Each year our High Street hosts a Christmas Parade. This year our street entered its own float. Three mums had regular meetings, sprayed glitter, built white picket fences, fashioned fairy outfits and organised us all onto a lorry. Our theme was a 'kiwi backyard Christmas' so we had Father Christmas, children fishing in a boat, a barbeque accessorized by a Dad dishing out sausages, presents, Christmas carols and numerous children. We chugged our way through the crowds, had a truly fantastic time and drove back to our road to dismantle the float. We were overjoyed to discover we won the 'best float in parade' prize. What a day. We are all full of neighbourly love.
Monday, 29 November 2010
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
There are a few people in the world who can get under your skin and show you a glimpse of what it must be like to live as a bitter and resentful old hag with hatred and anger hacking away in your chest. This afternoon my twins have done me that insightful service.
Before the screaming and food chucking starts each morning I like to check my emails. Half of my life exists on t'other side of the world so they are first thing I think of when I wake. At 6.30am today I stood naked in the kitchen tapping away at the laptop in hurried fashion. I had an email from a copy writing agency in Hong Kong asking for a quote for a press release which had to be written by the end of the day. As my three littlies had begun traipsing out of their bedrooms and easing the decibels up towards intolerable, I whipped through the information as best I could and emailed back a quote. Although the day ahead promised a hash of familial administration and endless picking up and dropping off to kindergartens, I assured myself that I would get the twins to bed easily for their nap around midday and snatch a few hours to work on the press release.
After spending just short of 4 hours trying to get them to sleep I gave up any pretence of being in control. Their ability to fight sleep would impress a crystal meth addict. As soon as I decided 'fuck it' and cracked a beer to soothe my twitching eye and iron head-scarf they got bored of taunting me and slid into the dreamless sleep of those with no conscience.
Monday, 22 November 2010
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
There are some funny old forces at work in the world of peer pressure. When I had my son I became aware very quickly that breastfeeding versus bottlefeeding was a contentious issue. I watched as a friendly coffee between chums turned into a narrow eyed, bile spitting contest. Equally hard to navigate between pregnant mums is the Cesarean/natural birth conversation. Just like the breast v bottle choice, opinions voiced are defined by angry defensiveness or smug self righteousness depending on which side of the fence you sit on. Recently I have noticed another gremlin forcing a blue corner/red corner fight. Two or three children?
If you have two children, there seems to be a bit of an insinuation that you aren't doing enough or that you have failed in the supermum stakes. Having a minimum of three children is worn as a badge of achievement. "Ooh, you can't POSSIBLY imagine how hard my life is as a natural birthing, breastfeeding mum of three but look at me! Hark at my incredible ability to achieve!"
I am, of course, generalising heavily here and many families wisely eschew this rather ridiculous form of competition and get down to the much more fun business of enjoying their life without giving a fuck about how anyone else decides to run theirs. I would say rather shamefacedly that I suffer slightly from sitting my opinionated cake hole in one corner of some of these conundrums but that I wholeheartedly admire those who don't.
Monday, 15 November 2010
lad: Mummy why do girls have fannies?
me: it's the way all girls are made
lad: well then why do boys have willies and girls have fannies? what are they for?
me: [deep breath] well......
lad: what are skateboards made out of?
He keeps me on my toes, the lad.
Monday, 1 November 2010
Please cross the following off my list of cumbersome infant luggage essentials:
2 x cots
2 x cot mattresses
a drawer full of cot linen and waterproof matress covers.
5 x baby sleeping bags
When we took the beds apart my fingers caught on the splinters where little teeth had worked through the toxic varnish and soaked the wood soft with saliva. There were dried drops of milk from the thousands of litres I had poured, bleary headed in the pool of light from the fridge into plastic bottles designed to emulate a mother's breast (really? do they?). The stain on the mattress took me back to the night when I had stripped so many sets of vomit covered sheets that I was loading the washing machine at 2am.
My little girls look like cartoon characters in their beds. They are tiny. Someone asked me why I was in such a hurry to get them into beds. I spouted off about never getting into a fight with a travel cot again but the real reason becomes obvious the first night you tuck your littlie into their brand new, grown up bed. Kneeling on the floor I lay my face on the pillow and looked straight into the eyes of my little girl. We smiled at each other in the half light of the hall lamp. I couldn't stop staring at her. Her smell and whispered babble billowed all nagging worries about the minutae of my life out of my head and settled with a deep, deep softness in the very core of my heart.