Monday(ne)/Remember The Time?

For (what felt like) years, leaf would only sleep on me or when she was transferred painstakingly, in minuscule increments, on a perfectly even plane, to another equally as cushioned surface as mamas boobies and residual jelly belly.
I tried EVERYTHING you can think of, and nothing helped shift her out from under the undiluted heavy cloud of dependence.

But one day while we were strolling – I on my leaden weary hooves, leaf reclined and slumped to the side of the pram, chin lifted to reveal those delicious neck rolls and the faintest of snores – I had a realisation.

I could literally not remember the last time I had seen her asleep.

I couldn’t stop, obviously, lest I wake the she-devil with sixth sense sonar sensitivity, but I couldn’t keep from staring. Every few steps I slowed down as much as was permissible, and snuck a peek.

That night was the first night I realised we were kind of out of that new born faze. I don’t even remember how old she was, surely more than six months.
But I do remember how much I missed her.

That was the first night I acknowledged that there would come a last time that I’d see her asleep.

That there’d be a time when I would put her down and never pick her up again.

That she wouldn’t always need me.

I still feel that way, despite the large number of days that I wish the kid would cut me some slack.
It’s really a very lonesome thought, and comes closely coupled with the knowledge that our conscious love is probably a long way from being equally reciprocal, if it ever is to be.

Because of this, I miss her even when she’s staring me in the eye and asking me to fix her sore knee by kissing her finger better.
Because of this, I check on her each night before I sleep.
Because of this, sometimes I can’t sleep because I want to be awake in case she cries out.
Because of this, I’m reluctant to give her a brother or sister.
Because of this, I struggle to leave her with anyone.
Because of this, I haven’t pursued my education, employment, or fitness with any respectable gusto.
Because of this, I pick her up and breathe deeply of her while she sleeps and sing to her, or whisper stories, or just tell her I love her over and over again.

She ruins me, but she also completes me, and I think that’s the mark of a great and enduring love story.

And I ALWAYS want to remember that.

-b

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Monday(ne)

It’s Tuesday.. But the days blur.
This Friday November 21st is Did I Get Into University (Again) day.
I don’t have very high hopes because I kind of applied for an honours program that doesn’t technically have a distance component, but I know the first three years are all classes that DO.
So I’m fairly consumed with thinking about that.
And how I should probably be working cause uni is going to be hard considering how rarely leafs papa is home and it’s a long term thing and I should really be long term-ing the dollar dollar bills y’all.
Even though I need something stimulating, but it won’t start till march so there’s still time but even so I don’t want to leave leaf in day care so with a friend is best but it’s not fair to restrict her with me taking just a night time job… You recognise the crazy.

Meanwhile leaf is particularly fond of pooping her pants, loosening her nappy just enough that her tin chubby fingers fit inside it to reach aforementioned poo and just kinda flick it around. Maybe rub it in her hair, the tile grout, maybe the couch. Essentially just going with the feels.

-b

By the book or by the feels?

I guess first time mothers are all going to be the same whether they’re pregnant by plan and execution or just as surprised as I was: scared witless and devouring any information they can get their hands on.

The problem posed here, however, is that it is literally impossible to a) absorb all the tripe that’s produced as reliable literature, b) separate the quality tips from from unrealistic propaganda and c) function at all with a newborn (you just wing that shit and if you’re both still alive at the end of the day that’s cause for celebration yo!).

Initially as is my nature I read the crap out of books, articles, scientific journals and online forums to be certain I was doing the exact right combination of Things To Grow A Human. After a few weeks (as is also my nature, hello third attempt at university 2015) I threw in the towel and decided I’d play it by ear because what right for one person is abhorrent to another – case in point: cry-it-out (that’s CIO on the forums, savvy?).

ALL I want is for Leaf to reach old age happy and healthy.
But also kind, conscientious, smart, independent, self aware, confident, polite, determined, and brave.

So I let her run around naked. She’s dirty more often than not. She knows what dirt and sand taste like. She swims around in the pool with floaty rings on her arms unassisted (but supervised. Der). She rolls around on the floor with the dog and fights over a chew toy. Sometimes she has a bit of froth from my latte. She says hello and goodbye and blows kisses to whoever she pleases. She has bruises and scratches of unknown origin. Jams her fingers in doors and cupboards. She eats chocolate, fruit fruit fruit, barely any meat, wipes her own mouth and nose, eats on a rug on the floor, watches tv.

I’d rather worry about the happy and healthy things than 4.6 minutes of screen time and sustainable organic wooden age appropriate toys and a perfectly balanced diet.

Hope that’s cool with you, Leaf. Quick, Bing Bunny is on.

-b

Monday(ne)

I surpassed my internet quota for the month in two weeks… So this week’s post is late – but no less poignant.

Does it speak of a persons love for another when they’re willing to accept their loves 400% increase in shower poop propensity?
Or is it merely a reflection of one’s lack of regard for the privacy and inadvertent distasteful nature of bodily functions?

My life in a partially digested mandarin and rehydrated sultana nutshell.

-b

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Monday(ne)

Since we’ve moved leafs had a hard time of adjusting to the whole not being carried everywhere thing. Yeah, it’s cute that she’s tiny and all but she’s kind of not that tiny. I can’t really walk around the supermarket with her on my hip anymore, but thanks to that week at my parents she thinks that’s where she belongs – and not just when we’re out.

When we’re at home she wants to sit on me, lay on me, climb over me jump on my head lay across my chest have a quick impromptu milkshake use my stomach as a drum (that ol’ mama jelly belly can do more than just provide a soft pillowy pouch for little bottoms); more or less maintain physical contact in 90%+ humidity.
So she’s whinging because nothing and wants a banana but really just so she can share with the dog, she’s ripped pages out of my book and rubbed her strawberry fingers into my white shorts (that ones on me, I know. White? Yeah, whyte) and she’s skirting that fine line that is my last nerve but then clambers up for a sticky cuddle and a big ‘awwwwwww,’… What’s a girl to do but melt and request that the cuggle be deepened to a level where a parents arms aren’t required for the child’s suspension?

Thus, I’m forced to reflect upon this seesawing of emotions which serve wonderfully as reminders that I am so not ready for another child.
But if I had one, there’d be someone else to buffer the ridiculousness that is baby leafy.

And that, my friends, is cause for consideration.

-b

Monday musings and over hyphenations.

In efforts to increase mental stimulation, I’m enforcing a new and regular segment here in leafy-ville: Monday musings.

Mondays are always a pensive day. All those missed opportunities from the weekend; all those things I told myself were plebeian M-F 9-5 tasks, but when I haven’t done them by Monday night I know I’ll be saying the same thing next weekend.

Procrastination is, in actual fact (not), my middle name.

Things get weird in hospitality land though. Monday is effectively our Thursday, and in leafy-land this is effectively irrelevant. But I still get those Monday-jeebies, those –itis‘, those blues‘. It is also possible in the not too distant future that Monday will become our Sunday. And what then?! Oh, the possibilities!
I’ve done it before but purely solo and leafy-land is a whole ‘nother ball game folks.

So, here’s to Motivated Monday (or whichever day it will be in leafy land, it’ll be Monday for the rest of you. Plebs.) Musings.

-b

an open letter to teeth.

I don’t like you very much at all.

I’m sure some day I may come around (such as e chewing her own food and the day the dentist says ‘nope, no fillings needed!’) but for now.. please push yourselves through the leafs gums and be done with it!

None of us are enjoying the cruel way you taunt my poor cherub. In, out, up, down, left, right. Etc. She cries, mama cries, papa sighs. Nanny says ‘This too shall pass.’
Rinse and repeat.

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and we would like to get on with our jolling.

Sincerely,
A Tired, Unwell, and Far Grumpier Than Usual Mama.

christvember

it’s a thing.

or is it? perhaps it’s just another one of those things i’ve made up, thinking it’s a widespread phenomena when in reality we’re just weird.

this is our first christmas with a baby and as you can imagine, we’re terrible excited. e, not so much. as a result, everything we’ve bought her so far has been forced upon her, while we crowd in close and wait for the inevitable joy our gifts will bring.

jolly jumper – as mentioned in another post, e is thrilling us with a painfully long Wonder Week, wherein she isn’t particularly fond of being away from us. Dennis doesn’t make this any easier. come friday afternoon she’d have a hard time leaving his arms until sunday night, even if she wanted to. so despite the fact that she LOVES to jump, the infa-secure jolly jumper doesn’t make our little leaf very jolly unless she bumps into one of us every few seconds. she also spends a large portion of her time in there facing away from us staring up at that light in the hallway which is absoloutely FASCINATING, whether switched on or off. toys – schmoys! there is the possibility that she’s just not old enough.. but i have faith.

olivia the owl – a lamaze toy which attaches to pretty much anything, has crinkly leaves and jingly bells and rubber bits to gum to death, a reflecting surface and a cute little nose that sticks out and looks like it’s perfect for chewing on but falls out of your mouth in your earnest efforts to keep it there. e has, in the last week or so, developed the ability to grab things and put them in her mouth, but lacks the dexterity to keep them there. we shake and wave and bounce and dangle olivia the owl in e’s face and she grabs at it, pulls it to her mouth then drops it and looks at us as if to say ‘…yeah? .. and?’

baby diner chair – an infa-secure addition which clips onto the bench, so instead of being in her bouncer on the floor, she is up at our level and better able to see us – a thing which you think she’d enjoy. but again with the ‘…yeah? .. and?’ face. humph. she just kicks and bounces and tries to get out of the prison like constricting contraption which was obviously created with the single purpose of making e miserable.

mirror – from the outset e let us know that being alone in the backseat was not acceptable. so someone has to sit back there with her, making our little family trips feel like a chauffeured affair. i put this mirror in my car, and as i have a bench seat hatch back making it stay still was a chore. i did it though, out of the irrational and all consuming love i have for my daughter. of course, and this is the golden rule with e, she will do (read – fall for) anything (read – trick) twice. but the third time – ha! come off it mum! what an absurd notion, see it freed from your mind post haste. previous instances include The Great Day Sleep Victory, in which evie went down for a sleep into her bassinet, whilst awake! with a lullaby playing on my phone. once, twice… nope. that’s enough ma, i’m onto you and your trickery. i’ll have a bounce and a cuddle to sleep thanks and don’t dare bump me when trying to put me down or we’ll start the whole process over again. but i digress – the mirror distracted her one car trip, then a second, then she screamed her arse off because i left her on her own in a back seat prison like torture device. i haven’t put the batteries activating the lights and sounds in yet though.

have you noticed how cruel i am to my daughter? the love of my life?

anyway the reason i came before you today was to share the chrisvember phenomenon, predominantly seen amongst parents with babies enduring their first holiday season, usually first time parents but there are always exceptions. it involves jumping the gun and giving gifts prematurely in november, expecting happiness, gratitude, uncontainable excitement! but amongst the younger being rewarded with only a fleeting interest and bewilderment. unfortunately christvember is usually invoked to begin christmas celebrations early.

it’s probably more rewarding for those with older children but for now my christmas (or christvember) is feeling pretty flat. and i think i am going to have to go shopping again.

’tis the season to be jolly! (:

sleep..?

I’m sorry, I don’t think I’m familiar with the concept. Initially I could blame it on having a new baby, trying to figure out a routine, all the fun stuff. But she improved. Me, not so much!
Perhaps a blessing while e has been waking up two hourly the last couple of nights. And just when I think ‘nuh-uh, somethings wrong with this girl!’ She goes and sleeps right through, leaving alex the insomniac staring at the ceiling.

I love coffee.

four months (almost).

i’ve read we’re in the midst of that longggg longgg wonder week which runs from approximately fourteen weeks till approximately nineteen.

i will begin by saying this is the most painful mental leap yet. BUT!

at some point, whether in the morning while i change the fullest nappy known to man, or in the afternoon following half a dozen attempts at resettling, evie will lock eyes with me and give the biggest gummiest grin of pure joy. times like those i forget i was up every two hours through the night.

back to my original thought (i gave warning of my scatterbrain, didnt i?) – this wonder week is tough. the three c’s – clingy, cranky, crying – are particularly tiresome. e used to be quite happy to sit in her bouncer for a while as i sped around the house trying to make it look at least a shadow of habitable. of late – scream city. and there is no middle ground of unhappiness, and this is an issue for our attempts at self settling too: she does not grizzle or grumble, she screams bloody murder and no amount of rattle shaking or dummy offering will placate. its mums arms or bust.
so i bounce, i walk, i offer boobie, i pram, i baby wear, i offer boobie, i cuddle, i offer boobie, i give panadol i give bottle i offer boobie i offer boobie i offer boobie. we change nappies and play in the jolly jumper or go for a drive so mummy can have a coffee and an excuse to get dressed for the day, then count down the minutes till papa comes home.

despite the whingeing, every day she exhibits a new behaviour. taking things in her hands and putting them in her mouth, getting vocal, so very close to rolling back to belly and crawling.

here’s hoping things improve within the sixteen days apparently still left!

info on wonder weeks is available via the website (www.thewonderweeks.com), the novel The Wonder Weeks, and the app (iPhone or Android – The Wonder Weeks).