I cannot imagine not writing this blog, but I think I am going to have to start.
It is taking way too much of my time.
Sure, I could be less detailed about my descriptions of our daily lives, but for me that is where the beautiful is.
So many mamma blogs I read talk about having older children, and not being able to recall the blunder weeks of their own early parenting journeys.
Their reminiscing glosses over the sleep deprivation, the dry heavy eyes, the ache in one’s neck that never used to be there, the newly found grey hairs, the secret counting of the minutes until bed time, the six different food options provided to that fussy toddler who ends up with the original one anyway, the cutie crawly twisty bottom, the nappy chase, the potty hat, the dang dang of metal on metal with the saucepans and lids, the early morning escape attempts into the back yard, mixing bowl skating on the kitchen floor, baby chatter, bath toys down mummy’s top, standing on daddy’s printer which is stupidly positioned on the floor just to reach his keyboard and pull the internet out of its socket, the stacks and grazes from kissing the concrete, the tantrums because a whole baby body cannot fit out a five centre metre slot in the climbing frame, vegemite face race, banana throwing, twinkle twinkle little star, and about a gazillion other tiny things which make up those long long days, but oh far too short years.
So this is why I write them down.
If I am honest, I wish I could write them all.
So often, my writer’s voice kicks in as we are playing; however I never want to sacrifice the moment in favour of the memory if that makes any sense.
Therefore I stay and let Emily paint my hair with peanut butter put her head in my lap, share her water bottle, offer me half chewed biscuits, play with the pegs under the clothes line, pull off her socks, heckle the tennis players when they become too serious about their game, renovate her cubby house by removing the window shutters, throw a tennis ball at daddy, call my name, get stuck under the picnic table because she forgets to turn her head sideways in order to squeeze between the bench and the top, wave at herself in the reflection of the television, window, or mirror, and a gazillion other tiny details dotted within the landscape of toddler territory.
Because I don’t want to forget.
I don’t want to gloss over any of this.
The fact is parenting is intense.
It is hard.
This gig will nail you to the wall if you let it.
And the truth is I like it this way.
I like the challenge.
I like the intensity, the exhilaration, the never knowing what we are doing, the not being quite confident in our actions, the constant worrying if we are doing the right thing, the best thing, the wrong thing, the fun thing… ,
I like the up and the down of it all.
Although it is difficult to admit, there are those times when I wish it were different.
I was reading earlier today, and another mamma put it as a mixture of resentment love, largely brought on by sleep deprivation. And I had to agree.
I can be hating that 3:00AM come get me cry, or I don’t want to go back to sleep, but simultaneously love the cutie cute cute cute unquestionably and absolutely. SO go figure!
The only thing I don’t like is when I lose the plot over the smallest and least significant of details.
I mean it only serves to set Little off more, and is no contribution to the situation what so ever, but boy oh boy can I yell at the least appropriate time.
How is telling her to lay down in my cross voice at 9:33PM when I have been up and down those stairs at least half a dozen times between whenever she went to bed and the time I express my crankiness going to calm her down?
Hands up who is an idiot!
I knew this parenting thing would be hard and unrelenting, but I don’t think I quite understood what that meant before going into this.
And by quite understand, I mean have any comprehension or frame of reference to go off what so ever.
The fact that I watched others do this for years, and slowly become led pencil outlines of themselves as they disappeared into the abyss of parenthood didn’t leave me with any romantic illusions.
But I was arrogant enough to think we would be different.
I thought I would preserve my energy better.
Oh, I thought so many things.
I know that part of why I didn’t do this sooner is because I wasn’t willing to receive the rewards, but nor was I willing to give up those parts of myself I held so dear.
Whatever they are, trust me; they have been long discarded and forgotten by now.
It is not so much that I wish to claim them back, as now I can see them as the tin treasures that they were as opposed to the gold I had perceived, but it is something else.
I feel as though I need to carve a new identity for myself, and I don’t quite know what that looks like yet.
Whatever it is, I hope it involves my being a more confident and aligned version of myself.
After all Little deserves a kick arse mummy to model.
Not this shell of a thing she has right now.
However of course that does not mean that people without kids are any less, all it means is that I wanted this for so very long, and spent forever trying to talk myself out of it for whatever reason, and then wondering why my life never seemed to fit me.
The fact is being a mummy is like finally finding a comfortable pair of gloves.
But if for any reason we couldn’t have had Little, I would have been so ok with that to.
Michael and I had finally found a happy place, and I had dropped the need for anything other than what we were. And for us, that is when it happened.
I find this a really delicate subject, and don’t want to risk alienating or inadvertently invalidating anyone who cannot or does not have children.
Therefore, please don’t be offended.
However I always seem to be choosing between writing this blog in those quiet moments during the day, or while half watching television with my husband in the evening, and sorting Emily’s clothes, ringing a friend, working on the business, or not working on the business because I am confused about what to do next, cleaning the house, writing about something else, or spending quality time with Michael.
It feels as though if I choose one over another, I am neglecting whatever element of my life I did not choose.
I cannot say I am doing this balancing act well right now, as once again I am late putting this post up.
But such is life.
So here we go:
This week’s Blunder Weeks post is brought to you by the letter gone.
And yes, before you get too up in arms, gone is an actual letter – at least in toddler territory.
Everything is gone.
Gone gone gone with a flick of the wrists and that classic upward palm gesture.
Daddy taught her how to do it, and it has become a firm favourite in our house.
Their funny face game continues to evolve into something more than it was before.
Emily learned how to put her head to her left shoulder in response to Michael’s putting his to the right.
There has been a lot more one handed walking, but it really does depend on the moment.
She still favours two for most of the time.
However what is funny is when we turn around to see her randomly standing without holding on to anything, but only to plop down as she notices either what she is doing or our watching her.
It was an early start on Monday morning.
Poor Little had her worst night ever.
I woke to hear her crying around the 1:00AM mark.
Michael graciously went and fetched her for us.
As he walked in the room, I heard her tell him that mamma is pretty.
Yes, mamma is pretty, he said softly as he placed her down on the change mat for a new nappy.
Awww, how sweet, I thought as I rubbed my eyes open.
They were so heavy. So very very heavy.
I mean Jesus may have moved that rock from his tomb, but even he would have had to take a second look at these boulders holding my sockets shut.
Sweetie pie was obviously not well. Her cold was getting worse, but putting her in with us didn’t seem to help. Therefore back to her own bed she went, only to wake up every fifteen minutes or so in need of a cuddle.
Touch me but don’t touch me her body seemed to say as we tried to comfort her.
By the time daylight came my head was pounding.
We had tagged teamed all night, eventually bringing her back in with us in the hope that she would find warmth and healing between our beating hearts.
I knew Michael was just as reluctant to get up with her as I was. However, I knew if I did it, then I would be out for the week. All I needed was a couple more hours of solid sleep, and I could take over.
Unfortunately I did not get said hours, because all I could hear was Little crying for her mummy.
I should have known that when she slid off my side of the bed the way she often does, to let us know that there is no more sleeping, and handed me my dressing gown, that it was in fact mummy she wanted, and not daddy.
I felt for Michael as I heard him try to reason with her.
Our sweet girl was throwing one of her newly aquired tantrums over something or another, and all I heard were Michael telling her that if she were going to behave like that, she would not get what she wanted.
If I was not so tired, I might have chuckled to myself. But as it was, I still could not move.
Time ticked on, and eventually I dragged my arse out of bed around 9:00AM.
One of my favourite things about Little is how she greets us when we have not been in her orb for a while.
It is as if we are the sun and the moon come to visit.
Michael looked like a wreck.
However, it was not until more than twenty-four hours later that he admitted to wanting to go back to bed during the day.
I have always encouraged that if need be, but he has always been so stubborn about it.
If anything baby girl slept better as a new born than she does now, so I know his pain.
But I guess the biggest difference these days is we share the feeding. Therefore, of course he is feeling it differently.
Well that, and on some level, toddler territory is more demanding than baby land.
At least when she was a baby she slept during the day more.
I was just saying in one of my parenting groups earlier in the week, that it is too bad we are not having another one, because I have mastered this mother of a baby thing. It is the toddler parenting I do not know how to handle.
Constantly I am sucked in by the cuteness.
Still, every time she crawls into my lap to give me what I think is a spontaneous cuddle, she turns around and grabs my index fingers and wants to go for a walk.
However, she does it so skilfully and lovingly, that I don’t see it coming.
Even when I think I am on to her, I am not, because she changes her energy to trick me into thinking all she wants is a bliss ball-loving cuddle.
I cannot help but feel I am being played.
May you always remember how to manipulate people with such skill, because I promise it will serve you well in the future.
I know very well that she can get on and off her rocking horse at will. But do you think she will do that when I am around?
Apparently the only way off is with my help.
She reaches out those pretty arms and eh eh eh ehs until I take her off.
She seems to do a lot more independent playing with Michael when they are outside as well.
However, the moment she sees me, she is climbing up my legs and asking for a cuddle.
For example, I have never seen her move the tennis balls from the back of her car to the blue platform on her climbing frame.
Nor have I seen her climb from said platform into her car Daisy Duke style the way she so often does when daddy is looking after her.
I am lucky if I can convince her to go down the slide by herself.
You’re a funny one my cutie cute cute cute.
I don’t know whether I should continue to ask her if she wants mummy’s help, or if I should insist on her doing things herself.
She will only be small for such a short time.
Understandably, on Monday she was clingy and cuddly.
We have never seen her so upset.
Nothing in the world made her feel better.
Even the arrival of her much anticipated and talked about child size custom-made lounge chair to match our own from Nanny was not enough to distract her.
I had thought when the big box arriving in the post, and much unpacking to be unpacked, she would be in heaven.
But I guess it didn’t help, that the first time she tried to climb over the chair, it fell back.
I know honey; there is a lot to be said against gravity and physics.
The question is where do we put it so she will use it for more than just a stepping-stone to somewhere higher.
The other day I caught her using it to climb on to the television cabinet, and then toward the bookshelves.
I am on to you climby legs.
Admittedly, the chair is great for opening and closing the cushion lid, and there are no pinch points to be had, but she does need our help with that game.
Michael says she uses it a lot during the day.
As it was, she only had a twenty-minute nap, and even that wasn’t particularly deep.
This meant when Emma, my orientation and mobility instructor came over with a colleague from Guide Dogs to have that conversation, the one I didn’t want to have but am glad we did, Emily was utterly miserable.
However, in true character, we had to laugh when she convinced Emma to take off her watch, and then be taken for a walk around the lounge room.
Now all we need to do is teach her how to swap the expensive accessory out for a cheap imitation, and we will be in the money.
There was not a lot we were told about the responsibilities of having a guide dog that I did not already know.
In truth, I think I wanted to be convinced it was a good idea.
However the more we talked, the more I realised it is not.
I know it did not help the conversation when I started with the opening phraise of I don’t want to be speaking about this… However, I thought it best to be honest and up front off the bat.
Thankfully, Emma’s colleague didn’t try to glam the situation up.
She was quite realistic about it, and I appreciated that.
I remember thinking somewhere about half way through the discussion, between bouts of walking Emily around the house, that maybe it should be something we consider. However then Michael put it so eloquently into perspective for me by saying, that basically for twenty-four hours seven days a week work, I would be getting three hours of benefit a day.
Holy shit, I thought.
I know we have spoken about this many times between us before, and he has said those very words on a number of occasions, but the way in which he said it then and there, really hit home.
He was right.
This wasn’t going to be worth it for me.
Again, we are back to my robo-dog idea.
Obviously, it doesn’t have to be in the shape of a dog, but on a fundamental level, it needs to be able to avoid obstacles similar to how a dog would.
Because here is how it was explained to me:
While a cane can detect an obstacle, a Guide Dog avoids them.
Simplistic it may be, but it did help me differentiate between each mobility aid.
Again I ask the universe, what technology do I need to tack together in order to make this happen.
And no, I am not wearing a wanky pair of glasses, or having a microchip imbedded into my brain. So keep thinking.
But still, I was determined to see if there was any way in which we could make this work.
What if there was a dog, which could take me for a run, I asked tentatively. All the while knowing there was not.
I mean if there were one of those, then maybe just maybe I could be sold on the idea.
Running around the streets is something I dearly miss.
However, Ali hesitated that little bit too long for my liking.
Ummm, what about around an oval, she had said.
But an oval is just a circle, I had replied. I don’t need a dog for that.
What I had wanted from the conversation was to know the realities of having a dog.
By this, I mean how many minutes a day I would need to spend on good behaviour training.
How many times would it need a bath per month.
How long would it take to brush it.
How often would I have to take it to the vet.
What I really wanted to know, was would it take away from time I could be spending with Emily?
We all know that time management is not my strong point, so the last thing I need is something else to fit into my busy being busyness.
Some of these answers I received, and others I did not.
However, the strangest sense of lightness came over me the moment Emma and Ali left.
Michael and I looked at each other, and without prompt, I declared we were not getting a dog.
It was a relief to have had the actual conversation.
But what it proved to me is I really don’t trust myself.
I knew this wasn’t right for me, but I kept trying to make it so.
When I had rung Emma and asked about it several weeks earlier I was frightened and fraught.
It has since occurred to me what I need is to get some serious echo location training from Danial Kish, the world’s leading authority on this type of navigation, and just to get on with living.
I know I am more than my vision, or rather my lack of it. And I have to admit to letting it define me more and more of late.
It is almost as with every disappearing detail, I feel more and more trapped and alone in a world of what the fuck, why bother and how the hell am I going to do this.
The biggest problem being, this isn’t supposed to be happening.
I have an eye condition, which is supposed to be fairly stable.
And whatever this is, it is not stable.
So I wonder; have I talked myself into this? Have I actually talked myself into going blind?
Sure, it may sound ridiculous, but if I don’t put it out there for all to judge, then what happens to the next person who may be reading this and wondering the very same thing.
A big part of why I write so honestly about myself is because if per chance there is someone out there asking themselves the very same questions I am, I want them to know they are not alone. Because sometimes that can make all the difference.
However it is a fine line between writing how I am feeling, the steps I am taking, and what works or doesn’t work for me, because I don’t want to give others false hope.
For example, when I was doing the acupuncture, there were a couple of minor miracles which I didn’t write about, because I didn’t want people to think I was either faking it, or worse, because it worked for me, it would work for them.
It is almost easier and more socially acceptable to write about the shitty parts of this, and not the improvements.
Unfortunately, however, the last few months have just been crappy.
Not that I have helped things by retreating to a diet filled with coffee and sugar. Each of which are fuel to the inflammation fire.
I can make a billion excuses as to why I won’t detox, and how it isn’t convenient, but none of that is really true.
Really, it comes down to a combination of fear, laziness, and lack of discipline.
At this point if I went home and told Michael all I was going to eat was spinach, to see if that would help, that is literally all he would cook for me. So I cannot use him as a reason for not doing anything food medicine wise about this.
Although what he has against kale, I can’t say.
I mean I don’t want to say it too loudly, but I can feel a coffee free period coming on.
There are a couple of eye drop remedies I can try, but I confess to being afraid of the mere act of putting things into my eyes.
So I wait.
I wait and I hope for another option.
I wait until my body decides to pull itself together.
Which I know it will.
In the meantime, I try to tell myself this is not a gigantic act of betrayal on the part of my physiology.
And I continue to research my options.
Imagine my disappointment when at 8:30PM on Monday night we switched from Michael’s Master Chef only to find there is no more Grey’s anatomy.
Luckily, Love Child starts soon, and here is hoping this season is better than the last, but what is a girl to do.
Now there is nothing I like to watch on television.
Again, Monday night was an absolute shocker.
Poor baby girl was a mess.
So much so, that when she got up at 10:30PM for a feed, Michael simply kept her in with us.
Apparently, she started shaking, and looked really distressed when he was changing her nappy.
I felt her forehead, and she didn’t seem overly hot, but still, it concerned us.
Because I hadn’t witnessed it directly, I wasn’t sure if she were shivering because she was cold, or convulsing because she was sick.
Normally I can tell how she is by feeling her hands. But these weren’t giving anything away.
So again, she slept between us for the night.
I have to laugh, because given how much practice we are all getting at this, we are all becoming more comfortable with the arrangement.
Emily has her spot; I have mine, and daddy, well who knows what daddy has.
Mr bed hog complains that he never has enough room, even when he is on my side. Therefore, I never really know when he is being serious or not.
Tuesday morning Michael noticed a rash around Little’s mouth and her bottom that we hadn’t seen before.
As usual, with anything new, I suggested we take her to the doctor.
Michael normally says no, far too quickly for my liking, but on this day he agreed, and was on the phone before I could get her pants on properly.
Therefore, after a cup of coffee in the semi-sunshine while Emily played in the yard, we were up at the local general practitioner’s getting her diagnosed with a bacterial infection.
I secretly fear I have given it to her, as the only thing differently we have been doing lately is having the occasional bath together, and she has been completely obsessed with my mouth.
I can’t be sure, but I think I have the same tiny sores she does, but on the inside of my lower lip, and on the back of my neck.
However, I feel like we have been at the doctors far too often lately, and am too embarrassed to go back again.
I haven’t asked Michael to check, so maybe that is the next step.
The sweetie pie was getting worse by the minute.
She had a horrible cough, which hurt her throat, she didn’t want to drink water, let alone eat anything, and her nose was running, her eyes were red, her cheeks were burning, and she couldn’t stop crying.
She was so poorly, that as we waited in the long line at the pharmacy for her first ever course of antibiotics, she let me give her a foot massage.
It didn’t take too much effort to get her down for a nap when we arrived home, but unfortunately, it was not long enough.
When she awoke, Michael had gone to the shops, or for a walk or something, and baby girl was utterly miserable.
As in, she lay on the lounge room floor giving the carpet a cuddle and crying.
She didn’t want for me to touch her, but she didn’t want me not to touch her either.
I had never seen her like that before.
I didn’t know what to do for her.
I rang mum, and after chatting for a little while, she suggested I put the television on and we watch cartoons.
I knew Michael wouldn’t be happy with that, but out of desperation, I plonked Little on the couch, and frantically clicked through the channels to find ABC kids.
We don’t usually put the television on for Little, so I didn’t even know what channel I was supposed to be looking for.
She began to dance when the ABC jazz radio station flicked through, so I left it there for a second.
However apparently that burst of happiness was only short lived. Therefore I kept looking.
Eventually after sixteen gazillion shopping channels, I found a cartoon, however I wasn’t happy with it.
I’ll just give it one more shot, I decided as I picked the remote up again and pointed it at our big arse tv.
Low and behold, there it was, Play School – an Australian institution if there ever were one.
I knew if we were to watch anything, Michael would approve of this one.
However just to be sure, I rang him and confessed my sin, before he had a chance to walk through the front gate and find us indulging in a guilty pleasure.
At first, Emily wasn’t really into it, but she sat quietly. However when they began to sing a song about hello, she bopped up and down like a mad woman.
Obviously, the hello song was a winner.
However too bad the story about Miss Muffat on a Tuffat in the middle was not.
Just as she was beginning to lose the plot again, the same hello song came back, but with a bye-bye theme.
Now this got her rocking out even more than the hello version.
So much so, that she hopped off the lounge, crawled to the television cabinet, pulled herself up, and started dancing.
Oh boy, but just when a girl finds her groove, they started singing about bananas in pyjamas.
No no no!
Bananas must suck, because she just looked at the television and began to cry.
However thankfully that didn’t last long before are you happy and you know it came on.
Now this is a song she knows from mummy, and the library.
So imagine my delight when they asked if you were happy and you knew it stomp your feet, she stomped her feet.
I had never seen her follow instructions like that before, apart from Michael or myself.
It was so cute.
Maybe there is some value to be had from offering her screen time more often, I thought as I watched her stomp stomp stop those little legs.
But then they switched to the clock, and it was story time. And she promptly lost interest in the entire thing.
Truth be told, I was relieved.
My fear is we will be arguing over television soon enough. And we don’t have wifi, so there are no netflicks or pepper-pig on demand.
We’ve got a couple of Wiggles DVD’s given to us by my grandma before she knew we were having a baby, but that is about it.
Heaven help us when she figures out the DVD player actually does more than switch on and switch off.
When daddy arrived home, they headed down the park for a quick play.
He was worried it would rain again, and we would all be stuck in the house for the afternoon.
And Oh God, anything but that!
As usual, while they were gone I organised her toys, ran her a bath, and made sure there was something for dinner. Although each of us knew, she was only likely to have a bottle.
She had rejected her milk the evening before, which was a bit of a surprise.
We have never seen her turn that down in any form, or no matter how under the weather she has been feeling.
I reckon she would live on formula if we would let her.
Our acupuncturist told us to keep her off cow’s milk until she was two or three if possible, but I am beginning to wonder if she could do with a little more dairy in her diet.
Sure, she has copious amounts of cheese with daddy, and the occasional spoon full of Greek style yogurt with mummy, but I worry about the synthetics of formula.
Oh whom am I kidding, we know I worry about everything.
My goodness, I can’t believe the amount of worrying I did when she was tiny tiny. And I can’t help but think will I be looking back on this time when she is older and chuckling to myself in the same way?
The fact is our little string bean is just that. She is growing by the second, her eyes are bright, her skin glows, and her smile is a regular fixture. So why am I worrying at all.
Obviously, we are doing an amazing job with her.
Although, she did have some massive crashes the week before and even bled for the second time.
I say second, because Michael swears he told me about the first time.
But even this took him a couple of hours to confess, and it was the first I had ever heard of such a monumental milestone.
But I would have blogged about that, I argued.
Umm, did I?
If so, I must have completely wiped it from my memory.
Tuesday night was a little more settled in comparison to the three or so evenings previous.
However again Michael brought Emily in somewhere around midnight, and they snuggled down together until 6:00AM.
Those two are the best of friends.
Wednesday morning we had a slightly less grumpy baby, which was lovely.
The antibiotics kicked in well over night, and her rash didn’t get any worse.
Somewhere around 11:00AM her and daddy took advantage of the sunshine and headed to the good park for a play, while I made use of café meg and did some computer work outside.
At 1:00PM, I walked up the street to fetch Jenny, Katie’s mum, and Rosy may’s granny, and bring her back to our house for a coffee and a catch up.
However while I was standing there on the station, I heard an all too familiar sound.
Surely that can’t be my husband’s footsteps I thought, as I listened to the wheels of a pram come toward me.
I know that sound, I thought again.
I know that vibe, I continued.
Hey, my darling’s voice said as he pulled up beside me.
What are you doing here?
I am just waiting for Katie’s mummy, I replied.
At that moment, baby girl woke up.
Apparently, they had been walking around our suburb while she napped.
Forty minutes is better than nothing, he had said as we watched the train pull in.
After making the introductions between Jenny and my husband, we all walked back to our house, where Jenny, Emily, and I sat at the best table at café meg, and our in house barista made coffee and snacks for everyone.
Katie had kindly left us some warm and cosy clothes for baby girl, which Rosy had either grown out of, or would no longer need given she now lives in the Territory.
Thank you Miss Rosy May for getting so big and strong that you no longer fit your blue gum boots.
We will love them.
And a bit thank you to Jenny for coming to visit and bringing them as a bonus.
About an hour later, Jenny left, and Emily and I continued to play outside.
Daddy pottered around the house doing whatever daddy’s do, and we did laps.
I know I am going to be sorry when I know longer get to see Miss wiggle bottom crawl along the floor the way she does, but using mummy as a Zimmer frame is oh so laborious.
This won’t last forever I tell myself, as once again, she picks my hands up and we walk three steps across the kitchen.
I can feel her body becoming more upright, which means she is becoming ever more independent.
All too soon, I will be chasing her across the room rather than our being attached.
Although I can still tell by the angle, she isn’t nearly as ready as one might hope.
Take your time sweetie pie; there will be plenty of time for life.
Again, on Wednesday afternoon Michael and Emily took their routine play in the little park by our house as I packed everything up for the evening.
I think I even managed to put the basket of washing away which had been hiding in her room.
By hiding what I mean is, I hadn’t tripped over it in a few days.
I try to do anything I need to upstairs while she isn’t there now.
Ever since that fall, I am afraid to have her up with me.
Sometimes I find myself balking at the top of the stairs when I have her in my arms, or she is attached to my fingers.
But I don’t want her to pick up on my fears.
She is getting so much faster at everything, that keeping up is becoming an issue.
Even her confidence in hopping off our super-duper high bed is growing ever bigger every day.
Michael says especially since we have put the warm winter crochet blanket on our bed my grandma made for my twenty first birthday – yep, I still have that thing – Emily can put her fingers in the wholes and ease herself down with greater control.
She hasn’t plopped on her bottom in at least a week when sliding off that monster.
Although knock on wood, the speed she has in climbing over mummy first thing in the morning is Olympic, so how she hasn’t accidently landed on the accidentally strategically placed pillows below, I don’t know.
I had been feeling off all day, so by 8:30PM on Wednesday night there was nothing else for it. I needed to go to bed.
I knew Michael still wasn’t himself, so wasn’t surprised when instead of opting for a boy movie he came with me.
I’ll just read this first chapter, he had said as I snuggled down under the covers.
And that was the last thing I heard until 7:00AM the next morning.
As in, I had no idea how many times Emily had been up, let alone that Michael had brought her in with us at 3:30AM.
It wasn’t until I heard someone’s pretty little voice say mamma, what are you doing, and had that same someone’s bottom on my head that I realised she was with us.
I’m sleeping, I had responded sleepily. What are you doing? I asked in return.
I wake, she responded with a smile in her voice.
Then promptly took her dummy out of her mouth and threw it at daddy.
At least it was at him, and not over my side of the bed, I thought as I heard it drop on to the sheet.
Normally once the dummy is gone, and she announces it is gone, followed by very quickly that she is going down, that is a signal that our day is about to begin whether we, the lazy grownups are ready or not.
Neither of us particularly minded though.
Partly because it was light outside and the birdies were also awake, but mostly because Little finally woke up happy, and seemed more herself than she had done in almost a week.
Neither of us can remember when she got sick, but it felt like forever.
At the moment, we are lucky to get more than three hours unbroken sleep from her. However, surely there is light at the tunnel, because she is beginning to self-settle a little more.
What’s more, she doesn’t seem as keen on the dummy. And we probably could have gotten rid of it over this last teething period, but we chickened out.
Why take a comfort off a baby who is clearly uncomfortable, we justified as we watched her throw it away more often than not herself.
All these things will be like the breast-feeding. One day, she will simply decide this is what she is doing, and that is that.
I think the problem with the dummy is, apart from that we have no end of frustration in trying to find it in the middle of the night, is that we know someone who has a school age child who still uses one. And we are afraid this will be us. Even though we know, it will not.
Thursday meant mummy went to work, while daddy and Emily had a bit of a pyjama day.
This is how I know my husband is not well.
Not only did he not have a shave, and he always shaves for the ladies, but he took Emily to the library, and the supermarket, and later in the afternoon, to the park in her pink unicorn pyjamas.
He would never have done that a year ago.
He always likes to get him and Emily groomed and dressed, because he wants people to know that he’s got this.
I even walked home from the station by myself, because I could tell he didn’t have the energy to come and get me.
Meanwhile on a whim, I bought Emily a treat on my way to my job.
I never buy her anything just because I know she will love it.
Mostly because we don’t have the money, and partly because Michael would probably look at me and roll his eyes.
I know that sounds so mean.
But I buy her things, which are educational or serve a dual purpose.
However these bangles were a just because.
I had thought because she is so into my bangles, and her big girl cousins haven’t come through with the goods – ladies?
I would buy her a set of her own.
Granted I paid way too much for these plastic babies, but it was so worth it.
Mainly because it felt good to have a spare $10 for such a treat.
Literally, the moment I walked out of the shop, I kicked myself for not looking on eBay first.
$10? I don’t pay that much for my own junk jewellery, but I had just paid it for Emily without batting an eyelid.
Is this what having kids is, I wondered as I chuckled at my stupidity.
Yep, I was the parent who became completely sucked in by the emotion, and sacrificed my logic for six hours of sweet sweet sweet anticipation.
I was so excited all day, and couldn’t wait to get home to give them to her.
Why didn’t I wait to buy them after work, I wondered as I envisioned her delight at receiving her very own rainbow accessories.
However when I did finally arrive home, and eagerly unpacked my bag of goodies, she wasn’t particularly interested in my gift.
If anything, she was more entertained by the bag of winter clothing Tamie had given her instead.
Thanks girl, those Elmo pyjamas are going to come in very handy.
I had been late leaving work, which meant I missed bath time, and only had about thirty minutes with baby girl before she needed to go to bed.
I know there are people who think we put her down too early, but honestly, she asks for it.
The sweetie pie can’t cope beyond 6:00PM as a general rule.
If anything, she is the one crawling into the kitchen and pointing at the special cupboard where the bottles are kept.
When we ask her if she would like a bottle and to go to bed for a big sleep, more often than not she says yes.
Now if only she would remember that after we put her in her cot…
So our Thursday night, regardless of whatever intentions I had held so closely earlier in the day saw us watch Master Chef for the sake of it, and then go to bed by 9:00PM.
I know we lead such exciting lives.
Thursday night was as it always is thank you Little, before mummy headed back to work on Friday.
Again proving just how under the weather my husband is, they skipped story time.
Granted he has been a little more lax about it lately than he was when Little was smaller, but still… Given it is her only sing along group structured thing she receives, they do try and make an effort.
Apparently, they did manage to make it to the supermarket, and the park, and they did meet me at the station where Miss frozen feet immediately absconded with mummy’s cane, much to the chagrin of the peak hour commuters trying to enter the lift.
Nice work sweetie, before we went home and used the last of the bubble bath to make mummy a bubble beard.
As we lay on the lounge watching mindless television on Friday night, I continued with the lengthy project of hash tagging every business post I have made on Facebook.
It has taken weeks of playing around with different words, but I finally feel as though I am getting the hang of it.
Next stop, Twitter.
However wait for it; somebody slept in their lovely French provincial inspired cot all night.
Mummy was so proud.
On Saturday, I took the early shift, as Michael was a mess.
I don’t think it would have mattered how tired or unable to move I was, he was worse.
I had woken at 4:00AM to give Little a bottle and put her back down, but by the time I went back to bed I was too wide-awake.
I knew that if I went back to sleep I would end up feeling like dog shit, because everyone knows what that feels like right?
Therefore, I simply got up and went downstairs for a warm cup of tea, and to continue with my hash tagging of the business Facebook page.
I thought it would be fun to be on my own, and I confess to having to fight the urge not to sit on the kitchen floor the way I would do with Little for my tea, and take it to the lounge with a blanket like a big girl instead.
Just as I was finishing the last post, way back in 2015, I heard a small voice calling my name.
It is always nice when she wakes up with a happy sound, but I confess to wishing I had gone back to bed after all.
We came down stairs and left daddy to his snoring while we ate vegemite toast on the kitchen floor.
When daddy came down a few hours later, we were already out in the backyard enjoying the sunshine.
What would you like for breakfast he asked, as I pushed Emily on her swing.
Bacon was my response.
I had been craving good bacon and eggs all week.
When I was single and living alone, I would make myself a bacon and egg sandwich most mornings.
They are one of my favourite foods.
Crispy bacon and runny eggs, a little lemon, yogurt, and if I am feeling fancy, some avocado or Italian hard cheese.
My hope had been that if I ate my yummy breakfast at Emily’s picnic table, that she would lean over and help herself the way she does with many of my dishes.
However, this wasn’t to be.
The best I could manage was giving her some egg yolk soaked toast across the table as she ate her penny pasta.
Penny pasta is her new favourite.
I knew I was a little edgy on Saturday, and probably could have done with a fun family outing, but at the same time I was just so tired, that being at home was the easiest thing.
Before I knew it, Emily was in need of a nap, and Michael was out the door on a grocery run.
She slept for three hours.
Three beautiful what should mummy do with these one hundred and eighty minutes.
I wanted a nap, but there was too much to do, starting with a yoga session.
The problem was however, once I had loosened my hips, all the anger I had been holding in my body began to bubble to the surface.
Granted it didn’t help that I read an article regarding the planned inaccessible upgrade to a local playground, and I am furious about it.
I mean this stuff isn’t rocket science, yet the powers that be clearly have no clue.
Putting a footpath around a playground wide enough for a wheel chair, yet not including any wheel chair friendly play equipment?
Need I say anything more?
How are kids supposed to learn to play together if they aren’t included?
I am so mad!
I would be devastated if Emily couldn’t play in the park.
Talk about dangling the ultimate carrot.
So so mad!
The worst thing is I don’t know what to do about it.
Nor do I know why it has hit a nerve.
Much of her naptime was frittered away, so by the time she woke up I was not happy with myself.
Good God, where has my productivity gone?
Michael arrived home not long after we were enjoying some more pasta, and they went to the park for a play.
I was feeling a bit crook, so I had a bath, and went to bed.
When they came home, Emily was keen for a bath, and I felt bad as she banged on the bathroom door in readiness, but I hadn’t done anything to prepare it for her.
I kept her amused in the loungeroom, as we were waiting for Nicole to visit.
I was surprised that from the moment sissy walked in, Emily was all over her. Be it with her words or her actions.
Normally Emily becomes quiet around other people, but there is something about Nicole that brings Little out of her shell.
They played games, and Emily had Nicole up walking her around within about three minutes.
Sissy and I gave sweetie pie a lovely long bath, and caught up on our usual chit chat.
Not that I ever have much news, because she reads it all here.
We put Emily down, and then the grownups ate their dinner in peace.
Thanks for coming sissy.
As usual, her magical sleep fairy dust rubbed off on Emily, and she only woke up once on Saturday night.
However, it took over an hour to get her back down again.
Then when she woke on Sunday morning, neither of us was in a good mood.
As in seriously, I should not have gotten out of bed, and neither should have Emily.
We started our day in opposition to one another, and it seemed to stay that way for the morning.
It was freezing, as in seven degrees type freezing, and Little refused to put her socks on.
Even getting a nappy on her was a long game of chasings.
I worry about how to keep her warm.
As it is, we have swapped her owl blanket out for my woollen baby blanket, yep; I still managed to keep that one also.
And I must say it is lovely to have my daughter sleeping under the same blanket I did when I was tiny.
Just as it should be.
But those feet, how do I keep her feet warm?
Oh my God!
When Michael woke up, he suggested we go find a park, because it was obvious I needed to get out of the house.
So off we went.
However, our toddler who used to love the car as a baby seemed to take a real disliking to the vehicle, which didn’t make for a pleasant drive.
Not until we stopped at a set of lights, and she suddenly looked out the window and asked what was that.
What that, I wondered as she suddenly began to chatter.
And so the questions begin, I said to Michael as we drove to our destination.
When we pulled up to the park, we were a bit surprised to find it wasn’t as Michael had remembered.
Those four swings he thought he had seen were only one for example.
However, as luck would have it, that one swing was a wheel chair friendly swing.
And what do you know, after we had had our turn, and Little had seemed somewhat bewildered by how the whole thing worked, three able bodied boys about eight or nine came and sat on it and played very happily together making up their boy rhymes using the word pooh.
Whereas if there had been two traditional swings, or is so often the case these days one traditional swing and one baby swing, those boys would have had to take turns, and that might have caused an argument.
Whereas with the wheel chair friendly swing, they had found a way to maximise it to their benefit, even though it was not built for able-bodied nine-year-old boys in mind.
I rest my case council dickheads who don’t have a clue how the real world works, and aren’t actually capable of compassion or putting themselves in someone else’s shoes.
So although the park was a bit lame, we do give the slippery-dip a ten out of ten in terms of speed.
I’ve told Michael to make notes of all the good equipment, so that when he builds us one of our own, he will know to incorporate all the best features.
Because our park pilgrimage wasn’t great, we thought we would go in search of another.
However, the one we found in the street directory didn’t actually exist in real life.
Emily was a mess, so we headed home for both her and mummy to have a nap while daddy went for a walk.
I woke up almost three hours later, feeling much more myself I might add, to find Michael just coming up the stairs to check on us upon his arrival home.
Emily was still asleep, so I stayed where I was, and enjoyed the last rays of the sunshine as they stroked our bed.
It was the warmest I had been all day, and I was reluctant to leave it.
However, when Michael brought baby girl in to jump on me, of course I knew my time was up.
Who knows what I did when they were at the park.
Probably sat with a cup of tea, the way I often do.
Then when they arrived home, I took Emily for a bath, we played in the loungeroom, and she went to bed.
Michael ended up having to put her to sleep, because I didn’t have the patience for it.
Sure, I may have felt better than in the morning, but not better enough to put up with her crying.
I had woken up feeling hopeless and frightened regarding our situation.
I woke up worried that nothing would ever change, and we would be doing this hand to mouth thing forever.
I woke up feeling as though anything more than this poverty we are experiencing was impossible.
I felt overwhelmed as I watched the wealthy men play tennis.
I felt afraid at the impossibility of it all.
I felt sad about the lack of belief in myself.
When I explained this to Michael, he sat and dutifully listened, and God love him, he tried to point out the good.
However, in my mind, none of that means anything. Because where we are is where we are, and I don’t know how to change it.
I don’t see how pretending I am grateful for something and writing it down in a journal is going to shift my worldview.
I don’t see how a bunch of affirmations I don’t believe are going to transform my world.
The fact is, I don’t think anything different is possible. And as long as I stay stuck in this quagmire of stagnation, and some would say depression, the longer things will stay as they appear.
So here, we are on Sunday night, at the end of another week, yet I feel no closer to any of my ambitions.
I wonder what next week will bring.