I've read a few parenting books, and observed a few parents. I've come to the Cclusion that the perfect mum is happy, and so are her children.
Getting there is one hell of a journey, with a lot of multipoint turns, barrelling trucks, wobbly pedestrians and shouting about which direction is the right one. Shouting not only between parents but also between kids and parents! There ain't no map, there are very few road rules.
One thing is certain, children change your life and one way to get happy about that is to make room in your life for them. Life will never be the same. You won't have as much time for yourself. So enjoy the time with them. Unfortunately that always involves doing what they want you to do, as children are inherently selfish.
We braved the supermarket and bought about double the value of food that we usually buy. We have wine and beer and crackers. I have no idea if we have enough of anything.
In the interests of balance and all that, I should at least mention the other side of the kids. Sometimes I hate them, and sometimes I wish I had never had kids.
Strong stuff ay?
Until you have your own little bunnykins, you will never understand what this is like. I have never had a twentyfour/seven job before. And it is a never really off duty. My job they pay me to do I don't think about for hours. And if I don't come in for whatever reason, no one dies. The kids are something else. Even if I am having a really intense good time without them, every now and again, the 'are the kids okay?' thought trundles through my Cscious mind. We have rung babysitters to check everything is okay. Even if I leave them with R, I still want to check and know they are okay.
(And yet when R is in dangerous parts of the globe, I tend to leave him to it. There's no-one to ring anyway.)
And when I am with them they are SO DEMANDING. c is the worst, h is still a baby. h is very dependant, but not so demanding. Demanding is when you are sound asleep and he yells "Mum, come here, I need you". That can be from anything like I just need a chat, I had a horrible dream, I don't know why I need you, my ____ hurts. They wake up REALLY EARLY EVERY DAY. They don't want to sleep, but are super cranky if they don't. They suck up all your spare money like a , well there is nothing that sucks up money like kids. You start to run your life round them, you choose jobs that fit round the kids. You drop hobbies that don't fit with them (ie no toxic paint). The house changes for their safety and entertainment. Suddenly the center of your life changes. Its not all about me anymore folks, its all about them.
They hurt. They hurt when they are in you, they hurt when they start breastfeeding (after 6 weeks thats pretty much sorted), they kick and bite and scream to split eardrums. They steal all your good food like chocolate. Our diet has changed to largely what Cn wants to eat. Weekends are all about keeping him entertained, not doing what R and I would choose. What well adjusted adult hangs around playgrounds in the cold? Wouldn't you rather go to a cafe and read a book, or cruise the net??
Suddenly, you know about boob pads, and nappies. And this is just scratching the surface of how kids change your life in ways you don't want to be changed.
It took a while to fall in love with c. When he spent a week in hospital when he was six weeks old, I wasn't too worried about him. Or I guess I was, but it wasn't on the surface. It was more like a undercurrent, not part of my Cscious mind. But by the time we got out of there I knew I loved him. And not long after that I realised he was really still a part of me. I would wake before he did in the night by about a minute, and so he didn't have to cry to get my attention. Just grunt. Or hum. And when he did get upset about things, it wasn't very often that I had to wonder what was wrong. I just knew. Its not as strong now, but I still know what he means when he asks a question without a noun. When we look at things we comment on the same stuff. In Richard Bach's book 'Illusions' , he says "The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life.
Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof. " I think that c and I may be members of this kind of family.
h is different. To begin with there was no lag time in my outbreak of love for him. First sight of his face and I was 'gone'. And I love him very dearly. I look at him and go all gooey inside. But I don't feel the same Cnection. I don't wake up before he does, in fact I think he learnt to sleep through the night because I didn't wake up even when he did. Sometimes R has woken to him and then had to wake me to feed him, and guests in the house have told me he wakes in the night, has a quiet chat to himself and goes back to sleep, and I've missed the whole performance. He is the cutest baby I've ever seen though. Just beautiful, especially now his skin has cleared up. I don't know what he is thinking as much as I did with c. I have to try things more often, and I'm learning about what makes him tick. He's a simple fellow actually, and it takes very little to make him happy.
I always wanted a girl when I got pregnant (now six times), and both times I 've carried to term I 've had a boy. I wanted a girl because I have felt more Cnected to the women in my life. I understood them more easily. And so I wanted a girl, because they would be less foreign. And now I have two boys, one of whom is a sibling of my soul spirit, and the other who I love beyond any love I have felt before.
I couldn't be happier.
Went into work the other day and it looks like a rabbit warren, and the rabbits look a bit less than happy. Heres a link http://web.ionsys.com/~remedy/Quitting%20The%20Paint%20Factory.htm to an essay on the evils of working too much. Sorry it isn't a proper link, you'll have to cut and paste, but the wee button that helps me do it nicely hasn't turned up!
There are strawberries in my garden, red rrrripe strawberries. And as night follows day, there are now strawberry thieves. One of them is my eldest son. He's a rotten thief, because the strawberry has to be perfect before he will eat it, but he picks them anyway. Which generally wastes them if the imperfection is that the underside is not ripe. But he is getting better about eating strawberries that aren't perfectly round. The other thieves are the blackbirds. I'm going to train the dog as an attack hound. I can already set her on strange cats, the next step is blackbirds.
Took both boys to the doctor types yesterday. c's growth on his hand is probably a wart, but we should keep an eye on it. And h is not allergic to anything else we tested, so it is just egg. And the technician said if we keep egg out of his diet there is a good chance he will grow out of the allergy by the time he goes to school. But if he keeps getting egg he will keep the allergy.
Dumbo Mumbo forgot about the egg thing at the christmas party in the weekend and ate eclairs. Kid got his eczema back. Its amazingly quick and accurate, that allergy thing! So there is not going to be a lot of baking for mum this Christmas, and so she will be staying as skinny mum. (There's a silver lining...)
Last night, I got a wee bit drunk. Which means I Csumed two glasses of wine quickly, and then was given a shot of something that made my eyes water. Heh. It felt real good, and funny, and I could still use big words so I didn't feel like a complete dork.
The Plunket nurse says alcohol doesn't get into the breast milk, and if the Plunket nurse says it is okay to get on the turps, then I don't need any further encouragement.
We watched a movie about cubicle life, and though it lost its way near the end, the start was hilarious. You know, the way six people will let you know you have made a mistake with some detail like a cover sheet or footer, and check you got the memo setting out the procedure. And the way bosses hang over the dividing wall and ooze charm with knives at you as you sit on your chair wishing it was the weekend already. I popped into the office last week and it looks more like a rabbit farm with more walls and higher ones, and lots of people stressing out about stuff.
I am so not looking forward to going back.
And I have made a cake with No Egg, an all natural egg substitute! It seems to be rising and the raw stuff tasted fine (no salmonella threat!), so all looks well.
When you are eleven, you can walk out by the clothes line to put rubbish out, then come back in and tell the person you are staying with that it is raining, and not even think of bringing in the washing. When you are eleven and not used to doing the dishes all by yourself and not with a machine, you think nothing of using a clean glass every time.
Sometimes I wish I was eleven again, and yet I know the family is relieved that I am not...
The supervisor rang me yesterday, and when I picked up the phone said something like: "This is your supervisor speaking, you have 30 seCds, please ask your questions now". He even used a robot voice, and I nearly hung up on him, cos I thought it was one of those robot ringers and didn't really comprehend the words! He was ringing me on his cell phone while walking from one meeting to another - it was the only time he could find. I'm enjoying not being that busy.
Having lunch with a friend in town today, we were thinking of doing it on Friday, but she opened her electronic calander and found someone has booked her for a four hour meeting over lunch on Friday. I hate that they can do that almost without you knowing.
I've got an eleven year old noble assistant for the week - I think her and her mum had had enough of each other and I'm providing time out. She's pretty helpful though, especially with Cn
I have sometimes read comments along the lines of 'if you are single you should get a dog'. They make you happy cos when you come home you are welcomed with total glee and happiness. I have a dog, and I've noticed that though she is pleased to see me when I get home, its often because now she can get out of the kennel and have a pee/poop, or because now she can come into the warm house, or now she can have a walk. I've noticed in essence, that she ain't that pleased to see me, as to see all the things I can do that she REALLY likes.
But once she has relieved her bowels or whatever, she does seem pleased to see me. She wants a pat or a smooch, and to give me a lick. There seems to be a little affection there as well as self interest.
For total happiness, you gotta get a baby. When I walk in his room in the morning and after each sleep, his face fair splits apart with the smile. The happiness is too large to be Ctained, and it makes his arms and legs all wiggle. All toys are abandoned as he shakes with delight. He chortles! And if I don't feed him straight away, he doesn't care. As long as he is with me he is happy, he seems to think I'll feed him eventually. Now doesn't matter as long as I'm there. When I pick him up, he clutches whatever he can get hold of. Hair (ow), clothes, shoulders, arms. He rides around smiling - I've got my mum!
Boy, I do love this baby.
And besides, he lies on his back clutching his feet, so he's cute as well.
I have been really keen for a couple of weeks now to have some me time, that doesn't have either of my children in it. So you can imagine that I'm a little frustrated that R has had two or three of these precious moments in the last couple of weekends, and I'm still waiting. Its not that he is unwilling, but more that I don't have something specific to go to, and that no-one else can feed h yet.
On Sunday he went off to do gaming, and on the wet and cold day that was Sunday I was home with the boys. BUT NOT FOR LONG. We did have the car at our disposal, and so we went to the mall. No, I'm not insane. h sits up in his backpack, and observes everything. And there is a LOT to observe at the mall. And c, once he has been briefed on the problems if he loses me, is really good at sticking with me. The afternoon almost cost $2.70 for a chocolate ice-cream, but then we saw the Harry Potter III DVD, and it is down to $30, and the cost of my afternoon entertainment went up by the same amount. I don't think I even put up a realistic fight. But I did make him find his way back to it after checking no-one else had it for cheaper. He can find his way to that DVD from the far end of the mall, but the motivation to find our way out was less, and he couldn't be bothered!
And when we got home, he watched the DVD and didn't require me to entertain him for a LONG TIME, which was SO WORTH $30.
Finished planting the tiny garden out the front, and are now Csidering planting another out there - we have four folding chairs now so we can sit in the evening sun, drinking gin, and some ambience would help the relaxation. I'm thinking native...
Have had a paper accepted for publication. Yipee! only several to go now.
Have both lots of grandparents, and two of the three brothers Cfirmed to spend Christmas here. Should be a good party, if we stay chilled, and don't try to make everyone happy. Its their job to be happy - its our job to clean the house!
There's a wee gm plant, that will detect landmines. Its a great idea, but I wonder about the plant chosen. Arabidopsis is so small you can grow it to flowering inside a test tube, so how deep would a mine have to be before it would escape detection?