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Posts tagged ‘parenthood’

Opposable toes would be useful

Hey! How the heck are you? I’ve missed you. Sorry about the hiatus, but I’ve been preoccupied lying on my sofa painting my nails, watching daytime TV, browsing mail-order catalogues and ordering takeaway deliveries. Sometimes I dial random numbers, shout ‘Cock!’ down the phone and hang up. It’s great; I can spend hours at it.

Only kidding. I’ve actually been busy trying to figure out this motherhood gig. Yes, really. Not as easy as it looks. I mean, perhaps it depends who you’re looking at. But after years of grocery shopping, I’d always thought parenting was about yelling ‘shut up!’ with your mouth closed, and negotiating with confectionary. Which I’d thought would be pretty straightforward for someone with my verbal and confectionary skills.

There appears to be a bit more to it – although I’m not sure exactly what. I suppose at some point everything will become clear and I’ll turn into this totally bad-ass mother.

Any day now.

I hope.

So, what did I miss?

As for what you’ve missed, if the answer ‘not much beyond 50 ways to apply pureed banana’ doesn’t satisfy you, I’ve updated Deadlyjelly with news from the last couple of months. I hope I haven’t breached some blogging etiquette by back-dating posts. I’m not worried about the Internet Police, because I feel pretty confident about my ability to push them around and make them cry. If not, I will win them around with cake. Albanian nutmeg cake, to be specific.

However, I wouldn’t like to offend my loyal readership; so here, for the pair of you, are the updated and new articles I’ve posted in the last two days:-

Doctors have difficulty finding love – posted yesterday 3/9, updated with photo

How to apply a crotch post – posted yesterday 3/9

Wind chill – posted yesterday 3/9

Here are some more recent photos of our gorgeous little boy, who continues to amaze and charm us:-

15/7/12 We have THOUSANDS of pictures of Finn, but this is one of my favourites

 

16/7/12 Time for bed

 

4/8/12 We joined the North Otago Toy Library here in town. I’m a big fan of these ‘activity centres’ – and thankfully, so is Finn – which keep him entertained and, more importantly, immobile for anything up to half an hour at a time

 

4/8/12 Another hit from the toy library

 

4/8/12 Edible steering wheel yummy

Love and stuff

Finn and his proud mother

For Mothers’ Day, I got an extra hours sleep, a bottle of Baileys, and a cheese-making kit.

What was that? Oh, a breast-feeding joke. I’m VERY disappointed in you. I dare you – in fact, I TRIPLE DARE you – to come up with a new one. I guarantee you can’t; my in-laws have covered them all. There is no lactation related joke in this universe I haven’t heard before – sometimes multiple times. Evidently I need to be more conscientious in remarking on the deficiency of dickage amongst Husband’s family.

It’s a measure of how much I’ve changed that my Mothers’ Day card made me cry rather than scathe it with derision. Also, that I was only marginally more stoked about pressies and breakfast in bed, than discovering the washing was dry after a week soggily drooping on the clothes line.

Finn’s here; he lives and breathes; he’s a laundry generating machine; you can’t move in the living room without tripping over a brightly coloured toy that rattles; and he occupies (conservatively) 95% of my thoughts and time. Yet even when I’m holding him in my arms with his tiny fingers curled around my thumb, and feel the warmth of him and kiss his baldy little head, I can still barely believe he’s real.

Despite all the years I longed for a child, the concept of ‘motherhood’ holds limited appeal. I used to be young, carefree, full of potential. I disdained Hallmark cards. When I got drunk nobody thought I was a sad old trollop.

All that has changed and I’m struggling to adopt my new identity:

Parent.

Skill-set: accurate prediction of vomit trajectory and identification of several varieties of poo.

However, one thing is beyond question.

I LOVE being Finn’s mother.

I know an old lady who swallowed a shoe

Long ago I became resigned to my musical genius never being appreciated in my own lifetime.

I’m delighted to report that unhappy situation is now remedied; my son LOVES my singing. My heartbreaking ear-splitting voice screech raised in song yowl makes him smile grimace, soothes him shuts him up, lulls stuns him to sleep. 

Being unacquainted with nursery rhymes or anything even vaguely age-appropriate, I’ve exposed Finn to an eclectic selection of Bruce Springsteen, Linkin Park, an assortment from Boney M’s back catalogue, ‘Oh Baby Boo’ sung to the tune of ‘Danny Boy’, and various hymns (indeed). 

After some trial and error I discovered ‘All Out of Love’ by Air Supply was the most effective at stopping Finn crying – or drowning him out. On one of our first car-trips as a family, with Finn bawling his lungs out in the back seat, Andrew and I discordantly roared back:- 

I’m lying alone!
With my head on the phone!
Thinking of you till it hurts! 

I figure you’re never too young to learn about the agony of heartache. Although I’ve often thought the pain described by the lyrics above is most likely due to using a telephone as a pillow, and could be easily remedied by taking a couple of Panadol for the melodrama. 

(Yes, I know the lyrics to ‘All Out of Love’. The only comment I have to make on the matter is that my mind is a prodigious repository of arcania and bizarre words. I may struggle to recall our house address, but I can recite the lyrics of any Neil Diamond hit circa early seventies.) 

I used to hum ‘Lara’s Theme’ from Dr Zhivago to send Finn to sleep, until I realised he prefers the Irish National Anthem. The big surprise is that I remember the words – in Irish. No idea what they mean. In essence, I believe it’s about the British being a bunch of bastards. 

Apart from inciting hatred, the national anthem is a musical expression of Finn’s cultural heritage – and also a slice of social history. Because back in the eighties, when I was a teenager, the national anthem was played at the end of every disco. It was the most brutally effective way of getting rid of people. The lights would snap on and we’d all freeze, bright red and shiny, blinking stupidly, ears buzzing; the boys with beer-stains down their fronts and lipstick smeared up to their ears; the girls with soggy perms and mascara exploded down their faces, trying not to catch the eye of the boy who’d dry-humped their leg all through ‘Eternal Flame’ – because that song lasts even longer than the flame. 

Then, swaying earnestly in a rolling sea of beer bottles, plastic cups, peanut packets and soggy crisps, we’d put our hands on our hearts and sing the national anthem. 

Ah, happy days. 

Since starting SPACE I’ve learned some nursery rhymes, but I’ve also started composing my own songs for my son. And we’ve had some team efforts:- 

Me (in the bathroom): I know an old lady who swallowed a shoe! 

Andrew (with Finn in the bedroom): Now, what do you do? If you swallow a shoe? 

Me: You shit it out the sphincter, la la lalala.

We’re having a blast.

Finn and the Gurgles of Doom

Finn turned 10 weeks old last Thursday. If you sit and watch him, you can practically SEE him growing.

Finn learns his three times tables

We went for a walk on Saturday with Andrew carrying the papoose. Finn’s now large enough that we turned him to face forward. He was avid; every time I looked around, all I could see were his big, big eyes peering out over the edge of the papoose. 

As you can see, Finn’s metamorphosis into Andrew’s Mini-Me is nearly complete - although he has his Aunt Florrie’s pout and Agent of Death’s chicken legs

He learned how to roll during the week. When I put him on his tummy, he drops his right arm and rolls onto his back. Upon his first attempt, he flung himself onto the kitchen floor and clonked his head. He was unimpressed by that effort – yet undaunted. Despite repeatedly performing the trick, he never fails to shock himself with the result. I have to be careful about strapping him onto his change table.
 
Speaking of which, he LOVES his change table. He’ll be loudly complaining about room service and the instant I put him on it he starts flirting shamelessly with the maid. I’m not sure why he enjoys it so much, especially when most of the time it involves having his bottom squeezed. 

On Thursdays we go to a playgroup called SPACE (which Andrew refers to as SPAT). Finn is fascinated by other children and lies on the playmat gazing adoringly at them. I’m required to sing songs like ‘Tickling Rain’ and ‘Head! Shoulders Knees and Toes’, which I have unwillingly adopted as the soundtrack to my life supported by a bass of farting.
 
The first week we had to discuss whether parenting was easier or harder than we originally expected, and how having a child has changed our lives. “Do you enjoy talking about that sort of shit?” enquired Andrew during the debrief over dinner, “because it would drive me insane.” I frequently fear for the man’s mental health since he evidently has the most tenuous of grips on it. 

We also do activities like make picture frames and bath balls. Last week I inadvertently arrived half an hour late – happily just in time for tea and biscuits and bath balls. Since I had to feed Finn, this involved supervising the coordinator while she made my bath balls: “Excuse me, can you mix the cornflour in better? Don’t you have any blue food colouring? Smaller balls, please. Make sure they’re uniformly round, thanks.”
 
I was amazed to see one of the children was already sitting.
 
“And he’s only 11 weeks old!” I marvelled to Her Goatiness.
 
“Are you sure?” said my mother-in-law doubtfully. “Sounds very advanced for an 11 week old.” 

Poor old bird, I thought; totally out of touch with children.
 
Turns out the kid wasn’t 11 weeks after all; he was- “7 months?!” said Andrew. “Did you not notice he was a bit bigger than Finn?”
 
In other news, our Class of November 2011 Antenatal Reunion was last Saturday week. I offered to organise it ‘because I’m very organised’.
 
Well, I lost the contact list and had to ask the coordinator for another. When she finally emailed back, I didn’t recognise one of the couples on the list. Assuming it was simply an attack of Post-Pregnancy Brain, I called ‘Beryl’ and had several in-depth conversations with her about the weather and motherhood – before I realised the coordinator had mistakenly included the couple from another Antenatal Class. 

In any case, Beryl didn’t show up for the Class of November 2011 Antenatal Reunion. Unfortunately, neither did anyone else except Sinead, Chris and their son. Since I’d sent Husband off dirt-biking, it was possibly the crappiest reunion in the history of the world ever.

OMG he’s SO UNBELIEVABLY CUTE! Oh, you were about to say that? Sorry

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