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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Same same but different....

I have gone through it before,but it doesn't get any easier. My second baby will be starting Kindy on Thursday. Milestones as lovely as they are, are also a little tiny bit yuk! I'm not sure why I am phased, he already does one day a week at a lovely little Nursery school. He loves it,I love it even though he "misses me all day when I'm not there". If it wasn't for the cost of it, I'd do more days at the lovely Nursery school and skip Kindy all together!
Kindy seems to be a different kettle of fish....I cant put my finger on it and I wonder if my reservations are rubbing off onto him, as he seems as enthused about Thursday as a vegetarian going into a steak house.
I know he will be fine, after I detach his little nails that will become hooked into my neck, he will cry and then forget about me for the day. (I hope) I know I know, I just have to put on my big girl pants and deal with it!

My youngest will for the first time in 3 years have me to himself. He came bounding into the world so quickly after his brother, that I don't think either of us have had time to get over the shock! I need to discover once and for all who is this little man. He is so different on his own, with out his shadow by his side.

And so the year begins.... I do admit though I was a little relieved today as they all went back to school, as much as I love school holidays I was also screaming out for a selfish day.

Selfish Day? again with the crazy woman talk...why would I deem it as selfish?A whole day to think of no one but myself....

When was the last time you had a day to yourself?

Monday, 30 January 2012

Kindergarten politics......

When my eldest started kindy I had recently separated from my husband. It was a difficult transition for all of us and lot of changes had been made.  I then decided in all my wisdom to join the kindy committee. Simple request one would imagine....Yes you would think so...but the old adage of women together in one room vying for speaking rights soon turned the simple weekly meetings into a tussle for power. My friend and I used the meetings to share a bottle of wine and natter. Occasionally we would throw in a tid bit about how the kindy should run, or sneak in a yes to an informal vote about what ever they were going on about. I know the committee benefited the running of the kindy, so yes was the easiest approach to most topics. Plus id seen the balance sheets, no one was going to make millions even if there were dodgy deals to be done.

During the time on the committee it was decided we would hold a big fundraising raffle....Easy! donated prizes, tickets sold,profit our way....what could possibly go wrong....

She who had bad taste is what went wrong. I love handmade items,and support handmade. i do not how ever support bad taste. Bad taste lover was also a quilter. Each to their own as long as it stays their own. No...not to be, bad taste lover wanted HER quilt to be the main raffle prize! PPPPppaaaaalllllleeeeasseeee....we want to sell raffle tickets,not put people off buying tickets. Dont get me wrong, to some it might have been a beautiful quilt....but knowing the dynamics of our target audience, if won it would soon be donated or end up as a dog bed. what a waste..surely bad taste lover could keep it,after all the hard work put into it!!

Dynamics changed, it was soon very clear who would side with bad taste lover and that quilt....  she was showing a side that hadn't been seen before...snarly lip side,which teamed with her left over pleated jeans from the 80's made her look like a scary meadow lea ad, except no one was suggesting we congratulate her.

I decided then that school committees and a bottle of plonk with a friend couldnt be shared equally....something had to give.....

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Mothers groups

Life’s little mysteries……….
Mothers group, hands up who attended one?  I didn’t. I had the offer when I went to my child assessment at 6 weeks. Actually come to think of I never went back there again either. Why do the government insist we see a complete stranger with our babies? The appointment was made when I was in hospital, I don’t recall agreeing to it, but received a reminder in the mail asking for our attendance… It seems that when you open more than just your life after having a baby everyone needs to know what you’re up to! I remember to Child nurse being around 105…..well that might be an exaggeration, but I do remember thinking whoa, ever thought about retirement sister?
She was nice enough, and my son did the mandatory wee on her when the nappy came off, but a repeat visit was never going to happen.  I didn’t feel like she had any modern approaches to offer me, so I fobbed off phone calls and letters for what seemed like an eternity… Looking back in my baby book I was a bad mother…I had the all the immunisations done by my faithful GP,but it looks like my baby was weighed once….by the 105 year old busting for retirement!  Fortunately for me, out growing clothes was a very clear sign my baby was thriving! Phew common sense was alive and well.

I was even less convinced of this intervention after baby number 2. Ten years on things had progressed somewhat, they now offered a home based visit! I said to my husband why not, its like we have to drag the baby out for an appointment, and when you have a summer baby, thats a good thing right? So the nurse turned up...we sit, go through some paperwork and some more paperwork. I felt like it was the inquisition! What was the purpose of her visit again? After all the dotting of i's and crossing of t's and sign here etc, i think I might have just signed my baby up for government scheme that we don't yet know about. She was a nervous nurse and I got the strange impression not all households she entered were, lets say, conventional. That became more apparent when she apologised before asking us if we smoked marijuana on a reg basis. Actually she said dope, so I dare say some households she went into were pretty laid back !! we sighed with relief when she admitted she couldnt smell dope in the house, so we were declared sensible parents and she took leave..... My husband and I just laughed....what the? That was post baby care? whoa..... it almost called for celebration and a dutchy in the kitchen! if only we didnt have a new baby house in the house suffocating our partying on!

I also discovered after baby 2, I wasnt eligible to join a mothers group...No way, you had your chance,dont get greedy on us!
Good thing I guess..I just wasn’t into the’ sharing every detail of my life because I now had a baby syndrome’ Don’t get me wrong, some loved mothers groups and have forged true friendships out the encounters. I just wasn’t in a place where by I wanted new friends. I did end up doing play group, and that was enough!  There is a phenomenon after having a baby that some women seem to catch…. If you have ever been in a room with at least 5 women and their children you’ll understand. It’s the “ my baby can do that and more phase”  for eg…. During normal conversation of routines and how many bottles they can fit in on top of the solids they started WAY before recommended age because they were STARVING, starts the  getting one up on milestone talk. 
So I casually mention it is great when they start crawling isn’t it….Oh yes they all agree…. So what age were they? Oh around 6 months I guess….what, that late? cries one? Mine was practically crawling as soon as the umbilical cord was cut!! Drone… I tune out…no point in talking anything milestone with this one…her child will be a prodigy, I take note of the name and wait for the newspaper article announcing it. Seriously some women are our own worst enemies. It’s a baby, not a competition! And anyone with more than one, knows every child is different in every way J

Friday, 20 January 2012

When it all began

………. The joys of offspring.

Is that it?  What just happened in the last 3 hours that I should know about?  Was it an outer body experience? Do I believe that can even happen? Reality check… life just changed as I knew it.  It will never be the same again. I don’t remember entering  in to any sort of life time agreement, but I think by default it was signed sealed and delivered. Literally.

And so starts motherhood. In those brief moments afterwards does anyone really remember what just took place?  Sure, years later we casually talk about giving birth like we talk about grocery shopping. Some people manage to do it quickly, some take forever browsing the aisles,some choose a home delivery. But do we really manage to take in what transpired during those hours preceding the delivery? I don’t think we do, why else would we go back for seconds or thirds and so on. There is a simple answer, women are crazy.  I don’t mean in a manic out of control head spinning Linda Blair moment, I mean in the sense that we can experience a situation that at the time is the worst in our lives, promptly forget about that situation, and then plan to do it again! Who on earth plans an event they know is going to be awful? I know I know, plenty of flowery births have been had, but dive a little bit deeper into those stories, even the flowery ones hurt.
So I go home, the event has passed, flowers received, well wishes sent. All of that could be perceived as the flowery moment,and whilst at the time it is, the reality is I go home. I go home with an extra. Some are lucky enough to go home with two or more. Yes I am crazy, as women we are crazy.
I remember that drive home, knowing that the extra was going to be an extra for a long time. I was now responsible for another. Was I even responsible for myself? I wasn’t so sure. I think the drive home took at least 4 hours, of course it was only a 20min trip, but when you have a new extra, carefully does it right? Reality check, the extra precaution in driving home is because sitting for longer than 10 mins in one position is still near on impossible. Flowery births still hurt.
Now what?  The baby is asleep. What was I meant to be doing? Isn’t motherhood hectic? Isn’t that what people tell you? Prepare to be the busiest you have ever been. Life as you know it has gone forever.
The baby is still asleep. Am I meant to wake it? You’re not meant to wake a baby are you? I will let it sleep. For how long though? Did anyone tell me that? I check my bag for the imaginary handbook I am sure the nurses packed for me before leaving. It’s not there, which means I need to find common sense. Please  tell me that at least got packed and came home with me…

Common sense.  Just when you think you have none, it comes bounding through the door like a 3 year old on a sugar rush.  I think that it could do with a revamp though. I need common sense version 1.10. The common sense of old didn’t have to deal with an extra. The extra needs new age common sense. It needs it to be mixed with a mothers intuition for it to work.

No one, and I mean no one can prepare you for that first sleepless night, that first exploding nappy or that first crying session. I started thinking my mother’s intuition had taken a holiday with common sense. I bet where warm  cocktails flowed freely. I wanted a cocktail. I couldn’t have one though, I was breastfeeding, which reminds me. I read the books. I got educated on this stuff prior to the extra turning up. Why then did the books not mention that breastfeeding is likened more to a rabid dog biting your arm off than the soothing bonding experience they talk about? Don’t get me wrong, I was bonding and soothing, but that rabid dog wasn’t ever too far away in those early days!
And so as the crazy woman I am, I persevered and pushed through. What else could I do? Someone else is relying on you. I wish sometimes they could rely on someone else especially when it comes to exploding nappies. Aren’t these nappy developers up with exploding poo? If so, why does the nappy not catch it? I have come to the conclusion it is a conspiracy in conjunction with washing powder suppliers. I suddenly knew why 7 kilo washing machines were on the market, and that they weren’t just for king size quilts! 
The first few months were really a blur, and even though the breastfeeding kept me away from the holiday cocktails I so desperately wanted, the lack of sleep was keeping me in a similar frame of mind. In fact I think when I gave birth, they took my brain instead of the placenta. Suddenly simple sentences were proving to be difficult with words and phrases sounding more like a new language being discovered. Of course this language I could completely understand, even if no one else could. My growing baby was babbling and I understood every single babble.  I thought it was ironic that this babble was made just for me, and I was so pleased seeing as no one else understood my baby brain talk anymore! That’s another thing the books don’t teach you. They never tell you that your brain will be wired differently afterwards. Simple tasks aren’t so simple anymore.
I did learn quickly though a new skill. It compensated nicely for the re wiring that had taken place. I learnt that one arm was all that was needed. I could literally do everything now with only the use of one arm. The glorious free arm that was without child. The arm that was now destined to be the sole provider of any sort of freedom. Should this arm fail me, nothing will get done around the house.  I suppose I could put the baby down and free up my other arm, but ive now got quite good at forgetting the baby is there and just using my free arm. After all, we were blessed with two, we may as well put them to good use! I did discover though, not everything can be done with one arm and the baby had to find a new spot.
And so I bought a device. A baby rocker. Seeing him sleeping so peacefully in it made me think why don’t they make huge ones for adults. I wouldn’t mind kicking back in a rocker, dozing the afternoon away. I would need those holiday cocktails though. They didn’t seem too far away either. Someone forgot to tell me that some babies aren’t good at breastfeeding and instead prefer to scream all afternoon.
I did wish this particular afternoon I hadnt packed away the baby gifts a little more methodically. I blame the re wiring again. I was busy searching for a bottle and a sachet of formula I was sure was in a gift basket we had been given.  Why is that I can find everything else I might have been looking for in the last 12months, but not what I am actually after?
The screaming continues. I think now I should probably call the EPA and see if they can give me a decibel reading. I’m waiting for the neighbours to turn up. Surely they must be thinking it’s worse that it really is? It definitely sounds bad. Although by now I am deaf and its sounding more like noise  underwater than the high pitch it really is. How can such a small being produce such a huge noise?  I am presuming it is in the same realm as their exploding nappies. Never let your guard down, not even for a second, or wham, you’re knee deep in poop.  I really think the hospital should send you home with washable scrubs, head to toe for those moments. I would have happily paid for such an outfit. I would have happily paid for a space suit, with full head gear. No smells, no noise. Any way, I digress I was searching for a bottle and formula to hopefully fill an ever hungry belly that was my breastfed child. I eventually find it, read the instructions, and most likely forgetting to steralise the bottle. I didn’t care by this stage. My ears were ringing and my child was exhausted after putting out noise that would easily fill an auditorium.
I was now in shock, he drank the whole lot, and then slept peacefully for four hours. Four hours straight! I had to double check I had in fact given him formula and not the old horricks that had been sitting in the pantry since 1994.

And so the light bulb goes off.  All the books you read, all the stories you were told may not in fact help  every situation you come across! Parenting is a mystery,and one that is not easily solved.
Every child is different,this is the main mystery to uncover. What may work for one,may not work for another. What book can teach you that? You don’t know this until you go on to have more. Refer back to the crazy lady status. We go on to have more.
Every child adds a little extra dynamic to your family life. Every little being in your life adds another grey hair,wrinkle or sleepless night. But we wouldn’t change it would we? What would there to be to talk about? After all, as soon as you have kids, conversation naturally goes back to them time and time again.