I dare not post these tonight - for fear of looking shallow, churlish, ungrateful, bitter and vindictive - until Bec fills me in on what the hell is going on in her world.
because when you're knackered, writing lists is good...
- "proper" journalist (as in, writing for a major metro daily paper)
- artisan bread baker
- pastry chef
- interior designer
- fabric/cloth designer (like this chick)
- clothing consultant (like Trinny and Susannah)
- wine maker
- shoe buyer (as in, travel to Italy, Spain, anywhere really and source shoes for sale in Oz)
- radio broadcaster (the grossly obese tv lecturer at uni who regaled us with nauseating tales of his stomach stapling procedure told me I had a great face for radio...)
Where I am this morning.
10 simple pleasures
to avoid the whole - "is that really mine or something I thought of because I read it in Bec's first", I haven't read Bec's post on this. And naturally, because give me 10 and I'll give you 20, there's 10 plus a few.
- Fresh flowers in the house. Favourites: magnolias, tulips, lavendar, lillies. (Although I hate when they start to die, drop leaves and pollen and that manky water smell.)
- When a song I love, that is deeply attached to a day, or an event, a moment or a season of my life, comes on to the radio. The volume is up, the voice is loud, the dancing spontaneous.
- Cooking a new recipe, it being delicious and relatively straightforward, so becoming part of the repertoire.
- Waking up when my body is fully rested and says "wake up" rather than the myriad ways I am woken up every other day.
- Lying on the lounge, resting my head on Chef's leg and just being.
- The smell of coffee brewing, even if I don't like drinking it anymore.
- The sounds of my children
- That silence that fills the house after the dinner, bedtime, end-of-the-day rankle ebbs away. Bliss.
- The sound of Jasper waking in the morning - those when he just wakes and babbles happily away to his animals. In fact, any sound from Jasper. That little high pitched "ah-eegh" when he sees me, kills me every time.
- "Mummy" when I walk through the door home from work.
- Dinners when we first moved out of home, with L and R, M and R (then A, then S and finally J who we loved the most). Where we ate late because if I can't run on time, as if dinner parties I'm hosting are going to. Where we had nibbles, then three courses, litres of wine, chocolates and coffee and would basically eat our collective selves into an eating disorder. Or in fact, any meal with them. They are something I treasure to the core of my soul.
- Lazy days hanging out with friends. That start mid-morning, become lunch, extend through the afternoon tea to an impromptu dinner. The kids happily playing together, us (normally us and the Doodles - our camping buddies) drinking copious amounts of tea and just talking about everything and nothing.
- Having a jar with homemade biscuits on the bench.
- Reading the Saturday papers, with a mug of tea beside me and the sun warming my back.
- That sensation when you lie down in bed and your entire body says "thank GOD" or when during the night you pull the doona back up over your cooled body and the warmth is instantaneous.
- Either a fresh, warm Italian loaf with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper or a light French loaf with butter and honey.
- Smelling Jasper's head
- Oscar as he slips his arm through mine
- Felix's cuddles
An Eagle tagges us for 10 simple pleasures
Miss Eagle is a relatively new acquaintance but I suggest you visit one of her excellent blogs because:
- she has very beautiful magnolias at the top of her Trad Pad pages
- she has two boys who grew to be more than two metres high
- she successfully sewed a safari suit for a man she loved. We all have very special memories The Suit, yes? Mine involves my English head teacher in the summer time shorts version ... Oh Vernon, where are you now?
Miss Eagle recently tagged the Kimster and me, but with all the travelling, hospitalling and Anzac biscuiting that's been going on here lately, it's taken a while to catch up (and don't worry, you're still going to get my Why Am I Suddenly In Dorrigo story, I just have to do this first).
The tag is for 10 Simple Pleasures, and I am certain I won't be as eloquent as Miss Eagle, who brought a tear to the eye in her number 10.
1. Open fires - mesmerising and, if you have to have cold weather (which I secretly doubt) then an open fire is the best consolation around.
2. A goldfish in a pond, equally mesmerising and just as enjoyable in warm weather.
3. New mown grass: smell, look, feel.
4. Perfectly painted toe nails in summer sandals
5. Chanel No 5 for my birthday - always.
6. Cuddles in bed, from anyone except the dog because of her smelly feet and tendency to lick when over-excited.
7. Silly stories from my children. Actually - pretty much anything from my children but it would have been dull for others were I to list kiddy things for all 10.
8. A perfectly browned pastry crust emerging from the oven.
9. The feel of your tongue over newly cleaned teeth.
10. The smell of sheets coming in from the clothes line on a sunny afternoon.
"Well it was black dear, and very loose..." and other joys of a hospital emergency dept...
We are home.
Oscar came in to us at midnight on Wednesday night and with one croup-like cough descended into respiratory distress. This folks, is called spasmodic croup - when you simply bypass the seal-like sounding cough and go straight for a stridor and significantly restricted airway. I love that my kids don't do anything by halves. We've been there many times before, (but not for a few years) so I Ventolined and Panadoled and got back to sleep around 1.30. He woke at 3-3.30 much worse so we high-tailed it to Mona Vale Hospital.
Someone was looking after us as there was no one in the waiting room and we went straight in (this breaks our run of hospital visits - the last three starting with minimum 3 hour waits in waiting room) - although I'm sure something about a kid with a stridor as bad as Oscar makes me suspect we would have been taken straight in regardless. Typical, no audience for my moment of high-drama.
Anyway, a dose of steroids, two nebulisers of ventolin and one of adrenalin and we were finally breathing easy (it was now around 4.30). But it turns out adrenalin can have a rebound effect, whereby the airway restriction comes back and with more severity than it had originally. I'm kinda glad they didn't fill me in on that little side-effect until after the event and critical danger 4-hour period had passed event free.
Beside us was Marjorie with her severe pain, black loose stools and an ER specialist informing her he'd like to look at her back passage. Something I'm sure ol' Marjorie hasn't heard for some years. Although then again, perhaps that's something we all have to look forward to when we're 78...
On the other side was Robert, 68, who returned home from dinner last night, checked his mailbox, slipped and dislocated his patella. He has a bowel motion every morning at 7 apparently.
diagonally across from us was Sidney, he just seemed to vomit bile every hour or so, with more severity if they mentioned anything about him going home. It turns out this was his TWENTY SEVENTH admission for cyclical vomiting. Now there's a viscous cycle.
Someone died just before we arrived.
The entire night staff HATE one of the doctors and spent the better part of an hour talking about just how many people's lives they'd saved from her dirty "lesbian butch" clutches.
All in all, it was a great time. Only beaten by discovering that Oscar really did need to be admitted and we really did need to wait to see the paediatrician (hospitals, the waiting, WHY????). We were given a gate pass (I have a new found understanding of the excitement and freedom felt by boarders at my school when granted similar leave) to be back by six, - but the deal was he had to stay overnight last night incase it returned once more.
So Oscar fell asleep at 7.30 and didn't wake until 4 when he wanted to go home, have breakfast and play the hospital's Playstation. He didn't cough ONCE. Not even for effect. I slept for about 2 hours. In there. Somewhere. My neck is killing me and I'm in that realm of tiredness and parental relief where I could either cry or vomit and both would be OK with me.
You would never know he'd been in hospital or struggling for breath, although yesterday he was very pale and this afternoon is starting to look a bit washed out as the sun goes down. His mother however, is perfecting her wreck of the Hesperus look way more than usual.
to have a child in hospital. All Ok, just breathing issues. Will update on him and marjories very black bowel motions and back passage checks soon. Have post for Bec too, will do that tomorrow as well.
Modern communication systems at their best...
This is a post from Bec, currently ensconced in the wilds of the Western Plains Zoo
. She sent it to me in a text. I could probably send it from the text direct to here, but my role as a technologicalidiot needs to be left well alone. So, from Bec:
Dubbo: the town my kids learned there was life beyond tv. 273 plays 199 right now at Upwords by lamplight tonight. I've had the q, z,x,y,v, and j,p,k and still thrashin' prof's arse. Milky Way v bright; lions v photogenic; life's good, as long as you're not a local.
Quiet reflection, infinite gratitude, deep and everlasting sadness
On this day, 25 April, in 1915, Australian, New Zealand and British troops landed at Gallipoli. They fought there until 20 December 1915. 50,000 Australian soldiers fought, 8,709 were killed, 18,235 were wounded.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Lest we forget.
Unconscious mutterings, the flawed process
Here's why it's flawed - Kim diligently does this word association, I read it and go, 'Cool, I'll do that' and copy and paste it from Kim's post, then delete her responses while trying not to read them so as not to influence my own word associations...
But then, as I fill in my own answers, I'm suddenly hit with paranoia: am I writing 'voices' after 'distant' because I want to, or because subconsciously I've read it in Kim's response, even though I don't recall anything past 'surround'.
And of course, if I go back to Kim's to check, I'll only read more of her answers whether I try to or not, and that will skew my responses even more...
It's not all whine and roses, this joint-blogging business.
Rising :: moon
Third ::finger (my wedding ring)
Disruptive :: influence (me, mostly)
Surround :: with rose petals
Distant :: voices (what the hell, I'm taking a punt)
Suction :: pump
Fried :: chicken
Nuggets :: gold
Clip :: art
San Antonio :: died a martyr.
You can play too!
- Rising ::sun
- Third ::quarter
- Disruptive ::children
- Surround ::sound
- Distant ::voices
- Suction ::squad
- Fried ::squid
- Nuggets ::of poo
- Clip ::art
- San Antonio ::fault
I confess to feeling like a cranky old buzzard who just wants to stamp around the house muttering 'motherfucker', 'shithole', 'cunt', 'bastard', and any other swear word I can dream up, any slam a few doors while I'm at it.
For no other reason than being a tired cranky old buzzard.
I confess to having an overwhelming urge to have a cigarette and get absolutely off-my-trolley drunk. Preferably on martinis, but a Cosmopolitan would be equally good, or even some Piper Heidsiech champagne.
I confess to being a strict old-fashioned parent of late, pulling the boys up on the slightest of behaviour glitches.
I confess that to mark a very big moment for Felix, we bought him Star Wars Lego for the Xbox.
I HATE the Xbox.
The Xbox brings out the worst of the cranky old buzzard.
And that I then had an epiphany.
I hate the boys playing Xbox (it is a very very rare event until the arrival of Star Wars Lego).
I am one of those people who thinks Xbox, Play Station etc are major contributors to the downfall of civilisation.
I hate the parent it makes me.
Then I realised - who is the adult around here?
So I sat the boys down, said I didn't like computer or video games, and that while they may play them on Daddy's watch, there will be no Xbox on Mummy's.
They just shrugged, went "OK", and got a few books for us to sit on the lounge and read together.
Then I read to them in bed and watched as their eyes got heavier and heavier and finally closed.
And didn't feel like swearing quite so much.
I confess to being a COMPLETE IDIOT for not organising to take tomorrow off and have another 4-day weekend (for those of you overseas, Tuesday is a public holiday here for ANZAC day).
I love her writing and until yesterday felt a connection with her in the whole - oh my god - working and baby = hard.
Then she went and fucking resigned.
And is so friggin' talented, well-connected, popular - that she is going it alone and will - without a doubt - be hugely successful and subsequently rich.
This has pissed me off. I know I have no place to be pissed off. At all.
But I freelanced and basically sucked at it.
Because I am, at my very core, inherently lazy.
So when it came to pitching for new business or selling myself to prospective clients, I would sooner have gone to mother's group with the boys, eaten too many pieces of a crappy walnut custard loaf from Bakers Delight and left to be home in time to watch Dr Phil and Oprah.
So I ended up working on shitty projects or good projects for bully-bosses and being very very very poor.
Which was a very large contributor to my fast slide to madness.
So really, what I'm confessing, is to being really very lazy and wanting the life of celebrity.
Inexplicable desire to be violent
For some bizarre reason, I have a real urge to hit something. Not someone. But to do something hard and punishing - like a boxing class or something, where I can just pummel the shit out of something, sweat a lot and maybe scream a bit.
Insert swearing here
And Bec - who said you could go away for a few days??? Just because you work like a packhorse doesn't mean you then get to go frolic in the meadow for a few days.
I'm tired, and going to bed.
And yes, I can hear you all thanking the Lord for such small mercies.
- I confess that I just tried to read Dooce; can't do it any more. Bored, bored, bored. I'd take her off our sidebar but Kim's already got a migraine and I don't need to add to the poor girl's woes. Yet.
- I confess that these days I'm only interested in non-celebrity bloggers. Although I wish you all every success and many book deals, once your comments get past 100 a day I'll be leaving you. Send me an autograph.
- I confess that someone else - Surfing Free? - has also confessed something like this a couple of weeks ago, but hell, if confession is supposed to be about saving MY internet soul then it has to be personal, right?
- I confess that I haven't put any of my clean and folded clothes away for over a week. They are making a sculpturally attractive but domestically inefficient pile on the blanket box at the end of our bed. I confess I have no intention of fixing this today.
- I confess that it pisses me off that the Prof takes the clothes that I wash, dry and fold for the Whole Family and puts away the piles for Four Out of Five of us.
- I confess that I love hearing the church bells ringing around Marrickville on a Sunday morning, but I never answer the call. Maybe the Greek Orthodoxes would have me? They have the best food.
- I confess that I was once an eBay addict but that blogging saved me. Maybe this is my church?
To celebrate Glamorouse Post Number Six HUNDRED...
I thought it would be fun to bring you (Cat in the Hat style) the Little Posts 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500.
Some of my reckoning may be a little out here, Kim, so if you've got a better car (of the post counting kind) I'll ride in it.
Please - take a trip through time and feel free to leave post-mortem comments!!
OK... Show and tell... an outfit you say...
this is less an outfit and more the uniform I have worn for the four months of maternity leave and every weekend since having Jasper.
t-shirt from Sportscraft - because it covers my arms, I like a collar and it's white so when my boobs leak it's easier to hide, because I love Sportscraft and i bought it when i bought clothes for returning to work in February. i have it in blue and green from last season as well, and a white one that has lost all its elasticity and is now more a greyish colour. I'm all class, I know.
shorts from Target - one size too big because I did overestimate the weight gain - but I'm still on the last belt notch of the fat belt to hold them up.
Birkenstocks - which I would wear every.single.day. and almost do - even to work where I then change into my heels. That I love, but can't walk great distances in, let alone to the daycare centre and back the hundred times a day that I do...
bedroom - that my cleaner reckons resembles a uni student bedroom with unmade bed, loads and loads of washing, ugly rug and all the rest.
The file Bec sent to me titled glamourkim.
this is the thinest I've been in my adult life.
10 in 10
My very own meme
In 10 years:
- I have gotten married and bred three children
- I have had probably four significant bouts of depression (and innumerable little ones)
- Taken anti-depressants for the first time
- Found a job that I really love
- Learnt to be a lot kinder to myself
- Witnessed a Government make our country debt-free at the expense of it's very cultural identity. At the expense of widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots. At the expense of creating welfare for the wealthy while forcing the most needy in the community to work for a pittance. Overhauled an industrial relations system that needed to be overhauled, but instead of being brave about it has systematically created a mean system that will enshrine a working poor sub-class of our society. Turned Australians from a mindset of "no-one gets left behind" to "what about me? It's all about me". (that's cheating I know but I had to get that out. Sorry.)
- I will have an 18 year old, 16 year old, 10 year old and maybe one more?
- I will hopefully be in a senior management/policy/strategic role (for a government agency?) making a difference. Or working with Chef.
- I will have published two books - a cookbook and a novel.
- We will be living in a place of our own.
I just realised - yeah give me a moment to catch up - that the alien/orphan TomKitten's name - Suri - is the middle four letters of Freakazoid's surname. Surely, the conceit is not that blatant?
These are the kind of things keeping me awake at night. That and world peace. And over-throwing our current mean-spirited fear-mongering money-hungry Government.
I'm with Bec, enough of this soppy shit and
where the hell have I been I hear you all asking. Despite what my recent posts would indicate, I have not been rocking in a corner, wailing and gnashing my teeth in a poor-me chorus to rival the volume and emotion conjured up at Christian City on a Sunday. I have been honing my cranky-mummy parenting style, eating more chocolate than humanly conceivable because hell, if the jeans don't fit what the hell does it matter?, visiting family who live 2hrs out of Sydney because they hated Sydney traffic so much they moved far enough away we have to endure it 100 times over to visit them, and so on and so forth.
There's so much to say, so little that I can. That's right folks, sooo much I want to verbally vomit but it just ain't worth the repercussions in my real world.
So much air kissing and big hugs to send to you all for your amazing words of support, kindness and you-are-not-aloneness, so many blogs to catch up on!
- Amalah has quit her job and is going to freelance. Not only that, but over 250 people felt it warranted commenting on. 2.5.0. I don't know what part of that makes me spin out more. Anyway, been there, done that. I know she's way more talented than I, lives in a country that loves - and well recompenses - the enterprising free spirit, and has a bit of fame on her side too boot, but MY GOD I hated the free-falling financial life of being a freelancer - and I did it for 7 years. And that fact you had to take the shitty jobs as well as the fun ones because the fun ones never pay well and come along way too infrequently to allow any real life.
- Badger is binge eating donkey burgers - but washing them down with pretty drinks so that makes it a little better
- Blackbird is living some cosmopolitan eating out life that I want!
- Suse and all those Steiner children are putting the rest of us to shame - did you all see that remarkable Easter basket one of her s.o.n.s. made - as opposed to the crap-arse stencil one my boys brought home that I believe was made from the same stencil as the crap-arse Easter baskets we used to make in primary school. And the gorgeous Easter egg tree type creation thingy. And then the gear she gets around in, that on her looks stunning but if I wore I'd basically look homeless. Fat and homeless, now there's an aspiration. Amazing.
- Bec posting more than me!
It's a crazy crazy world out there folks.
So here is an update of sorts.
Firstly, 6 months is like the 18 of babydom. Why I hear you ask?
Because you get to eat meat.
Behold, the 6 month old who cried when the chop bone (a delicious lamb cutlet) was prised from his pudgy edible fingers.
One more because how utterly adorable is this child???
Out of town. One night away from our home visiting my Dad and stepmother means this:
That's right - the biggest New Zealand suitcase you can almost find (I have an even bigger one that is fabulous for washing when you are away camping) - that basically had clothes for me and three children thrown into it randomly, a packet of nappies and assorted toiletries. This is for one night. Look! The boot is full. Ridiculous.
But once there, you can suck in fresh air and the view from their front step:
just look at that blue sky. The sky is so big in Australia. It is one of the things that makes my heart absolutely burn for this place. G'ah, it restores my soul just looking at it now.
It gives the boys time to hang out with their grandfather, in fact, they've probably hung-out more with him than I have in my entire life. I like that. Here they are with the billycart Dad built:
and even the delight of some home made produce:
But you know, someone else's house, even if it is family, where there are three dogs to watch with the New Recruit on high-explore mode is pretty draining. Factor in a night of waking up almost on the hour every hour, if not being awake from hour to hour due to dogs barking, dogs farting (or maybe they were 'talking' to each other), children waking, children coming into my bed, children grinding teeth louder than really humanly feasible, baby sort of waking but settling, boobs replenishing and it all just gets a bit too hard.
My favourite interpretation of proof that aliens have landed which played on the publicist's line that:
The name Suri has its origins in Hebrew, meaning "princess" or in Persian, meaning "red rose"
comes from Gawker.com
. . .The press release is thin on details like, say, when exactly the child was born, but the poor thing weighed in at 7 pounds and 7 ounces and is reportedly named Suri, which means “doomed” in Hebrew and “utterly fucked” in Persian.
We are, of course, incredibly happy to hear that the couple has finally cast the appropriate orphan to play the role of their child — and our congrats to Katie Holmes, who must be thrilled to return to Barneys sans the cumbersome prosthetic.
While Suri is indeed Persian, it is not a Hebrew name. It is, however, a Hindu name meaning “Lord Krishna.” Hindu, Hebrew — simple mistake.
stop, my sides are hurting.
and this, just because:
After her baby Sean was effectively dropped on his head, Britney Spears looks to sue the makers of the high chair the child had been in. If only she could sue the makers of retarded white trash, too. Then all her problems would be accounted for.*****
For Blackbird this week Show & Tell was an outfit. I almost vomited. In my shoe. At the threat of having to show you an outfit. I don't have outfits, I have the fits pile and the oh-shit pile. There are no outfits, just whatever is clean and fits.
But best of all - on Easter Saturday night, Chef and I got to go out to dinner - Jellyfish in Manly. Divine food, we took along a 1996 Henschke and just a wonderful evening of playing grown-ups and doing things normal couples do.
with that, I've run out of puff.
Hey Blackbird, check it out!
Is it too surreal to say look at my new outfit when it's my blogger profile picture?
Because it is... coming to a comment box near you soon.
With thanks again to Angie. Without whom I'd still just be a fake redhead.
Oh My Gawd! Enough with the soppy shit.
On to the truly important Stuff Of Life:
The babies are here!!
And they are (crikey!) exactly the same length.
Wow, I have chills - have you?
Sometimes you realise you've already said the important stuff and all that's left is to repeat it.
If you read this before, then saw it had disappeared, then see it again... don't be confused. I got embarrassed by my navel-gazing tone and took it down, then got an email from Kim about how she'd enjoyed it, and a comment from her on the post below asking where it had gone so I've decided to put it back up again. With reservations!
I've been thinking more about Kim's confession post below and Pea Soup's and about reading even more on Donkey Burger that Badger's been dealing with and how I always struggle to say/write the right thing, you know?
Here's me, with nothing more serious than the occasional domestic accident and an overloaded life brought about because I insisted on buying house in Sydney's ridiculously expensive real estate market, and meantime all these other wonderful women hang around being really funny and blogging like crazy and engaging in random acts of kindness...
I mean, what can you say when every now and then they let on to a situation that would have your own pathetic self locked in a fetal position from here to eternity?
As a mother whose biggest issue has been coping with the fact that her eldest is too smart and won't wear socks and two youngest happened to arrive together, it seems very introverted and shallow and dumb to dwell on the non-problem of avoiding sounding introverted, shallow and dumb to someone who really has qualified for the Parenting Big League.
And then I remembered that I'd kinda worked through this before and that some of the results of it were in this earlier post where I talked about how we came to be blogging together and how that post was a result of another very poignant posting here.
And so while I could blather on in that introverted, shallow, dumb way, really, the whole thing can be summed up in the final line from that earlier post.
Kim gives me hope in hope.
As does Pea Soup, and Badger, and all you other legendary mums out there.
I hope I would deal with the unfair and the unexpected as gracefully as you all have, but I really don't think I would.
But if I ever have to, at least I have some pretty amazing examples to model myself upon.
In nearly every situation with which I am confronted, my immediate internal response is one of childlike petulance, defiance, selfish, hot tears and 'why me'.
I read PeaSoup's confessions today and so much of it (ie #6 - #5 made me giggle) resonated with me and Oscar the sorrow was overwhelming. There have been so many occasions where I have had to step back and simply love my child. In particular:
And lo it was terribly scary and saddening but oh my giddy aunt everything fell into place and I learnt about triggers and I also stopped hating his behaviour and hating myself and thinking I had made my child this way.and
Guilt for not being a better parent to him when he was at the outer edge of the ‘normal’ spectrum. Guilt for all those years of wanting him to be firmly within that ‘normal’ circle. Guilt for not finding the courage to accept him for who he was but always pushing him to be what I wanted him to be.because I couldn't say it any better than Suse did. And that while I too have been there with that guilt, I am still so in the very thick of it. That at the moment, while I love him so much it brings tears to my eyes as it is this instant, I don't like him very much at the moment. He is older and we're in the midst of a whole new behaviour shift. I have to adjust my parenting once more and as I said upfront, my instant reaction is one of "I don't wanna". That this is too hard, too isolating, ageing, emotionally draining, so deeply worrying in that "what will become of him" way that permeates my daily existence that sometimes I want 'it' (not Oscar, obviously - but another thing so hard to explain), to all go away, and instead be the person grieving a lost dead child than a lost living one. And the guilt, and the shame of it makes me recoil from myself.
Tagged here by Kim, who swiped from Joke who swiped it from ...
I AM: a reluctant A Type.
I WANT: security and happiness for my family; a coffee maker with automatic timer; the perfect white shirt.
I WISH: I could have a weekend away every year, just me and books and a big bed and the sea.
I HATE: the streak of martyrdom that makes me peevish
I MISS: sleeping in with my husband
I FEAR: for my babies. Also lizards and frogs touching me.
I HEAR: the children playing together and am (sometimes) glad we have three.
I WONDER: what I would have achieved if I'd dodged the stupid first marriage?
I REGRET: the stupid first marriage.
I AM NOT: naturally a morning person, and yet I see so many dawns.
I DANCE: with the children, while they're still not embarrassed.
I SING: a lot.
I CRY: when I'm angry. I hate that.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: available to blog. But Kim manages to carry at least half my load as well as her own.
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: food, food, food.
I WRITE: for work.
I CONFUSE: my lazy co-worker who just cannot understand the very basic rules of direct quotations.
I NEED: professional adrenaline, domestic peace.
I SHOULD: really try for that weekend away this year.
I START: my family's day.
I FINISH: too many bottles of wine.
I TAG: My Float, and anyone else who wants it.
Swiped from Joke who swiped it from DaysGoBy:
I AM: rarely satisfied, always restless, often laughing, sometimes melancholy, constantly questioning.
I WANT: people in power to use it wisely.
I WISH: someone would find a 'cure' for Oscar, that the world would stop fighting, people would realise their opinion is just that, that I was thin, that we were financially rich.
I HATE: blind-sighted stupidity, bullies, lazy parents.
I MISS: not much
I FEAR: something dreadful happening to the boys
I HEAR: voices
I WONDER: if I'll be famous
I REGRET: very little
I AM NOT: very good at dieting, shy, quiet, thin
I DANCE: in my head
I SING: out loud
I CRY: almost every day
I AM NOT ALWAYS: on time
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: wild gesticulations
I WRITE: a lot
I CONFUSE: myself each and every day
I NEED: constant stimulation
I SHOULD: lose weight
I START: so much more than I finish
I FINISH: stuff for work everyday, anything else? rarely.
I TAG: Bec, Angie, Surfing Free, and Amalah (because I have delusions of grandeur)
do you want to know?
just how many pairs of jeans I own?
how many fit?
If blogger let me, that would be a big f.a.t. zero.
- traditional 501s that I bought when I lost 22 kilos in 1995-1996
- the fancy made-just-for-me Wilgenhof's made by Paddi G who Chef used to work with (these have never fitted)
- the Jag pair I bought when I had turned 30 and lost about 15 kilos that rocked
- a pair of high waisted Jeans West that I have no idea where they came from, but I suspect were my fat jeans at some point
- the Portmans low waisted ones with two buttons at the waist which I loved and thought in the shop "I only need to lose about 2kgs for these to look hot" so never lost the weight and instead had another baby so have never worn
- the other Portmans pair I bought at the same time which did fit and which l lived in the winter before last (in high rotation with the Jag pair)
- a faded pair of Jeans West which I must have lived in at some time because they're really worn and soft. They do up but the muffin top is so hideous they are simply not an option.
Look away, I'm hideous.
I have a headache, so
today has been 'one of those days' where:
- the children are the personification of fingernails on a chalkboard
- the 8 year old suddenly seems older and I have NO IDEA how to 'manage' him
- I am so tired I could fall asleep sitting up. And did. Feeding Jasper.
- everything is an effort
- I've been cranky and testy and short-tempered all day
- the monotony of routine, which normally keeps us all sane, is driving me insane
When it was meant to be a day of just chilling out with the boys.
I did make hot cross buns though.
The body count...
I know this just goes with the territory, but does it seem to anyone else that there are a lot of damaged babies (large and small) around our bit of the blogosphere lately?
There's Blackbird's youngest, on oxygen.
Surfing Free's youngest, on a saline drip.
Babelbabe's Segundo, shoving a guitar dangerously close to his carotid artery (sorry, BB, did I really read that right?)
My Float's boy going all Jack-Jack Incredible (see the movie, even though he hasn't gone to hospital, it's a serious situation!)
And the Evil Twin (more kindly known as Sparkle), with a thumping great tear across her cornea and a stint in the Sydney Eye Hospital.
And for those who asked: Sparkle Twin (let's be nice to the wounded) didn't so much tear her cornea as had it torn for her... by her twin brother... with a metal spike.
YES, ALL RIGHT, I WAS IN CHARGE AND I'M A SHITTY, SHITTY MOTHER, OK?!
I could hear them in absent-big-sister's bedroom and they were playing a lovely game and Sparkle was saying "I'll be grandmamma" and Gorgeous Boy said "And I'll be the Ninja" and it all sounded so peaceful and happy that I just left them to it and dealt with my annoying media issue thingy that was spreading from station to station and requiring considerable attention
there was a screeeaaamm.
And I ran.
And as I ran I heard metal hitting floorboards with a nasty spikey clangy sound.
And I turned into the bedroom and saw her still screaming and holding her eye.
And I said no, no, no.
And I gently lifted her hand off her eye.
And it was still there.
Thanks be to the God of Bad Mothers.
GB was up on the Pea Princess' loft bed. Looking apprehensive.
I asked what happened. Sparkle told me. I said to GB, "Is that right? Did you poke her in the eye with a metal stick because you wanted her scissors?"
(NONE OF THIS CAN REFLECT WELL ON ME, YOU MIGHT AS WELL KNOW IT ALL)
He said yes.
Then he burst into tears.
I considered describing how he would suffer for this at the hands of his sisters over the next 80 or 90 years - but instead left him to sob and considered remedial action for the Sparkle, still howling and holding her eye.
So now you know.
She's back for her (hopefully) final check up on Saturday.
And aren't we all glad for the incredible, blissfully efficient, healing powers of the soft and the young?
ps - you still need to read Kim's 6 month letter to Jasper below. The boy is more edible than ever.
The 6 month letter to baby that is early because
dude, two can play that game of doing everything early and fast and pre-emptory....
(above: 5 months old with Grandmama)
I didn't quite get around to the five month letter because for the two weeks leading up to it you sort of started to crawl and quite frankly, I was living the weird world of pride mixed with abject terror. Then, the day before you turned five months, you started proper crawling - the one hand after another movement. So when you turned five months I was too busy telling everyone you were crawling to actually write about it.
But seriously, the fifth month was a big month for you. This is what you mastered:
- babbling. Lots of "bububububub" kinda stuff, but last weekend, you started going "mumumumum" which means I win (mwahahahah), particularly as you did it and crawled after me. Yes, that behavious has begun. The behaviour in which you follow me wailing "mum mum mum" after me - that means I can't even cut a slash without having an audience once more.
- crawling. Then crawling everywhere. In fact, last night, Mum came down and asked where you were. "under my feet" was my reply and I wasn't kidding. You ambled over into the kitchen and basically crawled in and around me. So helpful while I was making dinner...
- sitting. This was a bit of an afterthought. Felix was about a month later at crawling than you because he decided to master sitting first. You just went, "Well, I can crawl and then lie down. Sweet." So the tripod sitting started about two weeks ago and with time comes proficiency. Yesterday really marked the first day of proper sitting. Do you know how cool it is to be able to put you down in a sitting position? Way cool. That's what.
- waving. I suspected this for a few days and was all "no way, it's too soon". But then last Thursday I turned up at daycare and you flapped an arm at me. "no way, it's too soon" I thought. Again. So all the way home, in the car (Thursday is treat day in that we drive in because Nana and Grandpa pick the bigger boys up on Thursdays so I can pick them up on the way through), numerous crashes averted, I kept turning around to wave at you. And sure enough, you'd wave back. Then, just near Spit Hill, just to test my precision driving skills, you clapped.
- Clapping. "No way, it's too soon" I thought. Until you kept doing it that night. And then the next day for Grandmama, and now, all the time. You also know you're doing something pretty special, undoubtedly because we all coo over how gifted you are to be clapping, and make sure lots of people are watching before any clapping will be done.
- Blowing raspberries. This cracks.me.up. It also cracks up other passengers on the bus (or freaks them out, which serves them right for not being the one to stand or at least offer me a seat) when you blow them raspberries, or blow them into my ample cleavage, making fart like sounds. Hilarious.
- Kneeling - along with the being in the crawling position but putting your feet flat on the floor so it looks like you'll just stand up and start walking - is just freaky. You started kneeling within two days of crawling. Basically, you watched me put the death-threat toys into a plastic container, so you had to kneel to get them back out again. It seems all the bright primary coloured toys that are yours are for pussies. The Bionicles, the lego, the small-choking-hazard toys are the winners. Bascially anything that belongs to your brothers is perfect and highly desired by you. Such as their socks, which I often fish from your mouth as you carry them around in your mouth much as a dog would a bone. Very cute except for the fact they're dirty and often wet-sweaty. GROSS dude.
- sucking your toes. You've been pretty interested in these for a while, but not one ot hold on to them or really do anything with them - you've just liked looking at them and laughed a lot when we play "this little piggy". This week just gone - you have found those toes and that poor big toe is getting sucked.to.death.
and so it goes on...
The eating real food is progressing.
The sleeping like a sane, rational human being (as Amalah calls it) is still going on, although there was a 5-day stint a few weeks ago when we had a 3am starting time again - but after bumping up the rice cereal component of your food, ceased instantly.
You seem to love daycare and just get in the thick of everything, irrespective of the size of the kids involved.
but apart from anything else, you.are.adorable. We are all smitten with you and even as I feel completely overwhelmed by life, you make me stop, smell your head and laugh out loud a lot. You are a gift, and we love you to insy winsy teeny weeny little pieces.
Five senses meme...
I saw this in a couple of places this past week and wish I could remember who was responsible because then I might find the proper rules!
Sight: looking into the right eye of my youngest-by-one-minute child after the doctor tipped in the orange dye and shone his ultraviolet light, to see a one centimetre tear in her cornea. Then looking into the same eye, four times a day for four days, as she fought me tooth and nail against her antibiotic eye drops. And looking again this morning, seeing that the tear was almost completely healed. She has lovely eyes. This has been a bad four days.
Sound: listening to Spicks and Specks closing segment tonight, a blues song:
"I've got a George Foreman Grill, a George Foreman Grill; If you won't make me dinner...George Foreman will"... you kinda had to be there.
Taste: eating Sirena tuna, mixed with S&W egg mayonnaise, salted capers and the last of the summer basil from the garden, on fresh bread rolls from the Vietnamese bakery down the road.
Touch: newsprint, constantly. also grass, underfoot, not so common in our neck of the non-woods.
Scent: my new dwarf lemon unexpectedly popped out a cluster of blossom this week - is there anything lovelier? Don't you wish there was smell-o-blogging?
Bec's sunday confessions, on Tuesday as usual
I read The Hobbit for the first time when I was eight, and the Lord of the Rings when I was 12 and have read them both many times since.
I'd rather read good fantasy, with a beginning, middle and end, than most other forms of literature -especially now, post-children, when I will happily bin a book like The Sea, or Three Dollars, or absolutely anything by John Updike (except maybe Witches of Eastwick) because they're pretentious and self-absorbed and the writers make out their endings are all thought-provoking and highbrow and shit and actually they just got to the end of their contracted number of pages and couldn't work out how to finish the bloody book in any meaningful way.
Inconclusive movies make me want to scream. If I were ever to have dinner with Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, we would get along beautifully until the subject of inconclusive endings appeared, at which time I would upend the table on their laps and storm out, leaving the bill.
I wouldn't have classed any of this as a confession until reading Kim's confession this week. But now it seems fair.
I hate rugby league more than any other sport on earth. Those of you living in Sydney at this, the start of the winter footy season, will know why this counts as a confession.
Even more so when one is married to someone who once played the game professionally.
A telling early moment in my relationship with the Prof was when I managed to distract him away from the television DURING the rugby league grand final. He still shakes his head over that one.
Big Confession: the last few years, I've been quite relieved when he's blocked out the world to settle in and watch the grand final. It means there's one less person I have to pay attention to, for a couple of hours, once a year.
on next year's grand final in October, when the two youngest are five and eldest is nine, I'm thinking of sending the three kids to my brother's for the weekend, booking a city hotel for the Prof and I, and seeing how easy it is to distract him again.
I'll pack LOTR, just in case.
when you're in a conversation, and you say, "oh a friend of mine said/did/had happen ..." and someone - like your husband or a really good friend - says "who was that?" and you realise just how dumb you sound saying Badger, or Blackbird, or BabelBabe? but when you try to salvage your reputation from being one where people think you think you're a modern day Dr Dolittle, and really can talk to the animals, you do more damage trying to explain they're an online blogger friend without whom your day is not complete? so they think you're either one of those people who have cybersex and really do use the Internet for free crap-arse porn or are a complete nigel-no-mates loser who doesn't have any friends in real life so has to seek them out on the net. Yeah. Funny.
I've never read one Harry Potter book. Not one. I've read the first paragraph of the first one about four times. The first page about twice.
I have never read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I've read The Hobbit, but only about two years ago after a friend lent me a beautiful hard back edition that made me want to read it.
Most days, I feel insanity is so close to the surface it seems I've pulled off the ultimate coup that no-one seems to notice just how close I am to being a complete, certifiable nutbag.
I smacked Oscar tonight and had that overwhelming sensation of release as I did it. That is the main reason I - as a rule - do not, e.v.e.r., smack. Because the urge to not stop until my body is spent is horrifying, exhilerating, shaming and powerful.
Today I wanted to shut the world out. To close the shutters on the world and watch as my world descended into a pitch-black darkness of nothing.
The comprehension that tomorrow heralds another week of 'doing it all over again' is almost too overwhelming for me tonight. I am drawing a little solace that it is a four day week. Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross and in this case, for all the wrong reasons - just so I can have a break.
I haven't been to the gym since returning to work on 20 Feb. My body feels like a big bowl of jelly. On Friday I ate about two days of food by lunchtime. I fear it is the first chunk of the iceberg to fall into the ocean.
I watched The Wedding Crashes yesterday and really really liked it. I've said it before, but Vince Vaughan (and Robbie Williams) are my kinda men. You know they'd smell, be absolute pigs, but when they're buff. . . sigh.
You can play too!
- Buck ::Uncle. Funny Movie.
- Harry ::Idiot son
- Play ::School.
- Monstrosity ::Oxford Falls
- Nightclub ::hideous
- Missing ::in action
- Sprout ::green
- Flavour ::some
- Identity ::crisis
- Saucy ::minx
that when you pull your mouthguard out of your mouth in the morning and it is snapped in two, you really must clench and grind your teeth while sleeping.
how much you enjoy extended posts on a variety of topics by your blogging partner.
how our life could not exist as it currently does without the comprehensive assistance of my Mum and MIL.
As it stands, Mum is picking up both boys from two different schools three afternoons a week, getting them afternoon tea, doing a coaching of someone else's child, getting them to do their homework and feeding them dinner. After she's been at work all day as well. In front of a room of about 30 extraordinarily bright 12 year olds. And she's 63.
My MIL is coming down to our place at least one morning a week to take Oscar (Felix goes to the school where Mum teaches, so he's going with her about 4 mornings a week) and picking the boys up at least one afternoon a week for the same rigmarole detailed above.
the glorious change of season. I love seasonal change. At the moment we have the most glorious sunshine filled days, with a sky so blue I've been known to just stop, look up, and drink it in to restore my frazzled soul. But the air is crisp. The hideous humidity of February and March is gone and while the days are warmed by the sun, the evenings and nights are definitely cool. I am sleeping, under a doona, all night long. Except for nights like last night when I was up at 11.30, 1.30 and 4. But still, crawling back to bed and under a doona is so much nicer than collapsing on a sweat-damp sheet. You may have guessed I am a winter girl.
that for some bizarre reason, I quite like watching golf on the tele. I think it's the genteelness of it all - the green green grass, the nicely dressed and respectable crowd, the quiet and considered commentary, the stillness of it all.
Post 562 - even less actually...
Well what's the point of having a blog partner if you can't sometimes hurl your sorry carcass upon their coattails and drag your way into a post based exactly on the one they just wrote?
Because, like Kim, I've had an element of stage fright now we're all prettied up.
I squeezed out the birth story with a success denied to me while actually giving birth, but I find those big moments really write themselves, don't they? So mostly all I had to do there was work out what to leave out.
Here's something I left out: I truly believed my mother would not come to the Pea Princess' actual birth because she (as Mayor) had a Council meeting that Tuesday and I really thought she would do that instead. I was wrong. And the birth of my first girl, her first grandchild, started a love affair between the two of them that I've mourned every day since Mum died.
Too drunk to fuck, too tired to fall down - who said that? I think the working mother version is just too tired for all of it. Have been starting at 5am every day this past week, finishing around 7pm and organising some huge media projects in the middle, while still trying to keep up my end of the domestics by walking the dog, folding laundry, making school and work lunches and, um, oh yeah, actively adoring the children in every available moment - including at the expense of laundry, lunches and dog.
The Prof and My Float (in her physical-but saintly, nothing's too much trouble, form) have been integral to my survival. More than once I have tried to remember why I said I would do this extra job - because there's no extra money in it, just masses of kudos if I don't stuff it up. Which, so far, I haven't.
Now I have a full weekend of being on-duty. But this too shall pass and by next school term, May, I hope to finally be getting started on my balance plan...
And what is the balance plan? Well you may ask, gentle reader.
The balance plan states that every Monday and Tuesday I will finish work at 2pm. I will then go to pick up All Three Children and The One Place - the Pea Princess' school, and the twins' pre-school.
The plan further states that I will be on-call for media issues after 2pm, but what's new? In my normal job I am always on call and I have full access to everything I need through our work server from my laptop at home.
After years of wanting a proper part-time arrangement, while avoiding the loss of control that usually comes with going part-time, I've finally cracked it. I hope.
Watch this space.
**********For more than two years I've had the twins on a waiting list for the not-for-profit pre-school co-located with the Pea Princess' primary school. It is a brilliant pre-school and the location means just one drop-off and pick-up!
Also, unlike most pre-schools (as opposed to daycare) it doesn't shut down in school holidays.
But most of all, the pre-school director was known to be sympathetic to families of twins.
I won't apologise for making that tiny: she really wasn't meant to make any special effort for multiples, but the proof was there in the playground with six sets of twins and one of triplets.
Because, for the benefit of anyone who has never had to think this process through: if you have two children of the same age needing care on the same days and you get to the top of the waiting list and they offer you the SINGLE place that is available at the centre at that time, and you say I need two places, they skip down to the next SINGLE child on the list and leave you sitting there, uselessly at the top of the list.
The only way to get twins in, other than the extraordinary miracle of having other twins leave, is to have a sympathetic director who will legitimately fit in your first twin, and illegitimately juggle the books so the second one can be recorded as a casual until another proper place becomes available.
And the number of Sympathetic Directors? is very tiny!
I found out last year, in the Great Nanny Panic of September 2005, that the council had centralised all waiting lists earlier that year meaning:
And Oh! The months of pleading, cajoling and conniving that have followed. The number of times Council changed the responsible officer, the number of promises to backdate our application (made and broken), the number of times I've actually been grateful for my mother's decades of devotion in local government that taught me how to really put the frighteners on staff without actually openly threating them (like, "Wow, council doesn't have a policy to cover this sort of problem? That must make it hard for you to know what to do. I should really talk to the councillors about getting that fixed")...
Enough; they're in. And, most importantly, they're happy.
- we had lost any benefit that could have been gained by a Sympathetic Director
- in the inevitable way of local government, the person centralising the centre lists into one efficient database had quit partway through and THEY LOST OUR APPLICATION.
Post 561: Not much really
It's like having fancy clothes on and nowhere to go. Seriously, since Angie made us pretty I've developed some weird stage fright type of mindset. Nothing to say, occasional "ooh, I should write that down" only for it to instantly go "poof" and disappear on me, but really, just nothing to say.
I could regale you with stories like, for some truly bizarre reason, I've drunk TWO litres of orange juice in two days.
Or that today, I ate so.much.food. I've kind of felt ill all day, but kept eating all the same. Seriusly people, I ate about a weeks worth of food in a day today. What's with that?
Or that on Tuesday night, when I put Felix to bed, he cupped my face in his hands and whispered, "you are the best mummy I could ever ever have wished for in the whole wide world" and I reckon you could hear my heart shatter into a thousand blissful shards of joy.
Or that today in a meeting I just went blarrrr about the saving the world stuff of late and how we won just because I was so sick of trying to downplay it and want to shout it from the rooftops that we won! we won! we won!
Or that this morning I whipped up a lemon sauce cake at 6:30 this morning for my boss (who HATES a fuss over her birthday) so we had "quiet cake" before this meeting I had to go in for - where I - probably highly inappropriately shared the we won! story - which was still warm. Delicious
Or that, after a week of thinking "surely not" have accepted that yes, Jasper is waving at me and yes, since yesterday afternoon, that would be clapping as well. And yes, that would be pulling himself up on anything to a kneeling position. The third child, gifted. That or just desperate to be noticed for anything other than how "good" and "nice" he is.
Or that someone heard Oscar calling out to Felix at the park on Sunday and remarked "how cute he calls Felix, 'brother'". And how fucking momentous that is, because he's called him wawa (for brother) since he was born, and to have a complete stranger 'hear' that he is saying brother is progress on a scale never dwelled upon because it makes my heart hurt too much.
Or that tonight, while letting Felix stay up late and watch a Harry Potter movie way too old and scary for him, I managed to "oil his head" and FINALLY get rid of his cradle cap, which about two years ago Chef said to me, "I think that by age four, it's just called dandruff". Or how when he had a shower and we washed his hair after watching Harry Potter (the goblet one) and I was all "woohoo it's all gone", he cried and wanted it back because "I really really really liked it". What can I say, I've bred a mutual cuticle picking, head-scab generating (and picking) child. I'm so proud.
But instead I just kinda go "nah" and stare at the screen. Weird huh.
So let's just sit a while.
In which I breathe my baby's breath.
You know how sometimes you are so overcome with the pull of the baby bond you can almost see it stretching between you? And with the drag and pull of the bond drawing your shoulders down, you lean over their sleeping face and you stare at the dark-sweet fringe of their closed eyelashes and perfect bow of their brow above their eyes and the perfect curve of their nose in profile above the pillow and
Tonight, only a few days late, I thought I'd follow Pea Soup's excellent example and write about my first baby's birthday, eight years on.
I had known, right from the start, that she was really due on the 1st of April. But there was another way of calculating the nine months that landed on 31st March instead, so that was what I publicised and left the rest to fate.
But I knew, in the way that all first time mothers know, she would really be born on the right date.
On the 29th of March, I was lying on the lounge watching TV, the Prof was working over at the dining table, and I realised that the Braxton Hicks I'd been having for weeks were a lot stronger. And, because I didn't wear a watch, I asked the Prof to note the time.
After half an hour we knew there was a big tightening every four minutes.
I started to get excited.
Five hours later, at 2am, I was still excited.
They were still coming every four minutes.
But they didn't hurt. Not one little bit.
Much as I tried to sleep, it just wasn't happening.
The next morning, still tightening every four minutes, I cleaned the bathroom. Not because I felt any overwhelming urge to clean, but because maybe cleaning the bathroom would bring on an overwhelming urge to clean and that would mean: nesting!
Sadly, my aversion to cleaning withstood my desire to give birth, but the four minute tightenings continued.
Except, sometimes now they were three and a half minutes apart!
I power walked the dog (who had only given birth herself three weeks before but was desperate to get away from the pups) around the harness racing track. And around, and around.
That definitely pushed things to the three minute mark. We were definitely getting somewhere now.
The Prof came home from work and we tried the other method. Vigorously. I lost count for a while. But when the world righted itself, we were still somewhat disappointedly sitting at three minutes.
But still, such regularity deserves some attention, no? So I called the hospital and they told me to come in.
We were living 40 minutes from the hospital. On the way there I had extra tightenings every time the Prof hit a bump.
We booked in. The crusty midwife let me know how extremely unlikely it was that I was actually in labour, put us in a room, strapped on a belly monitor, and left us alone for the length of a bible.
When she came back there was a ream or so of printed out, perfectly timed peaks on the chart.
"Oh," she said, "You really are in labour. But it's too soon!"
What a credit to the profession she was.
Turns out there was another woman booked into the hospital, with the same first and last names as me, due two months later. Bitch.
While officially in labour now, I was not sufficiently labouring to clog up a delivery bed.
They sent us away, I kid you not, to have a curry.
The curry actually worked, but only while I was eating it. So we went home and I spent another night watching the digital clock numbers tick over and quietly thrilling every time my body locked up on exactly the two minute mark.
Plus, they were just a bit uncomfortable, but not quite breathtaking.
Later the next day my OB met us back at the hospital and, after checking another ream of perfect peaks (these ones closer together) he hit me with pitocin and took a wacking great crochet hook to my innards. I barely felt the water. I was too excited to take most of it in.
It was the 31st of March and my baby was D.U.E.
"Right," said Glen the OB, "Stay there for half an hour, then get up and walk around for a bit. don't be surprised if it takes a while. I'll be back to check on you later."
My mother arrived.
I never left the bed.
Before the half hour were up I was having 90 second contractions, 60 seconds apart.
Mind-blowing, gut-ripping, lung-sapping contractions. Completely beyond my control.
I found the letter "A" on a plastic WASTE bag at the far side of the room. As long as no one got between me and the A for each 90 second stint, I could just about get through.
This went on for some time.
The Prof's hand went red, then blue. I didn't let it go until the epidural arrived eight hours later.
I was checked regularly, and initially was moving along just fine: 3 centimetres, 4 centimetres, 5 centimetres, 5.5 centimetres... 4.5 centimetres - the midwife must have seen my shock. "Don't worry, it's not an exact measurement, the last midwife's fingers were probably smaller than mine..."
Eventually, the OB returned from his family barbecue, red wine visible on his shirt behind the plastic apron.
"How long has it been since you slept?" he asked.
This was Tuesday night and um, actually not since Sunday.
A C-section was scheduled. I saw no need to argue.
The Prof kitted up in blue gowns and primed the camera. Mum was banished. The anaesthetist, already my favourite person post-epidural, returned with the top-up I'd been craving. A new and nicer midwife arrived with a blonde plait so long that it hung from her cap and down below her knees at the back.
There was a screen, and a tug, and Glen said, "Is the camera ready, Dad?"
And they said "You have a little girl!"
And they brought her over to me.
And I cried and I said:
"But she's beautiful, I didn't know she'd be beautiful."
It was Wednesday, 1st April 1998.
And I held her close.
And I breathed
republished in plum for Badger,
whose retinas bled when the orange went yellow
on her screen,
and for Kim whose Ogga boy was also due on April 1
and for whom colour - the right colour -
is so wonderfully important.