My IdeaLife: parenthood

My Kingdom for a Kiss Upon Her Shoulder

It's been 18 years since his blood warmed our hearts and his, but his voice remains and still inspires...Read more...

The love of your life

Is it a man, is it a career, no it's superbaby!...Read more...

A lifetime of beauty in a song

Middle East (the band not the place) have somehow condensed the human experience into this soulful song: Blood...Read more...

Superwomen have it all by NOT doing it all

Superwoman really don't exist, it's more like Insanitywoman, so stop pretending and start outsourcing...Read more...

Showing posts with label parenthood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parenthood. Show all posts

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Inside their head...perception is reality.

My husband wooed me with the phrase "Perception is reality", that is if by "wooed" you mean really pissed me off. When we met I was surprisingly very wide-eyed and I believed there was an absolute reality outside of the skewed perception of each human being...and I was creating advertising for a job, go figure! 

I was very idealistically attached to this purist belief mainly because it was the only explanation for why most people didn't understand a word I said...they didn't see the REAL reality obviously. 

Luckily I'm a fast learner and it only took ten years to eventually concede and admit hubby was right (damn it!). The argument he formed back then was that it wouldn't matter if there was a REAL reality and absolute truth because it would never be seen. "But" I argued passionately "that's no excuse for not trying to find it!". 

In truth the only absolute is that one scene will unfold in front of a group of people and they will each take a different thing away from it. We see the world through our filter, that is uniquely ours, built through our individual experiences and knowledge. There is only one way for us to digest the space we move in and that specific view of the world is as unique as our fingerprint. Who knew I was going to not only get a nice guy but end up ranting about relativist existentialism as a result... thanks darling, a bunch of flowers would have been nicer. 

The power of perception... Image: Thequotefactory

Anyway as I struggle through being a parent and a leader more and more I realise there is only perception and that we judge others and even ourselves on the slither of behaviour we see and think nothing of the ocean of intention or potential we don't. 

I still think there is truth out there, but now I know that it is in the eyes of humanity rather than distinct from us all. And I dream of passing on the strength of belief and perception to my wide-eyed little people, quietly mapping my every move on to the glass through which they will see the world and in turn that will define their fate... oh shit!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Little arms, BIG hugs.

Someone asked me today to close my eyes and imagine a place where there is love. Of course I'm sure like most people my mind flashed my hubby's face up, but I settled on the best feeling in the world...that of small arms that can't quite reach around you yet, but still surprise you with their loving strength. 

My two boys are now nearly 3 and 4 and so their little arms do reach around my neck, they can pack a punch which often lands in my stomach, they can dive on me rock and roll wrestling style with no concept that 19kg in flight causes quite a lot of pain. But when those little arms lock around my ribs and squeeze while they bury their head in my chest I just melt. 

Gone are the menacing memories of the spilt smoothie, the punch up over a ninja turtle, the refusal to eat, bathe, get dressed, go to sleep, say yes. And if they add a "whove you Marm" they could have spewed, pooed and drawn on the walls all day, and I'd still be a mess of "my gorgeous little man, I love you too". 

I never imagined finding this kind of love, I never could have pictured the experience of stroking a luminescent forehead in a way that sends it's owner to sleep, or meeting these little people that are just crashing into life with insatiable curiosity, raw emotions and ever-stretching limbs. I never imagined being asked to "sing me 'close to you' Mum" or "look at my p00!" or to be told "my wil1y goes up like magic, it's really big.... hehehee". But these are the things that have made my life. These are the things that come to mind when someone asks me about love...and I am loving every sleep-deprived, deranged and chaotic minute. 

The most comfortable sofa is seemingly me!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Children make me happy...

Today's post comes from someone that needs little introduction as she is awesome, both for her work as a child behaviour consultant and for the what she shares on social media and her blog Easypeasykids. I was lucky enough to connect with Nathalie in person when I was down in Melbourne for a blogging conference and we had a gorgeous day making each other laugh in between the occasional tweet and instagramming of toes. Her post today is exactly like her: wholehearted, LOL funny and inspirational all at once. Enjoy. 

What makes me happy?

Children make me happy, and I have the great fortune to work with them everyday. The
world through their eyes brings happiness to the simplest of moments. They make me
laugh out loud, help me see the bigger picture and they show me that a happy moment
can be anything that makes them feel good inside.


These are the moments that they have shared with me that make them happy. It really is
the simple things.

Mr 5 “When I wipe my own bottom and don’t get poo on my back”

Miss 4 “When mummy blows raspberries on my tummy”

Mr 7 “Having pop off competitions with my brother”

Miss 8 “When I read a hard word on my own”

Mr 9 “Playing footy with my mates especially went it’s muddy”

Miss 6 “Snuggling on the couch with dad watching TV”

Mr 8 “Every time my mum says I love you”

Miss 5 “When my mummy reads to me”

Mr 6 “Digging for worms”

Miss 6 “When mum says I can jump in a puddle”

Mr 10 “When dad plays minecraft with me, he’s not very good but I don’t care he’s with
me and we laugh at how bad he is”

Miss 3 “Kisses on my nose”

Mr 4 “When mummy chases me like a big monster”

Miss 9 “Being with my dad, he makes up not very good jokes but that makes them even
funnier”

Mr 11 “Mum’s hugs although I’m older now, her hug makes me feel on top of the world’

Miss 7 “Singing in the car with mum, we pretend we are Divas. I’m not sure what a Diva
is but it must be something great because mum loves doing it and it is so much fun”

So keep looking for those happy simple moments, they are there. Make your kids laugh;
a child’s laughter is the tonic we sometimes need to get through the next hurdle. Ask
your child what makes them happy; you may be surprised at the simplicity of their
answer.


Nathalie Brown x



Tuesday, 16 April 2013

What makes you happy?

Other than The Bloggess I have had some generous tweeps share what makes them happy, and as we are half way through #hAPpyRIL I thought it fitting to share the first of I hope will be a few posts from others and what makes them happy. Sas Loos even shared a gorgeous piccie of her son, and his gorgeousness explained her heart swells! 






What makes you happy?




Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Oatmeal...that is all


If resting on the 7th day is good enough for God then I'm in too, so here's a cartoon that is so true it makes me laugh until I cry... 


On that note The Oatmeal and an early night are going to make me happy. 
What are you grateful for today?

Friday, 12 April 2013

Toddlers...& not just when they're sleeping


Motherhood was a crazy shock to me - as you can probably tell from my earlier sleep-deprived blog posts. But even then (and sometimes now when I'm being smashed in the head with a plastic golf club) I had felt love that I had never experienced before and without hesitation I can say that my children make me happier than anything in this world - being a Mum is a pure privilege and a joy as you can see from the small collection of gorgeousness above.

Share a picture that captures the pure joy of your munchkins here or on twitter with the hashtag #happyril

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Turning Tables: discovering first loves again

When I was 16 I wouldn't have believed you if you told me that I wouldn't actively listen to music for about three years in a row. In fact at 30 I still wouldn't have believed you. Music was integral to my existence, my soul and my body, which was more often than not, moving to it. 


Pass-times can be one of those sneaking casualties of becoming a parent, especially if you end up going back to work, like me. The only music that made it past the turning point of birth were my wedding compilation albums, the occasional superb song like Foster the People's Pumped up kicks and the three songs I sing to the boys at bedtime; Close to you, Evergreen and Someone to watch over me. 

Well am happy to report a cool phase has begun with my babies now big enough for me to start remembering loves, pre- the biggest love of my life. One of them has been my hubby, but that's another less G-rated blog post and as you've probably guessed, the other is listening, playing, dancing and singing. 

Triple J has some really annoying DJs, but when they are not talking they are still educating Australia on the latest and best music ever made. And if classics are not your strong point then I can't recommend the first five series of Glee highly enough, with soundtracks of whole generations captured in a new and creative way. 

Anyway it wouldn't be a useful post if I didn't share a favourite that hopefully becomes a part of the soundtrack for your life too. And if it is anything like mine, the tables have turned again.


  What have you rediscovered that the baby years briefly took away?


Monday, 17 December 2012

What would you say to the parents in Connecticut?

I don't know what you would say but I am at a point where I would have to scream simply "what the f*ck?!". There is no normal explanation for this. "Some people are mentally disturbed" no longer cuts it when 20 six and seven year olds are the chosen target. This is not just a tipping point for the USA, it is a question for the world, especially the virtual world. There is something that we are missing when we hear of teenagers doing these things. 


The only thing I can remember that is worse than what has happened in Connecticut, is what happened to poor James Bulger, a 2 year old in the UK, lured away from his Mum by two ten year olds to be t0rtured and murd3red slowly. Two ten years olds now in their 20s with hidden identities for their protection so they can live their lives in freedom. Huh!? What are we doing wrong? Are we too busy to notice we are raising psych0paths? Are we too lazy to keep them off video games that make murd3r seem like fun? What are we not teaching them about the value of life that they take it away from people so small and innocent and in no way capable of causing any form of pain to them, that would warrant these kind of vind!ctive and cowardly att@cks? And worst of all when we find out through some horrific situation that involves innocent people losing their happy existences, that these young people are actually psych0paths, why do we as a society find it necessary to protect them from normal people who feel that maybe it's not cool to have obvious s0ciopaths living freely in society? 

I am so mad, there is no way around it, I am furious. I am livid with his mother for teaching him to sh00t and having semi-@ut0matic weap0ns just hanging around, for knowing instinctively that he was not right and doing nothing about it. I am horrified that somehow a bunch of morons have lobbied to allow people to freely own these weap0ns. I am incensed that he and his mother* are gone so we can't make them live with the consequences of their choices or grab them and shake them until we find out why, Why, WHY?????
From top right (clockwise): Noah Pozner, Emilie Parker, Dylan Hockley, Grace McDonnell, Victoria Soto, 27, Mary Sherlach, 56, Lauren Russeau, 30, James Mattioli and Olivia Engel, Jesse Lewis and Ana M. Marquez-Greene
Every beautiful smiling face I've seen on TV that I know now is no longer, looks like any of our family photos. The innocent unbridled joy of life still mostly unchallenged. I don't know what to say to those left behind without their beautiful little cheeky monkeys. There is no sense, nor hope I can find in this. It is a horror beyond any movie and over 40 people are not acting as they try to face something not even the most w@rped movie makers could think up. I suppose the only comfort is so many are grieving with you, not as deeply of course, but we are here too, feeling it hard and hating a world where this can happen. Something has to change, please, something has to come from these beautiful young things cut down so unfairly and far too soon. 



RIP
Charlotte Bacon, age 6
Daniel Barden, age 7
Olivia Engel, age 6
Josephine Gay, age 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, age 6
Dylan Hockley, age 6
Madeleine F Hsu, age 6
Catherine Hubbard, age 6
Chase Kowalski , age 7
Jesse Lewis, age 6
James Mattioli, age 6
Grace McDonnell, age 7
Emilie Parker, age 6
Jack Pinto, age 6
Noah Pozner, age 6
Caroline Previdi, age 6
Jessica Rekos, age 6
Avielle Richman, age 6
Benjamin Wheeler, age 6
Allison Wyatt, age 6

Rachel Davino, age 29
Dawn Hochsprung, age 47
Anne Marie Murphy, age 52
Lauren Rousseau, age 30
Mary Sherlach, age 56
Victoria Soto, age 27

*One mother's account of living with a mentally ill son sheds new light on what this man may have been putting her through and raises great points about the potential root cause and its solution. 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

"Stop crying" Mummy cried hysterically

There's something soul-destroying about listening to Adele as your child cries hysterically. Nothing has really changed in the three and half years since I met my first child, a baby's cry, a toddler's cry, they are all the same, they cut through my skin and reach in and grab my heart and say "You are failing me". 



I will never get used to it. Waiting for a coffee today I heard a distant scream of agony and my heart broke just a little as it tapped into the many different cries I have heard in my short time as a Mum. The worst is the pain one, where there is nothing much you can do but comfort them and give them paracetamol, followed closely by the one I am listening to tonight. The over-tired completely lost-my-mind, I'm never sleeping again, and I may die of a broken heart unless you cuddle me all night tantrum. 



The fact is I do feel like I've failed him, despite the fact that I know most parents go through this. The thing with our second child is we didn't do things by the book. Our first was off the bottle by 1.5, he was not cuddled to sleep or given milk in the middle of the night. Unfortunately our laxed approach has lead us to another night where we will have to leave him to cry himself to sleep after comforting and rocking him for over an hour with no success. This is my fault and my husbands. And I am feeling it acutely. 

Luckily despite not following some childless nutbag that's written a book based on their extensive experience with other people's babies, nights like these are far and few between but they are the worst of times for everyone. Made even more traumatic by the fact he can now clearly call out "Mumma" in the most emotional and heartbroken way. 

Poor little guy, being a toddler is so hard, that's the reason we don't remember it I reckon. Just imagine you are too short to reach the stuff that's most interesting, especially the food that you like. You have to get a taller person to understand what you want even though you don't speak very clearly. When you are in the middle of a crucial scene in Madagascar someone stronger than you and who can pick you up does just that and strips you naked and puts you in a bath. Seriously have these people any respect?! 

Poor little man he is so upset, and all my comforting does is make the next time I lie him down even more traumatic. If any one tells you there is something harder than being a parent, smile kindly as you boof them on the head with your handbag. 

The only light is that once you have been through this once or twice you sort of know how it goes. You know that you have to last about 30 75 minutes and then it will be over, he will be asleep and so will you, both exhausted. 

Have you lived through uncontrolled-crying?

Monday, 1 October 2012

A Beautiful Beginnings End: RIP Jill Meagher

Street Art Tribute in Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Source: HeraldSun

Her dreams were those of any beautiful young girl, her vibrancy and light existence marred only by a shimmer of doubt that flashed through her mind when a stranger began talking to her on the way home early last Saturday morning. That doubt grew into unthinkable horror when Jill Meagher's circumstances conspired against her and a predator, a man so lost and damaged, thought nothing of ending her near perfect life. A life with a long future of love and adventure and moments. A lifetime of moments he felt were less worthy, than a vulgar, disturbed one made up of power and violence. 

Source: The Vine Live
I don't understand this man, not even close. What megalomania takes hold to not understand another human's huge and majestic existence? How could he not see her, and how she extended into the past, the future and into all those that know and love her in the present? Was it the brilliance of her that made him hate her enough to end her beautiful life? I don't know and like the thousands that walked down Sydney Road as a tribute to this senseless loss, I will probably never know what possessed the man that did this to Jill. 

Tribute March for Jill Meagher, Brunswick, Source: HeraldSun
All we are left with are questions unanswered, shock and grief. And a desperate scrambling to pull together, to reassure each other that humanity is not lost. That there are more of us who feel each other, empathise with and respect each other, than those that do not. I want to hope, I want to send thoughts of strength and love to Tom Meagher and the McKeon Family, but I am collapsed in grief at the absurdity of this life. That this can happen, and does happen more often than we know, breaks my heart. 

Tears replace the space where hope lived, so for now I cry with you in your great loss. And hope that maybe one day the lyrics of this song will make sense of the senselessness of Jill's end. 


"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end"

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

UPDATE: The Burden of True Love: Dedicated to Marina Krim in her unthinkable loss

I seem to have an unhealthy obsession with death of late. It is quite disturbing and not really conducive to a light and smiling existence. Instead I have strange visions of myself being injured or worse one of my beautiful boys. I try to tell myself that living in fear of death is a waste of life and I know it is, I can feel it is, but now I have so much to lose, so much to miss in the growth of my two little toddler boys into young men and god permitting, adults. I watched Shadowlands tonight, and I knew I shouldn't but it is a beautiful story and a true one. Non-fiction is always more magnetic to me but unfortunately usually contains the real tragedy of the absurdity of our lives.

my idealife banksy

C.S. Lewis although a committed Christian and successful author had never really fallen in love. His life was perfectly balanced, clinical and in control. Until he met Joy quite late in life. Her massive IQ and wit derailed his limited existence and he fell hard and passionately in love with her. But by some strange fate it turned out she had cancer and died only four years after they were married. His life was turned upside down and back the front and was taken completely out of his hands. In spite of this he recognises that the happiness she brought was worth the pain. I love the part where he says to her on her deathbed "I love you Joy, you make me so happy, I never knew I could feel such happiness... you are the truest person I know." 

What is more devastating than their love cut far too short is Joy having to leave her boys, when still only boys very much still in need of their Mum, behind alone, without her. As a Mum I find this almost unbearable to watch let alone imagine for my own boys. 


I know that people somehow survive this kind of loss, the pain, although never completely gone, reduces and life crowds in to distract you. But I buckle in two at the thought, I don't seem to be made of the stuff that those that continue are. I feel like my insides are custard, probably soft and malleable through never having been through anything even close to this harrowing. 

I only wish that my fears will work to drive my enjoyment of the moments I am having this second, when my boys still love cuddles and kisses, and say things like "You are my true love" or yell with glee, "Mummy, Mummy" on my arrival home from work, running at me with arms splayed ready to be easily swung in the air, my face buried in their soft necks breathing in their innocence before bursting a raspberry onto their perfect skin, and drinking in the erupting giggles that this all imbues. 

Like C.S. Lewis, my nightmares will probably never cease, but if the worst were to happen and I end up broken by grief I hope I remember they were worth the pain, every precious second knowing them is better than a pain-free existence never having looked into their eyes of joy and wonder, and realising they are the joy and wonder of my life. 



Sending Kevin and Marina Krim the strength no Mother can imagine having,
as you face the most terrible of losses x

Monday, 10 September 2012

House Husbands and the importance of Bunny

Am loving House Husbands on Channel 9. And although there are quite a few leaps outside of most family's reality, watching Justin (Firass Dirani) looking for his baby girl's lost pink bunny is a very real situation that I'm sure many parents have faced. 


Our eldest boy is three and a half and at last his beloved Blankie, a treasured baby gift, is starting to cut little less of a figure in his life, but it was only last year that Blankie going missing struck fear into the hearts of men, small and large and one woman. 

Once we lost Blankie in the supermarket and some kind person whom I am forever grateful to, picked it up and put in on the bananas where he waited for us for ten terrifying minutes. My relief was palpable and our then 1 year old grabbed him and held him close like a long lost friend. 

Then there was the time Daddy forgot to bring blankie home from kindy... on a Friday!!!! We realised then how strong the attachment between Blankie and Bang was. It's completely understandable when you think about it, when we'd left the room, gone back to work, had a shower or got forbid gone to the toilet alone, Blankie had stayed with our little man everywhere he went. Blankie was his truest friend and as his devastated face crumpled we knew we were all in for one of the worst weekends of our lives! Again finding him packed in one of the kindy toy baskets on Monday morning was one of those great moments in my recent existence, my heart sang! 

Then there was the time Blankie was left in the car and instead of accompanying his beloved owner into Kindy he went for an adventure to Daddy's workplace, where beyond his wildest dreams he got to go for a ride on a courier's motorbike back to kindy and back into Bang's arms. That adventure wasn't taken under pressure from me, my husband, who obviously valued his life, came up with that one all by himself and just told me about it later.

First rule of comforters is to buy two of the exact same kind. I discovered this rule about 6 months too late, I think I got spooked after the supermarket incident. When I happened upon the same taggie in a local baby shop I almost giggled out loud in a strange unhinged sort of way. When I got it home and patted myself on the back as I swapped Blankie over for a much-needed wash, it was about then that the giggling stopped. Bang looked at imposter blankie and patted it, looked at me, looked back at imposter blankie and then threw it. I couldn't believe it, he knew because of the texture, the new one was much softer and didn't smell nearly the same. I remembered when I had first given Bang Blankie he was only 6 weeks old and I'd spent a night sleeping with Blankie on my skin so it's smell would comfort him to sleep. It had obviously worked far too well. 

Thankfully three years on and deputy blankie occasionally gets a look in but only if absolutely necessary and only if real Blankie is around also. 

So Justin trailing around Melbourne on every possible tram to find a pink bunny, not weird, not extreme, not fictional at.all. Just a great Dad who understands the rules of toddler and baby life. Bunny, Blankie, Ted et al are real friends and irreplaceable, just don't ever lose them...ever.... well not if you value your sanity!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Hardest job in the world is the best...blubbering alert!

My husband is always showing me ads, as we are both Marketers and met while we were working in Advertising. So he thinks in my spare time I want to spend my time watching ads.
 I do not. 

But tonight I begrudgingly watched my fifth Olympics ad and yes the four previous were also forced upon me in my couch time, and by couch I mean braindead, but not braindead enough to not yell at the end of each one "I don't want to watch another Olympics ad! Stop! Please!". By 30 seconds in I knew this one was different and by one minute in I was gulping for air, trying to hold back tears. By the end I was demolished wet mess, grasping for tissues as I tried to speak. All I could manage in between sobs was "That's a good ad". My husband was hysterical by now, tears streaming down his face...as he laughed at me (he is obviously deeply empathetic - NOT!) 


Anyway enough of the back story, it's time for to enjoy, and I use enjoy in the loosest sense. It is worth it though, it is a beautiful and likely award winning campaign. Only thing is please watch in the immediate vicinity of a full box of tissues and preferably with a sensitive partner around, if you are luckier than me and have one!


Did you cry?

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Outliving Thomas Kelly: his parents nightmare

It's my Dad's birthday on Sunday and he'll be 77 this year, a very young 77 but 77 nonetheless. He has seen his two children grow from babies into teenagers and into adults. He has welcomed two grand children who adore him as much as I did from their age and lived a long, sometimes hard, but very full life. 

When you see someone you love grow older and see their body begin to age and cause them pain your first thought is to feel bad for them, I certainly hate seeing either of my parents in pain and would do anything to match their bodies to their active minds. 

But what I realised this week is they don't deserve pity, their situation is enviable. When I read Ralph Kelly's interview about what he and his family are going through, it became patently clear that people who don't outlive their children are the luckiest people alive. Like Ralph Kelly I have two sons. Before I was a parent I knew the bond between child and parent was strong from own love for my parents, but I had no idea the intensity of a parents' love. It is an out of this world adoration so intense that your heart breaks daily at the slightest hint of something taking this being, this extension of you, away. It is a haunting love not matched by any romantic entanglement. Once you meet a human that you happened to create you can forgo most things if you are granted one thing and that is to know them for as long as you can and see them happy and settled one day with their own family. 

Grieving parents ... Kathy and Ralph Kelly Photo: Steve Christo
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/tom-in-wrong-place-at-wrong-time-say-police-20120711-21v7h.html#ixzz20Jkkiseo
Thomas Kelly's parents said goodbye to their son after only 18 years on Monday. When I found out I was standing in a cafe waiting for my morning coffee and my heart broke. Tears ran down my cheeks at what I know would be the worst agony a parent can suffer. The strength to turn off life support and the selflessness to donate his organs make them stronger people than I can imagine I would be. His father said today that they don't know how they will continue and all I can hope for them that they will and they will receive the love and support they need to continue and survive the worst grief imaginable. 

I don't know these people, but I know that every parent in the world gasped with horror when they read what the Kelly's have been senselessly put through. When I look at the smiling face of Thomas Kelly with eyes full of hopes and dreams that have been stolen away by a sadistic and damaged moron, I am horrified that is murderer is still enjoying breathing in and out, while Thomas no longer can.

Sadly this is not a one-off horror, and victims of this type of mindless violence have inspired the charity Step back and think to be formed to educate young men about the danger of a single punch. You can read more here http://www.stepbackthink.org/ Unfortunately the message did not reach Thomas Kelly's killer in time to save his young  life, but maybe it will save my boys or yours one day in the future. 

From one family to another, our hearts goes out to the Kelly family. 
Love and strength to you all in your loss of Thomas. 
xxx

Monday, 11 June 2012

Minor toddler surgery, Major Mummy meltdown

Pre and post-op, or you could say blissfully ignorant and not so.
The sun was still asleep as I woke Bang on Friday morning at 6am. Clutching his beloved blankie with one hand, and with the other warming my own, he followed me down a dark path we'd both never seen before to automatic doors into fluorescent lights. 

The nurse, used to early mornings, was alert and kind in the face of our vagueness. Bang was being brilliantly brave despite telling me the day before he didn't want to go to hospital. 

I filled out the necessary paperwork, signed that I didn't mind them deducting lots of money from my credit card if need be and we were on our way to the waiting room with TV and toys! I knew that this operation was minor and very likely to improve Bang's quality of life. His ears were blocked with fluid and had been for months since the last ear infection, and his hearing was at about 60% of where it should be. 

But there is no escaping the feeling of betrayal as you lull him into a false sense of security, with smiles and half truths. That feeling reached a crescendo as I lay him on the operating table and sang to him as a mask was forced on to his face. His eyes darted from the massive operating light back to my forced smile that existed in opposition to my arms holding his still. 

"1,2,3,4,5, once I caught a fish alive, 6,7,8,9,10 then I let him go again, why did you let him go, because he bit my finger so, which finger did he bite? this little finger on my right" floated in the space between us as his eyes went bloodshot and filled with tears moments before the anesthetic took him away. The doctor singsonged "don't worry we'll bring him back", my smile was displaced suddenly with all seriousness "You better" I almost threatened. 

Through tears I tried to understand the instructions that would have me back in the waiting room, "your shoe covers here, and your hat and gown, through the double doors, use the exit button on the right and then turn left." By the time I saw my husband through glass I was a mess, demolished at the thought of leaving him with strangers who had his small, trusting life in their hands. As I buried my face in my husbands hug all I could remember was him lying on the hard metal table, no pillow under his head and the anesthetists hand holding the mask roughly on his tilted perfect face, his body limp, unknowingly lead to a place where a surgeon would operate on him.

Half an hour later the same surgeon was in front of us with a reassuring smile, and good news. Bang's ears had been full of fluid which he drained before putting in grommets and cutting away his adenoids. Winter would be a lot more pleasant for our little man, not to mention a lot louder.

Lucky for us the surgeon was a lovely, kind man and the surgery was as minor as you can really get. It didn't make seeing him after the surgery writhing around disoriented and confused by all the drugs any easier. I wondered if his subconscious would remember his misplaced trust as he arched his back and yelled out against the world. Half an hour later he was asleep in my arms and three hours later, two more than both the other patients, he was awake and happily devouring sandwiches and a neon-coloured tub of jelly. The blood in his ear the only sign that something was amiss.

And when we asked him "Can you hear better punky?" A huge smile and a resounding "YES!" made me realise it was worth all my angst and his discomfort to get to this better place. There's a lesson in there somewhere, I hope I apply it to the larger decisions I am sure will come.... but for now I'm just happy he is back in my arms and no where near sharp metal instruments and gases that mysteriously send him unconscious and temporarily mad. 

Has your child had surgery? Were you worse off than they were?


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

One frozen nappy short of a picnic

The fåecal collection kit that will never see fåecal in it's life (also here so you won't see fåecal either!)
I was at a business lunch on Friday and luckily for me there were a few other parents there along with my long-suffering Gen-Y team. Long-suffering because I think with all the spew, poo and "I got woken up at 2 and 5am last night" stories I have single-handedly turned them all into life long DINKs, with the emphasis on the No Kids part. Unfortunately for them though with parents of toddlers at the table conversation was quick to take a turn towards smearing, screaming and the grey film of sleep deprivation again. So it was no surprise that it came to light that only last week, along with dragging my 20month old to the doctor for the umpteenth time since he joined the ranks of the nursery room at kindy, I also had in hand three frozen nappies. 

Hold the phone, even the other parents stopped at this, while one non-parent started to gag,  "Frozen?" one Dad quizzed, "next to the frozen peas?"
"Yes" I answered as I began to see how mental this all sounded, "but in double-zip-locked bags" I offered logically and of course hygienically.
"Oh well that's alright then" another Mum answered, with only a slight hint of skepticism in her eye.  

 At this point I felt compelled to try and explain why I had not one but three nappies in my freezer, next to the other food "that was also wrapped in plastic" but everyone including me was giggling so much at this point that it was hard to get the words out without ending up with wine snorting out of nostrils. In any case, not one to give up easily I stuttered out "You don't understand.....*chortle*..... the desperation ...*snigger*...all these bloody 'nothing we can do about it'  viruses incite in parents." At which point the parents at the table did nod their heads, or maybe it was just the laughter causing increased vibrations. 

Anyway they must have agreed because then the faeces sample kit was brought up by another mother and the utter ridiculousness that you have to get six in a row, without urine at which point I shrilled like a deranged lunatic just let out of the asylum only to meet some fellow inmates on the street, "and somehow get it in the container and back to the surgery fresh so they can detect anything!" Commiseration noises and rigourous nodding ensued at this point, except from the 20-somethings, one of whom had excused herself to the bathroom. "And they wonder why I turn up with frozen poo!"

"Serves them right" said another parent, "Absolutely" I agreed "and they did cop it because when I opened that bag, the smell almost knocked the GP to the ground, not even freezing was gonna stop what had obviously taken on a whole life of it's own. But she got her own back, she wouldn't use the frozen poo for testing!". "No we need a fresh one, so get it back to us as soon as possible after he's gone", she calmly stated. "No problem" person who obviously has not yet had children, because all mother's do all day is chase a toddler around with a plastic container under it's bum waiting to catch poo, just so they can then jump in the car, without taking 40 minutes getting the toddler ready to leave the house, and get immediately to the doctor's surgery." 

By the time our over-sharing was complete even us parents were exhausted and we declined coffee to get back to an existence, that for a few hours at least, would be excrement-free. 

What have u done that has made u stop & think
"It's official Motherhood has made me a complete loon"?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Danger: Toddlers! (5 injuries to expect from your children)


Other than the horror stories that you hear before you give birth, there are injuries that will occur that no one really warns you about. And a million kegals a day won't spare you unfortunately. I am a Mum to two toddlers so this list can only get more extensive I'd imagine as they get older. But for now by three you should expect these five injuries at the very least. 

1. Regular Random Bruising 
Whether it is a plastic golf club to the head or a hard plastic dinosaur tail stabbed into your leg - you are going to find yourself bruised and battered by your bundle of joy sooner rather than later. And their laughter at your screams of pain only adds to the adventure of it all. 

2. Temporary Blindness
I can't remember ever having being poked in the eye before, but Bang changed all that with his little seemingly ineffectual forefinger which he accidentally shoved in my eye. This very effective and razor sharp mini-weapon sent me racing to the bathroom to see whether my eye was bleeding or scratched, because I was in agony. All worked out well and I can still see despite not requiring hospitalisation.  

3. Broken Heart
If I heard a baby cry pre-parenthood I used to curse it's existence and that of it's obviously inept parent who would allow such out-of-control behaviour in public no less. But that all changes once you have a little munchkin of your own. Now when you hear any child cry, especially your own (which happens, by the way, whether you are Mother of the Year or not) you will have a mini-nervous breakdown. For me my heart wrenches and my stomach turns with empathy and an insane drive to comfort them. Luckily the heartbreak is equally matched by heartbursts, phew!

4. Head Butts and Fat Lips
My first fat lip was caused by a 7month old, yes they are little but boy do their heads weigh a lot and at full flight easily make an adult lip bleed. And if you are lucky enough to escape with your tooth not protruding through your cheek then you will probably end up seeing stars as they catch you on the forehead or nearly break your cheekbone. I've been lucky enough to have all three happen - although not all on the same day. 

5. Pride Impairment
When you used to control your world down to the last eyelash, you took pride in your appearance, decorum and ability. Then you meet a very small human, who, not content with near destruction of your ladybits, quickly goes on to level the whole structure of your predictable world. You are now a person who is often covered in someone's bodily fluids. Breast milk, projectile poo or spew and drool are often your new hair styling products and the grey film of sleep deprivation just adds to the makeover. Add the wirefree bras and trackies and the look is complete. But before you confuse yourself with the local vagrant, remember a homeless person wouldn't be stupid enough to trip over a slippery dip backwards or almost knock themselves out climbing up to save their infant at the local playground (remembering metal bars are placed at toddler height would have been useful). Two short years from birth, no semblance of pride left^

Every one says get plenty of sleep before you give birth - as if it is somehow cumulative by nature - and yes sleep deprivation is an ugly injury I have reserved whole posts for instead of including here. But I say before you give birth think about buying some protective clothing, bruise cream, an industrial first aid kit and a CPR poster. Oh and most important, get a therapist on speed dial!

If you just have or are about to give birth, the saying "no use crying over spilt milk" has never been more useful only the milk is more likely to be baths of poo, buckets of spew or pumpkin wall art...and ironically somewhere deep in your now newly demented soul you will love it!



^Pride other than in them of course and every first they accomplish, every sound they utter, every smile, giggle... shall I go on.....