never a dull moment.

Just when I think things are settling down and I can get all my ducks in a row, life throws another curve ball.

I encouraged leafys papa to enquire about a job that he’s always wanted that suddenly became available.
It’s 3,000+km away.
I guess I didn’t think anything would come of it. Or maybe I did, honestly I don’t know why I pushed him to do it.

Long story short he has the job, the money is ridiculously good, and they want us up there asap.
I’ve pro’d and con’d the hell out of the situation, and it makes the most sense to just go.

But in my heart… I’m just getting well! I think family is THE MOST important thing, and taking e away from her uncles and grandparents breaks my heart. I’ve been in tears thinking about it in previous discussions. We’re getting involved in things. I’m about to start uni again and I’m excited. My new psychologist is brilliant.

But leafys papa wants the money. He says the lifestyle (but he’s basing this on a single smoking drinking hospitality worker with no commitments or responsibilities), the weather, the dream job. He thinks I’ll be happier.

But when I left there last time I was ready to leave.

I don’t especially love this place, but I love my family. And I love what I can give leafy here. I can get an excellent education with free babysitters available at a whim.

I can’t tell him no.
But I don’t know if I can go.
Woe is me.
(That was a little haiku for your pitying pleasure)

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babies and puppies and rainbows and candy and sunshine

Yesterday was Leafs birthday, and ill post about it soon but I’m still kind of processing and denying.

In the mean time this one year old caper has produced a different baby. She’s independent and happy and sharp as a tack.
We also had nala the monster pup desexed last week, and she’s only just back to her usual incorrigible self yesterday.

But today for the first time I saw the benefits in getting nala.
She was a birthday gift for the papa, mainly because the perfect mix breed popped up and we couldn’t not get her, when originally we planned to get a puppy for Es first birthday.

I let the dog in and she did her usual sweep to make sure everything was tip top and Bristol fashion (read: sniffs out everywhere in the house leafys been that morning and cleans up the crumbs left behind). She’s currently drinking milk out of leafys sippy cup that she’s strategically flipped over and tilted so it trickles out onto her tongue. Did I mention she’s 50% border collie and grossly intelligent?

Im doing the usual morning crochet and I realise they’ve been quiet for ages.

I look over to the window and lounging in the morning rays is nala, chewing a bone with one leg draped over e, while she lays back over the dogs belly, playing with her tail, bumping her head against the window and pulling wipes out of the nappy basket.

They played together for at least an hour.

It’s exactly what I wanted but I just cannot believe it.
They fight over a toy for a couple of seconds but it’s not real fighting. One gets bored and gives up. One gets things the other can’t reach and shares. They follow each other around.

To be honest there’s not a whole lot of point of depth to this post; I’m just surprised and happy.
And that’s nice.

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fragile mortality

tonight we had a bit of a scare – papa is Dutch and a friend of ours had returned from a European holiday with some of his favourite lollies.
Leafy, overlord that she is, demanded some licorice. And who am I to deny her her heritage? Besides, if the kid can manage to eat savoys with no teeth, I feel like she’s pretty on top of her shit.
But whilst papa and I were talking she sucked the coin a bit too far back in the throat and got the blasted thing stuck.

It’s actually surprising that this hasn’t happened to us yet, she eats absoloutely everything with aplomb.

I kind of nearly cried and she spewed a wee bit trying to dislodge the bastard. It was more a scare than anything, and nan nan the nurse came around for reassurance. Crux of the matter is all was well but probably don’t give a one year old a hunk of licorice without breaking it down.

Irrespective of the outcome, it was frightening. You know how when minor things happen you automatically envision the worst case scenario?
Papas late ergo he’s had a car accident.
Crazy didn’t come round after school therefore he was bashed and left for dead.
Nan Nan hasn’t called today thus a call from a paramedic is imminent.
No? Just me? Well… In that case…

I had a dozen half formed thoughts in the realm of taking her to the hospital cause it’s lodged and she won’t stop vomiting, or having to call an ambulance cause she can’t breathe, or having a car accident cause I’m distracted while driving to hospital. Or us thinking she’s dislodged it but her choking in her sleep tonight.

Horrendous things to even think, but you know, worst case scenario.

And then the next obvious (I’d say logical but none of this seems to be along that line) consideration is how would I react? Cope? How the blithering pile of woe would I continue to exist?
Probably not, is the answer.
In practical terms I suppose I would, but I would not want to live without the feral little devil I call mine. Especially feeling responsible!

But before those half thoughts are fully formed, there’s a sizeable component of superstition that screams out from the rear of my noggin’; “touch wood you dumb mother fucker!”

And I just cuddle her and try steal a kiss and say for the bazillionth time, “I love you, baby leafy.”

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writing about writing

I’m kind of at an odd crossroads. I need to get a job (I’m trying… Ahem…) (No but seriously I am, just not super hard), I will go back to study next year, but do I go with a sure career, one that will require even more study, or one that might never eventuate but I will definitely enjoy, something needs to shift in my relationship, I either plan or completely forget about leafys birthday, I keep seeing the psychologist or get a new one or dump the whole idea cause it’s too haaaaard, blah blah blah etc.

I literally cannot go back and re-read my old blog posts, and I have no idea why. I’m embarrassed by my own emotional volatility and indecision, yes. But I also started writing this in efforts to clarify these calamities of character with myself.
I never ever keep drafts, if I didn’t finish writing or post it when I started, it gets deleted. Which kind of makes me sad cause what if I was brilliant but couldn’t see it till months later (it’s entirely possible [ahem])?!

So I’m finding it hard to make sense of these perplexing conundrums when I can’t see where I’ve been, or how far I’ve come, or perhaps how far I’ve receded.

I would like to just be told exactly what to do. I want e to spontaneously develop an unheard of vocabulary for a (/n, I was going to say infant, toddler – what is she? I’ll stick with…) child, and say,

Mama, this is how it goes. You need to get off your lazy ass and get yourself a position in paid employment and contribute. Put me in day care, I love the shit out of other kids.
If you don’t love papa, don’t be with him. I know you both love me, and you’re doing both of you a disservice by hating on him just for breathing loudly cause you dont want to upset me by hanging out alone. This limbo is nonsense. It’s not practical to go to uni in Melbourne but the first year will be the hardest and you say it’s only going to be one day a week, so be it!
Make up your mind, writing or psychology/nursing. Just pick. But you can always write while you’re studying something else. Unless all you want to do is write. But it’s not really a secure job. Pro and con list, I’m 11 months old I don’t know squat.
My birthday is just another day, who cares let Nan organise it. Do get me some kind of sweet jewellery I can have forever though. Like the bracelet you had but lost, similar to every other piece of jewellery you’ve ever owned?
Keep seeing the shrink. If he’s shit this session too, see someone else. It has to be a good fit.
Also, please get some more bananas, Nala took mine again.

Would that it were that simple, little birdy.

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bragplaining

Today it occurred to me that there’s an odd phenomenon that exists amongst human beings*.
One of the primary reasons I’ve avoided mothers groups and any type of gathering of the same vein involving parental/child comparison is for the competitive component that’s inevitably involved.
For some people it’s unintentional, an innocent remark about their little poo machines ability to put a sultana in their mouth (it might sound stupid to the childless amongst us, but those fine motor skill milestones are total mountain-out-of-molehill worthy moments).
Some parents feel the need to give blow by blow accounts of the wondrous achievements of Einstein Jr from the crack of dawn till that non existant middle of the night feed they dropped when they were – believe it or not! – just days home from the hospital.

Personally I don’t believe I fall under either banner, not because I’m not proud (cause sometimes I legitimately think leafys shit don’t stank) but because I’m so wary of bragging I almost withhold information until I’m asked. Except to leafys Nan but she can’t get enough of the bullshit stories.

I feel like I’m doing the world a service by not perpetuating the braggart mama stereotype. Like, people’s opinions of young and/or first time mums (and sometimes subsequent – get it together gals) will be swayed by a kid from the country not leaving the house for an hour once a week on a Tuesday morning.
Yeah yeah I hear you. Back to reality Bambi.

But I don’t feel that I’m the opposing end of the spectrum, as competition seems to have emerged for who has it worse.
‘My baby won’t sleep for more than an hour. Ever.’
‘My kid vomits after every. single. feed.’
‘He just screams non stop when I’m not holding him.’
‘She refuses to go to sleep if I’m not feeding and cuddling her.’
‘My child is Satan.’ (That might’ve been me. Shoot me.)

What does that say about us as women?
Parents?
People?
… Society?
Is it just another case of being the best at something? The Best Worst Child.
I’m a little guilty of this, far more so than positive bragging. Partially because I don’t want to be a bragger. But a little bit because I want people to understand why I look and feel like a kangaroo that lay down for a nap on an interstate highway at peak hour.
If its not to be the best of something, is this a case of poor parenting, or some kind of underlying sinister component of the individual? Or – more likely – is it just some lonely sleep deprived lunatics trying to find common ground with someone to bond over their mutual despair?

I prefer to think that bragplaining (coined and copyrighted – a brag complaint. I’m so witty. And have too much time on my hands) is a psychological phenomenon, because the majority of regular braggers have heard people bitch about people just like them, but not them! just in very similar situations, HINT HINT, and thus have had to revolutionise their game.

*I’m generalizing because of course I have no idea if this goes on with other people or is in fact simply a figment of my imagination.

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a glass half…

Half of something. I’m still undecided.

Today was an absoloute doozy. E woke up with a stuffy runny nose and an attitude that would have her name in the credits on True Blood.
(Sooki. As in leafy was sooky. All right it’s a stretch but I feel how she sounded today so I don’t even care!)
Weirdly I got A LOT of housework done. So much washing and vacuuming and rubbish and rearranging. I spent a good chunk of time dropping leafys cot down to the second level so I don’t have those blood-rushing-to-my-ears-as-I-bolt-in-to-leafys-room-and-make-sure-she’s-not-thrown-herself-over-the-side moments (That may not be a thing..).
The cot nearly caused me a hearty melt down.

I’m disappointed how much I yelled today, E was so clearly unwell and unhappy but I guess I am too. Between her squealing and me throwing tools somehow we got shit done and came out of it alive. I was counting down the minutes to put her down for a sleep, thinking I’d have a couple of pills and nap. Maybe sleep for a long time.
She didn’t want to eat, she didn’t want to play, she didn’t want me to hold her she didn’t want me to leave her she didn’t want to watch tv or lay down or walk around or do anything I tried. So I mostly ignored her.
But when she was finally down I couldn’t bring myself to even go into my bedroom.

But then in the afternoon I took her into her room and cuddled her and she drifted off. I put her down, left the room. Thought about going back in. Did. Twice.

I literally don’t even know how we both got through the morning, but the afternoon wasn’t so bad.

I guess the glass was both half empty and half full.

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double edged swords.

Am I depressed because I’m tired, or tired because I’m depressed?
Sleep deprivation is a form of torture for a reason, and impaired brain function is difficult at the best of times, let alone whilst battling with a teething infant.

I guess everyone experiences it differently, according to their regular activities. Parents go without saying. But this is where my initial question stems from.
When I’m depressed I don’t want to leave the house. I want to delete all my social media accounts. I want to turn off my phone. I don’t want to work on the writing I’ve been doing. I don’t want to play candy crush. I don’t want to walk the dog. I don’t want to crochet.
I want to shut the curtains, load up on codeine, fill a big glass with red wine, lock the door and disappear into my cocoon of doona.
Before lunch.

I can definitely see that when I’ve had a bad nights sleep I feel worse. But often I just cannot sleep.

Sometimes I feel like I’m being indolent, so I’ll not take any medications that’ll make me drowsy, no wine, no beer. I have a cup of tea, a warm shower and go to bed at a reasonable hour when I’m feeling tired and lay in the dark with my eyes closed thinking not much at all.

But before I know it it’s 3:30am and it’s the third time I’ve left my bed to lay on the couch. I’ve already turned the tv off six times. I’ve tried to read. Ive had another warm drink and gotten as comfortable as possible.

That’s when things start to feel dire.

I’m not sure whether its a good or bad things that these times are by no means reliably my darkest hours. Cause it’d be easy, nobody else would know. I’ll empty the little foil casings and the bottle, lay down in bed and sleep. I won’t hear my boyfriend snore, I won’t disturb him with my angsty huffing and puffing.
I’ll just drift off.
But hopefully not drift back.

And in the cold light of day, when e is having a banana and I’m sitting on the couch staring at nothing and feel the same way, I wonder;

Do I feel like this because I’m tired, or am I sleep deprived because I feel like this?

But e yells at me for something else to eat, the dog is chewing up a shoe, and I just have to keep going.
What if one day I can’t?

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what does a horsey say?

You know how you always hear people say ‘my heart jumped into my throat’, or ‘I felt my heart skip a beat!’ or one of the many other ways of saying something really affected you? Nothings ever really happened like that to me before. Other than those times when I was frightened for myself, but, I mean, who cares when I almost get hit by a car?!

The real point of interest here is something outside of yourself having such an impact on your emotions that at any given time it can affect you physiologically.

I was walking around a department store avoiding stepping on E as she picked tiny bits of fluff off the floor, intermittently bopped to Gotye and pulled herself up on the hanging clothes.
She grooved her way over to some boxes and babbled some nonsense to me, stood up and extended a closed fist towards me (you. I don’t know why but I enjoy pointing at her and saying ‘who is the [cleverest, bravest, best eater, most diverse mess maker, nicest singer, accomplished infant pole vaulter]? You. And I point at her).
So I said ‘you, baby. Come tell mama what the puppy dog/pussy cat/ducky/baa lamb/moo cow says,’ and with an envigorated Gotye fuelled bop, the hand still supporting her lost its traction and she wobbled.

I tasted my heart. It wasn’t just in my throat, it stopped, hit the back of my teeth, rattled around, absorbed all the blood in my face and slammed down to the bottom of my stomach with an unearthly thud.

It kind of took me by surprise. I love her and I worry and I get a shock when she bumps her head but.. for the first time it dawned on me that she is literally a human being. And she’s going to do shit I’m not prepared for, or that I don’t see or know about and I won’t always be able to catch her before she stumbles or skins her knee. Or tears the hem on a rack of dresses marked down to $3.50.

I had to get her Nan to carry her around for a while, while my organs realigned.
Of course mum took her to the rocking horses that make sounds when you squeeze their ears – apparently these are the singular most terrifying objects leafy has ever come across in her short life. She actually squealed, tried to climb over and behind mums shoulder and bury her face in her hair. There were tears. Even looking back at them she let out a wail and insisted she be carried inside my jacket till we got back to the car.

We don’t ask what a horsey says.

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Fuck “Sexy”

This lady. These words.
Just… THIS.
Baby leafy – May future you take this message on and run with it.

The Belle Jar

Sometimes I feel like I want to ban the word sexy. Like, take that shit out of the dictionary and impose a fine whenever someone uses it.

Which is pretty funny because I’m super sex-positive and I definitely want people to feel good about their bodies and secure in their sexuality, however it manifests itself.

But man am I ever fucking tired of how we use that word to shame girls and sell them on a bunch of gross patriarchal ideas about how they should be.

Take this picture, which was tweeted/posted by Floyd Mayweather and has been making the rounds over the past few days:

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Like, first of all, this is a dude who has been charged with two counts of domestic violence. Why would anybody think that what he has to say about women is even a little bit valid? I am not really down with anyone…

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habit forming

For the fifth day in a row I’ve snuck in to leafys room to watch her sleep.
Ever since the day we went walking and she fell asleep in the pram, when I looked in at that relaxed chubby cheeked monster and thought hot damn I made something perfect, I haven’t been able to help myself.
I dont really know why, she just looks so perfect and innocent and at peace.
And she’s not destroying something, making a mess or leaking bodily fluids onto the freshly cleaned carpet.

I’ve also taken to thinking, almost all the time, how good we are together. Just the two of us. How we could withstand anything, leafy and bambi against the world.
Cause lately it kind of has been just the two of us, and its really become how I want it to be. Long term. All my future images have become just the two of us doing shit, going places. Making messes.
It’s too early for me to know what to do about that kind of thought.

Perhaps I should just stop thinking it.
Perhaps I should stop staring at her like she’ll disappear.

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