Archive | Kids RSS feed for this section

A very M-G Christmas

30 Dec

And so that was Christmas.

I do love a good festive occasion. I think I’ve mentioned that before. I love a spot of carol singing too – I know I’ve mentioned that. I love writing Christmas cards to people I never see with promises to catch up in the new year. I hand write every card, each with an individual sentiment tailored to the recipient. I seal each envelope with a Christmas-themed sticker. These things thrill me.

I am fully aware of how this is reading to you right now. I know the picture you’re forming. But I can’t help myself.

The thing about this kind of dedication to the festive spirit is that two kids leave you with fuck all time. One can’t be embracing the writing of cards with such enthusiasm when there are little mouths just begging to be fed and little bums in dire need of a bath.

So maybe, this year, some of the individually tailored sentiments were actually the same but written in a different sequence. Note to family and friends; don’t compare cards. It’s rude.

One year, I sent my Christmas cards out on NOVEMBER 18th. And then I tapped my foot impatiently at the letterbox each day for the next month waiting for my reciprocal piece of holiday cheer. I was quietly shocked that some cards arrived on the 24th of December. Some people liked to live on the edge, I thought. And some people don’t realise that their card will only be on display for a week at best before it’s relegated to the recycling bin. Craziness, I thought.

This year, my cards didn’t make it out by November 18th. Some didn’t make it out by December 18th. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

The actual celebration of Christmas Day is equally thrilling for me. This year, we celebrated as the Family M-G. Not another soul did we see that day. Well, no, that’s not true, I saw the guy at the bottle shop when I went for a beer run. But apart from him, it was just we four.

Both children deemed it necessary to start the festivities at 5am on Christmas morning. I did not feel terribly merry. And bright? No. Not so much.

But Christmas through a child’s eyes is contagious and so as we followed LD up the stairs to check if Santa had been, the fog of exhaustion slowly lifted.

A blur of gift opening followed. This year was the first that LD really hooked into the idea of Santa. He was pretty stoked with the first three gifts he opened and was happily playing with them but there were so many more still waiting in his stocking and B and I impatiently urged him to keep unwrapping. Unfortunately, what this did was make the opening of the gifts the highlight rather than the gift itself. By 10am, LD had run out of gifts to open (staggered throughout the morning – he did not have five solid hours worth of gifts to unwrap) but by then, it was too late and the monster had been created. The present frenzy was suddenly at an end and LD was now a junkie looking for his next festive foil-wrapped hit.

Ironically, he returned to two of those first three gifts and played with them all day long. A pair of blow up Buzz Lightyear wings and a wrist ‘laser’ also from the Buzz franchise. Total cost: less than thirty bucks. Next year, when I spend just thirty bucks on Christmas presents, he’ll piss and moan about the distinct lack of gifts to open. And their cheapness.

Zee, in typical baby fashion, delighted in the wrapping paper and just generally being in on the action of his older brother’s present-opening rampage.

Late morning, preparing the roast turkey lunch, I spoke to myself quietly.

“What was that?” asked B.

“Hmmm?” I replied, vaguely.

It wouldn’t have been in keeping with the holiday cheer to admit that what I actually said was, “I can’t be bothered.”

Later, as I set the Christmas feast on the table, it occurred to me that there was nothing in the lunch that LD would eat. Turkey, roast potatoes and pumpkin, green beans and peas, gravy. Nope. Mr. Fussy would deem none of that to his liking. This is the child who once licked chocolate and deemed it, “Not tasty” so I can’t really say I wasn’t warned.

Out of his mind with fatigue and probably starving hungry, LD began to whine about wanting someone to pop the Christmas cracker with him. We told him no, he had to wait until we were all ready and seated at the table. So he just popped it himself.

After (watching everyone else eat) lunch, we put something Christmassy on television and LD promptly fell asleep sitting up. Of course, we took photos and made fun of him. It was great.

Finally putting the sleep-resisting Zee down for a nap, I was ready to assume the position. The foetal position, that is.

What is it about Christmas Day that kicks the fuck out of you?

I’m glad I have a full year to recover. And for Christmas 2011, I think I’ll simplify wherever possible. Fewer gifts, maybe a serious cull of the Christmas card list.

But I do have the most darling idea for the place settings………

Advertisements

RMTT #16/ Friday Faves Christmas Combo!

24 Dec

Last night, Aunty Tor, a Family M-G fave, stopped by for a glass (or three) of Christmas cheer. We drank pink bubbles, exchanged gifts and drank more pink bubbles and then we laughed at YouTube clips of people being completely embarrassing or completely talented. It was ace.

But it meant Random Mumma Thoughts did not happen. It’s a busy time of year and maybe you didn’t even notice. But I’m choosing to believe that you did notice, that last night just wasn’t the same without RMTT.

And then, of course, today, I needed to write a Friday Faves.

Christmas Eve, huh? Yeah, I don’t have time for all this writing pressure.

So here’s my ingenious plan. I’ve rolled the two into one fabulous Christmas Combo!

Firstly, a Christmassy RMTT #16

–         Yesterday, I turned the house upside down looking for a card I had written for Aunty Tor some weeks earlier. I mean, I turned the place UPSIDE DOWN. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I was so, so fucking annoyed. It had been on my writing desk, in the same spot, for WEEKS! And now, GONE! It wasn’t until I was through my first glass of pink bubbles that I started to get over my frustration. Today, I find it. I find the card sitting on top of my computer. And I just feel very strongly that I checked there. THREE TIMES. If the card had a throat, I would definitely have punched it.

–         I have not wrapped the presents yet. And B has to put up the trampoline tonight. Relaxing Christmas Eve? Sure, why not? It’ll be fun. I love wrapping presents and B is a gun at putting things together….. We may need beer.

–         The reason I haven’t wrapped the presents which I have had sitting in my cupboard since approximately August is because….I can’t remember. But tonight seems as good a time as any.

–         The reason B hasn’t put up the trampoline yet is because it’s big and I felt the kids might get suspicious about the big fucking trampoline in the back yard.

–         This Christmas, the M-Gs are celebrating with four people and four people only. That’s right. We have forsaken all others and are just doing our own little family Christmas. We love our extended families, of course we do, but holy relaxation, it’ll be nice not to have to go anywhere or see anyone.

–         Downside – I have to cook.

–         Upside – I can reserve the crunchiest roasted potatoes for myself.

–         Threatening that Santa won’t bring presents as a way of ensuring good behaviour is a dismal failure. It’s a hollow threat. I know it and my three-and-a-half-year-old sure as hell knows it. What are we going to do? Cancel Christmas? Missing out on watching the kids open the obscene amount of presents ‘Santa’ brought them would just ruin our day. But even so, we pushed the ‘No Santa’ line right up until LD’s bedtime. He was breaking new naughtiness records all day long in what can only be viewed as a big ‘FUCK YOU!’ to the fat guy but I think the Santa thing did get LD (LittleDemon) to sleep more quickly than usual.

–         Zee has been an angel and I’m tempted to give him all of LD’s presents.

–         No matter how bad my day was or how heinous my children’s behaviour has been, watching them drift into slumber just about stops my heart. It is a gift. That moment is a gift. And it never gets old.

–         I love Christmas carols. No, really, I love them. I’m listening to Sinatra sing the classics as I type.

–         I love Christmas. I really do.

–         My Christmas tree is already dead. It’s been dead for a least a week. It’s so dry the needles just crumble to dust if you touch them. What a rip.

–         I think I might buy a big fuck-off plastic tree at the Boxing Day sales.

–         What is it about Christmas and just being compelled to eat shit constantly? I am a walking box of chocolates right now.

–         And also, some chilli flavoured potato chips… 

–         The gym is closed for the next four days.

–         NOT. MY. FAULT.

And now, onto Friday Faves. And at this time of maximumly extreme consumerism, I’m not going to show you any ‘stuff’ – the last thing any of us needs is to look at more things we could possibly buy.

Instead, I want to share a favourite Christmas photo.

It’s me, circa…I don’t know, maybe 1985? It makes me laugh. And it takes me right there. Our family Christmases were epic. At least, I thought so. My parents – namely, my mum – put on an awesome Christmas show.

I would so love to recreate that magic for my own family.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. Be safe and if necessary, be drunk.

The Little Mumma loves you! 

See you in a couple of days.

Home Dutiful

20 Dec

Before kids, Groundhog Day was a funny movie starring Bill Murray and that awful chick, Andie what’s-her-name. Now, it has taken on a very different meaning. Only now do I understand how torturous it was for Bill to live that same day again and again, not least of all because he was given chance after chance to get it right and still, he kept fucking it up. Oh Bill, I am feeling you now.

The hardest thing for me is the relentlessness of life with very small children. Of having to be the adult when, inside, I feel like running to my mumma. No matter how good a day you just had, it all gets swept aside for the new day. Yesterday’s successes don’t count. You’ve just got to do it all again. But this time, you do it with the knowledge that there’s no way you’re going to top yesterday.

So the slate is wiped clean – a great thing when the day you just had sucked arse and bullshit when you just nailed everything. It’s all gone. Whoosh! Although maybe not in your mind. No, in your mind, you’re still living out the glory of yesterday.

~

The 3 Year Old: “Mumma, wanna come play farm animals for a little bit?”

The Little Mumma: “Noooo, honey. I played farm animals yesterday. Remember? And I made the funny pig face and we rolled around on the floor giggling and it was a totally bonding moment of togetherness? Don’t tell me you’ve already forgotten we played together yesterday. Yesterday was EPIC!”

The Mister: “Babe, what’s for dinner tonight?”

The Little Mumma: “Hahaha! You’re such a kidder, honey! I made dinner last night. Oh man, that dinner was good, huh? And I had it in the slow cooker by midday. Good times. ‘What’s for dinner tonight?’ he says. Hahaha! That’s so why I’m with you, babe. Because you make me laugh.”

Of course, I have never actually had either of those conversations. Out loud.

 Good days. For me, a ‘good’ day means that I have ticked all the MUST DO boxes. There was food, people bathed, wore clothes, nappies were changed, used dishes were, at the very least, rinsed and stacked in the dishwasher and, if I was really hitting my straps, the kids and I may have smiled at each other briefly. A good day.

But in truth, a good day simply means I kept up. With the happenings of this one day. My head remained above water for the duration. But it’s ultimately a stand alone event. It cuts me absolutely no slack for tomorrow.  I still have a huge backlog of things I reeeally need to do. But crossing things off a mile-long To-Do list does enter into the good day equation. If I actually crossed something off the To-Do list, that would constitute an upgrade. That would be a GREAT day.

A good day is nice to have. But it doesn’t change anything. The reward is in the day itself. It has no bearing on the future.

Conversely, a bad day can haunt you for months.

So, I don’t know. Being a stay-at-home mum is…..boring. You know, sometimes, it just really is. And if the most you can hope for is a good day, a day where things didn’t go backwards, then it’s not always easy to find the rewards.

My biggest problem, as I have discussed previously, is that I just want to do so much. And so much of that stuff is seriously hampered by having two kidlets under four looking to me to be Mumma. Which is, after all, who I am. With two tiny ones, that is my gig. And the days I surrender to that completely, putting aside all other aspirations, are the days that are not just good but even nice. When I am truly in the moment with my kids, that’s actually really, really nice.

 

The Christmas Truth

14 Dec

I love my kids. Really, I do. But fuck me dead if they didn’t almost kill the tree within 48 hours of it going up.

Witness the destruction.

Increasingly denuded tree – the work of a hungry dragon, apparently.

Completely denuded baubles – LD explained to me he was just playing with his balls. Oookay.

Within three days, they had defeated me. That night, B and I moved the damned tree.

The tree with almost no decorations from kid-reach down.

The tree that cost me a lazy 50 bucks just because it is real and smells good.

The tree that was dying before we ever strapped it to the roof of our car.

It does smell mighty good though.

So the tree is at the front door. Downstairs and safely away from the main living action which is located upstairs (stupid  topsy-turvy house). The expensive dead tree is downstairs and away from dragons and little boys who play with their balls – little boys who can but stand at the top of the staircase, hands clutching the safety gate that seeks to deny them, eyes gazing longingly at the splendid dead tree below.   

click image for larger view

RMTT #14 – The Buried Dreams Edition

9 Dec

With every ounce of my being, I love these little people. I made them with the love of my life, and we made them from love, and I love them. I do. I would not trade them for all the tea in China.

But maybe that’s because I’m not a huge fan of tea…

At the moment, they absolutely define me. One is three and a half years old. The other just turned one. So life is all about them right now. It has to be. And it should be. And day to day, that fills me up.

But I have just been looking at an old friend’s Facebook page. Years back, we took some acting classes together. We clicked instantly. (No, this isn’t another story about Kat Stewart although would you believe it, she does pop up later). Time marched on, I had a couple of kids and she is still hugely proactive in building her career as an actor. As rightly she should. She is extremely talented.

So I just watched her showreel – several minutes worth of clips of her best performance work. And it was brilliant. She’s gorgeous and fabulous and talented and her reel sells her wonderfully.

I was happy for her.

As well as feeling like I had a giant emptiness in my belly, as though someone had just socked me. Even now, as I type, I feel it creeping up into my chest.

I am filled with….what? Envy? Longing? Regret? I don’t know. All of it.

I was thinking about dreams recently. Not the kind you have while sleeping but the kind that grow like a seed inside you. In my twenties, I was good to my dreams. I believed in them, I fostered them and nurtured them the best way I knew how.

Having children was also a dream of mine. One I am very happily living out. But what of the other dreams?

“Having kids doesn’t kill your dreams. It buries them alive. With a mobile phone that keeps sending you text messages – “Hey, remember me?” “I’m not dead!” “Help me – I NEED to get out!”

I wrote that down in my notebook a while back.

Not everyone feels that way. Some people were born to be a mother and in becoming so, they fulfill their greatest dream. They are content.

For me, becoming a mother is a dream come true, too.

But I am, and have always been, a person with lots of dreams. I want to do EVERYTHING.

Ticking the mother box is awesome. A blessing.

But there are still so many other boxes.

So, I was happy for my acting friend. And overwhelmed by a sense of longing to be back in that world even in some small capacity.

But dreams don’t die unless you want them to. And with acting, the truth of it is that until I am dead, that dream can continue to have the potential to be fulfilled. In fact, as I get older, the talent pool is rapidly shrinking – most people get out if they haven’t ‘made it’ by the end of their twenties. But women in their twenties are the most over-represented demographic in the acting world which means it is the most competitive age bracket in which to be attempting a career. Being in my thirties may actually benefit my acting career.

So, there ahead in the tunnel, a light.

Of course, I experience residual guilt after these ‘episodes’. My kids are little gifts from above. Little bastards, too, sometimes but gifts. Treasures. And it’s hard to reconcile the overwhelming love I have for them, the joy that goes with being their mother, with the competing desire to be someone else, too, someone separate.

There is no answer to any of this. Tomorrow, these feelings will have subsided and I will still be a mum to two of the most beautiful little boys on the planet. And my dreams will be tucked safely away in my soul, waiting for a rainy day.

In the meantime, I suggest you watch this*.  And remember the name – Elke Osadnik. She’s going to be a star.

* Kat Stewart alert!