Archive | September, 2010

When I Grow Up….

29 Sep

I just sent LD to Time Out for three millionth time this week (hello Wednesday!). Every day without fail, he makes his little brother cry. Granted, I often yell “LDeeeeeeeee!” without even looking – and on the odd occasion, realise that LD is, in fact, nowhere near his baby brother and that Zee is crying in that random way that babies sometimes do. Oops! But the majority of the time, I will turn and find overwhelming evidence for an LD conviction. Like today, Zee flat on his back, crying and the blur of LD running like fuck to escape my wrath. It seems my eldest son finds it necessary to push his brother backwards so that he cracks his head on the floor. Excellent.

 

What? Zee loves it when I do this!

 

It makes me wonder. Where did this child come from? What happened to the angelic son I was, frankly, a little smug about?

When LD began childcare, he was the model toddler. He didn’t cry for me when I left, played quietly and was known for his mellow and sweet nature. In the space of six months, he was the child who ran up to the new child and slapped her in the face. During the first day of her orientation. With her mother watching on in horror. Excellent.

So if LD was the child least likely to morph into Devil Child and yet, now brandishes his pitchfork and horns like he was born with them, what other rude awakenings can we anticipate? Who might our children grow up to be….despite our best intentions?

I know, I know, we’re all going to say, “As long as they’re happy, I truly don’t care what my child chooses to do with their life” – but that kind of political correctness has no place in a The Little Mumma blog, now does it? So here’s my real answer. I know if my sons grow up to cover their mouths when they cough and don’t drop the c-bomb in front of the elderly, I’ll be on fire with pride but there are even loftier heights in which I expect them to climb.

Traditionally, parents hoped their children would be doctors and lawyers and privately prayed they wouldn’t be gay or marry outside their own race. Doctors and lawyers are good and all but a little beige. As to having a gay son, hell, why not? If I never have a daughter, at the very least a gay son might oblige an hour-long phonecall about shoes. And if he was a flamboyant hairdresser with a specialty in blonde foils, all the better! And marrying outside our race would mark the end of a line of scary-fluorescent white skin so that could be nice, too.

So, I have a vague idea about who I think my children might be (they make us a lot of money from very early on) but really, I don’t have my heart set on any one thing (except the making a lot of money from very early on). But I got to thinking, ‘What would I absolutely hate them to be?’ It became clear to me to that the things I might dream my sons would become were far less important than the things I definitely didn’t want them to be. Son, you can be anything you want, just please God, NOT THAT!

So, excluding the obvious ‘sociopathic mass murderer’, here is my “Top 5 Things I Hope My Sons Won’t Grow Up To Be Because That Would Be Truly Heinous” list.

5. Collingwood supporter (imagine the ridicule society would heap upon them!)

4. Cricket player (imagine my eyes glazing over and heart stopping from BOREDOM)

3. Sham-WOW presenter (oh please God, NO!)

2. Andrew Bolt (or really anyone who reads The Herald Sun) (just vomited in my mouth a little bit)

and the ultimate thing I pray my sons will never, ever, EVER be

1. a member of the young Liberals (THERE. ARE. NO. WORDS.)

So what has motherhood taught me today? When it’s all said and done, all I really want is for my precious sons to be happy……and politically left.

Random Mumma Thoughts Thursday #3

23 Sep

The Little Mumma made some fool comment about cooking dinner and writing tonight’s post simultaneously…..likened myself to Superwoman, I recall. That’ll learn me! I’m too tired to think let alone do anything super. So lets sift through these very slim pickings and be underwhelmed together, shall we?

– I will never understand why children and babies resist sleep. I would give anything, ANYTHING, for someone to order me to have a nap

– Having kids doesn’t kill your dreams. It buries them alive. With a mobile phone. That keeps sending you text messages like, “Hellooooo! I’m still in here! You haven’t forgotten about me, have you?”

– After I finish this, I’m eating the last chocolate fondant.

– The end.

– No, that’s a bit silly.

– Sooo, ummmmmmm…

– Can’t think of anything but fondanty goodness….

– Sometimes I am all reason and calm, other times I am just moments away from cramming a kid in the microwave. So yes, I admit my parenting is inconsistent. But when you find a consistent baby or 3 year old, please let me know.

– Note to LD: If your new thing is ‘painting’ with your own saliva, then my new thing is selling you on Ebay.

– I am normally very disapproving of jumping from the back of the couch and landing (narrowly) onto the cushioned seat below but when it’s preceded by “To infinity and beyond!” it’s just so gosh, darn CUTE!

– Cacophony: when both your kids are sick and coughing in duet

– Annoying: when your husband joins in

– Chocolate Fondant: the reason The Little Mumma has nothing more to say

Ooooh yeah!

Get A Real Job!

22 Sep

I was Facebooking recently and stumbled across a link a friend had provided to an article about breastfeeding. Yes, the article was interesting, she noted, but the reason she was sharing the link was because of the comment war that ensued thereafter. Of course, I took a look because I do love me some argy bargy. There were the obigatory pro and anti boob sentiments. But what caught my attention was one that attacked ‘breeders’ in general. The term ‘breeder’ in and of itself offends me not in the least but when the author, VJ, went on to say that mothers were, “boring, boring, boring,” that we should, “stick to taking up space in cafes, sipping lattes for four hours and whinging about how hard it is to be a mother” and finally recommended, “stick to your purpose made blogs..”, I admit, I was stung.

Because I blog. Initially, reluctantly. In general, I didn’t dig blogs. I didn’t read them and I thought that the people who wrote them were self-absorbed. I assumed the average blogger was an indulgent examiner of belly button fluff. But then I read Marieke Hardy’s (now defunct) blog.  Needing a way into my writing and also desperately requiring a creative outlet to mix into my daily mumma-ings, I decided that perhaps, the blog was the way to go.

Now, I don’t for one minute kid myself that my blog deserves mention in the same breath as the lovely Marieke’s. Hers was witty and political. I am not so clever but by the same token, I am loathe to say that  mine is ‘just another mummy blog’. And I guess that’s why the above comments got to me so much.

When I first launched my blog, as I mentioned, I wasn’t into or across the blogging world at all. I had no subscriptions (still don’t actually…) and didn’t really understand the scope of the medium. I certainly didn’t realise that there were literally THOUSANDS of blogs about being a mum. On learning this, I felt, sort of,…. stupid. It’s not like I thought I was inventing the wheel or anything, I just didn’t realise how deeply unoriginal I was being.

So I am kind of touchy about it. Like what I do isn’t important because a zillion others are doing the same. And that the subject matter of mummy blogs renders them boring, inane or even, the very thing I was originally afraid blogs were, self-indulgent. I comfort myself that I write my blog with a mind to building my very real pursuit of freelance writing. It ain’t a hobby or an opportunity to show off pictures of my kids (that’s what Facebook is for!). I write about mothering because for now, it is the very essence of who I am. It’s what I know. I am unlikely to enjoy a blog detailing the trials and tribulations of the average accountant and thusly, I can understand why many people might read my blog and be like, “Yeah…nuh. I don’t care.” And that’s fine. There’s enough room in cyberspace for everyone (sometimes frighteningly so). But then, you don’t hear people bad-mouthing the accounting blogs/forums. But when mothers get together to discuss being mothers, oh, the disdain! Talking about being a mum is akin to gossiping hens. And doesn’t that just fit perfectly with what all mothers know to be true – that mothering is still widely undervalued.

I could go into a rant about how we do the most important job there is – raising future generations who may well go on to be scientists or political leaders, doctors or futures traders – at the very least, something ‘real’ and ‘important’ where intellect and ambition are required – but other mums already know this. And in general, defending the charge that mothers are boring is redundant, too. We are, most definitely, no such thing. But newsflash, the day to day minutiae of a mother’s life can be mind-numbingly boring. FUCK yes! There are only so many times a person can play ‘postman man’ with their 3 year old before they start to lose the will to live. But that’s just part of the gig. And god forbid I should stray into soppy sentimentality but the rewards are abundant and beautiful. Mothering will put you on your arse in the best possible ways – your kids will literally change how you view the world. Experiencing life through your child’s eyes is to be returned momentarily to a second childhood – the sparkly stuff of magic and wonder. Vomit if you will but it’s just that awesome.

And yes, VJ, I daresay you have overheard mothers grouped together in cafes “whingeing about how hard it is to be a mother” – because it fucking is! And yes, we chose it and yes, we just have to get on with it but in what other field is it so vehemently discouraged to vent about the challenges of that occupation? Being a mother can be incredibly lonely and isolating. I consider the time when there were no computers, no social networking, hell, not even a council-run Mother’s Group! These resources are not only valuable but necessary. Raising kids is crazy-making. I absolutely love the network of women I have met since having children – some in person and some online. These friendships, forged through the shared experience of having children, are some of the richest and best I have ever known. And my existing relationships with women have been strengthened by the motherhood bond. I need them.

So my little blog may not be cutting edge and topically relevant in a way that’s intellectually or socially valued. But I know that when I publish my mummy musings, I am reaching other mummies who really needed to laugh, cry or otherwise have a feeling validated. Our concerns are real and worthy of sharing.

Damn it, I will not be mum about being mum!

So VJ, if that is your real name, you have my absolute blessing to not read my blog. But I imagine what you will do, in some twenty or so years, is be the cougar trying to fuck my sons. And for that, this breeder is willing to accept a simple ‘thank you’.

Snap (Un)happy

20 Sep

The thing is, I got a new camera. And in the space of 7 days, I had amassed 1059 shots on the memory card. It’s a DSLR and I really don’t know what I’m doing with it but I do know that you can take photos like a frenzied fashion photographer “Click! Click! Click! Click!” and suddenly you have 107 new photos, all in the space of 15 seconds. It’s thrilling. And then if you flick through the pics really quickly, it looks like one of those stick figure flipbooks you used to make at school. Awesome.

But how many photos is too many?

When LD was born, I went twelve kinds of nutty with the camera. First child, the most beautiful baby ever born, yada yada yada – I was obsessive. Some months after LD’s arrival, I went through and chose favourites to print and pop in an album. I knew there was a problem when I’d filled one entire album and hadn’t gotten past the hospital post birth yet. But I ask you, nay, CHALLENGE you to choose your faves when it’s your kid. EVERY photo is worthy of printing….I have trouble deleting the digital file even when the shot is so completely blurry that I could flog it to OK! magazine as a papp snap of Shiloh Jolie-Pitt in Venice.

Okay, so print less. I learned that lesson. I do love a book of actual photos but at the rate I was going, I would have needed to rent a storage space just to house the albums. Print only the super amazing highlights. The rest can live on a disc. Perfect. But that doesn’t solve the problem of the taking of a ba-zillion photos. How does one curb that particular addiction?

My stepdad, Himself, tried to warn me. “One of my nieces or nephews, I can’t remember which” – fair call, Himself has approximately 27 brothers and sisters so who knows how many nieces or nephews we’re looking at here? – “but one of them had so many photos taken of them that they started shutting their eyes every time the camera came out.” We’d just had an especially snap happy day at LD’s baptism. But I wasn’t worried. The kid loved a camera. He really did.

But when the cracks began to show, I began to appreciate the prescience of Himself’s words.

Observe the cracks –

Going

Going

Gone!

Or this heartbreaking sequence;

Professional Poser

Pushing The Friendship

Spirit Diminishing

Defeat

So, I guess when the subject stopped co-operating, I did stop taking so many photos. But then Zee came along. Now I am, like Zee, the second child. And as most second (and subsequent) children will know, the photo count goes down DRAMATICALLY. The first kid has a photographic shrine and every other kid thereafter is lucky to get a couple of snaps at birthdays. My mum, Betty, says, “I didn’t own a camera. Blame your father!” and other lame shit like that. So when Betty made a little aside about how fewer photos of Zee I had on Facebook as compared with LD, I just knew she was waiting (with gleeful anticipation) for me to fall foul of the ‘Photographic Second Child Syndrome’ – but more fool her because Zee has probably pulled ahead in the digital photo archives. I am going out of my way to ensure that he never feels the sting of photo neglect.

But perhaps this has come at a cost. In the first day with new camera, I took many, many photos. Predominantly of Zee. Because taking photos of LD goes like this.

Kiss

My

Arse!

But back to the cost. The price poor Zee has paid for my refusal to let him be left behind, photographically speaking. Nothing could deter me from my relentless photo taking. Not children squinting, begging, bawling. “Let me get the camera!” was the catchcry of the day (to day).

But then there was this.

WAY scarier than the 'disappearing arm'

I have no earthly idea how I managed to capture this freakish and truly disturbing moment. Except for the fact that I took 107 photos in 5 seconds.

I think, maybe, that was one too many.

So what has motherhood taught me today? Okay, truthfully, nothing. I have yet to curb my camera-crazed ways. Blame my kids – they have gorgeous heads……..

Random Mumma Thoughts Thursday #2

16 Sep

Welcome to another Thursday. Let’s peek inside The Little Mumma’s brain again, shall we?

 –         Tissues are not a good substitute for a breast pad

–         Neither are napkins from McDonalds

–         Jesus Christ, why do I have so many McDonalds napkins?

–         Turn around, Little Mumma, you’re sitting on a clue

–         If the majority of primary caregivers who stay at home with their kids are women, why is the eye candy on children’s television so totally skewed to men? Female presenters/characters are invariably pretty while the male equivalent is gay / goofy / cuddly.

–         Matt Passmore – excellent exception to the above

–         Unless he’s gay

–         What am I worried about? I have Jason Stackhouse now – and I am certain he will get me over the line on many a headachy night to come

–         Television that appeals to infants is the same kind of television that appeals to people on an acid trip

–         Mmmm, Jason Stackhouse…..

–         When someone yells at you while you’re breastfeeding your baby, “I’m a baby! I need boobs!” just be grateful the jealous outburst came from your 3 year old and not your husband

–         My man and I used to go out to dinner. At restaurants. Sometimes on a Wednesday!

–         B once said, “LD, you’re going crazy. I think it’s because you’re nude” – and he was right. Kids go batshit crazy when they have no pants on

–         Oh Jason……..