I could think of in the bottom of the pram.

A nappy bag full of clothes, books, and toys. A big ball in case we went to the park.

And the hippy thing in case she wanted to be carried on someone’s hip.

For some reason I had been fretting about taking the pram, even though it was the weekend. However, Emily was all very independent yesterday, so I figured it was best to put her in her own wheels again.

The specific place, which was making me nervous, was navigating Town Hall station with its lifts, and escalators through the Queen Victoria Building.

However, it was not until we were pulling into Wynyard station, which is the stop before ours, that I had the genius lightbulb moment of getting off where we were, and approaching our destination from a different angle.

One lift, one set of barriers, and straight out on to George Street.

Actually, the reason it had come to me in a flash of brilliants, was because Little was bored and restless, and the person opposite us who was intent on reading his book kept looking at me strangely.

I was uncomfortable, and wanted to be out of his orb as soon as possible. So this was the perfect opportunity.

It was strange to be the mama with the pram and without the cane again.

I never know what people see, or how I am supposed to react to them.

Getting our pram into the lift was difficult as we left the platform, because there was already another in with us.

I was not sure whether to explain myself or not.

I did not.

The other mama did not seem friendly enough to start a conversation.

I just prayed we were not stuck in the jolty bolty lift for any length of time.

I trailed her to the barriers before splitting off and heading in the direction we needed.

On a whim, I crossed at the first set of lights, whereby normally I would keep on the same side of the road.

But it was not until Nicole and mum were walking me back to the train, that I found out our normal path had been completely blocked by barriers.

Thanks for looking out for us universe.

Whenever we are out, I ask the universe to make me aware of anything, which would not keep us safe, and then trust that we are going to be ok.

I trust I will hear the electric car, sitting idle at the traffic lights or the person in the joggers not watching where they are going.

I trust I will wheel the pram or arc my stick in such a way to avoid any obstacles, potholes, or hazards, which might be in our way.

I trust that other people will be aware enough of themselves and their surrounds, that they will keep themselves safe, and by extension, us as well.

I try to trust that a truck will not explode as it is driving past us.

And I really really really try and trust that if there are any spiders in the garden, that they will either move, or will not bight Little as she explores and plays with things.

God I worry about that last one the most.

She has bights on her, but I do not know what they are or where they come from.

My husband is his usual easy going self about them, but me.

I am the control freak of magnitude.

Things got tricky as we entered the open-air mall where the buskers play.

Holy crap they are loud, and there were a lot of people not watching where they were going, or illustrating any awareness of their environment, so the responsibility was on us.

Emily insisted on holding my left index finger in hers as we walked, which only left my right hand looped through the safety strap to push the pram.

I would like to announce that I am getting better at this, which surely must mean I am clocking up some pram pushing hours just like those yoga pants wearing mamas of my imagination.

Yes, they still exist.

And yes, I still compare myself to their impossible expectations.

Oh, to have an ass as perfectly sculpted as theirs.

Through the crowds, we went until we reached the front door of the Nespresso shop.

I said I would meet them up on the third floor, but I wasn’t quite sure if I were in the right place, so I had to wheel past, have a good sniff, a strained look, and then backtrack hoping the red wooden floor I thought I had seen was in fact a red wooden floor, and it was the right shop with the yellow down lights.

Usually there is someone at the door to greet a girl as she walks in, but it was strangely silent.

As I accidentally hit the lift button, I still hoped we were at the correct location.

It was not until I felt that familiar braille number three, on the big wooden rectangle inside the elevator that I knew.

We found mummy and Nicole without incident, and then headed for cheesy toast.

Emily spent much of her time sitting on our laps eating frozen peas.

I had brought far too much food for her, but I did not want to be stranded.

Peas are great because they take a long time to eat. Especially when you pick them up one tiny handful at a time.

I try to take Emily out for coffee as often as possible now. Because I want her to be one of those café kids, who is quite happy to sit there while mama chatters to her friends for an hour or so.

We all got our coffees in take away cups, just in case curious little hands wanted to reach out and grab them.

The tables at three-cheese toast café are tiny, so I knew fitting us all on there with our respective crockery and cutlery was going to be a bit of a squeeze.

After this, we spent the next hour shopping for a new nappy bag.

I could not think of anything else at the time. Even though I want new boots, a hat, a backpack, some jeans, jumpers, and jewellery.

There was not much that Nicole or mum wanted to look at, and given I never get to go shopping with company any more, I took advantage.

Little was her usual relaxed self in the pram, but given I did not actually have any expendable money, there was not much point in looking for anything. Therefore, it was difficult to get enthusiastic or interested.

Oh all that winter fashion, and nothing to aquire it with.

This is my sad face at the thought.

When we hopped on the train to return home, Emily instantly made friends with the people next to us.

I guess it must have been obvious that something was not quite right, when I stood at the entrance and asked if there were any seats.

It is strange, how when I reached down into the conglomerate of things which were stacked under our buggy that someone kindly asked if they could help.

I bet they would not have asked a sighted person, I thought as I fumbled for the water bottle.

Luckily, she did not do it in an offensive way, so I could not really get offended, but it was interesting nonetheless.

I could not quite derive a conclusion when I heard the sound of a plastic ball being kicked around the carriage. After all, ours was directly under my hand.

I had been toying with getting it out for Emily and her new friends to play with it, but that would have been silly, given we were on a train. What if she threw it out the door or it rolled down the stairs. Then what would we do, I wondered as I felt the plastic lumpy warts of it under my fingers.

It turned out that two boys had a blue ball, similar to ours, and were amusing themselves by playing soccer.

Normally I would judge the shit out of such behaviour, but it was the one thing, which got Emily back in her pram without her crying.

She had spent the last twenty minutes crawling between me and the woman next to us, but they were about to disembark, and we were not too far behind them in terms of stations.

Thanks boys, I appreciate the distraction.

Then low and behold, one of them offered to help me take the pram off the train.

I swear to God, you could have knocked me over with a feather.

Michael was right there to meet us on the platform.

We walked home together and quietly gave Little dinner, bath, and a bottle before bed.

She went down without a peep.

Why can’t it be like that every night baby girl?

This morning she was up early. Too early. 4:44AM kind of too early. In an act of desperation, I sat next to her cot, gave her my hand, and told her to go back to sleep.

Sometimes I wake up wide-awake at that time too, so I understood her readiness. However just as often, if I find Michael’s hand and slide mine beneath it, the physical touch can usually put me into the deepest sleep ever for a few hours.

I was hoping it would work for Little in the same way.

Sure enough, twenty minutes later, after her dozing off and waking up and dozing off again, she was asleep.

7:30AM I prayed to the angels of slumber as I crept out of the room and back into my bed.

I did not bother taking off my dressing gown, as I figured I would be up in the next five minutes anyway.

However low and behold, 7:42AM our little alarm sounded with a much happier hi than she had given us earlier.

I knew it was going to be a good day.

Her and I padded down stairs and began our buffet breakfast.

An hour later, daddy was up, and we were all outside playing.

The first moment I got, I headed for a hot shower.

I got dressed to the smell of bacon wafting up the stairs.

Oh, I do love a good food surprise.

Michael is doing everything in his power at the moment to bring me back to myself. And if that means making me the best roast lamb ever last night, then so be it. If it means giving me the last three lamb cutlets while he has chicken on Thursday night, then so be it. If that means ensuring there is a cupboard full of toilet paper then by God the man is making sure it happens.

Daddy surprised us by suggesting we go on a park crawl at our local show grounds.

What a good idea, I exclaimed as I scrambled to get Little out of her pyjamas.

She is getting better at helping dress herself, and can now push her arms through her top with little assistance.

She is so much easier now she can understand and give a verbal yes in answer to our questions.

Would you like a banana? Heh.

Would you like to change your nappy? Heh.

Would you like to go to the park? Heh.

Would you like some water? Heh.

Would you like to go box driving? Heh heh.

Box driving is a cardboard box, which we push around the lounge room with her in it.

Daddy started it.

God bless your cotton socks honey, I love how you just get in there and parent without hesitation. Whereas I would procrastinate about showing her the box and how it works, you just do it.

For someone who was unsure as to how they would relate with kids, you are truly brilliant and inspiring.

He is not afraid the way I am.

We are lucky to have you my darling.

Now if anyone knows what the word bacop or baca or bacac, or any other variation of that two-syllable sound is, we would greatly appreciate the input.

Little uses it a lot.

Almost as often as she uses the word bird.

Dogs Day Out read the sign as we drove into the show grounds.

Hmm, we thought as we looked for the first of our four playgrounds.

The car park was unusually full.

It would be nice for Little to see the puppy dogs, I said as we cruised past the big oval.

Yes, Michael readily agreed as we pulled into a spot and piled out of the vehicle.

The sound of children laughing could be heard through the trees, and we headed in its general direction.

The playground was large, plastic, and colourful.

Almost too big for baby girl.

However, she found a giant abacus to play with and daddy put her on a slippery-dip taller than his reach.

She could not believe it as she slid down. Her little face lit up in amazement.

Again and again we put her to the top of the slide and let her come down on her belly.

Soon enough it was time for the next park.

It was a big ropy and wooden playground. Definitely designed for the bigger kid in mind.

We had a quick swing, and then headed toward the horses.

The horses were a bonus, and we could barely believe our luck.

Sometimes there might be one or two up there, but never this many.

We stood at the edge of the dressage arena watching them circle in their fancy way.

The sound of their hooves brought shivers to my spine.

Oh God how I miss that sound from my youth.

The longer we stood there, the more I wanted a horse.

Naturally, Michael said no.

However the more I felt into it on an inner level, the more I realised just how little is standing between me, and horses being a bigger part of our reality.

Something worth contemplating further, me thinks.

Emily love love loved the horses, even though she kept calling them bird.

We think that is because she can hear the birds, but only see the horses.

It was not until one horse that was particularly vocal whinnied as she watched that her understanding of the animal in front of us began to broaden.

The third park was not very exciting, so we went back to looking at horses instead.

Finally, we headed toward where we thought the fourth park was situated, only to find the dog show type thing, and the outdoor trapeze being utilised.

We stood and watched for a few minutes as people unsuccessfully swang back and forth trying to catch one another before finally a small girl got it.

The moment we put Emily back in her car seat, she fell asleep.

Even when we pulled up in our driveway, she did not stir.

Michael brought her in, put her in her cot, and snuck back out for a swim while I stayed home to write the blog.

Eventually she woke, and we shared lunch together on the kitchen floor as we often do.

Not long after that daddy came home, and the two of them went to the park beside our house. Thereby breaking our previous park world record of two different playgrounds in one day, now we are up to four. Four separate playgrounds in one single day. How does it get any better?

I did not think I would hear or see them for ages.

However an I am happy to be at the park pooh brought them home just as I was running the baby girl’s bath.

Once again getting her to go to sleep was a pain. After an hour of mummy sitting patiently with her as she held my hand and wiggled around and around and around in her comfortable cot, daddy had to take over.

And this brings us to where we are. It is 10:03PM, I am sitting in bed with my laptop on my lap, all hopped up on sugar, courtesy of the rocky road mum brought me as a food equivalent of stuffing cotton wool in my ears when Emily cries because she doesn’t want to be in bed. while baby girl is having her bottle in daddy’s arms beside me.

I have a feeling it is going to be a long night.

Sweet dreams baby girl.

Mummy loves you.

Published inThe Blunder Weeks

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