Unknowingly. If I ever get around to posting about our trip there you will read it and know that apparently, in northern NSW, nits are in plague proportions. It appears that you just assume your kid has them and comb them relentlessly each week. Small Z was petrified she was going to get them…for good reason. Like an idiot, I reassured her that she would probably not get them…STOP WORRYING.
We were all ready to go to our weekly meetup yesterday. I was plaiting her hair…when I saw something. Something moving. And my heart sank. Gross, icky little bugs. I contacted L, who knows of such things. I was worried Small Z was going to completely freak out.
There were tears, but she was comforted that we could go straight to the chemist for STUFF that would KILL THEM. We bought the ‘Lice Blaster’ (not because I really thought it would work, but because I felt I had to buy something that sounded savage (and came with a comb).
Naturally I was all all over Choice Magazine and their nit information page – which is very good btw. So. The Smalls then got to have a fabulous time sitting in front of ninety minutes of Dinosaur Train while I detangled Small Z’s acres of hair, covered it in the goop, and then pulled the comb through it. She was stoic, because she wanted them g-o-n-e.
My big fear is for Small DB. (I can feel J, in NSW, shaking her head at me and laughing at me being overly dramatic. She has never had to try to get water on Small DB’s head.) And here is where I tell it to the Interweb.
Small DB has never had her hair washed.
All the people who believe that shampoo is just detergent that strips the oils from your hair and can irritate your skin are standing up and cheering me. It’s just I don’t know any of them. Even L, who went no-poo, I think has returned to the mainstream (?). (Just on a tangent – here is a transcript on dermatology/eczema that has stayed with me, from 1997.)
Anyway. THe information on Choice seemed to indicate that they like clean heads better than dirty ones. Small DB still has some manky bits of cradle cap and I’m assuming the nits have rejected her. I HOPE the nits have rejected her. Because I would have to sedate her in order to comb goop through her hair and then wash it out. Correction: I would have to cut half her curls off because they’re so tangly – before sedating her, gooping her, combing her and washing it all off. (It does sound as if I’m dealing with a recalcitrant puppy, doesn’t it? I kind of am.)
Small Z’s head is now cleaner and shinier than it has been in it’s whole life. More combing tomorrow. And repeat, and repeat. This is one of those parental rites-of-passage of which I could have happily remained blissfully ignorant.
The night before my sixth (!?) mother’s day I went OUT AT NIGHT. I have done that maybe….five times in five years? Two gigs, one birthday, a homeschool meetup and…on this occasion, another 40th birthday party. I went by myself, as we had no one to babysit, but I knew that E&DJ would be there in case I needed people to prop me up. Enjoying oneself when you are at a party on your own really comes down to how confident you’re feeling in the first place.
I was very keen to go though, because my friend B is born the day after me – same year. And I never see her. Haven’t seen her since Small DB was about six weeks old. I was also keen to catch up with my old flatmate and his wife. I did all those things, and had a blast. I danced, chatted, snacked, drank a glass of champagne and sang ‘Happy Birthday’. I caught up with B’s parents and said hi to her brothers. And then drove the ninety minutes home again, feeling very happy – one of my top two nights of the year!
When I got home, M had locked the front and back doors. A Freudian slip? It was past 1am and I was loathe to wake anyone, so I snuggled down in the caravan. It worked well – they thought I’d stayed out, and thus I slept for an UNINTERUPTED SEVEN HOURS until 9am. Serious bliss.
A card from each Small. Some flowers from M. And then a day like any other, with him off at the boat. I did have to have a nana nap in the afternoon while the Smalls watched ‘Octonauts’, otherwise I wouldn’t have made it through. Obviously one is supposed to ponder one’s maternal state on such a day. So there’s this: The Smalls have sculpted me, slowly and surely, into a very different person than I used to be.
The focus of my existence has shifted. My job is no longer myself, but helping them to become resilient, compassionate, humorous and confident people. They are my works-in-progress, and I am theirs. I have had my brain expanded, my nose rubbed in my judgemental notions, my patience enormofied (yes, that is a word, now), my multi-tasking abilities honed and my power to survive on minimal amounts of sleep taken to a new level.
From where I am, on this sixth Mother’s Day, I can feel that things are getting a little bit easier. Three of my nights out have been in the past six months. The Smalls are happy to stay at my mother’s house all day. The baby years are evaporating week by week…
PS Reading back on last years effort (a scarily similar day) I have to say that GOSH I MISS HAVING CHRIS AND JESS AROUND THE CORNER. I now recall our lovely night of mulled wine and impromptu dinner …and the short walk home!
AstroBarry informed me that today was a solar eclipse in Taurus. I don’t know whether this impacted upon my mood, or whether I just had black-dog slump on my first day back at home (not at work) since my week away. Whatever the hell it was, me = miserable.
This was not helped by getting lost on the way to, and on the way back from Rosebud this morning. Small Z had a meltdown because her friends left the vegie-farm just as we arrived. With no cash. And so had to get back in the car to get some. Such is my exhaustion that I bought carrots, potatoes and brocoli at the vegie farm today…despite having bought them all at the supermarket the night before. Because we’ve got so much money to spare and are part rabbit.
I mused upon my old pink Havianas this morning – given to me by Small Brother about three or four years ago. They then broke this afternoon, irretrievably. The day overwhelmed me. The chooks didn’t lay. No eggs here, oh dear. TATINATM was getting me downier and downier
I made pesto, stewed rhubarb, was gifted an egg and thus able to make gnocchi. I could feel the day start to try and right itself into my favour. Small Brother called, with a rather stupendous birthday suggestion. The postie guy came to the door with a package from Amazon (from Small Brother to Small Z) and commented that my new hair colour looked aweseome (he’s one of few, but hey, I’m easily pleased).
Shel Silverstein. Heard of him? We hadn’t, but the two books that Small Z got today have opened our eyes to a new world of rhyming kooky goodness. Check some out.
Another attempt to improve my demeanour? The arrival of ‘Vintage Caravan’ magazine – the first of the year-long subscription that I was gifted by my very lovely (and inspired) friends. It goes well with a cup of tea.
A shot of sunshine came from M, who called me after a doctor’s appointment. Six weeks ago he was told he had very early emphysema, apparently brought on by years working in smoky pubs. We weren’t too fazed about it because it could have been worse…
Today? He was told he had been misdiagnosed – and the weight he didn’t even realise he had bearing down on him, lightened up. After all – who wants to work in dusty, fibreglassy conditions every day in general, let alone when you think you have a slowly worsening respiratory disease. SO GLAD!!
The Smalls and I returned from New South Wales yesterday. M collected us from Southern Cross Station. The Smalls were hungry and we threaded our way through the city traffic to a gorgeous bakery in North Melbourne called ‘Crumbs’.
Many words other than ‘crumbs’ were on my lips when, having driven for an hour, I realised I’d left my backpack there. It was as if, having M reappear on the scene, my brain stopped working and waited for him to take over. ERROR. ERROR. ERROR. I realised it was gone when Small Z asked for my Kindle.
Cue intense sinking feeling with a chaser of despair. I called them.
“Hello, we were at your shop about an hour ago and I think I left my backpack there. I’m freaking out about it – it had everything in it.”
“Oh no!” said a woman, “I’ll go and look for it.”
She was gone for a few minutes, and then; “…sorry. I can’t see a backpack. I’ve looked under all the tables.”
I scrabbled vainly to retrieve the situation. “Um, are you ‘Crumbs’ bakery? I don’t remember there being tables. Are you in North Melbourne?”
“No! This is the Ascot Vale store!” It was like a rainbow had appeared. “I’ll just call the North Melbourne store and see if they have it.”
I sat, perspiring gently, while M continued driving along the freeway, while Small Z whimpered at potential Kindle loss in the back seat, until my phone rang.
“They have it.”
Such relief. I was effusive in my thanks. Of course, not only did it have my Kindle in it, but also my BIRTHDAY iPAD [cue: strangled roaring sounds from Black Rock, from whence the iPad came]. I told them I would be back to get it in the morning.
We finally made it home. The house and garden were immaculate. M had even CLEANED OUT THE SHED. The chooks were healthy (thanks to our neighbour) and it was heavenly to be home. M had my birthday presents on the table – a new sewing machine (I hadn’t thought he had noticed the other one slowly driving me bonkers) in the shape of a Humberiffic LeMair. It only does straight stitch and zigzag, but runs like a dream. My other present was a ‘Sundaya Smart Storage System’ – translated into non-geek-speak it’s a deep cycle battery (i.e. long lasting and tougher than a car battery)…
The S4a is a plug and play wall mountable 240Wh sealed lead acid (SLA) storage system with a state of the art micro-processor based smart energy management system. The unit uses LEDs to clearly display battery state of charge and charge/discharge or rest mode. The unit is also equipped with an alarm (buzzer) to warn users when battery is 1 hour to forced disconnect.
It’s going to power my laptop and can be charged with our solar panel. I just have to wrap my head around the wiring and installation and my caravan will be SELF SUFFICIENT (as it also has a portaloo, water and gas). Yay me! Yay M!! //And here I will add the website where you can purchase one at the request of their webmaster for my legions of followers.
I went to bed at 9pm, but was disturbed by Small DB and had a pretty crap sleep. I was at the station at 6.20am and back in North Melbourne two hours after that. From there I went into the office and worked for seven hours before getting the train home. Could have done without any of it.
Hello. It’s me. I’m the one back from the time before mid 2007. When my lingerie was underwire and I was a reasonable and happy 12C. (That’s a bra size, gentlemen.) All this, of course, changed radically over the course of six short months. My trials in the bra-size department are mentioned here, though I doubt that anyone who read them then has ever forgotten…
Since the wean of Small DB four or five months back, I have had one reliable bra. And one not so reliable. You would assume, with the myriad of brassieres I have in the cupboard from that aforementioned unfortunate period in my life that the girls would now be in some kind of lingerie heaven. You would assume wrong. It is some kind of Machiavellian mammary melting pot.
NONE of the bras in this house fit me. The one that I have been relying upon (except on wash days) has even turned against me. I had to dig out one of those expando things – you hook ‘em on to the back and they give you an extra inch or so to corral your increasing girth. But they are fiddly. And if you lose them, you’re pretty well swinging free forever, because unless you can get yourself to a proper lingerie store, there’s no way in hell you’ll get another. I own the one, and I guard it like M is going to guard the virtue of his teenage daughters.
I was gifted some birthday money, pre-birthday (THANK YOU SO MUCH SWWNBB – I had hoped to send you a handwritten and snail-mailed letter of gratitude, but single parenting got in the way) – and on the way home on Friday I noticed that Dimmeys in Frankston was having a closing down sale. Allow me a short tangent…
When we lived, in pre-Small times, in Seddon and I was working for a women’s health organisation – I had to walk past the Footscray Dimmeys on the way to work. And thus we got stupdendously cheap doona/duvet covers, sheets, pillowcases etc as they seemed to get all the discontinued stock from various reputable manchester manufacturers… I am a bargain leech, I l-o-v-e-d scrounging through their sale tables. Stockings were cheap too – and cosmetics. Same deal when I lived near the Richmond one… /end of tangent
Today we took the train to Frankston. I took the Smalls into Dimmeys and I began my assault on their bra sale. The Smalls, for the first 25 minutes, amused themselves by touring the store while I searched valiantly through the racks for my size.
And what was that again? My one ‘reliable’ is a 10DD – with expando. I figured that equalled a 12DD. I was wrong. But being a super-sale meant that not all brands were available in all sizes. And the sizes seemed to even differ within BRANDS depending if you were going for the, say, ‘Sexy Plunge’ or the ‘Bravo’ or the ‘Seamless T-Shirt’. What I needed, obviously, was the ‘Bravo! Sexy Seamless T-Shirt Plunge’ in size ME! But it didn’t appear to be there.
I journeyed back and forth to that fucking changeroom and smooshed the girls in and out of at least fifteen. different. cups. I began with the 12DD, rapidly reversed to the 10D, moved on into my former land of the trusty 12C, was evicted into a 12B and then had a breakthrough moment. I recalled through the mists of time a lingerie-fitter lady telling me (in response to me moaning that 12C is the most common size and thus being never on sale tables) that a 14B can sometimes swing it.
I went and got a 14B. By that time I’d almost lost the plot. The Smalls were crawling underneath the door of the changeroom. The ONE changeroom in the WHOLE PLACE. I was snapping at Small Z, trying not to step on Small DB and endeavouring to manipulate myself into yet another undergarment. It felt better than most of the others. “I need to wee,” said Small DB.
OMFG. I had no choice. I put my clothes back on, threw everything I’d tried on, on to the counter, and had to walk the Smalls to the toilets that were further down the street. Cursing. Ablutions complete, I marched them straight back. Gave one the iPhone and the other on the Kindle, and went to check on things. I appear to have grown wider and the kilogram or two I may have gained has appeared as BACK FAT. How I went from a 10DD to a 14B in a day confuzzles me utterly, but where lingerie is concerned, I have given up questioning.
I was stymied by the fact that I now had far more scope, as a 14B, to plunder the sale racks – but as someone who was close to losing her mind, I feared what would happen if I tried. So I bought three of the same 14B and called it quits. It was hard!! There were $65 bras there reduced to $12!!! Sigh. Anyway, I got out with my sanity intact and technology comforted Smalls.
And now I feel like Scuppers the Sailor Dog.
Here she is, where she wants to be, with the girls encased in a 14B…
(…as opposed to ‘and there he is, where he wants to be, a sailor sailing the deep green sea.)
It will be a while before I do anything like that again.
Sooo – M left on the river trip a day early. Gee, that was awesome! It meant that I had to be at the station at 6.15am to get to work early, in order to leave early, so that he could then get to the station at 5.15pm, and we could pay for rent and food.
I would have been more zen with the whole arrangement if I hadn’t had the following day, Saturday, written on the calendar for a month. It was, I admit, mentioned in an email – a few days prior, but THE CALENDAR trumps EMAIL. He never SAID anything until the night before, and then he began with: “I thought this might be a problem…”
I would have been more zen with the whole arrangement if M hadn’t decided to give the Smalls a Grand Day Out and… OK. I’m sounding savage-bitchy. Let me GIVE them the Grand Day Out, but add that the house needs to be clean and the Smalls need to have eaten something that isn’t passionfruit sorbet or two teaspoonfuls of rice and more than TWO items on the shopping list I left need to have been bought by the time I drag myself home.
Are you getting the picture, Interweb? Are you getting the picture?? So at 5.16pm I am standing on the station (after a lovely goodbye to M, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have a chance to get all worked up prior to him leaving because that could have got messy… I’m not seeing him for ten days, and he’s leaving a thirtysomething year old and coming back to a FORTY-YEAR-OLD, and yunno…I’ve got a little bit of strategic forward thinking in my genetic make-up…)
So Small Z is bawling “I miss my DADDA!” and Small DB is looking like a zombie and mouthing the word, “Supermarket?” And I, running on about four hours sleep, feel like I am about to both combust and collapse. We do the supermarket. Mostly we survive. Small Z is obsessing that she’ll ‘catch’ the eczema I have on my face, and I have to explain seventeen times that she’s been born lucky in that regard. I get them fed and to bed. I clean the fucking house. I retrieve my secret bottle of white wine from where I hid it BEHIND SOMETHING in the fridge and I watch me some 30Rock. And I breathe out.
This morning gave me hope for the trip I am going to take, on my own, with the Smalls next week. I do a lot of solo-wrangling, but I’ve never flown with them on my own. I am excited, and while I’m not anxious, I am keen to have it go smoothly…thus I am musing on snacks, activities, books to put on my Kindle and the easiest bags to take (we’re doing carry on only).
I saw a physiotherapist this morning. For three years I’ve been living here and I didn’t realise I could get access to a council subsidised treatment. WTF?! It costs NINE DOLLARS a session. And she was good. And Scottish – an added bonus
I asked the Smalls to pack their own bags before we left. Small DB needed some help and last minute additions. She had dressed like a gypsy, and Small Z was a fairy. And that was fine…
She is delicious…
I was with the physio for easily 40 minutes, and the Smalls played beautifully on the floor. It was one of those situations where the person I was seeing did not have kids of her own, so did not truly appreciate the magical nature of an almost uninterupted appointment. (I had learnt my lesson last week when I dragged them to a dietician appointment that I’d almost forgotten about…with only my phone for amusement.)
At one point Small Z said, in shocked tones, “Mama! Daisy didn’t put her knickers on. She’s wearing nothing.” I eyerolled and the physio pretended she didn’t hear. They made paper boats and drawings…it gave me confidence about our upcoming journey.
Oh – and I’ve heard it on the radio twice in the past week…an aching version of ‘Leaving On a Jetplane’ by My Morning Jacket. Check it out – it’s gorgeous…
Done without assistance, although it was on my suggestion…