Archive for the 'Kiddily winks' Category

tough

copyright tw collins

 

It’s getting a bit tough round here.

I’m looking for beautiful things.

To look at.

To make me feel a bit better.

And a bit less tired.

The boys are pushing every button we have.

And we seem to avoid looking at each other.

I feel flat when we try to negotiate the way

together.

And he just feels angry.

The heat, oppressive

and silent,

doesn’t help at all.

Yesterday, I mentioned that the baby turns 6 months today and how far that still seems from when he is one when, hopefully, things will be easier with him.

C said, ‘that’s the difference between you and me. I just thing how great it is we’ve made it to 6 months.’

Ah, the glass. Exactly, how half full is it?

I’m back

I’m not sure the protocol in these situations.
Am I meant to start a new blog.
My purpose is gratitude.
Which fits too neatly with half full glasses.
I’m sticking around until
I think of somewhere better,
if I think of somewhere better,
to house my thoughts.

These days we are quiet.
There are now five where there were four.
We’ve added another little boy.
Four and a half months and every day more.

The reason these days are quiet,
is because 2 little boys leave
the house early in the morning
3 days a week.
These days are my solace, my substenance
my necessity.

So gratitude seems to me
one very real way
of making sure I live
squarely in every moment.
Looking for the things about which
I should give thanks.
Maybe looking will help me
be.

Toddler totals…..

I had completely forgotten the highs and lows of having a toddler. While I spend much time delighting in the fact that I am getting to know the little person S is, what makes him laugh, his favourite books, his favourite rabbit and the way he hugs her for his dear little life, I also spend equal time pulling my hair out (or screaming because someone else is pulling my hair out) as his little body catapaults through our lives.

I forgot that toddlers can’t communicate but desperately want to. I figure they go from, “nah-can’t-be-bothered-trying- to-tell-her-what-I-want-cos-she-won’t-get-it” to “why-the-hell-can’t-you-work-out-what-I-want-goddamn-it-are-you-crazy?” in a matter of days.

S screams all the time for things he wants but gives us little indication of what that might be. He throw his head back or his body to the ground, opens his little mouth and lets out an almighty wail and then stares right at me as if to say, ‘here’s your chance to change my life. can you do it?” and of course I can’t because I DON’T KNOW WHAT HE WANTS.  Have I said that already?

He’s bloody cheeky I can tell you that much. A was mellow. The mellowist little toddler dude (although I think I”m paying for it now) so I guess some of this with S is novel. S is N-A-U-G-H-T-Y. And while that rocks my socks fleetingly it’s also beginning to be a bit painful. REALLY. Like the little adventure below. I heard a draw in the kitchen open. I heard a rustle. I heard giggles. I heard little pellets drop like rain across the wooden floor.

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He’s been sick which doesn’t help things. So he’s really been trying to tell us how he’s feeling. After an overdue visit to the doctor yesterday (desperate enough to pay Sunday rates – sheesh!) I realise he’s been trying to, croakingly, tell us that he’s got bacterial conjunctivitis, a middle-ear infection, and bad, bad tonsilitis. Oops. Doctor will be visited more promptly next time. It was a good lesson for me not to blame everything on the craziness that toddlerdom is.

Happy birthday to you….

I’m writing tonight because I’m know I’m not going to have a chance tomorrow and then we’re going away and then, before you know it, this special and beautiful moment will have passed without so much as a whisper from Mumma.

Tomorrow is S’s first birthday. All day today, I’ve been madly rushing walking around, thinking of just how damn proud I am of him. Proud that he’s turning one and all the bye-bye to babyhood it entails. Proud of the cheerful, charming little boy he has become. I’ve been so busy all week, I was kinda scared of letting this moment rush by. I had bought his present (very organised of me) and had even organised some family to attend a little birthday tea tomorrow evening. But I thought his birthday would pass too quickly in the flurry of all the work I’ve got on at the moment. But today, while scarily busy and struggling a bit to breathe trying to work out when everything’s going to get done, I managed frequently to think about the first year of S’s life. Think about him and his disarming smile. Think about him and I and our ever-developing relationship. Think about the little unit he has made our family.

I whispered to him many times about his birthday tomorrow. He smiled and looked at me as though I was about to give him more toast because that’s all he was hoping I was whispering about.

He sure has changed my world. In tough, raw ways. In ebullient, joyous, life-filling-up-with-great-stuff ways.

Tomorrow marks the first year of his life and the first year of the rest of my life. My life as a mother of two beautiful, impish, open-armed, quick-to-chuckle, kiss-on-the-lips boys.

Happy birthday S! You totally. And utterly. Without question. Rock. My. World.

Sleep monster…

rears its ugly head once again. Oh my, I’m done. D-O-N-E. It has now been 11 1/2 months of inconsistent to absolute-crap sleep from S and it’s really doing my head in. I’m mean, of course it is. I’m saying nothing new but for a while there I was committed to trying certain techniques on a regular and sustained basis in the knowledge that I was doing the hard-yards in return for some tangible rewards. Now I’m not so sure. He just doesn’t get it. He doesn’t respond to the techniques everyone else seems to rave about. He is up and down. Awake, asleep. Asleep but mostly AWAKE.

I was prepared to seriously consider a third but I just don’t know I could do another round of this. Especially when I’m not sure I wouldn’t also be dealing with S’s sleep habits at the same time.

I’m so tired and tiredness works well to make you resent life. Resent being out of bed and actually living. Tiredness means bed is the only haven and coffee the only sustenance. Tiredness makes me feel like life’s on hold.

My grandmother died on Saturday. Ten minutes after S and I and my father had left her bedside. She was sleeping after a cruel spell of painful breathing. Her passing makes me (once again) look at life – its fragility, its transience.

Lying in bed last night after I had succumbed and left S with a bottle, I was thinking of the strange paradox of it all. Life  means so much and yet is extinguished so quickly and often thoughtlessly. Any moment we could be gone and my worry about lack of sleep and its attendant complications would mean nothing at all. I have been thinking that EVERY MOMENT MUST COUNT. And then, I’m wacked with lethargy and weariness and I struggle to make ANY moment count or matter.

Hmph……there are no answers. But like every life, every moment too shall pass. Every non-sleeping, weary, fuzzy brained moment.

Sick leave

Oink oink…..no, I don’t think it is the swine flu but goddamn it’s the bloody African safari version of something that has bought me to my knees (and flat on my back in bed) this last week. Stuff the pigs, I’ve been sick as a dog and all in the lead up to our little soiree in wine country. More than pissed off. But hey, I’ve now passed it on to both boys who have both turned into their own version of Damian. And I’m leaving them tomorrow to sort it out with their grandmothers both of whom are staying here to take care of them while we are away. Yes, these dudes need two fully competent, mothers and grandmothers to look after them because they are FULL ON!

I’m trying to encourage a love- in with A at the moment because his behaviour has been beyond appalling in the last few weeks. It’s like his head is spinning so fast round and round and round all the time and he has not time to stop and check in on what the hell he’s doing. C has lost it and C has the patience of a goldfish. And he’s begun speaking to A in a way that I know does not serve the situation well. I can only figure that A has become this diabolical entity because deep down he’s trying to attract attention that he feels, for whatever reason, is currently lacking. My secret fear (and I have carried this with me since having the boys) is that this is true. That I don’t give him enough attention. That I’m too often distracted. That it’s easier to fold the washing than build a train track. That I pretend I’ve got very important things to do to avoid running in the park and helping him climb the monkey bars.

There I’ve said it. This fear looms large most of the time. It paralyses me and stupidly makes me self-conscious sometimes when I’m with either of the boys. I also have a pathological fear of not being liked and that too plays itself out in my relationship with the boys. How sad is that.

I’m trying hard to bring my attention to these fears and the way they manifest themselves on a day-to-day basis. Hopefully, then, I can make the most of this beauty I carry through my life in every moment.

How to do it the right way

A’s behaviour has been erratic lately to say the least. In the last week, I have found myself acknowledging quietly and privately that I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. I don’t know how to improve the bad stuff and encourage the good. Whatever I am or have been doing does not seem to be working.

He’s not good at regulating his emotions and I know at 3, he doesn’t need to be totally on top of it. However, I have noticed, now that we spend more time with other families from day care, that his peers seem to be able to cope with things, especially foreign and unexpected things or events, a whole lot better than he can. Sometimes it’s almost as if he becomes possessed by adrenalin and tears around hurting all around him. He’s especially prone to doing this if he’s tired, or awkward or feeling particularly insecure. That seems to be his modus operandi in such situations and frankly, it’s driving me MAD!

I’m finally at the point of acknowledging that I need help – be it in the form of child development books, of assistance from our local childhood nurse, our paediatrician or even our GP. I don’t know, I need some tips.

Anyone got anything to offer?

Sometimes he’s aggressive but again, this aggression is uncontrolled and not always manipulative. Sometimes he’s emotionally hysterical. Sometimes he tries hard to hurt S so that he gets a reaction from C or I. Sometimes he just drops into my lap, very quiet.

I want to help him. I want to make him feel secure enough that he doesn’t need to react with such extreme emotion and physical energy. I want him to know that it’s always more productive to talk about how insecure and upset he’s feeling than to act it out with aggression.

It’s making me tired and pretty deflated. And it’s almost harder by the fact that when he’s good, when he’s on, comfortable, feeling loved and feeling secure, he’s the dreamiest of dreamy little boys.

the here and now

I’ve been crazy busy working, trying to see old friends as they whish quickly into town and then out again. I’ve got a lot I want to write about but I just thought I’d pop in quickly to share the here and now.

Right now:

reading: beautiful stories and woven narratives full of subtle suspense.

listening: to funkaroo, uplifting, pretty music. I don’t know anything else that they do but this makes me smile and they’re so young they could seriously be toilet training.

watching: alot. Dinner on Friday night consisted of sitting around a computer screen, drinking beer, screaming with laughter and pushing away tears of grace. Check this out.

eating: the tango-ist of cheese with hearty bread.

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loving:

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Love being a mother?

Interesting question….When I first fell pregnant with A I thought I was doing the least original thing in the world. And I was. Not that I live on the cutting edge even a significant fraction of the time but I have always been keen not to go with the flow. Having a baby seemed to be jumping right on the big mummy wave with a million other women and yet trying to come up with my own surf-board moves.

I left my mother’s group because the shiny happy faces and the ‘don’t you just love being a mother?’ songs of praise didn’t fit with me. I did love A and he was the easiest baby anyone could hope for. I had nothing to complain about but it’s not that simple. And I figured I was surrounded by simple women if they thought like that.

Women seem to get and be so precious about being a mother and about their children. They forget that it’s been done so many times before that we have now have a human race that will struggle to die out. We aren’t unique and neither are our children.

But strangely children are. Unique. Yours are. So are mine. That’s the strange part.

Despite the fact you’re doing what everyone else is, you still experience a joy shared by no other. Every single mothering or parenting experience is unique despite the fact that all babies feed, toilet train, learn to walk, enjoy sleepless spells, learn to ride a bike, start school, lose a tooth, fall so hard they can’t get up…you know what I mean.

I was never the mother type. I didn’t want to be the mother type. I knew I’d love my kids but I didn’t know I’d love being with my kids and that’s a big difference. And I do. They are the coolest people to hang out with. They make me laugh, they are unabashedly affectionate and they make me show affection in a way I’ve never before been comfortable. They challenge me intellectually (no one who negotiated with 3 year old demanding a packet of M&Ms in a long queue of frazzled Kmart shoppers can tell me that it’s not a real exercise of the mind), and they make me consider my ethics on a daily basis.

I have two boys. I’ve decided I want them to be feminists. I don’t really know what that means yet but I know I want them to grow up recognising the value of women and appreciating that value despite the fact our family only has one (s0 far anyway!). In this sense, I know that their moral framework, their appreciation of social justice, fairness and even their ability to empathise, for a large part, comes from me (and C of course). That is a huge responsibility but an exciting challenge and god knows I’m always looking for challenges.

I thought parenting was the easy way out when you couldn’t decide what career you wanted (ughm…me). No way. It’s the opposite. It requires the selflessness and patience of a monk. It forces you to put things into perspective on a daily basis. To fight the important battles and to acknowledge that ultimately your own needs come second.

I always thought that I would fight hard to keep the ‘real’ me alive when the boys came along. I would dedicate enough ‘me’ time that those things that made me who I was would not burn out. Now I realise that everything changes. There’s no me before or me to come. There is only me right now. And that’s the way it’s always been. I still love writing, reading my books, flicking through cooking magazines, watching trash on my computer, travelling, sharing a bottle (or four) with my beautiful friends, debating with my funkorama bookclub and cuddling my C. But somehow, and I’m not sure how it happened, these things are not so important now.

A and S – you rock my world. Your world and your lives are the real things that get me goin’. Thank you.

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Her Bad Mother is starting Around the World in 80 Clicks and I figured Australia had to have some involvement. We’re a pretty enlightened bunch down here. Not too shabby and doing motherhood big time with a massive baby boom. A friend introduced me to this blog which is an highly entertaining account of single-motherhood goin’ beach style in Sydney.

…..and so they called the police

S’s sleep is simply appalling at the moment. After a few days away in which every nightly whimper was necessarily leaped upon and quietened with a bottle or a hug or his favourite back rub, he now expects the royal treatment and argues loudly and profusely if it is withheld.

We decided last night that we’d had enough (I’ve been over it for a while but C insists on them sharing a room) and moved A into the spare room so that when S woke and screamed blue murder he’d at least have some semblance of a chance to sleep through it.

S screamed at 10pm and at 12pm and then at 2.30pm he went hell-for-leather. After 30 minutes I went in, rubbed his back and gave him his dummy. Silence. For 3 minutes. 20 minutes later I was back in armed with a bottle thrust forcefully into his mouth. Silence. For good. I stumbled back to bed (now having been awake for almost 2 hours) and slowly drifted back to sleep.

Fast forward 5 minutes to banging on the window. Shouting. Our back grill door being fiercely rattled. I completely freaked out. C got up and we both tripped out the door to see what the hell was going on.

At the back door were not a bunch of armed robbers, desperately trying to get in and steal what little we have to offer (note robbers) but two police, a man and a woman.

“Um, we’ve had complaints about a baby crying.” (WTF. Yes babies cry….a lot)

“Yes, that’s ours.”

“A few neighbours have called to complain. Do you normally leave your back door open?” (Yes, hot summer night and the grill in front of it was locked).

“Um, no. I forgot to close it.”

“So the baby’s been screaming?”

“Ah yes, he’s a nightmare – we’re having a tough time at the moment.”

“Oh, ok. We’ll go then. You should keep your door closed at night. Sorry.”

Let me explain – we live in a gorgeous, friendly, leafy section of Sydney’s most notorious suburbs. Redfern has had a history of violence, drugs, you name it. I love it for its colour but really it’s had a bad rap for a reason. It’s the beat that no new policeman wants. You never stop. There’s always a call. Always an arrest. Always a fight. Always drugs.

So WHAT THE HELL is someone doing wasting our taxpaying resources ringing to complain ABOUT A BABY CRYING!!

For god’s sake, I can only imagine in an area like this, the police have to respond to every call which meantions the word ‘baby’ and that’s kind of comforting but I tell you what, they were so embarrassed and sorry as they left. We looked haggard. We were beat. And to get our attention, they’d been banging on the baby’s window. So guess you decided to go for his 5th yell of the night…….


July 2020
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