Monday, December 31, 2007

A man who likes cats can't be all bad

(An old old photo).
I sometimes wonder what kind of man Patrick will grow up to be. Will he love sport and be able to tell you in minute detail why Andrew "joey" Johns is the greatest footballer the world has ever seen? (Hopefully not). Will he find religion and vote conservative? (I really hope not). Will he grow his hair and spend his time trying to change the world? Maybe.

This morning as I was giving him a quick feed before work, our cat, Meg, jumped up into my lap. Patrick pulled himself off and said excitedly "Egk. Egk". and then, after a bit of thought "Megk. Megk".

So his first words weren't Mama or Dada (he says both but not in any useful context), but the name of his "big sister". He loves Meg. He thinks she is just his best toy. He often laughs in delight as she skitters away from him in fright after he tries to pull her tail. She has actually scratched him on a number of occasions, the worst being when the scratch went perilously close to his cornea. But this doesn't seem to worry him.

So, at 10 months, Patrick is a man who likes cats. I think his future doesn't look that bad.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I hope I never

Things I didn't ever think I would do/thought would never happen to me
1. Have trouble falling pregnant
2. Have trouble staying pregnant
3. Find pregnancy such a chore
4. Have trouble breastfeeding
5. Not be prepared for the extent of sleep deprivation that comes with a newborn
I thought doing one in two on-call as a surg reg would prepare me for anything. Wrongggggg. If you do one in two at least you get every second night off!
6. Yell at my baby
7. Not find time to excercise
I've always been kinda ...big... but a lot of that really is muscle- eg when I was at med school I used to run home- with a backpack full of textbooks- about 7km pretty much every night and I was still always about 65kg. Even when I got truly fat I've always excercised- running, swimming, sea kayaking, cycling... none of those things are particularly suited to doing with a baby, except running, perhaps, and now my feet and back are so ruined I cant.
8. Buy 'designer' baby clothes:
ok, we only have one Fred Bare and that was bought 40% off- it's a blue velour hoodie- cute as...
9. Buy a toy mobile phone for the baby.
I thought, how evil is that?! But when Patrick started making lunges for every item with buttons- remotes, my mobile, the laptop, the mouse, the eftpos thingy at the supermarket, I caved in and bought a toy mobile.
10. Buy 'plastic crap' toys
I had dreams of only buying beautiful wooden toys from plantation timber, unique and organic cotton and hemp dollies... Yeah, right. There is a reason plastic crap toys are so popular. They're good.
11. Use disposables
They're biodegradable, so they're not too evil...
12. Controlled crying/teaching to sleep
Call it what you will, I was so determined to not do this after hearing a program on Radio National about the evils of this. I now realise the 'evils' are lacking in good evidence, and that by being totally sleep deprived we were being far worse parents than letting the wee guy cry. Over the last, well, few months, Patrick has been having progressively less and less sleep, culminating in only sleeping for a hour at a time- actually about 40 minutes once you figure feeding and settling into it- every single night for the past week. We were at our wits' end. We had thought that maybe it was the travelling (and this certainly played a part) but he didn't settle once we got home- in fact he got worse so we have bowed to the inevitable. We staretd last night, starting with a reasonable time to go to sleep- 8pm (normally it's 10pm or later)- and settled in for the long haul. He took an hour and a half to go off to sleep, and it was terribly hard to not just pick him up and give him a cuddle. He then slept until 12am (a miracle in itself) and took about 20 minutes to settle- another suprise. He then slept until 5 and then took an hour to settle. The worst part of it is not hearing him cry so much as going in to find the poor wee guy sitting up in his cot, staring at his toes just sobbing... and the real tear-your-heart-out-and-nail-it-to-the-wall part is where you then have to walk out, as his wails become 'you've betrayed me'. Oh, so very hard. At 5am when I stroked his cheek or his hair he pushed my hands away. That was just plain awful. But this morning he is bright and fresh, happy as a clam. And so are we. I've also been able to express off a whole 400mL from last night to this morning, which is an unexpected benefit, especially as I left about 300mL of expressed milk in the fridge during the two weeks we were away- that was hard to throw out, let me tell you!
I'm hoping this sleep re-training will only take three or four days. Not because I'm impatient, but because the heart can only take so much! I suspect at the end we will ask ourselves why we didn't do it sooner...

Finally, a cute recent photo. I think he looks like a little boy here, not a 10-month old...

Sunday, December 09, 2007


We are going on a road trip for the next two and a bit weeks (foolish? Probably. I'll let you know!), so I won't be around. I have a post to write about separation anxiety, but we're already 3 hours late getting on the road...

Keep warm/don't get sunburnt depending on which hemisphere you're in and I hop you have a lovely festive season!


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Creepy Crawly Crap

On one of their visits, Mr T's parents brought with them 'Stanley'- a fabric python about 10 feet long and about fifteen centimetres in diameter that had been MrT's as a child. At first I thought "what the hell are we going to do with this ... thing" but it soon proved its usefulness as a barrier to put around Patrick's play area to stop toys going too far as well as to limit his bumshuffling range. It worked-beautifully-until today.

The little routine that we have had is I wake up with Patrick and then he sits on his playmat whilst I quickly have a shower. It works normally pretty well, as Patrick is at his chirpiest and brightest in the mornings, and at least I can start the day smelling pretty.

But today, it has all ended.

We got up, I put Patrick in the centre of the Stanley circle and went to the loo. When I popped my head out of the door before washing my hands I saw Patrick metres away from Stanley, about to tumble down the stair into the kitchen.

When we bought this house a year ago we were impressed by the open plan lounge/dining/kitchen area, as well as a huge open deck (bigger than most of the rooms) and it was one of the reasons we bought it. I can now see that these will be quite difficult to 'fence'- we're just going to have to move lots of stuff and do things like not leaving plastic bags in the hallway. I'm also going to have to (shock, horror) put my laptop in my study- Noooooooooo! This will mean less time on the interwebs. Nuts.

Additionally, I had always thought that I didn't want a house full of toys strewn everywhere. I now know that this will be nigh on impossible, unless I spend every moment Patrick isn't around tidying up. Even the big blue bucket we bought to store his excess toys in isn't out of his range anymore, so messy (-er) house, here we come.

Life is about to radically change.

Laydeez of the interwebs: enjoy your babies before they are mobile!!!

And now, for your entertainment, here is MrT changing a nappy.

Christmas Cheer

Mr T is working night shift this week. He got home today at about 10 to 9, having forgotten all about Patrick's daycare Christmas Party that started at 9. We scurried to get ready and were in time to see Santa arrive. Tas commented that he wore gumboots. Doesn't every Santa wear gumboots? "It's to get through the snow" I said. (I'm sure it's been said time and time again how ridiculous it is having a midwinter festival in the middle of summer, but let's just say Santa looked mighty uncomfortable, and it wasn't even that hot. Gives him a rosy-cheeked glow)

Anyway, Patrick met Santa, and despite our predictions, he didn't cry! He was quite astounded by the whole thing.

(mmmm, tasty present. Like the new suit I made him?)
After he met Santa, Patrick had fairy bread for the first time. Imagine having a taste of something for the very first time in your life: I mean, Patrick has just started drinking some water in the last few days- imagine never having drunk water- wow.

(eating fairy bread)

The party was just too cute. Lots of tiny kiddies playing and being fascinated by the 'miracle' of Santa. My favourite was a boy who, having spotted Santa started yelling out "It's Santa, It's Santa; it's ... Christmas!!"

Patrick's crawling is going sooooo well. He's also walking hanging on to my hands. It's like he's had a little developmental hiatus and now he's catching up BIG BIG BIG time. He won't even sit down to have a bath! Part of me glows with pride and the other, more practical side is freaking out about how unsafe our house is- in terms of unsafe for our cds, books, my cello, the bentwood chairs, the wine collection!

I imagine life will never be the same.