Archive for the 'Outside world' Category

Thus explained

The lovely women above us heard it all (except our baby crying – they heard not a whisper of this). They did hear a woman walking up and down our back lane on the phone to the police genuinely fearful of the welfare of our child. I’m not embarrassed and shamed that our baby was crying (note intermittently and not desperatly). I just think it’s amazing that we now live in a society in which babies crying is not accepted and is instead read as a sign that the baby is becoming deeply and psychologically damaged! Give me a break.

Apparently, as the two police walked away the male officer said “She (I) looked totally shattered.” Yes! because my baby doesn’t sleep, because I’m trying to fix it, because I’m trying to cope.

My baby is fine. He’s happy and healthy and he hugs me with gusto. No problem here officer.

…..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…….

It’s not my party but I’ll still cry if I want to

When the boys were away, I thought it the perfect opportunity to hit the town in a way I hadn’t for a looooooooong time. A friend was moving to another city, and I’d already planned to pop in to say goodbye. Instead, the boy’s trip meant that I could actually make a night of it. Dinner, drinks, drinks and then hopefully, some more drinks.

Well pre-dinner drinks and dinner were lovely. Just four girlfriends sitting around chuckling about the sweet earnestness of the waitress, comparing nail colours, counselling about the protocol of gay blind dates, lamenting our family situations, laughing, scrambling to get each other’s most recent TV/podcast/film/boy/job/life recommendations, eating spectacular sushi, missing absent friends and DRINKING.

We made our way to the party after a brilliant meal and that’s when things kinda started heading a slippery slope downhill. I’m very fond of the friend leaving town. We’re not close but he’s extremely funny, kind and smart and I genuinely love the time I do get to spend with him. He’s unpretentious but scary clever and pretty artistic so I guess I wasn’t surprised to walk into a room of hopeful artists, writers, muscians and wanna-be depressos. I wasn’t fazed. I had my friends. We were still drinking champagne. Fine.

Well, not really. See, drinking anymore than my standard 2 glasses was something very foreign and I’m not sure my body was really in coping mode so things started getting pretty hazy as soon as I someone bought me another drink. My now absent drinking ability really is such a shame. My friends  probably share drinking more than anything else in common. I’m lucky that they are also very smart, funny, warm and kind but we definitely bonded over our shared enjoyment of debauchery.

Anyway, things started sliding pretty damn fast into crap when I got stuck with a black-lycra-clad mistress, rolling her kohl rimmed eyes (didn’t that trend go out almost 40 years ago now?!) lamenting the fact she wasn’t “back in Paris”. Not just “in Paris” but “back” there, giving me no other place to go (I trust me, my quick mental exploration of other avenues was comprehensive) other than, “oh, when were you there?” OH MY GOD, possibly the world’s most boring, self-indulget, wanky, only-in-a-film-script, one-side conversation ensued. Yes she lurved Paris, her children were divine (she was a nanny but that was said in a whisper), her family was special, ‘they’ moved around Europe but ‘they’ loved Paris best, yes she enjoyed many lovers of both sex (really, who-the-goodamn cares about that stuff these days: just say lovers plural), yes she learnt to read Proust in French blah-blah-blah-blah.

I was ready to go home. She clearly found me as boring as I found her because I didn’t say much (she hadn’t noticed I’d fallen asleep in my champagne glass) and she managed to find an excuse to leave to ‘find her umbrella’???? Can’t she do better than that – another drink, date, cigarette maybe but UMBRELLA? Hey, that’s just how boring I am.

Anyway, it as all over after that. Bye Bye Birdie – into cab – key in door – onto computer to blog for an hour – into bed: all quite pissed. I’m not going to push myself anytime soon to put those party shoes back on. They don’t fit anymore, at least not in the same way, and I need new ones anyway with a slightly lower heel. I can’t keep up with the young uns anymore who all seem to be moving between Sydney and Paris to my disbelief and strange, quiet envy.

If I close my eyes…..

Chet Baker could be Pete Campbell singing…..and that’s just depressing. I heart Chet and snarl at Pete.

As days go by…..

The boys are away in Victoria for very important reasons. I’m stoking the home fires in their absence but for absolutely noone but me so it seems kinda pointless. Only a week ago did I dream of some respite, some relief in the form of extended sleep and lying in bed. A dream which implicity assumes that either the boys don’t exist (like in my previous life) or that someone kind enough has swept in and taken them off our hands for an indefinite period of time. Despite the fact we are very supported by family who help out when they can, the chance that either of these two things occurring is nil. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Then, what happens out of the blue? We get a call asking that the boys come down to Victoria when C goes for the court date. And me? I’m on my own, in the comfort of my own home for THREE days!! OMG……Talk about the heavens answering. When all the travel arrangements were made, I let my imagination skip round, planning highly indulgent days: books to be read, movies to see, sleep to enjoy, computer time to myself, no feed times, no bottles, no baths, no angry words with people under 3, bed to myself, food the way I like (ie in real sized adult pieces) and the list goes on and on. And on. And on. And on. And on. And on. And on. And on. And on. And on. And on. And on. And on.

Well…..the moment they were all gone, I howled. And howled. I always do. It’s this thing that happens whenever anyone I live with goes away. I’ve always done it when C goes somewhere overnight (rarely) and have even been known to do it when he goes down to Canberra for the day (soooo completey sad I know, no reminders necessary). And to be honest, while yesterday was a lovely day – I enjoyed a movie on my own, I sat in a cafe with mint tea and read my great book, I cooked the most insanely delicious soup for dinner, opened a nice bottle of wine and sat in front of my computer enjoying much coveted episodes of Mad Men – it all feels rather empty round here. Too empty. There’s rattling in my brain and in my heart that just isn’t there when they are around. I guess I’ve been  a bit knocked for six because I was sure that this was going to be the self-indulgent time I’ve only dreamed about before.

Most importantly, I thought that it would be a great time to tap into ME. You know, that person who isn’t someone’s mother or wife or employee or sister or daughter or friend. Just for a moment, I thought I’d enjoy a rare moment with myself. Well, surprises all round there but that’s for another day, another post.

Suffice to say, I’m desperately happy that they’re coming home tomorrow and I think, despite the fact S’s sleep is a bit precious at the moment cos there isn’t much, when I walk in the door late tomorrow night after work, I will walk into their room and wake them both to hold them. And that is a dream to be realised.

Remembering the grace….

I really need to do this again. I’ve had a tough time recently with a crappy medical diagnosis that has made me awful. It’s a condition that I will live with all my life and I feel too young and too on the brink of the great things in life to have developed this. However, I am coming out of the darkest depths of self-pity and self-flagellation and am realising that now, more than ever, I need to see GRACE in small things. So,

1. Perfect ‘research’ dinner with my beautiful other as we discuss at length our wine-bar project.

2. Coffee with a friend about to leave for a wonderful journey through the Middle East. Vicarious pleasure on my part just hearing about the itinerary.

3. My boy’s face as he spys me through the gate at day care.

4. Soft purple tulips brimming with love.

5. Belief in myself and my own strength that I can manage this thing. I never knew I had it in me.

Ahhhh…..that was easy and I feel great now. I go with grace….

B – eauticious and B-elievable

Sizzle says had a fun post up the other day which is another fun meme (I’m getting a bit obsessive let alone sidetracked).

Ten things I love brought to you by the letter B (as chosen bySizzle).

1. Bread – I know kind of lame particularly because it’s kind of obvious. But I love it. I really do. The chewier, denser, sourer, the better. I love it as toast especially with the butter dripping through the little air pockets. Yum yum. It’s comfort food and party food. It’s there in the good times and the bad. What more can I say?

2. Beach – I’m not a great swimmer and sand kinda pisses me off but would you believe, my moments on the beach are definitely amongst my most special, my most revelatory and my most awakening. I love that first dive, the tumbling wash, the early morning slate sky which meets the steely horizen, the tingle of salt that remains on my body afterwards. Sometimes, if everything else feels slush, if life’s a bit jagged and my brain a bit rattled, diving into the ocean at the beach is like a rebirth….is this too much? I’m sorry but you know, the beach…..ROCKS.

3. Blogs – wow I LOVE them. I’m slightly obsessed and have now restricted myself from adding anymore to my favourites. I discovered blogs about 3 years ago so I’m a relative newbie. I still read daily the first ones that I found. They are like old friends. Fact: I had never left a comment until this year. Fact: my reading of other people’s blogs means I never write enough on mine. Fact: blogs have made me feel less alone. Fact: blogs can make me feel inspired and very daggy at the same time.

4. Books – this probably should have been one because it’s held my passion the longest. I am obsessed and have been since a tiny tot. I read voraciously and become very distressed unsettled if I don’t have a book on me at all times. And that’s as the mother of two kids as well, a situation not remotely conducive to random flicks of a book during a downtime. There ain’t no downtime. I would have to say (and this is kind of embarassing) but this is one of the things I have struggled with most since having children. I just don’t have the same time for reading and the few drowsily turned pages prior to lights out at night just doesn’t provide the same experience as curling up on the bed mid-morning with a coffee and downing a few hundred pages in one go.

5. Beer – yep, I lurve it. When you develop the taste for beer (and it took me a little while – 18? ok not that long) you can’t look back. It’s damn refreshing and just generally cool. I committed myself to exploring more micro brewery beers this year. Australia has many and I always want to support the little guy. Beer’s just part of me and C too. Enjoying a beer together is fun fun fun. A likes to tell people that “mummy and daddy LOVE beer”. We don’t drink much anymore (that shit happens when life gurgles away with the arrival of children) but we’ve decided to try and brew some of our own soon. Ah happy days.

6. Balance – the ever elusive but most satisfying. Funnily enough, I have greater balance in my life now than I’ve experienced previously. Not necessarily because I give myself time to focus on all aspects of my life but rather, that I am now aware of what these aspects actually are. I have developed a much better understanding of myself and therefore now what things I like to focus on in order to make me feel at peace. While 5 years ago, I definitely had more time for myself, I didn’t spend it wisely. I have less time now but I know how to spend it. Anyway, true balance in life feels BRILLIANT! And isn’t equilibrium a beautiful word?

7. Bookclub – you might think I’m kinda cheating but honestly, this group of amazing women simply has to find its way into the top 10 of B things in my life. I started the group 4 years ago (wow, I had no idea it had been that long).  We started as a group of 4 and now are 7. Seriously, this group of women is hot. They are so well-read, beautiful, funny, soo soo soo smart. Our evenings together are always a laugh whether we’re at someone’s home, in a nice fancy wine bar or in the dim back room of the pub. Our book choices leave just a little to be desired – I think we’re so busy trying to push ourselves and do something ‘different’ that we lose sight of the joy of reading but on the whole we have a varied and challenging reading list. This is seriously one the best ventures I’ve begun in my life. These women have bought so much to me.

8. Best of Chet Bakerbest-of-cbI’m loving this album I recently downloaded. It is thick coffee, deep red wine, luscious chocolate. He is the bomb. Sooo beautiful chet-bakerand his saxophone is incredible. For some reason, this album always makes me feel completely myself. I slip into my skin when I put this on. I’m always stuck on one album in this way. One that brings everything home.

9. Bed – obvious but true. I’m smitten. It always feels soooo good. Bed takes on new meaning after children. I don’t get enough of it and strangely, the more I get, the more I WANT!! Day bed probably feels even better than night bed. During those black first months of S’ life, bed and I went through an ambivalent patch. Every time I got in, S would cry. No fail. I stopped going to bed (especially for those catch up day naps) and you know what, S stopped crying. It was wierd. It was hard not to assume S was just trying to come between me and bed. Now, in our cuddling glory, S and I share beautiful time in bed. So it’s really the perfect menage e tois.

10. birdThis is such a great book. I love Anne Lamott’s writing soooo much and this is also her one book that starts with B! I wanted to fit her in somewhere. She’s at the top of my list at the moment. Her writing is pared back, simple but weighty with meaning. She’s ponderous in the most unself-indulgent way. She’s open and she’s honest. All the things I really admire in a non-fiction writer. I also love that you don’t get the sense that she has complete knowledge of how wonderful her writing is. That rings through her sentences which are unselfconscious but lyrical and thoughtful.


Ok, I’m done. That was fun; hard but great fun.

**If you want to participate, leave a comment on this post and I will assign you a letter. You then write about 10 things you love that begin with your assigned letter and post them on your blog. When people comment on your posted list, you give them a letter and the chain continues on and on.

May 2020