It is 6:15PM on Sunday night.
I am about to head out to a political fundraiser for the evening.
It sounds so glitzy and glamorous, doesn’t it?
However, I can most assuredly tell you it is not.
I know I can barely believe I am writing these words either. Because we all know this, is not my thing, right?
Honestly, I am just not passionate enough about this kind of crap to care.
However the opportunity came up, and I said yes.
After all, what is not to like about a trip to the movies with a new girlfriend, and some pre-event nibbles.
So yes, I will forego homemade pizzas for some hard-core adult interaction, and who knows, maybe a glass of champers.
Oooh, wouldn’t that be nice.
Hands up who misses wine time.
Although there probably won’t be anything of the sort, now I come to think of it.
After all, it isn’t as though this is an art exhibition I am going to see.
Because if it were, a little social lubricant would be guaranteed, yes?
Clearly, I have been watching too many episodes of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
if I had to lean either way on the political scale, it would be to the opposite of this event.
But either way I think each ideology is flawed, and let us not get started on the execution, or we could be here all night.
The last time I found myself out of an evening was to go to the symphony, courtesy of an acquaintance almost two years ago.
I was just pregnant with Little, and the morning sickness, which lasted all day, had just set in.
Now there is a place you can bank on finding a glass of Champaign.
But booze or not, this was a treat.
Not to mention I had received a small financial gift from the universe earlier in the week, which made it possible.
I had thought about putting the money toward something boring and practical; however, I knew my benefactor would want me to do something special.
And I also am coming to realise, I need more of those I’ve so got this, moments.
Not for any other reason than I have chosen not to leave the house due to it all feeling too hard.
However, I am really trying not to let my blindiness affect my life in those secret sneaky ways I don’t often admit aloud.
After all, the blindy culture is not known for its sympathy.
Therefore, as so often happens, these things are left unsaid.
As it happens, I have just had a moment where I totally crushed those super successful mammas of my imagination.
You know the ones; they are yet another incarnation of my designer yoga pant wearing mammas who I recently took out James Bond style with my coffee expedition a few weeks ago.
Anyway, I was standing in the bathroom with my sparkly stiletto boots on, because doesn’t everyone have a pair of those?
and I doing my makeup – yeah I know, make up!
I assure you, stranger things have happened.
Heck, I even managed perfume.
Mind you, that was only because I found it by accident while hunting for the only lipstick I own.
Who knew I even had something as sophisticated as that in my arsenal of girly products.
And by arsenal, I mean handful of items scattered throughout the bathroom cupboard between the toilet cleaner and Michael’s shavers.
When suddenly I had to bend down, and scoop up my cutie cute cute cute in her white footsy pyjamas before she landed herself in the wet shower while chasing one of mummy’s bangles across the floor.
This is how successful mammas do it, I chuckled as I put her on my hip, and continued to pretend I could see myself in the mirror as I cleansed and toned my face.
I know, I totally went all out.
The last time I brushed my hair was yesterday morning when Michael had to do it for me, as my mobility was that limited that I could not reach my head.
I have had a headache for weeks, which has slowly transformed into a freezing of my neck, shoulders, chest, and lower back.
Emily looked at me bewildered as we swapped bathrooms, and I unravelled my hair dryer from its hiding place.
She had never seen anything like it.
What are you doing mummy, her eyes telepathized through the toddler gate of her room as I stood pointing that thing like a gun to my head and blowing my hair.
She thought it funny when I pointed it at her and let her feel the cool wind on her face.
I guess that shows you how often I dust my silver styling tool off and give it a whirl.
So lucky I still owned one, I thought as I carefully scrunched my tresses.
Not because I am meticulous about such things, but because I did not want to risk hurting myself any further.
Although even that seems to be taking more effort these days.
I think my fear of poverty, and us ending up in a cardboard box on the side of the road is scaring my hair straight.
As in quite literally.
As it was, I had toyed whether or not to take any further pain relief, but had decided against it given how ill it had made me earlier in the day.
Not to mention it hadn’t actually worked in the way I had hoped.
Therefore, I was left feeling like crap, and stiff as a board.
Michael had helped me choose my outfit, which is how I had ended up in my favourite boots.
I mean if I could not pair them with a pair of jeans on a Sunday night to go to the movies, then when could, or would, I wear these bad boys, he had intimated as he and Emily looked on at my potential pending fashion crisis.
Politics is power my darling, and you are powerful, he had said.
So make a statement, and wear the sparkles.
I had to laugh, because although it may have been a little over the top, he was right.
Sparkly shoes are definitely a me thing, and I need to be more of that again.
So bring on the bling!
Thanks honey, you are a good clothing pickerer.
I have said it in another post, but one day I would love to have my own line of boots.
As in seriously, they are my favourite kind of footwear.
Imagine how awesome that would be.
Perhaps my inclination to have a little fun is a signal of our life changing, I said to Michael as I handed him the baby.
You are such a thinker my darling, he said as he kissed me on the forehead.
True that, I replied with a laugh.
But here we are.
My all dressed up with somewhere to go, frantically typing this post as I wait for my lift.
Emily is tired, but we don’t want to put her down until after I have departed for the evening.
Just because it is easier more than anything.
Therefore, without further delay, let us go back to the beginning of our week.
This week’s Blunder week post is brought to you by the letter daah.
Yep, it has been all about the daddy.
Michael cannot go anywhere without Emily calling to him.
Daah, dah daaaaaaadf, daah.
Now she is beginning to use her tone more.
So sometimes, her daah is a question, and sometimes it is a statement.
As for me, I was determined to have a better week than the previous few.
After all, I was sick of being miserable.
My week started with a massive sleep in, as Michael volunteered to take baby girl for the morning.
However the problem was, I had gotten into the groove of waking up with her and getting our day started with a flourish, that after I forced myself back to sleep for a few more hours I felt like crap.
I knew I should have gotten up with you two, I had said to Michael a little later as he handed me a coffee.
He had forced himself to get up with baby girl, and was also feeling the pinch.
Too many sleep-ins for him in a row, I thought as I kissed him good morning.
Most of my Monday was spent upstairs at my desk catching up on two weeks’ worth of blunder week’s posts, while Michael and Emily played in Darcy park below.
I was so overwhelmed by the amount of writing I needed to get done in order to catch up, but not doing it was not an option. Because all I can think when I consider not doing it, is how much I will regret not having this record at a later date.
For as it is, I have already forgotten so much. And although my writing might be rough, there is the occasional Diamond to be found.
Sometimes I see things I have written, and can barely believe they have come from my hand. Not because they are bad, but because they are so profound.
How well articulated, I think as I read them.
Did that really come from me?
Occasionally my darling husband would get my attention by saying things to Emily about me that he knew I could hear, and new I would respond to with a giggle or smart-ass comment in return.
It was lovely to hear them spending time together after being apart for so long.
I mean four nights is forever in toddler time.
Occasionally they would go to the park or to the shops, but for the most part, we had a staying home day.
Each of them in one another’s pockets, just as it ought to be.
It was 6:00PM that evening when I got a call from a number I had not recognised.
Hello, I said with a question in my voice.
Hi Megan, it is Jo, the person on the other end responded.
I had to think for a second which Jo.
I know several, and they are all British.
However, this was gatecrasher Jo.
Named as such, for the very reason that she gate crashed my wedding, and made it so much better than it would have been otherwise.
Therefore my advice is, if you are planning a wedding, you should definitely get a gatecrasher.
Hey, maybe I can hire her out.
She really is very good.
Anyway, I had not been expecting to hear from her, so I was a bit taken back.
She asked us if we wanted to go to the zoo with her the following day.
She knew it was a spare of the moment offer, but…
I had said yes before I had time to over think it, and refuse.
However, since Michael’s trip away, I had been feeling much more confident in the arena of parenting, so knew it would be all right.
Besides, Jo is a bit of a chatterbox; therefore, all I would have to do was follow her voice.
I nearly cried with joy after I got off the phone, and Michael, without missing so much as a heartbeat, asked me if I wanted him to come.
Wow, I thought, that is incredible.
He knows that I have been avoiding the zoo, and I do not like crowds or things I cannot see.
Each of which are abundant at such places.
Let me think about it, I had said as we stood in the lounge room.
Could I indeed do this, I wondered But not with my usual trepidation and doubt, but rather from a practical question point of view.
What I really meant was could Jo do this?
After all, we had not spent any time together in ages, and the time we had spent was small and usually at one another’s houses.
Therefore going somewhere else was sort of a big deal.
After all, there was so much, which could go wrong.
However after what turned out to be not so much thought, a quiet meal, two episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, a semi decent sleep where Emily only woke up once, and a delicious hot shower on Tuesday morning I decided that we would all be ok.
I mean worst-case scenario, Michael could always come and get us if we got stuck.
However, I knew we would be fine.
It just felt good to have a girly day.
I’ve got this, I said to him over our morning coffee.
As long as you are sure my love, he had replied without judgement.
So there we were, an hour or so later, our nappy bag packed full of snacks and baby stuff, the pram at the front door, and our car seat ready to go.
I was so excited at the prospect of trying something new with Emily.
The zoo has always bored me, but what could be more fun than spending a day with baby girl and gatecrasher Jo.
Emily is like hanging out with a new and improved version of myself, while Jo is a jocular, larger than life, crazy English girl from an African descent, who can literally pull off any outfit no matter how outlandish.
I am so jealous.
She is a highly-strung cracker jack whom I love to bits.
I know I should not giggle at her fear of snakes, or bewilderment at the Australian culture, but I do.
Only because it highlights just how relaxed and laid back I really am, and this gives me great comfort.
Thanks Jo, you are the best.
This is how I imagined my mamma life, I thought as her and Michael wrangled our car seat into the back of her four-wheel drive, then strapped Little in so she was nice and safe alongside the other kids.
Two mamma bears in the front, three baby bears in the back, off on an adventure.
Because isn’t that how it is supposed to be?
I had thought Emily would certainly fall asleep on the way, as it was already mid-morning when Jo arrived, and Emily had been up forever.
However, going to the zoo was all too exciting, because neither of the girls fell asleep like we had hoped.
Jo dropped us off, and left the three kids with me.
Wow, I thought as I stood there with each girl strapped into their pram, and Josh, the big brother, flittering between his two charges like the best big brother ever.
He had told me in the car that he was going to watch out for Emily because that is what friends and brothers do.
And I must say, that is exactly what he did all day.
You are a champion big brother and best friend Josh.
Thank you for watching out for my baby girl.
You are very kind.
It had been so long since we had been to the zoo, that nothing looked familiar.
In fact, the last time I was there, I think you still had to buy a paper ticket at the window.
SO I didn’t understand as to why we had stopped, half way down a wooden ramp so Jo could swipe her card.
So far so good, I thought, even though I could not see the tree kangaroo or anything else much really.
Josh darted in between the prams, and did his best to keep out of my way as I explained to him that my eyes were broken, and he needed to be extra careful that I did not clip his heels by accident.
As for Jo, as long as she kept talking, I would be fine.
Occasionally I would have to say to her, tell me a story, so I know where you are. However for the most part, we had this.
As usual, it was too dark with my sunglasses on, and too bright with them off.
A headache began to set in early on, but all I could do was push it aside and continue forth.
I am not going to be defeated by this bitch of a disability, I thought as we parked the prams outside the bird arena.
Poor Emily had just fallen asleep, however in a blind mama moment, I hadn’t realised until it was too late, and I had accidently woken her up as I carelessly undid her straps and told her where we were.
Otherwise, I might have left her in the pram, and sent the others inside without us.
The Bird show is one of Emily’s favourite things to do at the zoo, and I was so glad we made it.
Michael had given us strict instructions on where the best place to sit was, however we did not follow them to the letter.
Therefore we found ourselves somewhere in the middle, and Emily was more amused by the people around her than she was by the birds.
Navigating the stairs had been arduous, made no easier by the ranger’s lack of disability training.
I know you meant well honey, but grabbing me around the waste and trying to push me down the stairs when I have a cane in one hand and a baby on my hip is perhaps not quite the most efficient way to go about herding me into position.
But thank you for your consideration.
It was a little disorientating to know that I was facing the stage, but to have the sound be projected from behind us.
I kept looking up hoping to see birdies, but I saw nothing.
This became increasingly confronting as I learnt how big a wingspan each variety of feathered friend had.
All I could do was point to the sky and hope there was something in the general direction as I oohed and aahed and exclaimed along with all the other audience members.
It was strange to be simultaneously focused upon Emily, the show, the people around us, and be entirely aware of where each of Jo’s kids were at any given time.
Wow, I thought.
I could have more than one, and we would be perfectly fine.
I have always worried that if my attention were to be divided between more than one offspring, I would not necessarily know where they each were at any given point.
But I could ask Becca to come sit with me as she began to escape down the stairs in front, and I didn’t even have to look.
I’ve so got this, I thought as Emily chewed on a program, and fidgeted in my lap.
She is pretty good like that, in that she will not go too far from my reach, and normally prefers to be in physical contact.
Of course, she made friends with the baby next to us, and the people sitting directly behind us.
However, we are sorry to the gentleman in front whose hat we may or may not have taken off.
After the show finished we found a quiet picnic area and sat down for lunch.
I had not brought anything for myself, as I had eaten eggs just before we came.
Honestly, when we are out I barely think of my needs, and it is all about Emily.
So when Jo offered me a ham and cheese roll, my brain could not comprehend it.
At that point, I was not hungry, and I was entirely focused on making sure baby girl ate her lunch.
However, ten minutes later when she was settled with her peas and cheese, I suddenly found the room in my cognition to want for some nutrition myself.
Trying to explain this to Jo was difficult.
I don’t think anyone really understands it unless they are living it themselves.
Again, I will have to work on my phrasing around this.
It is as if all my energy goes toward Little, and making sure, she is taken care of first, that I do not need anything for myself, or if I do, I am not aware of such essentials, as they are no longer considered an essential in the scheme of things.
It is relative, as they say.
However, it was as if a fog lifted, and my head suddenly became clear.
I will take one of those rolls now please, I said to my friend as my shoulders visibly relaxed.
Meanwhile her kids had finished their lunch and were racing around the grounds chasing a bush turkey.
This sent me into a fit of laughter, because poor Jo was afraid of the odd-looking bird, and his insistence on being near to us.
Relax, I said as she too tried to scare him away.
Emily will soon learn that if she shares her lunch with him, that he won’t give it back.
It is just a bush turkey.
We see them all the time.
No no no, she screeched.
It was so comical to me.
So what you’re saying is, birds in England wouldn’t behave like this, I laughed as we continued our conversation.
Absolutely not, she replied.
They are far more polite.
Again, I had to giggle.
We are so rogue, I said to Emily.
And this is just another one of the reasons why we love you Jo, you have this way of highlighting the Australian way of life that makes me proud to be a kangaroo.
I wonder what it would be like if the shoe were on the other foot.
Here’s lookin’ at you girl.
Emily probably could have sat there for a lot longer, as she was content on her splat mat with her snacks and the birds for company.
However, the other kids were restless, and their circles around us were becoming ever larger as they tested the boundaries.
As I watched Jo parent, I wondered what I would be like once Emily inevitably begins to walk.
After all, I was so grateful she simply sat quietly and contentedly next to me that I could not imagine past the moment we were in.
In fact, it scares me a little to think of her walking.
At least with her crawling I feel as though it is manageable when we are out.
I have to confess to worrying about what comes next.
So we packed the girls back in their prams, and went in search of elephants.
Mummy could smell them, but I couldn’t see them.
For all I knew we were looking at an empty enclosure.
Eventually the elephant talk began, and we moved to a different spot for a better look.
However, this was right under the speakers, and my ears were almost splitting with the noise.
I desperately fought not to cover my own, let alone Little’s for protection.
Again, all I could do was hope that she could see the majestic grey beasts as they performed their tricks.
Next, we moved on to the seal show.
Josh pushed my pram while I put Emily on my hip, partly because he needed a job, and partly because baby girl would not go back in her carriage.
I wondered why we had not thought of it earlier, as it seemed so much easier than the way we had been doing things.
Josh was a lot more on task because he had a responsibility, and my cognition was less strained because I had Emily in my arms.
Again Michael had given us instructions on where to sit for the best vantage point, but as it was a very sunny afternoon, we sat somewhere in the middle.
I knew there was a blue blob in front of us symbolising a pool, but that was about it.
Emily was less inclined to sit on my lap, and preferred to crawl between the bench I was on, and the one behind us.
Occasionally she would come and stand on my knees and look intently toward the front of the stadium thingy, but for the most part, she was simply getting tired and restless.
My goal is to shake one of those seal’s flippers, so I can see we are going to be back there soon.
I’ve never felt a seal before, and participating in part of that show is certainly one way of making that dream come to fruition.
My only question is, do they have teeth, and Can they eat me?
Lastly, we headed toward the bunnies, so the kids could feed them.
This was awkward, as the volunteers did not seem to comprehend the symbolism of my cane.
Perhaps it was the French design, which threw them off.
But telling me to stand up, and not explaining where the hippity hoppity bunny rabbits are, and expecting me to navigate that, as well as keep Emily’s toes out of their reach when there are who knows how many, and then becoming cross with me when I fail to carry out said instructions, even though I have said cane in my hand the entire time…
Yeah, not exactly the most positive experience either.
At least the ranger from earlier in the day really did mean well.
It was not as if she blamed me for my shortcoming.
Whereas this couple seemed indifferent.
No, that isn’t the right word.
I think it was more they had a certain expectation for my child, that I could not meet, and somehow I was a disappointment as a parent.
However when all is said and done, Emily liked feeding the rabbits their carrots.
She sat quietly, she didn’t touch their tiny faces, and I helped her hold her hand out nice and straight.
So who knows where the problem was.
This is probably an exhibit I would not choose to go back to for myself, however if Emily asked for it then of course we would.
Just when I thought we were finished for the day, Jo took us to the most amazing playground.
It had a water feature, a curly slide, some ding-dong planks, and as I was to find out, the awsomest climbing netting in the world.
At first, Emily was only interested in the ding-dong planks.
However then thanks to Josh, she found the curly slide, and that too was pretty cool.
I then took her to the water feature, in the hopes that if she played there, maybe she would begin enjoying her bath again.
After all, a mamma can dream.
But then it happened.
Jo had been frantically telling Becca to get down from somewhere or another, but I hadn’t realised what.
I was having too much trouble trying to figure out a playground where we had never been before, and my not being able to distinguish anything beyond my hand to worry about it.
I just thought Jo was being the crazy mamma she is, and let her get on with it.
Emily was having too much fun stopping and starting the water wheel, and I was happy to leave her learning this new medium of frivolity.
I mean it was not as if we had one of these in our park.
Suddenly she stood up, grabbed my index fingers, and we were off once again.
Up one stair, then a second, around a corner, over some tricky criss cross ropes strung tightly over a board, up a third, maybe a fourth, and then on to some netting.
I was prepared to let her go and figure it out on her own, but my problem was, I could not see what was above us.
Therefore as a responsible parent, I was not going to let my one-year-old go somewhere I could not anticipate.
And that is how I found us negotiating the best thing we had ever climbed.
I watched in awe as my baby figured the easiest way to conquer this bad boy was to move to the side and pull herself upright, then edge along the rope that way, rather than try and crawl up something that had a square space slightly larger than the length of her shin.
Poor Jo nearly had kittens when she saw us.
She could not believe we had taken it on.
We joked about her being the African athlete, and me the blind mamma, and how in theory it should have been her working these ropes. Whereas I hadn’t even given it a second thought.
I figured that it was the zoo, and this was a playground for tiny tots, so it was not as I was going to find anything unsafe.
I mean this thing was all closed in.
There was no way baby girl could fall.
If anything, the railing leading up the first set of small stairs toward the slippery dip concerned me more than the crazy high-wire netting.
Jo snapped away with her camera, as we joked about how disappointed her ancestors would be.
Meanwhile as we laughed, and she looked at us with a mixture of horror, disbelief, and inspiration Becca, her youngest, the one she had been telling in no uncertain terms not to climb up the whatever it was, which turned out to be another set of netting similar to our own, appeared at the top landing we were trying to reach.
I nearly fell over I was giggling so hard on the inside.
How did you get there, I asked her as we endeavoured to complete the ropy ropes ropes.
Well done sweetie that was the icing on the cake for me.
I then grabbed both girls, and we slid back down the netting.
One in each of my arms.
Jo, your face was priceless.
Let us do it again soon.
Who knows, maybe we can find a bigger playground.
Getting the kids out of the zoo seemed to take forever.
Emily fell fast asleep on our way toward the gate, and did not wake up until we tried to put her in the car.
Again, we found ourselves laughing at our predicament, as it took us twenty minutes to wrangle the kids into the vehicle.
Not for any particular reason, but just because that is what it took.
My hat goes off to anyone who does this with more than one cutie cute cute cute.
Jo was rather taken by our fold up fold down one-handed pram.
Which was kind of nice actually. Because there have been times I have questioned whether we should have gone with something else.
However in this case I realised, it was the perfect adition to our project baby independent.
Not only was it small enough to fit in her car, but I did not have to think about it.
Literally, I could have Emily asleep in one arm, and fold it down with the other, then put it in the back before buckling baby girl into her seat.
So unlike that stupid baby-carrying thing we had to have, which I still have not listed on eBay, the pram gets a big tick.
And I will no longer question its validity in our universe.
I felt terrible as we drove home and Emily cried the entire way.
Thankfully, Jo’s kids both fell asleep within seconds, but it cannot have been pleasant for her to listen to mine grizzling at the top of her lungs for forty-five minutes.
I tried to give her a bottle of milk, but we were each struggling to angle it correctly.
Jo’s car is so much larger than our little sporty thing, and it took me an age to realise that was part of the problem.
Secondly, Emily’s seat was angled more upright than usual, and she could not quite lift her bottle that far.
I had considered putting her milk into the water bottle with a straw, but wasn’t sure how she would go with that, given how new straw sucking was in our world.
Add to this my paranoia that we were going to inadvertently make a mess in her car, and my anxiety began to rise.
Jo suggested I sit in the back between the girls, however I didn’t want Emily to know that was even an option.
Ahh, so you don’t want to start something you cannot finish, she laughed.
That’s it exactly, I said as I strained my shoulder to meet Emily’s needs.
When we arrived home, Jo piled us and our crap out of the car and was on her way before you could say good day at the zoo.
Thanks for having us girl.
Meanwhile Michael scooped up baby girl, and they went for a lightning fast play in the park while I ran her a bath and fixed her dinner.
I thought we were going to have a hard time getting her down, but considering how much fun she had, and how many stories she could have told me as I held her hand to go to sleep, she did really well.
We only heard from her once that night, and she did not get up until 7:30AM the next morning.
Which was right on cue as it happened, because we were due in the city by 9:30AM to see the baby mechanic.
Therefore, it was a bit of a rush to get out the door, and admittedly we did miss the train I was hoping to get, but thankfully a second one wasn’t too far behind, therefore we weren’t that late after all.
I had never been so relaxed taking Emily into the city.
Not even all the space the pram took up bothered me as we watched people crowd around us in the peak hour setting.
Emily played happily, and mummy took photos of said baby girl playing happily, as we travelled.
I had decided we would get off at Wynyard again as opposed to Town Hall, as there was only the one lift to negotiate.
However what a mistake that was.
Once again, in between city visits, they had changed and rearranged Wynyard concourse and ticketing barriers, and I had no idea where we had to go.
As if trying to fit in a cramped elevator with two other prams was not enough, when we got to the bottom, some chick with a pull along luggage bag refused to budge, and we could not actually get out before she tried to step in.
So naturally, I had to have a quiet snarky word.
Then, we reached the ticketing barriers well before I had anticipated, but not before there were new corridors and openings to listen for, and not a staff member in sight.
I had no idea which barrier I needed, as I had opted for the pram, and it was fat. Therefore, we needed the wider barrier.
Eventually when we did find it, courtesy of a random stranger, my electronic ticket did not work, because the way they have it set up, you cannot actually manoeuvre the stroller into position because it blocks the sensors.
Finally, by the time we found George street, we had found our rhythm, and we power walked down that sucker like no man’s business.
We were women on a mission, and we had this.
In fact, I walked faster down that road with the pram than I have done so without it in years.
I was so proud of myself as we picked up the pace, and I confidently navigated that grey strip of cityscape with ease and grace.
I didn’t look like a blind mama at all.
My footfall was purposeful, my shoulders back, and my chatter cheerful as I pushed Little along.
There was nothing concentrated, tentative, or torturous about my demeanour at all.
I could have been anyone.
But the best part of it was, I was me.
The strong and sassy take no prisoners me.
The one who is smart, and clever, and does whatever she wants.
Not the whatever me I have been embodying over the last however long.
Of course as is our tradition, we stopped to say hello to Tony the fruit guy, but unfortunately, he was not there.
Sorry Tony, we will catch you next time.
We were so quick along George, that instead of being five minutes late for our appointment, we were right on time.
Even though again they had moved our crossing, an extra couple of metres further up.
I was surprised when Emily let John treat her.
Normally she resists at first, and then falls into the depth of things once she begins to feel better.
However, after our baby mechanic John, I put upon my colleague Alex, to have a look at her biomechanics, as he has a knack for that kind of thing.
Sure enough, whereas John had worked on her inner realm of teeth and viruses, and belly boogers, Alex found her left hip and knee to be playing up.
I knew it had to be something like that.
I cannot believe more than one year on, and we are still dealing with the ramifications of my Caesarean.
As it was her left foot and shoulder which were caught, and have needed some extra special attention throughout her life as a result.
It was as if she could not trust her hip to hold her.
Although I could not articulate it like that until Alex pointed it out.
Sorry sweetie, mummy should have been all over this.
Just as he was tractioning, them out gently, Dong the acupuncturist walked in, and told me everything I was doing wrong with my child.
In theory, I knew I should have been offended, but in practice I was not, as I knew he meant well.
Certainly, he had some valid points, and I have tried to follow his advice, but sometimes I find a western approach just as valuable.
So sorry Dong, Alex had this one.
The results after Alex’s lightning fast treatment were instant.
Everything about Little’s body and her movement felt better.
Her gate improved, her confidence in how she could do things improved, and even her mood improved.
SO well done kind sir.
We will be back.
But of course, a big thank you to everyone for helping keep Emily healthy.
Just as we were leaving to go for a walk, we found my boss, Tamie in the lobby.
Which is just as well really, because she ended up changing baby girl’s nappy for me after we headed back upstairs with her.
Tamie is just a big kid really, so she and Emily had a great old play, and before we knew it, we were late for lunch.
So again, we raced down stairs and met our friend Lucille out the front of the building as we had arranged the previous day, and followed her into the café next door.
She had offered to buy me lunch, however having baby girl meant that all I could handle was a cup of coffee.
I knew if I attempted anything more complicated, Emily would be all over it, and neither of us would end up eating anything.
Therefore, it was simply easier to go without, and make sure Queen cutie pie had her lunch instead.
So there we sat, Lucille, her husband Lance, and two of their friends.
Emily on either mine, or Lucille’s lap, with her peas to keep her occupied as we spoke.
As usual, Lucille had a small gift for Emily, which was lovely.
Thank you for the puppet and the car.
She is particularly fascinated with the wheels on the VW.
After lunch, Emily showed an interest in going to Lance for a cuddle.
I had been a bit worried that they might not like one another, however it turns out I need not have bothered my pretty little head with such nonsense.
they kept each other entertained in one way or another throughout the meal.
Lance tried to teach her what he considers to be rude words, which was hilarious to me, as he has no idea about some of the stuff she already knows.
But I am glad you two had a good time.
So much so, that when we went to say good-bye, Emily waited for Lance to give her a second kiss.
You’re such a flirt baby girl.
Retracing our steps along George street was much harder the second time around.
Why I had insisted on going back to Wynyard instead of braving the silver monster at Town Hall I will never know.
I cannot even say it entered my mind to do anything differently.
However again trying to navigate Wynyard was a nuisance.
I think they have got random signs and shit everywhere, just for the sake of it.
Again, I could not find the barrier, and although this time there was a ticket guy, his verbal directions were so bad that he actually had to come and fetch us to take us through.
Once more, we had the same problem with the pram being in the way of the sensors and my electronic ticket, so the staff member had to let us through on his card and then tap mine on somewhere else.
I know, the efficiency is mind-boggling.
However once through, we made it up on to the platform without incident, and on to the very next train.
A woman next to me asked if we needed any help, but she too had a sleeping baby in a pram, so I assured her we would be fine As I accidently ran us into a set of stairs.
She had a three month old, and both kids slept soundly as we travelled and chatted.
Her dilemma was whether she should get off at the station closest to where she lived, that was without pram access, or whether she should take either one of the stations before or after her ideal stop and walk back, because they did have pram access – sort of.
It was strange, because I hadn’t considered that being a problem before.
She said that it was always a game of strategy, and she would lay awake the night before trying to figure it out.
Funny, I thought. I did that a lot as well.
And she was a sighted mamma.
It made me glad for the lift access we do have, but more importantly, I was not alone.
Michael met us at the station, and pushed Emily home, just as he had on the way up earlier that morning.
They then spent the remainder of their afternoon playing in the park, or around the house just as usual.
While mummy researched more into natural alternatives for her cataracts.
Because this cannot go on!
Thursday morning started with there were three in the bed, and the little one said roll over.
Michael had brought baby girl in with us somewhere in the 4:00AM, and she had been nestled in his arms ever since.
I was surprised when I looked at the clock and it said 7:14AM.
However even more surprising was the fact that it had been Michael’s stirring that woke Emily, rather than the other way around.
Nice sleeping Little.
I couldn’t complain when my coffee and toast miraculously appeared before me half an hour later as I was rubbing my eyes, and trying not to move my neck.
It had been jammed for weeks, and was at the point of having such limited mobility, that I could not turn my head in any direction without turning my entire body.
The rest of the morning floated along as usual.
Emily and daddy played downstairs and ate their toast together, while I busied myself doing who knows what upstairs.
Then we all walked to the station, I got on the train to go to work, and they went home to do the chores.
my day started fairly quietly, but thankfully got a little busier toward the middle.
And although I have been making a conscious effort not to be as worried about money, it was still a relief to know that some would be coming in.
Meanwhile, Michael and Emily went to buy a new car battery, whereby Little slept the entire way through it. Thus making their potential trip to the beach null and void.
Apparently, she did not wake up until they arrived home.
And although she had been happy in the morning, she certainly wasn’t for the rest of the afternoon.
Even a trip to the park with mummy and daddy did not cheer her up.
However eating blueberries afterward, at her picnic table while mummy drank her tea in the setting sun somewhat improved her disposition.
My intention had been to come home early and relieve daddy of his parenting duties so he could work on our business, however it just did not happen.
She was so high demand that day, that it took two of us to keep her occupied.
This is why, by 6:08PM on Thursday night, she was already in bed, and sound asleep, not to be heard from again until the end of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Yep, I am still watching that crap, and still wondering why.
Friday morning saw baby girl back in with us from 5:30AM.
I was sort of surprised when the alarm went off at 6:00AM that she was asleep. Because I had heard her throw her dummy back into her cot when Michael fetched her the half hour previously.
Throwing her dummy in her bed usually means she is up and ready to start her day.
Normally I would have felt guilty about waking her, but given she had been asleep for almost twelve hours anyway, and the reason I was getting up was so that our baby mechanic could give mummy the once over, which in turn would hopefully make me feel better, thereby making me a better parent… Meant that it was worth sacrificing the next hour of light sleep for the bigger picture.
As I hopped out of the shower, again as if by magic my coffee along with an avocado toasty tasty treat appeared.
Thank you best husband ever.
Then by 7:00AM, we were all out the door, walking me to the station.
After a productive session with John, my workday was fairly quiet, although just as with the previous day, I chose not to be stressed about it.
God knows how we are going to pay our rent again this month, but turning myself into knots is not helping.
So I will simply breathe.
Breathe breathe breathe…
Says she who cannot physically move a muscle.
I had thought about asking my colleague Kim for a hot stone massage, but I knew I could not repay the favour right away, and nor could I afford to give her any money.
Therefore, I made the mistake of keeping silent, as my body continued its protest.
Meanwhile Emily and daddy played happily in Darcy Park for hours before having a quick banana snack at the picnic table, and then going to the library for story time.
Given my day did not look like getting any busier; I left early, and came home to find baby girl sound asleep in her bed.
The reception I got when she woke, and Michael brought her downstairs to find me stretching like a back bending cat in the afternoon sunshine was priceless.
I am not normally home without her knowledge.
We spent the remainder of our afternoon at the picnic table sharing frozen peas, an orange, a rice cake, and a carrot, before daddy took her for a quick play in the park beside our house while I readied her bath, and packed up the house for the night.
I also managed to throw together a slow cooked chocolate and coconut cake for the occasion.
But not for any other reason than I needed to see something I thought of come to fruition for the day.
After they returned from their sojourn to the playground, whereby baby girl showed a three year old just how to walk across the rickety bridge, Michael gave her dinner and a wash in the tub. as I still hadn’t been confident in my body’s ability to act quickly if need be.
Mamma’s neck was still a mess, and the spasm was working its way down my spine and through my chest, thereby rendering me somewhat robotic in my movement.
If anything, it was getting worse by the second.
And then it happened…
Guess who started to walk all by themselves.
And not that kind of must keep moving otherwise I will fall down walking, but the stop and get my balance with each step kind walking.
It was as if something in her brain had suddenly switched on, and this was the new way to roll.
I know my acupuncturist will not be happy about such a momentous event, as he believes we have trained her to walk too early, and we should be encouraging her to crawl everywhere until she is two years old.
However, it is not he who has to live with a curious creature with such charm, cleverness, or creativity, who likes to come in for a cuddle while a girl’s guard is down, and then grab index fingers and be up on two legs just as the adults around her.
And although we do not force her to do anything, and nor have we deliberately picked her up, and stood her on two feet like a trained circus animal for our own enjoyment, of course we are going to applaud her efforts, and follow her lead.
After all, evolution is driving her to be upright.
And believe me, if she would crawl everywhere by herself rather than have mummy walk her four steps across the lounge room from one toy to another, I would love that.
We have tried crawling around with her, but she seems to know what we are up to, and will not participate.
So here we are, with a baby girl taking her first solid steps.
Not just between mummy and daddy, but between mummy and a toy.
So well done sweetie. We are very proud of you.
That is good walking.
So with that in mind, it was understandable she was a little unsettled going down, as in it took ages, but at least she was happy.
Her legs kept moving, her hips wiggled, and her chatter was unceasing as I sat beside her and held her hand while she tried to fall asleep.
When I arrived downstairs, Michael had prepared us the most delicious dinner.
A girl has to love Master Chef, because when it is on, Michael gets all inspired to try new things in the kitchen, and I reap the benefits.
Hello sweet sticky pork with Asian greens on a bed of rice.
Our night was restless, so Michael brought pink pyjama girl in with us again somewhere around the 5:00AM mark.
I felt bad for him when they got up an hour and a half later, but I simply could not move.
I laid there somewhere between asleep and awake for several hours before texting Michael to come and help me from our bed.
Even the weight of my head on the pillow, no matter which way I positioned myself was too much to bear.
Being upright was marginally better, but lifting baby girl was difficult.
We spent our morning outside as Emily played. However, by midday, I had crashed out on the lounge.
Emily had accidentally dropped two heavy oven trays on my toes ten minutes previously, and it had hurt so much that I thought I was going to throw up because of the pain.
I wondered if she had actually broken a toe.
Those treys have now been removed into a safer place, so they cannot be dropped on tiny toes.
I had not realised how heavy they were, let alone the kind of damage they could do.
Sorry for not being more vigilant sweetheart.
Then as I lifted her up to comfort her, and assure her that mummy was fine, she had pulled my hair. This had yanked my neck beyond the three degrees mobility I had in any direction, and caused me to wince and sware for the second time in as many minutes.
I felt terrible for Emily, as she had not understood what had happened
It was such an involuntary response.
Michael rescued baby girl from a cross mamma, and tried to put her down for a nap, but without success.
I had barely been able to put her in her cot two nights previously, so I knew there was no point in my giving her a bottle, as now I wasn’t even sure I could lift her from my lap.
Therefore, the bulk of the parenting was on him.
Thank you best husband I have.
As I slept, propped on a gazillion cushions, and in one of the most awkward poses in the history of lounge lizarding, they played on the lounge room floor.
I had not heard him eventually get her down, but I did stir enough for him to check if it was ok that he raced off and did some grocery shopping, and hopefully be back before she awoke.
Part of me wished he had taken her with him earlier, but as I did not voice such a logical thought, what could I do but agree.
I will be fine honey, I said as he triple checked, before falling back to sleep.
The pain was exhausting.
So I slept downstairs, Emily slept upstairs, and Michael shopped somewhere else.
I was eating my chicken soup on the kitchen floor when I heard his car pull into the garage.
I was so relieved when he walked in the door, and the cutie cute cute cute was still down.
However this then presented the dilemma of it getting late in the afternoon, and if she did not wake up soon then how would we get her to bed later.
The problem being, almost without fail, no matter what time she wakes of an afternoon, she loses the plot somewhere between 5:00PM and 6:00PM, and shows all the signs of needing to be in her comfortable cot, even if it then takes her an hour and a half to get to sleep.
Which would be lovely if mummy could ideally leave the room, or at least read a book or do some yoga while someone self-settled?
But umm, no.
No no no.
Mummy must hold hands with Little, otherwise all hell breaks loose, and I figure it is not worth riling her up like that just to prove a point.
I have to believe that Emily’s need to hold my hand is preparing us for something bigger in the long run.
Sure, other people might not need a clingy kid, but in my case, it will actually pay off in other ways later on.
So if she needs to hold my hand in order to go to sleep, maybe she will be more inclined to hold it when she is awake.
Or at least that is the premise I am working on for now.
I was so grateful that Michael was there to pick up the slack, as I felt increasingly unwell.
How people do this without the kind of support I have, I don’t know. And nor do I want to.
So while I soaked in a hot bath full of epsan salt, Michael and Emily went to the park.
It seemed to help, all be it temporarily.
I was quietly going through Emily’s clothes when they arrived home.
Talk about a growing girl.
Even some of her birthday clothes, which were so big when we received them two months ago, are looking a little tight.
Again, Michael was on bath and dinner duties.
I wondered why he did not offer sweetie pie her tea straight after her bath, when it was obvious to me that was the reason she was in the kitchen taunting him as he tried to prepare our dinner.
I berated him for eating bickies and cheese in front of her, and then expecting a different set of behaviours from our daughter.
If there are two things, which drive me bananas about my husband, it is his fondness for talk back radio and gobbling cheese and bickies just before dinner.
I mean if he had them earlier in the afternoon, I would not mind so much.
The man does not eat all day, so I understand he is hungry, but honey, maybe if you had lunch…
The conversation has resulted in mummy now committing to make them a selection of nutritious homemade dips, so at least there is less plastic, and more substance in their snacking.
That way if Emily doesn’t eat her dinner, which funnily enough, so often happens after half a rice cake, four bickies, seven slices of cheese, and whatever else they have, then I will be confident in the knowing at least she has had something healthy.
Getting her to sleep took forever. However, for the first time ever, she simply allowed Michael to sit in the rocking chair and keep her company without physical contact while she settled into a slumberous state.
I was so excited when Michael found us a movie we would both enjoy on the television, as it had been an age since we had sat down and watched one on a Saturday night.
However, this led into a horrible night’s sleep for all of us, as Emily kept waking with what sounded like a pain in her belly.
Again mummy could not move, as in literally once I was in bed, I could not get up, so Michael had to do everything.
Even when sweetie pie wet her pyjamas, he had to go and get new ones. Whereas normally we would tag team, and I would find the dummy if it went missing or fetch new attire if need be.
I felt terrible, as I could not even roll over to make eye contact with him to see if there was anything, I could do.
Up and down, they went for much of the night, until at 4:49AM this morning; he brought her in with us.
I was nervous as he gave her a bottle and plonked her down beside me while he took care of something else, as I knew that if she decided to randomly crawl off the bed on his side I would be powerless to stop her.
However, all was well when he returned just under a minute later.
Every time I moved, my foot in a bid to get more comfortable, Little would wake up and start talking, so in between bouts of words, I gradually slid off the bed feet first, and sat on the floor.
However, this was a very different experience from the one I had experienced the week before.
This time I did not feel pushed out, or as though I was on the outer looking in.
This time I merely sat.
My forehead resting on my right knee, which was tucked up under my chest.
However even as I sat, half huddled on the floor, with only a soft dressing gown to cover my shoulders, Emily periodically chatted.
I thought she would never go back to sleep.
I was torn about what to do.
Did I simply sit therefore the rest of the night, and guard my side of the bed in case Emily decided to crawl off the edge, or did I sneak downstairs and lay on the lounge where I thought I might be more comfortable.
I knew that Michael would not want me to leave, as he too would be worried about Little’s tendency for random acts of randomness.
After all, it was not as if I could secure the bathroom doors or our bedroom door without waking them both up let alone every other safety hazard in our room.
So maybe I should just sit, I thought.
I mean it was not as if this were any more uncomfortable than being propped up on pillows in my normally I love you soft squashy bed.
If anything, it was actually more comfortable.
Apart from the cold.
But that served me right for sleeping naked, even though my instincts had told me the night before to keep my blue pyjamas on instead.
When will I ever listen.
After forty minutes of waiting and wondering, finally I heard both Michael and Emily drop down into a rhythmical sleep, where I knew they would stay for at least the next eighty minutes.
So very slowly, and very sneakily like a good yoga kitty cat, I slunk down the stairs.
Sure enough, the lounge was marginally better than the bed in terms of support, but it was not nearly as warm.
However rather than take the blanket back up, and risk waking baby girl just so I could huddle on the floor, I chose to snuggle in, and stay where I were.
After all, I had managed to move the electrical cords out of her immediate footfall, and drink the full glass of water, which I had not been able to access on my bedside table, so that all that was left was the big lamp she could pull over on herself.
However given she had sort of learnt her lesson regarding that a couple of months ago, I hoped, and had not shown any interest in it since, I knew the risk was minimal. And I trusted that either Michael or I would wake up if she did stir.
Mind you, who can really say, because just when you think you’ve got her all figured out, she’ll do something to make your tail spin.
I was surprised when I heard her little voice coming down the stairs accompanied by daddy’s footfall, and the birds were well and truly singing.
Because when I had snuck down earlier, not even the kookaburras were awake.
In fact, the only reason I knew it was after 5:00AM, was because I had counted the number of trains, which stopped at the station in the interim.
We went through the breakfast ritual with little variation, before Michael and Emily decided to go to the good park for a big play, leaving me to work on the blog.
Although the best of intentions and all that jazz…
The painkillers I had taken were intense, and even though I knew they were not the right type to match my pain, I had hoped they were strong enough to block at least some of the symptoms out. However all they served to do was to make my heart go faster, my head go slower, and my low-level nausea higher.
So rather, than write, I found myself curled up in our bed for an hour.
Periodically this is where I found myself throughout the day.
I would write a little, and rest a little.
I would play with Emily, and then leave her with daddy once more.
Cancelling my pending big girl evening did not seem like the right option.
For some reason, I was determined to be there, come hell or high water.
I mean there was not even the usual pit of dread in my stomach about it.
So whatever was going on with me, I could handle. Again, I found myself soaking in a hot bath while they went to the park in the late afternoon.
And when they arrived home, Michael popped Emily in with me, and we had a grand old time splashing about, throwing her toys out, and tricking daddy to come up stairs so we could squirt him with water from the duckies mouth.
Emily has been a bit fragile in the bath lately, so it was a relief to have her stay there without complaint more than five seconds.
You’re such a cutie cute cute cute Little.
Therefore, it was as baby girl was putting on her pyjamas, and playing peek-a-bottom on the bed with her daddy, that I found myself rummaging through my wardrobe for a top.
I felt accomplished and put together as I walked out the door, trailing my husband as he led me to my new friend Catherine’s car.
I had not only managed to be ready on time, but I had read Emily a story like a good and attentive mummy, and I was looking forward to my night out.
No part of me had needed to psych up for the gazillion tasks ahead, in fact I had barely thought about it.
As for the moment, Catherine invited me, and I had accepted she was all over the details and logistics before I had even taken a breath.
Therefore, I knew there was no need to worry.
What is more, it had felt so natural, that I had barely given it a second thought.
Tickets, what tickets…
Whereas normally I would be stressing about the ten steps it would take to aquire one of those.
Steps, seating, and bathroom… what steps, seating, and bathrooms…
Of course, I had relieved myself before I left the house, just in case, but I had not tied myself up in knots over the potential of not being able to find or have access to a toilet if I needed.
In fact, I had not even contemplated how I would balance my cane in one hand and a cucumber sandwich in the other.
And we all know this is something I would normally have to think about, and choose a handbag accordingly etc.
But nope, there was nothing of the sort in my great and expansive mind.
I was just going to go out to the movies like a normal person, and would be home later.
Sure enough when we arrived, Catherine offered me her arm, and we walked into the cinema.
Slowly the place began to fill up, and I was introduced to women I had only interacted with online.
It was surreal actually, to put bodies and voices to the names and words in the virtual space.
One lady in particular caught my attention, and made a great effort to talk to me.
Thank God, she knew how to have an adult conversation, I thought as she filled in the silences by asking questions, because I certainly did not.
Thanks Kirsty, it was a pleasure to meet you.
I could not really see the movie, but I did not care.
Catherine is a champion commentator, and I have now nominated her my movie-going buddy.
So Ab Fab, here we come.
It was a strange and beautiful film about Madam Florence Foster Jenkins, the world’s worst singer.
Meryl Streep did an amazing job as the leading lady, while Hue Grant played her husband, and that guy out of The Big Bang Theory played the pianist.
I was not sure how he would go as not that guy, but truth be told; I had not recognised him until he started laughing, several scenes in to his role.
It is definitely not the kind of movie a girl should watch if she is wrestling a migraine.
However, it was lovely.
So go figure.
You are a better actor than I thought that guy.
After the movie finished we were ushered into a room beside the cinema where there were a few sandwiches and some homemade cakes.
Although how popular they were, I don’t know.
Speaking for myself, I was a bit over it by that time of night.
However if they had been offered to me earlier in the evening, I would have gobbled them down with inappropriate gusto.
Still people spoke as we waited for the speeches and raffle to begin.
As I said, I am not a fan of politics, so it was difficult for me to get attached.
However Thanks Catherine for winning the blocks for us.
I am sure Emily will love them.
Miraculously I snuck into the house without waking the baby, and I didn’t even have to take my heels off to do so.
Meanwhile Michael had obviously put Emily to bed at her regular time, and fallen asleep on the lounge, as is his habit, thus rendering everything well in our world.
So here is to one night out, and hopefully many more to come.
I wonder what other new opportunities will come my way.
And more to the point, I wonder if I will say yes.