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A rocky path

3 Feb

Happy Thursday eve to you all – or whatever day and time it is where you are.

I was hoping to tell you all to hitch a ride with me over to my new home. But things have transpired (boring, formatty, interwebby things) that mean that’s not possible tonight. By tomorrow, I hope I can give you the formal invite. Not a lot has changed about the blog, just where it ‘lives’ now. But things will change. Change and improve and grow. So I’m excited.

Tomorrow, we’ll go. Okay?

I’m in a strange mood tonight. I have heard some news about the child of a dear friend. Some news that was unexpected. Unsettling news. Upsetting.

So I am left feeling shaken. And I am reminded of what a blessing my two boys are. Of how I would move heaven and earth to ensure that they have everything they need in order to go out into the world and become young men. Even now, with each passing day, they get further and further away from needing me.

But sometimes, our children need us more than we ever anticipated. And it’s harder than we could ever dream. And we wonder why it is that this precious child should have been given a road ahead that is not as easy as the road that others are walking. And we wonder if we are up to the task of leading them on that rocky journey.

Here’s what I know. We ARE up to the task. Because God never gives us more than we can handle. It’s just that sometimes, we might wish that God didn’t have so much damn faith in us.

So tonight, I am thinking of my dear friend. I am thinking about what lies ahead for her and for her youngest child. I am looking ahead to the future with her. I can see what she sees – a rockier path than first imagined. But I also see, as I know she does, too, the promise of the future. With knowledge comes power. And I know that she will arm herself with every available piece of information so that there is no stronger force. She will be the suspension cushioning the impact of her little one’s journey.

Once again, thank you for coming along on this ride with me.

Trust the Universe

28 Jan

Yesterday was possibly the very worst day I have ever had in Mumma-land.

And it wasn’t that the kids were especially difficult – although Zee is teething and LD is a three and half year old demon.

It was me. I fucked up. At every turn, I made the worst possible choice. It was an epic fail.

Yesterday, I was NOT a good mother.

And the killer was that within moments of me ceasing my screaming and ranting, both my children were so willing to crawl into my lap, to cuddle me, to laugh with me.

Kids are resilient? You can’t even imagine how true that is. How scarily true. You can get away with shit that a normal person would NEVER forgive you for.

But even if my kids have instantly forgiven and forgotten, just what am I etching into their little souls when I fail to be the mother they deserve? What will it mean, long-term?

I don’t beat my children, abuse drugs or alcohol in front of them, neglect them or leave them to cry. But there are choices I have made that I would never have thought I would make.

So, it was a bad day.

That evening, my babies tucked up in their beds, I was tooling around with the blog.

I chose to read two blogs that I had never read before. Two blogs that I had noticed many times but never gotten around to reading.

Anyone who thinks the universe doesn’t provide, that the universe doesn’t send messages, just isn’t listening hard enough.

It’s actually spooky how prescient these posts were.

And how reading them meant that today was one of the best days I have ever had in Mumma-land.

Check them out below.

And have a great weekend.

Pink Dryer Lint

Becoming Sarah

 

Embracing The Arts

25 Jan

So here’s LD, making a little something for my treasurey artwork collection.

As a parent, can you witness your child put paintbrush to paper without getting a little misty-eyed?

I’ll tell you, I can’t. I simply can not. It fills me with joy. Probably because I’m a left-wing, support-the-arts type. But also because seeing my kid’s imagination begin to soar is like a drug. It makes me high. Giddy. It’s cool is what it is.

And also, kids engaged in activities are kids that leave me the hell alone for a sweet second.

So, I love it when my kid gets all creative and artsy. I’m not sure if he’s any good at it but I love that he seems to get a kick out of doing it.

I had a friend whose (genius) daughter drew her first face at around 18 months of age. I was astonished. And jealous. It took LD an age to work out which end of the crayon to write with. Ummm, dude, it’s a crayon. Both ends work.

No, I made that bit up. Not the geniusy daughter bit. That’s totally true. But LD knew how to work a crayon,  he just didn’t really dig drawing until after his second birthday.

See here how he’s made up for lost time?

What is it about photos of faces and kids with pens? They have to draw something coming out of the nose. It’s like Defacing 101. Kind of cool though considering at LD’s age, I’d expect nothing more than mindless scribbles. The kid has defacing skillz.

And how awesome is this shit?

I wanna say that this is a ghost. But I can’t remember whether LD actually told me that or whether I’ve just decided that’s what it is. Either way, I love the shit out of this drawing.

A while back I came across this scene.

It appeared the painting had turned into a spot of finger painting. That’s cool. I’m all for exploring your creative potential.

But what, pray tell, had become of the little artist?

And that was the day I learnt that painting is not a good activity to set up Child A with so as to put Child B to sleep without being interrupted by Child A. Not a good activity at all.

So my little artist and I had a little chat about where paint belongs. Namely, on the paper and not on the face. I felt the chat went well but short of having him sign an agreement in blood, how can one really be sure that their small child has comprehended much less agreed with the little chat? It’s tricky. To reassure myself that we have been on the same wavelength, I often prompt LD to say, “Yes, Mumma” when I’ve finished speaking. How this helps with the overall comprehension, I can’t say. But it feels like the right thing to do.

Okay. So, do you see what’s happened here then?

I feel like maybe when LD said, “Yes, Mumma” after our little chat that he didn’t really mean it. Although in his defence, our chat was about paint and not textas, faces and not wardrobe doors.

Far be it from me to crush the spirit of the artist within. For the record, I’m a big fan of LD’s work. And I can see how the constraints of the easel could push a little man to extremes. Creativity can not, nay, MUST not be contained and all that. But seriously, we rent this joint. So I can’t be having this shit.

There was a heart stopping moment when I took to the texta with spray cleaner and a sponge and NOTHING happened. I was ready to sell my little artiste. But thankfully, the Magic Eraser worked like….well, you know.

We had another little chat. And for now, it seems to have worked. But maybe that’s because LD is sufficiently exercising his rebellious side by pissing on our carpet. Yeah, that’s rented, too.

Click above just once and you will help me become RULER OF THE UNIVERSE!

To sleep, perchance to shut the f!@k up

20 Jan

Here’s what I don’t get.

Why don’t babies just sleep?

They’re little, they’re clearly tired, it’s not like they have a to-do list to check off before they turn in for the night so for fuck’s sake, why can’t they just lie down and nod off?

When I brought home newborn LD, I was shocked to discover that babies often need to be ‘taught’ how to sleep. What? Newborns are pretty much perpetually ready for a nap, their tiny bodies worn out after half an hour of blinking so I can’t fathom why it should be so hard. Even if they didn’t want to sleep, shouldn’t sleep just overtake them anyway? Why do they even get a say in the matter?

And toddlers. What’s up with those little siesta-haters? Sure, I read the books and I understand that the very act of being alive is thrilling in the extreme to little people and this leads to an active resistance to sleeping. But again, when they started the day at 5.30am and have been tear-arsing around for hours without pause, their eyes rimmed with red from the constant rubbing, wouldn’t it just be lovely to have a little lie down?

At this point, if someone demanded I have a nap, I would assume I had gone to heaven. And that’s without the parade of enticements like warm milk and bum pats, forehead stroking and lullabies.

Sometimes LD likes to reverse the roles and put me to bed. I get a (half-hearted) pat and just as I’m settling into a little coma (some 13 seconds have transpired since the beginning of the tucking in), the room floods with light and a sing-song voice declaring, “Morning time!” In some ways, I really hate this game. It feels Guantanamo-esque to me.

So, sleep. I don’t get it. Literally and figuratively.

LD, while sleeping through every night now (after some standard arsing about before bed time), refuses a day nap – a nap he sorely needs. A nap I very sorely need him to have.

Zee, since his arrival, has been a sleep resister. I could count on my fingers the number of times he has slept through the night – and I mean, ten or more hours, really, really slept through. And during the day, he will almost always wake after one sleep cycle (about 45 minutes). At least in more recent times, I can resettle him and get another hour or so.

Getting him to sleep is a bitch when he knows his big brother is still up playing. And being the lightest sleeper in the world means that keeping him asleep is even harder. If, during the resettling process, Zee hears a noise that is obviously coming from his big brother who is obviously playing, the resettling is pretty much fucked.

So LD spends his little brother’s nap times being constantly shh-shhed. I hate to stifle the kid’s creative play but hey, I know a way to solve the whole problem. You have a nap, too, LD!

Short of that, I think the only solution is separate sleeping quarters –  another wing, if you will.

Either that or a couple of nannies.

Toilet Training 101: Fluffies Training Pants Review

14 Jan

A recently discovered relic from The Little Mumma's own toilet training days. No doubt, I was a gun......

It was time to take action.

B was on annual leave and would be home for three whole weeks so it seemed a perfect time to tackle a few things while we had both hands on deck.

The plan included weaning Zee off the boob and toilet training LD. As it turns out, both these tasks are fairly monumental so it became necessary to choose just one. And since Zee is a huge boob pig and LD is about to start college, the toilet training won out.

Actually, LD is not about to start college. He is 3.5 years old. So, clearly, too young for college but, let us speak frankly, getting too old for all this nappy-wearing business. But at 3.5, he is showing none of the initiative to start toilet training that all the books told me to be on the lookout for before even thinking about proceeding.

I waited patiently, the experts assuring me that to push a kid into using the toilet before he is ready is to create a painfully prolonged and possibly traumatic training period.

Boys matured more slowly than girls, I comforted myself when a dear friend’s daughter, nine months LD’s junior, began wearing underpants each day.

I waited.

And I waited.

And finally, it just seemed like the kid would be walking down the aisle to his future life partner in adult diapers.

So, it was time to take action.

On Facebook, a friend made a comment about her recent success with toilet training her son, a similar age to LD. I demanded she tell me her secrets and in doing so (there really aren’t any), she mentioned she had used Fluffies Training Pants.

Fluffies Training Pants

I wasn’t familiar with the training pants but I recognised the packaging and realised I’d seen them before. Fluffies Training Pants are made of terry towelling and have a foam lining which means they are more absorbent than your average pair of undies. However, they are not designed to absorb liquid the way pull-up pants are and subsequently, they will leak. I didn’t see the point of going the pull-up route because as far as I could tell, they were just a nappy by a different name. And hey, a friend said the Fluffies were good and I had exactly zero to lose.   

I got in touch with Fluffies and they graciously agreed to supply me with 6 pairs for review. The package arrived and I waited patiently for B to begin his annual leave so that we could begin the journey towards this momentous milestone in the life of our LD.

The night before we began, we told LD the Nappy Fairy was coming to take away his nappies. He seemed vaguely interested in this.

The first day was….a complete and utter failure. Before 12 noon, LD had pissed his way through four pairs of Fluffies. I asked him to let me know when he needed to wee and his response was, “No”. Ooookay.

I was despairing. But I was determined to persevere. Give it a week, I thought.

The second day after a couple of accidents, the M-G family could be found screaming, clapping and dancing around the potty after LD used it for the first time. We had progress!

I am writing today in the third week of our journey and I would say that 98% of the time, LD is using the toilet. And I do mean toilet – the little genius having graduated from the potty already. I am quite amazed. In two short weeks, we went from outright refusal, to potty use motivated by a praising audience, to “Go away, Mumma. I do it myself” as my kid sits perched on the toilet like he’s been doing it all his life.

We still get the odd accident (daycare poses a challenge) and there are still “travel nappies” and “night nappies” but we have made a start. Something has switched in that little brain and I am hoping like hell that it won’t switch back.

I think we’ve had success for a few reasons. Namely, LD was 100% physically and mentally ready for the challenge. The first day disaster was a normal resistance to change but calm and consistent perseverance meant we could overcome that resistance quite quickly.

The Fluffies pants have been great for a number of reasons.

–         They are slightly more absorbent than a regular pair of underpants so if you catch the little trainer quickly enough, there may be less mess after an accident.

–         Fluffies pants have some absorbency but the child will feel uncomfortable in them if they get wet. Pull-ups never worked for LD because they felt too much like a nappy and so he would use them accordingly.

–         Unlike pull-ups, they can be washed and reused which is a benefit financially and is also a greener choice.

–         The major advantage of using the training pants for us was, I think, psychological. We have undies with robots and undies with Spiderman. All manner of undie incentives we provided but LD preferred his “fluffy undies” and I think that was because they feel more like a nappy. They’re bigger than regular undies and they’re softer. So he was less resistant to wearing them. I think they’re an ideal in-between – going from the security of a nappy to a thin pair of cotton underpants is probably a bigger jump for LD than I figured.

So, we’re still in the early stages of training and certainly not “trained” yet but it’s a start and I am relieved because it was always a nagging thought at the back of my mind that my kid should not still be in nappies. Fluffies Training Pants have been a helpful transitional tool. And they’re cheap. I’ve seen a 6-pack advertised for $19.95.

Other helpful stuff included a sticker reward chart, keeping my mounting frustration to myself and just generally encouraging without overwhelming. In the end, what seems to have been the most cementing factor for LD was his own sense of independence in doing this most grown up of things.

So, I’m proud of the little fella. Wish us continuing luck!

LD dons underwear as headwear and declares himself "Undies Face!" Seriously.