Category: Parenting (Page 1 of 18)


My first outing with two children and a Very. Large. Pram. We attended playgroup, where I haven’t been for months, and had a great time. Small D was held by people who were loath to let her go, other mums were lovely and got me tea and biscuits as I fed her, and also looked after Small Z at snack time. Small D didn’t spend too long in the pram iteself, but I had the sling as backup, and the arrangement worked well.
[Cue: sigh of relief.]

Here is ‘Tootle’ in the ‘meadow’ on our way there…

Tootle in the meadow

And Small D in the thing that enables me to be handsfree…

Snugged in the Hug-a-Bub

I briefly lost the buzz

Saturday we, plus E&D and Small E and Small O, and L&D and Small C all trooped down to Hastings Library to watch the duo from The Buzznicks play to a roomful of appreciative small people. M recognised the male half of the duo as someone he knew who used to play in another Melbourne Band, Ergot Derivative. I realised that the female half of the duo was someone I used to see perform all the time about 13 years ago (ouch) in an a capella group called Nude Rain. Their album Flood was on high rotation at that point in my life – they were great…

After the show, and having failed to win Paul Kelly’s new book in the raffle, we all headed home at varying speeds and gathered for lunch and various cups of tea and coffee. A lovely morning. Just before they left I asked E about how she goes with settling Small O (three weeks older than Small D) to sleep. She said she basically just observes her tired signs, wraps her up, puts her in the cot, strokes her nose and leaves her to slumber. Which she then does.

I am not sure why this took a large scoop out of my psyche. E certainly did not intend it to, she was just telling me how things work at her place. But I was suddenly full of self doubt and second guessing. Why don’t I have a baby that goes to sleep like that? Do I miss her tired signs? Why do I have to walk up and down and up and down for ages? Why, why and WHY!? I became despairing, visualising a repeat scenario from when Small Z was tiny. When I got thinner and thinner, and more and more sleep deprived and this stretched out over t-w-o y-e-a-r-s and took a large part my sanity with it…

The thought that I might have to do that all again was suddenly too much to bear. Stupidly, after a day where we’d been out and things had been noisy, and sleep had been minimal, I tried to wrap Small D and emulate my friend. As if it was going to work. From an intellectual standpoint I KNOW that every baby is different. I KNOW that her first babe was the same as Small O and settled himself beautifully from the outset. And yet I tried. And failed. Obviously.

The next day we had to go to my mother’s new house for lunch. This contributed to another unsettled day punctuated by a two hour round trip in the car, which was fairly tortuous. Poor Small D seems to be unable to fall asleep in the car, and we had to stop on the way home so M could get her to sleep pacing the car park of a petrol station and then stick her back in her capsule while still slumbering. *shudder* I was getting flashbacks to horrible drives with Small Z.

So on Monday and Tuesday I stayed home. All day. Went nowhere. And Small D and I regained some sanity. I was able to watch her for sleepy signs and she was able to chill out without being dragged around anywhere. We had a friend of M’s stay in the caravan for two nights – the perfect guest, Stefan bought us fish and chips on Monday night and helped M bring the trimaran home to live in our driveway… as well as exploring some bicycle paths on his impressive machine.

Of course, and I hesitate to write this, Small D has completely negated all my dire and Eeyore-like misgivings of the weekend. She slept for four and a half hours for two nights in a row *goggle* and was having at least one extended nap during the day in her pram. It’s taken me four days to get to finish this post and that’s not so bad, because I’ve attained some perspective during that time. Two things: THIS TOO SHALL PASS and, um, THIS TOO SHALL PASS. And this is both good, and sad.

Bon Voyage. Gah.

Today my mother, who has been coming every Wednesday morning and staying over in the caravan that night – donating at least a day and a half to helping me with the two little ones, made her exit. Not for good! But still… she’s heading off on a trip that includes a 12 day cruise on something that looks less like a ship than a floating metropolis.

I am aghast. Wednesdays and half of Thursdays are my islands – not of sanity exactly, but some respite from feeling almost constantly torn between Small Z, Small DB and my almost constant desire to decamp to a tropical island nap. Anyway, now I’m back in the real world – although I do have far more flexibility with M being around than a lot of people whose partners work fulltime. Thing is, every hour he is not at that boat, the longer the BOAT as a HUGE HULKING ENTITY, weighs down upon us.

So yeah. Next Thursday morning, when Small Z pops up out of bed for the day, I won’t be able to tell her to trot out to the caravan where her Nana will read her inumerable books before breakfast. Because that Nana will be swanning around some buffet in the middle of some far distant sea. For almost a MONTH. Poor Small Z has already asked on several occasions when she will be back, and I had to show her the picture of the ship to remind her.

This is all bringing into my mind what is going to happen when I go back to work. The LAST thing I want to do is drag M away from the boat, but I don’t want to lumber the help (i.e. my mother) with TWO children. That’s a bit much. I remember all too clearly how hard things were when I went back to working two days a week from home when Small Z was three months. It nearly killed me – I had thought it would be such a breeze. FAIL. Anyway, I need to stop arseing around and decide what it is I’m going to do – Family Day Care? Three year old kinder? Neither? My head hurts… Hurry home mum!

Sleepless snarking…

I cannot get over how horrible I become without sleep. Really, really, really horrible. Snapping at poor Small Z to BE QUIET while I try and get Small DB to sleep *groan* and the same again when she spilt her milk. Today began so badly that by about 9am I sat Small Z in front of Sesame Street on iView and went back to bed to try and get myself together.

It’s terrible. Fatigue seems to magnify every tiny thing into world-shaking proportions. I felt better once I’d tried to restart the day again. But when M got home at 4pm I returned to witch-woman. My tolerance level was zero. It wasn’t until I lay down with Small Z as she went to sleep that I realised. I couldn’t go to sleep because I was hungry. Hadn’t eaten since 11am. *sigh* I’m going to bed tonight at 8pm – I’ve been doing some self sabotage and not getting there until 10pm the last few nights. And now it’s bitten me back…

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