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Regretting it?

So I was at the doctors this afternoon hoping for some relief from this abysmal state I’ve been in for the last 6 days, and as it always does talk rolls around to McBean – no matter who it is, always the conversation turns to McBean.  I said that I’m no longer working and am spending my time running around after a rambunctious toddler, and the doctor (the one who we saw about the infected foreskin, the well meaning but more than slightly vague doctor, who today was more interested in talking about book recommendations than my health) asked if he was “energetic”?  I of course scoffed and rolled my eyes and said that’s one way of putting it.  I think that calling McBean energetic is akin to calling Niagara Falls a trickle of water, but I didn’t say that.  Given how tough it’s been this week, caring for the boy while I’ve been feeling so crappy, I think I must have been projecting some exasperation or something, because he looked at me and quite seriously asked if I was regretting it.  Now, I’m not sure if he meant was I regretting being a stay at home parent, or regretting McBean’s existence.

Naturally I was a bit taken aback by that.  I stopped and thought about it for a few seconds and said no I don’t regret it.  He might be hard work, but he’s intelligent and beautiful and a lot of fun.  And that was that, we moved on to more discussion of books – he did, during all this, check my breathing and ears and throat etc, and manage to prescribe some antibiotics for the sore throat and sinuses, and some eye drops for my gunky eye, so he’s not completely useless, just easily distracted.

But it got me to thinking about it.  Do I regret it, either option?  No, I’d have to say the answer to either is that I don’t regret it.

The stay at home parent thing has been a lot harder than I honestly expected.  I’m so much more tired than when I was working, even the 12 hour days.  Dealing with McBean is so draining in so many ways.  But when he grins his cheeky little grin at you, and runs up and throws his arms around your neck for a hug, you can’t help but think awwwwww… So I’m glad I’ve had this experience, of being his primary caregiver and knowing what that means.  He’s doing a lot of mental development right now, and I’m here to watch him watching things, investigating how things work, how he can use things to his advantage.  How he can communicate more and more, how he has his own little foibles already.

And as for having McBean at all, no I don’t regret that.  I sometimes (okay, often) rail against the constraints of parenthood, wishing I still had the freedom (and the money) to drop everything and wander around Europe for months on end with nothing but a small backpack.  Or to move into a tiny apartment right in the city close to everything, and be able to go to the theatre and out for dinner and stuff like that.  Or zoom up to Sydney for the weekend to catch up with friends on a whim.  So there are aspects of it all that I find chafing, but that was lost to me even before McBean, and even if it wasn’t there’s no point regretting things that can’t change.  Not that I would want to change having had him.  He’s so cute sometimes it hurts, and he’s so aggravating sometimes it also hurts.  But he’s our little guy and I wouldn’t change that now.

Pipe dreams

So this blog has been a bit of a lame duck really.  Picture a western ghost town with accumulating filth obscuring the windows and tumbleweeds bouncing down the long and dusty street.  We were going to kick it off again on June 1 with LGBT blogging for families day, but it’s hard to commence things on a given date.  It’s much like saying you’ll start your diet on Monday, or next month, or whatever.  Never works.  You just find another excuse to procrastinate and put it off.

So today I was feeling somewhat inspired, I thought I better go with it.  I’m not sure how it happened, it must be due to the lightheadedness or something.  Feeling quite flu-y and consequently drained and sleep deprived, but oh well, you take these things as they come.

I have been reading Frances Mayes Under the Tuscan Sun, and I almost can’t stand it it’s so beautiful.  I can practically smell the herbs and wildflowers, feel the sun beaming out of the pages of the book.  It’s killing me in my currently weakened state.  This miserable cold weather we’re having makes me want to shrivel up in a little ball and cry.

I’ve actually been to Cortona where the book is set, so I know exactly the markets and the laneways and the terraces and the fields and I can visualise it so clearly.

Given the state of what the fuck am I going to do with my life that I am labouring under at the moment, I have been playing the what would you do if you had all the money in the world and could do whatever you want game lately, and right now… Right now I would pack up everything we have, find a lovely run down villa in the Tuscan hills and fix it up.  Have a huge vegetable garden, eat off the land, preserve for the winter, have a chicken coop, have fruit trees.  Have the whole garden as a massive kitchen garden.  I can see it.  FenFox would go to the local school and during the summer while away her time reading under the fruit trees, when she wasn’t jaunting off to France or Australia or having friends stay by us.  Have a live in nanny or manny on hand for McBean, so I could spend my time in the garden and kitchen if I wanted to.  I can picture him so clearly there – a little half naked  Raphael cherub roaming the countryside getting up to mischief, brown as a berry from the sun, with his blond hair and eyes the colour of the sky over Siena.  Clark could set up an office if she wanted to work from home, or else commute to Firenze.  Clark of course would be the sticking point with her hatred of the heat, but we’d be so close to the Swiss Alps that I might be able to get away with it on the promise of yearly skiing trips.

Sigh.

There’s just something about Tuscany that is so amazing and welcoming and home-like.  I mean, I know I am part Italian, but my family comes from the deep south of Italy, and I’ve never felt comfortable south of Rome.  I think it’s more than that, with Tuscany, but then I also think a lot of people feel that way.  It’s an amazing place.

So I’ll stop now, lusting over my beautiful Tuscan villa.  It’s a very nice dream to have, but doesn’t answer the very practical question of what the fuck AM I going to do with my life that is looming and omnipresent.

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy is a weird word.  I can never spell it right the first time round, and it’s one of those words that just look wrong.

Perhaps I should have labelled this post Absence, considering the extreme absence we have displayed in our posting habits.  It’s always crazy busy around here, and then when it’s not so crazy busy we tend to fall in little heaps and go blah, and posting somehow gets bumped to the bottom of the priority list.  Pathetic yes.  But reality.

Back to my choice of title – hypocrisy.  I immensely dislike being thought of as hypocritical.  So I am having a little bit of a dilemma at the moment.  I find myself to be fascinated with the thought of what the hell my high school colleagues are doing these days, who they married, if they have children &tc.  I think it’s because I’ve recently started hanging out with a lovely old school friend who lives in the area, and she occasionally will provide me with snippets of gossip and things she hears.  She is the younger sister of a classmate of mine, so the people she hears about I know but are from a few year levels below me and therefore not quite satisfying.  Also, Clark seems to be inundated lately with Facebook friend requests from people she went to school with.

This is where the hypocritical aspect enters the equation – I know that Clark did not get along with most of these people in school, and now they’re all having meet-ups and are all buddy buddy on Facebook.  That bothers me.  Like Clark, I did not get along with many people in high school.  Actually, I should clarify.  Clark had some issues in school, not the least that her father was the principle, whereas my not getting along with people was entirely down to me.  I haven’t changed – I’m just as much a blunt, abrasive bitch now as I was then, with no time for shallow, ignorant people, and back then I had even less reason to hide it.  So you can imagine for yourselves the contempt in which I held those people who were more interested in make up and cars and drinking and drugs and relationships than school.  I was hardly the most popular kid in school.

Anyway, now I’d be really interested to know what everyone is doing, but I have no more desire to initiate any kind of relationship now than I had then, hence my problem.  I can’t exactly message them on Facebook and say “Hey, we haven’t seen each other in 15 years and we hated each other’s guts back then, but what are you doing now?  By the way, don’t friend me as I’m not interested.”  That’s a little blunt even for me.  Maybe they did a reunion and everyone caught up that way.  I wouldn’t know, I deliberately like to keep myself elusive and not easily contactable, but then it backfires on me in these kind of situations.

So there you have it.  I think I’ll just have to keep wondering, as my desire to not be a hypocrite and to not start friending people on Facebook overrides my need to know.

Questions

Christmas is done, the new year is nearly here.  NYE will be a quiet one for us.  It’s so hot that any even minimal plans we had have been shelved.  The four of us are planning on playing board games (I’m the Mon.opoly C.ity champion!) and eating yummy stuff while just hanging out.  This is assuming of course that our horrible neighbours do not surprise us with another awful party – but we do have an escape plan for that just in case (thanks dad!)

An anecdote to end 2009 with:

Lazyboo just took McBean off to get some champers to at least acknowledge the end of the year.  She was holding him while in the line to pay (busiest afternoon for the bottle-o) when some random guy accosted her and asked her where his blonde curls and blue eyes came from.  Somewhat nonplussed, she calmly replied that blue eyes are in the family (and so they are, we all have em) and that nobody is really sure about the hair.  This is how she recounted it when they got back in any case.  I am mightily impressed at that response – simple, non-committal and without any unnecessary explanations.  McBean looks so different from both of us that it’s a question often asked, but I’m always stumped at how to reply.  Now I know what to say!

ETA Lazyboo just read this over my shoulder and painted this picture:  McBean was actually sitting in the trolley looking all bogan like in his black muscle singlet and sposie, munching on a pilfered apple from Co.les.  Noice!

2009 was a great year for us.  There was many difficulties but much joy and I feel so blessed.  2010 will bring many changes that we are very much looking forward to.

Happy New Year to all, and may all your dreams come true.

Somebody answer me that.  I’m sure it was McBean’s birthday about 3 days ago, and now all of a sudden it is 24th December.

Of course, this is also a good thing because it means I don’t have to go back to work for 11 whole days – count them.  Yes 11 days.  Am I a little excited by that?  Can you tell?

Christmas is exhausting.  We are having the usual family Christmas Eve dinner here tonight, and so not only have we been frantically baking and finalising gifts edible and otherwise and shopping and wrapping and doing all that stuff, now we also need to frantically clean and sweep and vacuum and dust and mop and wash and then cook.  I’m running on less than empty right now.  Tomorrow I am going to fall in a heap and do nothing except read my awesome new cook book that I am getting while Clark plays her new Sims3 expansion.  No surprises this year, it was too hard to coordinate shopping separately and besides this way we know we’ll love our gifts.   And possibly the same the day after as well.

I am going to attempt to get as much rest as possible over this break.  We’ll see how that actually works out.

McBean had a pretty good day at childcare in the end.  He ate two servings of lunch after a shaky start at morning tea time, had a 1 1/4 hour nap – which is not bad on a mattress instead of in a cot, and was reasonably cheery when we arrived.  He was being held by his primary carer when we arrived and looked perfectly content, and one of the other carers said that he’s always happy to have a cuddle with any of them, so that is good to know.  Not that he’s a cuddly baby, but at least he’s happy to be comforted by them if he needs it.

And so this is… gastro?

Been a rough couple of weeks in terms of our family’s digestive systems.  McBean started us all off with his fevers and some vomiting, but that was pegged as a random virus.  Then FenFox came home from school throwing up, and we figured she’s picked up a bug at school.  Then Clark had to come home from her third day at work because she came down with it (so not good, and she felt so bad about it).  And now today there is something wrong with me.  It may not be gastro, but my insides are not cooperating today, so it may develop.

In retrospect we think that maybe what was wrong with McBean was actually the gastro bug that he then shared.  He was whingey and drooling madly and inconsolable – all of which could be explained by stomach/intestinal cramps and nausea.  Poor little lad.  I feel even sorrier for him now, knowing how bad it hit Clark.

I’m hoping like hell that the reason I’m feeling so dodgy is just over tiredness and not gastro – there’s way too much to do to prep for Xmas eve dinner for me to be out of commission.

On a slightly more positive note, the reports today from child care on McBean’s second day have been somewhat better.  He cried and cried again when we left, but apparently he has been playing and eating better today, so hopefully that’s a step in the right direction.  He’ll most probably have a break from child care next week (depending on what our plans turn out to be) and I hope that doesn’t set him back to the start again.

Last day of work for me now, 11 days off (not that I’ve accomplished much at all this week).  Then I’m only working through January and it’s adios muchachos.  At this stage.  Who knows what will really happen.  Which means I only have around a month respite left, and I need to start looking for a job.  What an awful prospect.  Haven’t had to do that for nearly 5 years now.  All I need between now and then is to work out how I can work from home and bring in approximately the same as working 2 days a week.  Then we won’t have to worry about child care.  Ah, wishful thinking.

Crying

Urgh.  Clark and I just dropped McBean off at his first full day of child care.  When we got there he knew – I tried to put him down on the floor to play with the toys, and he clung to me with both arms and legs like some kind of octopus.

He cried when I handed him over to the child care worker, then Clark grabbed him and gave him a snuggle, then he was okay to get down and go play while they got some breakfast for him.  Then he was happy to go off and be put in the high chair with the prospect of weetbix.  We took that as a good indication to leave, but as we were shutting the door behind us we heard him start to wail.  That was not easy.

Clark nearly turned right around and went straight back in, I could see her struggling.  We just keep telling ourselves he’ll be okay.

I think the problem today was that he was in a different room and the carers he had already met hadn’t started yet.  Early in the morning all the kids go into the babies room until there are enough to split them off – well, that is my understanding.

You expect the first days to be hard.  It’s completely understandable that he’s going to take some time to adjust, and so are we.  But it doesn’t make it any easier when you hear him crying as you leave 😦