It is 9:00PM on Sunday night.
I have had a nice mix of pain relief, which are not reaching the promised land of my foot, but who cares because my head is a million miles away.
Michael and I are tucked up in bed, the baby is asleep, he with his book, and me with this blog.
Toddler territory is somewhat monotonous in its terrain right now, and I feel if I report on our week again, it is going to be pretty much the same as last week.
Plenty of park visits, playing around the house, snacks, chatting, naps, and oh did I mention that this morning one cutie cute cute cute figured out how to unlatch our front gate?
We’re fairly confident she wasn’t trying to escape in the traditional way, but rather just trying to get to daddy who was on the other side.
My theory is, that if she truly wanted to run away and explore the world, she would have already climbed into the neighbour’s yard, or over the back gate to the tennis courts.
She likes to explore new things, but she likes company more.
I have always known she would be a climber, but I am fairly confident she is not a runner.
Her personality may be cheeky, but she doesn’t have that same sense of whatever it is that some of the rowdier kids we see down the playground have which makes them make a break for it.
So how can I put this?
This week has been one hell of a week.
I will go as far as to say it has completely nailed us to the wall.
Between you and me, part of me cannot believe we made it through, but part of me is worried we are not going to survive.
By we, I mean Michael and me.
I am afraid for the fabric of our relationship.
The cotton fibres of intimacy and shared moments, which bind us together.
What if they are not enough?
Right now, I don’t like to imagine life without him.
I need him to hold my hand and keep me close.
But I can feel the fibres of memory, shared experience, love, gratitude, and knowing just how good we are for one another stretching and taring.
Especially because by my very nature and inability to consider others, I can be a little too rough and tumble with it, and not realise the damage I have caused until it is too late.
And the worst thing is I don’t even say what I am really thinking.
Every word is carefully weighed and measured beforehand.
Not in a bid to cause maximum impact, but rather in a bid to cause the least amount of hurt.
I know my tongue can be scissor sharp.
I try to frame things in a positive I feel type way, but sometimes my tone gives it all away.
I am sorry honey.
I know that lashing out at you when I feel trapped in a corner is completely counter productive.
As you say, we are a team, and are in this together.
How do I get it so wrong so often?
I know we are solid, but what if in my infinite pig-headedness I destroy us.
I tend to harden when things become tough, when really I need to soften and simply go with the flow.
It is as if my fear causes me to be rigid, inflexible, and determined.
But I don’t see it until afterward.
Even though I know this about myself.
It is as if I go back to my default setting of protect by attack.
So um, no, not exactly gracious or sophisticated on my part.
I am worried about my husband.
Lord knows I have completely hit the edges, and reached my capacity, as in I am fairly certain I have nothing left. But Michael is also in a world of stress. Of which I am a shamed to say, I hadn’t realised until Friday night when his overwhelm unravelled in front of me as I told him where I was in terms of sustainability.
I am so sorry honey.
I am so so sorry.
I should not have burdened you with my tale of woe.
I should have simply slept on it, and trusted that on Saturday morning things would somehow seem better.
Which by the way they did.
Although who knows how, because nothing in our situation for the foreseeable future has changed.
Oh holy shit… What are we going to do?
I comfort myself with they could be worse.
But how is that meant to buffer us from the cliff’s edge we are balancing on?
It is as if by saying that, I have no right to complain or process my thoughts and feelings.
However, I disagree.
How else am I going to find a path through, if I don’t put this down on the page?
He tells me we are fine, but I can tell my words have injured him deeply.
Sometimes I forget what a sensitive soul he is, and how very much he feels and takes things to heart.
We are normally such a good team, but at the moment, thanks to my very active imagination, I have felt as though we are not on the same planet.
Umm, talk about awkward.
To cut a long story short, it turns out we are very much on the same planet, but we are also very much buried under a list of tasks which is growing longer by the minute.
It seems that most of our time is spent reacting to circumstances rather than responding to our situation. Which in turn means we are getting nowhere fast.
Each of us feeling as though we are drowning, and the faster we paddle the more tiresome we each become. Then the more tired we are, the less we connect and communicate effectively.
Oh God it is not a pretty cycle.
I am someone who needs a variety of communication mediums as the base of our relationship, while he is someone who is happy to go inward for a time before re-emerging.
This can make things tricky, because the less he says the more I do. And the more I do the more noise it creates, and the more noise I create the less he responds because he is trying to listen through my buzzing…
Whenever I ask him if we need to approach the family for some periodic help, he dismisses the idea.
Not out of a sense of pride, but because like me, he cannot imagine handing Little to anyone, even for a couple of hours.
I think at this point, even if we did, we wouldn’t know what to do with the time, as we are so swamped with things, which need to be done, we would probably sit on the lounge bewildered by the silence, and completely waste it anyway.
We simply need to manage our time better, and start doing tiny actions in the tiny slithers we each have, rather than looking at the whole puzzle and wondering when or how we are going to put it all together.
Meanwhile Little is as cute as ever.
This week she has grown a little taller.
Which by a little, I mean a lot.
We are quickly adjusting to just how far and high she can reach.
Hello kitchen bench.
Our little mountain goat can also stand on our big comfortable bed, her clamshell pool, and anywhere else, it is slightly dangerous, unpredictable, and uneven.
No no, we won’t discuss the bathtub.
Sitting down in the bath please baby girl.
However keeping one icicle baby warm is proving difficult.
She is practically living in her pyjamas, because at least they have feet she cannot take off.
We don’t believe in soft-soled shoes, socks apparently suck, along with slippers, stockings, and all other foot jailers.
SO what are we left with?
However on another note, we are pleased to announce that less than a week after working out how to climb up and down a standard metal ladder at the park; she has almost conquered the rope ladder also.
You’re a legend Little.
We are still fairly sure that she can walk, but chooses not to.
Still she insists on walking with us, either with both hands or just one.
But more just one these days, which is really exciting.
Not that I can envision her upright.
Michael says there has been a lot more standing up time this week.
However, the problem we have encountered in the last seven days is that that mummy is no longer able to walk her around due to a fracture in my foot.
Umm, talk about inconvenient.
All my toddler knows is that something mummy used to do, she no longer does, and this makes one baby girl very very sad.
Along with no, more pulling mummy’s socks off or dancing on my feet.
All I can say is that at this rate, she will be walking before I am.
At the moment, I simply crawl around the house after her, as it feels easier and safer than trying to balance on crutches while she is near.
Although how Emily does it on the concrete or as fast and unconscious as she does, is beyond me.
My kneecaps are soft through lack of use.
Michael says that my crawling up the stairs is just putting me in good sted for a project we are hoping will come to fruition later this year or early next, so in many respects, my broken foot isn’t a complete loss.
Not to mention just how awesome my shoulders are going to look when I’m finished with these cruchers.
If I can pull all fifty-two kilos of me along now, then imagine how much easier a twenty litre pack will be in the future.
The trick will be maintaining such tone and strength.
Meanwhile it is the strangest feeling.
I can’t help but think the universe has something special in store for us.
My crawling now is doing weird things to my brain.
Although I cannot quite put my finger on what they are.
As a baby, I never crawled, I simply got up somewhere at the age of two, started walking, and never looked back.
It is as though I am reliving some part of my development that I had chosen to skip.
I can’t help but think there is something of fundamental significance happening.
It is almost as though my psyche is back at one and a half years old, and I am relearning how to live.
Who says a girl cannot change history.
I know it is important, but as to why things are unfolding as they are I cannot say.
Surely hindsight will tell us, but we aren’t there yet.
The cutie cute cute cute has already shown me so much about how life can be different, and having her as a companion through this trial, is just one more gift.
By the end of the week, she has slowly gotten used to it, and almost enjoys having someone following her around with the same movement.
We have stair races; drumming contests on the floor with our hands, rowing dancing and still the best games of hide and seek ever. Even if they are just putting our heads down on the floor and then popping up again.
Toddler territory is so much fun if a girl lets herself enjoy it with reckless abandon.
I love the silliness and lack of self-consciousness with it all.
Meanwhile she and daddy have invented sumo walking.
Funniest thing ever, according to Emily.
The strangest things make her laugh at the moment.
No longer is it a tickle under the chin.
But it can be a funny noise, a puff of wind, or this afternoon it was nanny making the toy monkey jump.
I am thinking I would like to buy her a jack in the box.
Monday started slowly for all of us.
Michael got up with Emily, more because I just couldn’t face it.
Then we spent the morning pottering around the house before Michael took Emily to the park for a spontaneous play, followed by a family adventure to the local voting booth.
My foot had been sore for a couple of days, but I hadn’t put too much stock into it.
Things were often becoming painful and then resolving of their own accord.
Apart from my neck.
Unfortunately, that is still proving restricted, and keeping me awake at night.
Therefore, I was surprised when we walked out the front door to find my limp had become worse. Putting weight on my foot had been uncomfortable, but nothing I couldn’t live with.
Slowly we had walked up the street, as the pain had gotten worse.
I had thought about asking Michael if we could drop into the doctors on the way back, but I didn’t want to be a drama queen or a pain in the arse.
However once we got home, it had become obvious that something wasn’t right. Therefore, we made an appointment.
Meanwhile Emily had gone down for a nap, so Michael had decided to take advantage of the down time and go for a bush walk in the winter sun.
Along with getting some groceries and a haircut for himself.
5:15 rolled around, and we limped to the doctors as it is quite literally up the street, and driving seemed pointless. As we would have to park at least half a block away anyway.
Here is a referral for an MRI he offered as I explained my history and symptoms.
Great, there is $350 we don’t have, I had replied.
Honestly, we cannot afford it, I had said.
I felt powerless on a whole new level.
It is bad enough we cannot afford to take Little to the dentist, or get Michael’s tooth fixed, but now this?
I knew that an MRI would only confirm what we had suspected, and wouldn’t change the course of treatment, so after discussing it with Michael, we decided to go ahead with our action plan and skip the MRI.
I understand the doctor is only doing his job, and wants a confirmation of the diagnosis, but we are all fairly certain we know what it is.
I have been down this road before, the doctor has seen this type of injury before, and as I said, the course of treatment doesn’t change.
Although I have to confess, I don’t remember it being as painful.
Tuesday morning I hobbled into work, and somehow managed to do my job, while Michael organised to pick me up a set of cruchers, and my sister, otherwise known as the magical sleep fairy, said she would bring me over a moon boot.
Just take it slowly, I told myself as I limped back through the Queen Victoria Building and on to the train.
I had finished a little earlier than expected, so although it was dark, and almost Emily’s bedtime by the time, I reached the station, Michael was up there with a set of cruchers tucked under his arm.
I swear to God I had never been so relieved to see a pair of those things in my life.
As with every step, it was like a hot poker was sticking through my foot and shooting up my leg.
I knew my foot was swollen, because I could not wiggle it in my boot, as I could with the other.
In fact, I had worked in jeans and boots all day because the idea of trying to take my shoe off, let alone my street pants had been all too much by the time I had made it to work in the first place.
As I flopped on the lounge in searing pain, Michael gently slid my boot off for me.
My foot began to throb loudly.
Holy shit, I had moaned as Emily climbed over me.
She is such a cutie.
My sister Nicole rang to say she would be over in twenty minutes, so if I were at the station, just wait, and she would pick me up.
At this time Emily was still awake, and making her unhappiness known to all who were in earshot. But by the time Nicole arrived, she was sound asleep.
We have since invited Nicole to visit every evening at about 7:15PM, but so far, she hasn’t taken us up on the offer.
What’s that about sissy?
Michael had miraculously gotten her down while I sat on the footstool in the shower just as I had done when I was pregnant.
I was upbeat as we went to bed that night.
I’ve so got this honey, I had declared before falling asleep.
I had thought cruchers would solve everything.
I had also thought the boot was overkill, but Michael had insisted that I wear it on Wednesday morning.
So again, up the three of us got, and slowly traipsed to the station.
I was a bit wobbly on my new legs, as my arms and centre of gravity had not adjusted to the new way of being.
However, I have to admit the boot made my entire leg feel safe.
For days, it had felt as though my foot were shattered into a million pieces.
It was only when we hit the station concourse that it became apparent just how fragile I was.
The elevator was broken, so I had to take the stairs.
Honestly, I had not factored this into my list of one thousand scenarios.
I nearly panicked.
Fighting back tears, I looked at Michael and told him to stay with the baby, and that I would be fine.
Fuck, I cursed under my breath. How am I going to do this?
I can’t see, I exclaimed to the station staffer, let alone do this on cruchers.
It is my first morning on these things, I continued. I haven’t had enough practice yet.
However here we were, the train waiting for me on the platform, an appointment with the baby mechanic waiting for me at the other end, and a busy day ahead.
As it was, I knew I would be coming home in the dark, and that was already weighing heavily on my mind.
So I sucked it up, took a deep breath, and just got on with going down the stairs while Michael anxiously watched from above.
I nearly lost it as someone came down my inside.
There was about half a person width between me and the railing, and the woman, who insisted on whizzing past, had taken no notice of my cruchers, and actually clipped me on her way down.
Excuse me, I had shouted after her, but to no avail.
What is it about me which people find so easy to ignore?
Again, this made me almost burst into tears.
I felt so vulnerable.
It wasn’t enough that I was without my cane, but somehow I had thought maybe people would be a little more respectful of cruchers because it was a currency they could maybe relate to better than a white cane, but apparently not.
Apparently, people are just rude obnoxious beasts, and this is the world I inhabit.
However how can that be, when on an inner circle I am surrounded by the most amazing tribe of nutbags.
You know who you are.
It was strange to get on the train without Michael kissing me good-bye.
I felt as though we were already a million miles away from one another, and an important step in our day had already been missed.
But there I was, comfortably seated, well sort of, and hurtling toward my future.
I had toyed with getting off at Wynyard, as I knew I would be close to the elevator, but the new gates I was still not sure of, and given I didn’t have a cane to indicate my primary need, how would I possibly explain my inability to exit without clear directions.
And then there was the slightly longer walk in terms of distance, hills, and two roads to cross in comparison to Town Hall.
Therefore, I decided to brave the stairs at Town Hall and cut under the Queen Victoria Building like usual.
Have a good day, the ticketing guy said as I lumped through.
I can do this I can do this I can do this I told myself with every slow movement forward.
How I didn’t run into anything, I will never know.
However, I had stressed the entire time, because I didn’t want to be late for John, the osteopath, but I had not factored in just how long it would take me to walk those two blocks.
I’m sorry; I called as I entered the clinic.
I do respect your time.
I couldn’t phone, because that would slow me down, and I wasn’t sure I could get going if I stopped.
Sometimes the idea of getting my phone out of my pocket, and either dialling, or instructing Siri is too hard.
He laughed, made some smart arse comment, and then proceeded to give me a treatment.
I’ve so got this, I declared as I hobbled out.
But oh, how I had no idea.
As I struggled to work all afternoon, and thought I would pass out from the pain, I indeed had to wonder what the fuck I was doing.
How was I going to get home?
I had been so confident twenty four hours earlier, but that was before I had battled through the crowds in the Queen Victoria Building, and long before I had been up on my foot for three hours.
As I struggled to do my job effectively, my cognitive load began to creak and crunch. So that by the time I had a chance to eat my lunch at 5:00PM, I actually couldn’t figure out how to open the container, let alone lift the spoon to my mouth.
And it was then that my best friend Liz received a tearful phone call of my explaining how I couldn’t do it, and I wasn’t sure I could get home, and that everything hurt.
I had briefly spoken to Michael, but I didn’t want him to worry, which is why I hadn’t told him the extent of my pain.
As it was, I wasn’t going to be home until after Emily was in bed, so unless he went and asked one of the neighbours to keep an eye on the baby, or come fetch me, I was on my own.
Facing the trip was a daunting task, and although I knew it had to be done, the alternative of a taxi was not an option.
Not because of the money, although that is always a factor, but because I could not have coped with a driver who wanted to make small talk, ask questions about my disability, or heaven help me attempt to take advantage the way some have tried in the past.
The long and the short of it is I am afraid of being in a car with a stranger.
I don’t know how anyone else does it. But perhaps they have not found themselves with a big disgusting man hand squeezing their breast from across the car, a sudden tongue in their ear, heard the zip on a drivers pants go down, put up with the gazillion inappropriate suggestions, innuendoes, propositions, threats, veiled or otherwise, the uneasy feeling that now someone sleazy or slightly dangerous knows where they lives, someone taking all their money and driving off, or being left in the middle of an industrial area at 3:00AM thirty five kilometres from home.
I mean how do you come back from that?
And this is before find my iPhone was invented.
Hi, I have no idea where I am, but can you drive around Sydney looking for me?
Yeah, umm, like that works.
Now of course I understand people have a million different comebacks and ways of handling this type of thing, but give a girl a break.
I am not adept, or rather, I am too adept at dealing with any one of these possible outcomes, and they do not make me feel comfortable, or good about myself.
Therefore, for all intensive purposes, I will avoid them.
So there is no point in telling me what you would do, because honestly, I am not prepared to listen.
Everyone has their own journey, and this is mine.
So before you say anything, back the hell off.
Because as if I haven’t run through in my mind what I could have, should have, would have, or whatever done given the opportunity all over again.
Yes of course I have considered self-defence, capsicum spray, and so on.
I get it; you mean well, but as I said. Maybe on this one keep your opinion to yourself.
Somethings cannot be fixed, or do not need to be solved, even in your conscience.
Oh yes, and I am well aware of how defensive I sound right now.
But believe me, this is not a point, which needs to be pushed.
What I am saying is, I would rather take the train no matter the cost.
Therefore come hell or high water, of which I was experiencing both, I would get home under my own steam.
My life is built around empowerment, and what that means to me may be different to what that means to someone else.
But this is precisely why we live in the area we do, and as close to transport as possible.
Sure, there are nicer areas we may lust after from time to time, but when push comes to shove, if I don’t feel safe, secure, and free to get around then we don’t do it.
Because nothing, no view of the ocean, jetty on a river, or shade of a tree is worth my being isolated or dependant on being driven from one point to another.
Because let’s face it, reality is, my husband is not going to be around all of the time to chauffeur me, and nor should he be expected to, despite what people may assume.
As I sat on the train, a lady tried to squeeze her arse in between me and another person. However, unlike last week, this time I was not going to take it.
Before I knew what I had done, I had stood up, grabbed my cruchers and moved through the vestibule of a moving train.
Come back, she called.
Is that too much for you?
Yes, yes, it is, I retorted.
This is my first day on cruchers, I have a vision impairment, and you want to sit on my lap, I continued sharply.
I have had a long day, and cannot cope with anything else.
She was one of those upper class successful women who had been out for a couple of wines, and just felt like a seat for the three stops she had to travel.
She apologised, and gave me back the seat.
Although I have to admit, it was kind of awkward.
But I didn’t care.
I was too tired, and in too much pain to give a shit about what anyone had thought.
I still had the walk home to contend with.
It was dark and cold and I scraped my knuckles on the brick wall a little further up from our place.
Get a wriggle on, my husband shouted from the entrance of our complex.
However instead of smiling and saying something back, a lone tear rolled down my cheek, and I put my head down and just kept going.
When I reached him, I burst into tears and slumped on the path.
I’m just so happy to see you; I lied as he put his arms around me.
The truth was his comment had hurt.
Normally it is something that is a running joke between us, but by the time I had gotten through my day, I was red raw with emotion, and simply couldn’t receive it with the joviality he had intended.
I’m sorry honey.
I had my serious pants on.
How I managed the long trudge down our front path I will never know.
As he took my boot off that night, I had nothing left in the tank.
Even eating dinner was a struggle.
Those stairs to our bedroom may as well have been to mars.
The worst thing was, in less than twelve hours I would be doing it all again.
On Thursday morning, I woke up scared of my day.
Normally there is some aspect I am afraid of, and am unsure as to how to manage, but this was the entire thing.
How is it I can look at almost any cliff face, and think how much fun it would be to climb, and know without a doubt that no matter how hard it is, I would completely nail that sucker, and enjoy doing so, but picking up my cruchers and walking through the snow storm that is my vision to get to work smacked of impossibility.
As in really truly, I was not sure it could be done.
I have had to dig deep before, but I have never reached my limit, and Wednesday I had reached my limit.
Good to know, and not good to know.
Because on the one hand I am a shamed that I have found it, and over something as unchallenging as cruchers, and on the other hand, I cannot help but feel if I get through this, everything else is going to be easy in comparison.
And I have been doing some thinking, in particular about the life I want to give Little, and the example I want to set, and let’s just say my dreams aren’t exactly small.
And yes, a trip to Disneyland is involved.
But what is the point in doing that unless it has the most awesome amazing twist ever?
Although between you and me, I have absolutely no idea how I am going to pull it off.
SO this one is in the hands of the universe.
I am afraid, I told my husband as we walked up the front path.
You’ve got this he said.
Yeah, but I shouldn’t have to, I replied angrily.
When you broke your foot you got to sit home and read books all day, I continued.
I am on these things, going to work, and standing up.
I don’t get to rest, I said feeling very sorry for myself and very resentful of him.
Not that it was his fault, or he who had put us in this situation.
This was all me.
staying home is not an option.
For if I don’t work, we don’t eat.
We are that hand to mouth at the moment that I cannot even take a day or two to be sick.
Alternatively, staying home with Little would be harder, because the frustration of not being able to pick her up would be through the roof for each of us.
At least adults I can reason with to some degree.
Although after this week, regardless of the results I have been getting, and the work arounds I have been doing, it is questionable.
I was quite out of my mind with fear and pain as I thudded through the Queen Victoria Building on my way to work.
With every step, I was an inch away from crying.
Crying because I had no idea how to get through my day, let alone the next thirty seconds.
How would I find the strength to take the next step, or strategize the most efficient line between one point and another.
How would I eat my lunch?
I stopped drinking water, even though I knew hydrated bodies heal faster, because the trip to the bathroom was too far down the hall for me to contemplate, and the extra time I needed to go, I simply did not have.
The irony of being busier than I had ever been since I stopped working full time was not lost on me.
This did not feel like a what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger type scenario.
This felt hard.
Hard hard hard!
I tried to tell myself that a lesser person would have bailed.
I tried to tell myself that I enjoyed the challenge of it all.
I tried not to be trapped by the need, the way my boss pointed out.
Ouch, I thought when she told me the primary reason I was there.
However as true as it is, what she doesn’t know is that chances are, me being me, I would have worked for her anyway.
Just as I have done before, even if I haven’t needed the money.
Because if not me, then who?
I work because on some dumb level I don’t want to let her down.
It as if I want to prove that the high maintenance of my blindiness has its pay offs, and this is it.
I am hard working, reliable, and strong as a rock.
So take that stupid sighted people who think they can do everything.
Because I have seen you crumble under less.
So yeah, I’ve got this.
Seemingly whether I want to have it or not.
All day I worked, and all day I questioned what I was doing, and how I was going to continue.
All day I perched precariously on the edge of a torrent of tears.
All day I was held hostage against my pain threshold.
However somehow on Thursday night, I still managed to leave early enough for Michael and Emily to meet me at the station, and to hear about how my husband had lost, and then found his wedding ring in the park.
I am so sorry honey that would have been an awkward conversation to have with your not quite so amazingly understanding wife.
I am so glad you found it, because this week, I am not sure I could have handled it if you had not.
However, I am sorry that Little cried her eyes out in the pram while you frantically searched in the half-light, and you had to worry and listen to her distress as well as your own.
God I felt guilty about leaving early, but honestly, I would not have managed that day if I had not.
I had pushed Wednesday beyond the brink, and I had paid the price.
This wasn’t moving the brick wall of my perception, this was repeatedly banging my head up against it and wondering why it didn’t fall.
Surely there is freedom on the other side, I keep telling myself.
Surely there is something more…
If I think about it, it feels light and airy and deliciously gorgeous.
I simply don’t know how to reach it.
I really wanted to have Friday off.
Everything ached, and although I knew it would be hard, I knew I was facing a different kind of fatigue.
So off I went again.
Taking painkillers during the day wasn’t an option, because that would impede my job. So once again, I had to breathe.
Just breathe and pretend everything was ok.
On the one hand, I was thankful it wasn’t as busy as it had been, but on the other, I was pissed off, because what was the point in my being there?
It was a slog to get to and from work.
As it was, I felt as though Michael didn’t understand the personal cost I was tallying in order to have our car registered for the next twelve months, or ensure we had a roof over our head for the next four weeks.
I don’t think anyone can understand just how taxing it is to blindly stagger about on cruchers through a sighted world of people watching their phones instead of where they are going.
I liken it to constantly navigating a china shop with your limbs stretched out as wide as they can go, and not breaking anything.
To be honest, even as I got home on Friday afternoon, I didn’t feel a sense of accomplishment the way one might expect.
I was simply home.
Home, and in the bath with my baby girl.
I try to get in with her every so often, because I believe in the benefits of still having the skin-to-skin contact wherever possible.
Not to mention, right now, it is good for my foot.
The truth is, I feel like I haven’t seen Emily in weeks.
She is taller, more learned, and just different in ways I cannot account for.
It is as if I am touching a foreign entity when I run my hands down her cheeky legs.
How did they change so much in such a short time, I wonder as I reach her cold tootsies.
Miss I don’t wear socks – ever!
To be honest, by the time we sat down to eat, I was seething.
As in absolutely livid.
Livid at everything.
Livid because although Michael had been home with Emily all week, and he gets the better end of the deal anyway, and had done all the housework, and all the cooking, and tried to make my life as easy as possible, I still didn’t feel supported.
Even though earlier that day he had procured the best new outdoor setting I could have imagined, a new set of drawers for Little, and a desk lamp for each of us, I still wasn’t satisfied.
Good God, what will it take to please me?
I mean how many other wives get coffee brought to them in bed most days, no matter how early it is?
Yeah, I’ve got it good.
Why oh why don’t I appreciate the depth, breadth, and width of that every single second of every single day.
I waited a long time to have this kind of relationship.
I felt like he expected me to go to work no matter what.
How come he wasn’t upset with the situation, I wondered as I lay on our bed.
I had lost the plot with Emily while we were playing the piano together, and Michael had to rescue her from my wrath.
It was over the stupidest thing.
Why I had a bottle of body wash sitting on the piano anyway, I don’t know. And why she felt the need to remove it, I also don’t know. But most of all, why I gently threw it across the room as I yelled at her to stop pulling things down, is the real thing I will never know.
I mean who puts those things there in the first place? I do.
At this point, I simply said nothing and crawled upstairs and left Michael to deal with the toddler who actually is a toddler, and not the mummy who was acting like one.
I lay frozen.
Frozen in my anger.
Frozen in my exhaustion.
Frozen in my fear.
I swear to God if he hadn’t made the best honey soy chicken wings in the entire world that night, I would have been asking for a divorce.
I don’t know what it is about his food, but when he does it well, it has the capacity to restore balance to my uneven world.
Thank you honey.
So I guess it was no surprise that when we went to bed that night, that even after we had gone through the motions of kissing one another goodnight, and our day was done, all my worries spilled out of my mouth and into his heart.
I just couldn’t keep them in any more.
For weeks, I have been fretting on a whole new level, and this physical manifestation of just how close I am to breaking point pushed me over the edge into talking world.
I began with suggesting we fold the company, and I go find a boring inflexible desk job to keep him happy.
Hands up who is the most passive aggressive person in this blog?
Umm, yeah, I’ll take that one.
Good Lord there are aspects of my nature I do not like, and this is one of them.
Ok, so maybe it wasn’t my best opening.
It turns out that he hates that I have to go to work.
And yes, he does love looking after Little.
No, we shouldn’t fold the company.
Yes, he knows he promised to help me.
No, he doesn’t have time to do everything.
Yes, of course he would like to…
God, I had thought telling him would make it better, but it actually made everything worse.
Only after the fact did it become obvious to me that he had no idea I was feeling as bitter and twisted as I am.
Only after the fact was I reminded just how soft he is.
Only after the fact did I realise I should have handled things differently.
My fury and frustration had blinded me to his needs.
And whereas I should have been putting those first, I was pushing my own agenda. And that never ends well. Not in any situation.
Everybody knows that!
Saturday was difficult.
My husband had completely withdrawn from me, and barely said a word.
Not out of punishment, but out of pain.
We went through the motions of talking, but only for the sake of the baby.
I was relegated to bedrest, while he and Emily went down stairs.
All day I sat with the computer on my lap, and built the website.
All day he played with baby girl in another part of the house.
I knew better than to confront him about our emotional and spiritual estrangement.
All I could do was wait and pray.
Pray that somehow we would find a way back to one another.
Somehow, he would trust me with his heart and soul again.
I know he gives me absolutely all of himself and then some.
I also know that sometimes I expect too much.
I feel terrible about it even now.
I have spent the weekend wracking my brain regarding how I can make it up to him.
What can I do say or be, which will make this better.
Hurting my husband is the last thing I want to do, but it always seems to be the first.
We are a team honey, he will say. We are all in this together, so there is no point in taking it out on Emily or me…
Of course, I know he is right.
But I don’t have anyone else, I will counteract.
As if that is a good enough reason.
This morning he and Emily were up first.
She has been in with us most nights, partly because she wants to be, and partly because it is freezing in her room and it is warm with us.
And everyone knows a baby girl sleeps better when she is warm. Even if a mummy and daddy do not.
Honestly, I had thought I had done well to stay in bed the entire day yesterday, so there was no way it was going to happen again. Which is why I jumped at the chance to go downstairs with the others.
Emily is getting used to mummy’s immobility, and she doesn’t cry quite as much if I remind her that I cannot walk with her somewhere.
We played mainly in the lounge room, or I sat on the step and she played outside.
Michael showed me around our new backyard furniture, which although I was convinced I wouldn’t like a glass tabletop, I absolutely love it. Because when I look down into it, I can see a reflection of the sky and trees, and that is kind of pretty.
I cannot wait to buy a length of yellow dotty material for a tablecloth.
It is going to look amazing in the summer time.
Now we have eight big grown up chairs, which all match, we can have a big grown up party.
As usual, Michael and Emily made their daily trip to the park, leaving me to my own devices before they came home and she had a nap.
Meanwhile Michael Gardened, and we chatted about this and that.
Things felt easier between us than they had the day previously, but I still don’t know if we are entirely ok.
I suspect this will stick with me a lot longer than it will stick with my loving forgiving amazing husband.
After Emily woke up, my mum, otherwise known as nanny came for a visit.
She brought us loads of presents in the form of clothes for Emily and me.
And better yet, she helped me die my hair.
I have gone for a snow white inspired look, and for the first time ever in my life, my tresses are black.
I have pretty much been every other colour, but have never been brave enough to go this stark.
It may or may not suit me, but I don’t care.
I am thinking I need a nice ruby red lipstick to go with my new hair, and all will be well in my world.
I had actually gotten it cut on Friday morning when it wasn’t busy at work.
I had trudged down to the local Just Cuts, where it would be cheap, and had them rush me through.
The chick had taken off more than I had hoped, but sometimes these things have to be done.
So much for my waste length hair, I was aiming for.
I was so close.
Now it is back up at my shoulders.
Oh well, never mind.
I was so relieved when Emily took to nanny.
She is ok with nanny living in the phone, but not so much in person.
However once they had shared some peas and corn, I knew everything would be ok.
All afternoon they played, and Emily followed nanny everywhere.
Nanny even gave baby girl a bath while I washed the ebony die from my scalp.
Then they played some more before Emily hit the tired wall and had to go to bed.
Instead of crying however, Emily just lay in her cot and chatted herself to sleep while mum and I sat downstairs and caught up.
She stayed for dinner, before heading back to her hotel, leaving Michael and I to watch Master Chef.
Good to see you mummy.
Sorry we won’t be doing stadium stomp together this year.
And this brings us back to the beginning.
It is 9:00PM on Sunday night…