m i a o w


Maldon Folk Festival

Mission to Maldon was not a great success. In fact, I would sooner hit my thumb with a hammer than repeat the experience. I can already feel M steaming gently at my negativity. Stop please!

Ready to Go!
(Packing seemed to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r…)

At the Main Stage

There were great bits of course. Catching up with our lovely friends, going bushdancing (Small Z commented afterward, “But why didn’t we dance in the bush?” And she meant ‘bush’, singular. Ha!) dancing at the main stages – particularly to the Woo Hoo Revue and to Bluestone Junction, holding snakes with Small Z at the market, eating sausages in bread, singing on the bus, enjoying a quiet cup of tea with E while both our babies slept… and having a pint of Guiness and an egg and bacon roll at the Kangaroo Hotel while Small Z met some Morris Dancers and the front bar was awash in a Saturday session.

The campsite
Ellise and her two Smalls

But the workload, for me, just felt epic. Small DB slept very badly on Saturday and Sunday nights, as she didn’t sleep enough during the day. It seemed like each time she awoke, I’d just lapsed into sleep. And repeat, and repeat. Sunday night I lay there seething, cursing my situation, the stupidity of spending money on tickets when, out of all the bands, all weekend, I only saw four. The endless, endless baby wrangling, the lateness of getting the Smalls to bed leaving me to go to bed as well – no staying up for post-dinner chatting. Generally feeling sorry for myself and blowing things out of proportion.

In retrospect I wish we had camped or stayed in town and just wandered around seeing all the amazing musicians who just play on the street and in the pubs. It would have been quieter at night, I wouldn’t have had to yell out the window at 2am at a guy standing two feet away about to orate or urinate. Or both. I would have been less stressed because I wouldn’t have been able to hear all the sounds of what I was missing out on from the music tents.

It felt ceaseless. And the thought of taking Small DB on trains for three hours on Monday dragged at me. She’s hitting that point where she just wants to WALK – even though she can’t. I had dreamed of spending our last night in Daylesford here but it was too hard to sort it.

We spent our last proper festival day dancing at the Main Stage. Small DB LOVES dancing – at any snatch of song she starts bobbing up and down, so to have a live bluegrass band…she was in heaven. She demanded that someone dance with her. E, M, Small Z and I all obliged her. She eventually (and this is unheard of) fell asleep mid-song, and stayed that way all the way up to the caravan, in the swingseat, and only stirred when I put her into bed.

One asleep. Two awake.
Small DB. So compact.
M and his Smalls
Mama and baby swings...

I don’t know what it is at the moment with Small DB, she’s returned to despising the car. This is how I found myself with her going from Glen Waverley (the point at which no one could take the screaming anymore) to Castlemaine by rail on Friday, and from Castlemaine to Hastings (yay! a three and a half hour three-train trip! with a baby that only wants to walk but can’t!! are you thrilled yet??! that’s right- three. different. trains.) Of course, it’s probably lucky she’s not yet walking, as chasing her would have been even more tortuous…

Reading my first paragraph (written on the train while Small DB slept in the sling…yes, she did sleep for a good chunk of the train thing, or I would have jumped on to the tracks) it seems a but harsh – but that’s how I felt at the time. I am feeling a lot better now, but I won’t be doing it next year. I really won’t.


unschool monday : happy sponge


And the practice pays off


  1. From what I’m reading it sounds like you were the one that got stuck with all the baby wrangling and therefore lack of sleep. Perhaps if M had taken the children for a couple of hours while you either slept or enjoyed some of the events on your own the trip might have been more enjoyable for you. There are two parents so it seems only fair that things should work out 50/50.

    By the way you’re rocking the new hairdo 🙂

  2. Thank you 😉
    M did take Small DB both mornings when she awoke at 6am, so I got another hour or two – but why I never asked him to take both of them so I could have an hour is beyond me! I was too focused on getting through it… I need to take my own advice and step back and breathe and take stock…

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