Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bad mothering- I'm doing it

Right now, as I play flash games on the interwebs, Patrick is:

standing on a chair

eating sugar-coated popcorn

playing with the pins in my pincushion

still in his pyjamas

wearing a dirty nappy.

Whatever you do, ladies, you will never be as bad at parenting as me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Note to Mr Laliberte

Note to Guy Laliberte-

I'm pretty sure most people don't go to see Cirque du Soleil for the "story".

So, less interpretive dance, and more bendy people in ludicrous costumes doing painful-looking stunts, ok?

Note to everyone else: the second half of Dralion is way better than the first half. But this was pretty cool:
Note- they're on pointe. On light bulbs.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I’ve written before that we’d like to have more than one child- “More than one and less than four” was what we settled on before we got married- and I’m certainly not getting any younger. Given that it took a long time for Patrick to arrive, I’m not going to take any chances and believe that crap about “it’s easier next time” and “clearing the pipes”- I’ve been reading Julie’s blog for too long for that (Yay! She’s full-term!). I’ve been taking Folate since January, and am slowly weaning Patrick- this is the hardest part, because, despite a tough beginning, I really enjoy breastfeeding now. I had thought that it would be best to give up before he could ask for it by name, but its wayyy too late for that. If you’re ever in our Coles at 6pm and hear a small lad calling out “Booo-Beee!” at the top of his lungs, you will have found me. It’s not that this embarrasses me- it doesn’t at all- it embarrasses other people.

But we’ve now launched ourselves into full ttc mode. That means I now know to the hour, just about, when I should be fertile, and when to expect “AF”. I had thought I might have been knocked up when we were in Vanuatu, because I was irredeemably tired and nauseated, but it wasn’t to be. I know I’m not pg now, because I got all weepy when David Tennant said to Kylie Minogue “You’re not falling, Astrid, you’re flying” and, hell, a corny moment like that deserves to be derided, not given the approbation of tears UNLESS one happens to be irrevocably pre-menstrual. And then it’s Kleen.ex by the boxful, eh.

I have also been to see my GP about what to do with my meds- her thinking is that I shouldn’t ditch the antidepressants just yet, especially as I’m now pretty much convinced I had pre- as well as post-natal depression. She’s organised me a referral to the lovely –christ how much does it spook me to say this- psychiatrist I saw for PND (one of the world’s Eilis’s- only lovely people are Eilis, it seems) but my Obstetrician says “everyone” takes Sertraline through their pregnancies with no problems, despite it being a category C drug. I’ve also started taking aspirin- it may have made a difference in letting me stay pregnant with Patrick, it may not, but it will do no harm, so there’s no point in not taking it.

I wish I could say I’m eating healthily and getting plenty of rest and exercise, because, seriously, if I couldn’t do that without a toddler, how the hell am I going to do it now?

It was also great to visit my family in Melbourne and realise that more than one child is do-able. It did feel like herding cats, but even if we were to fall pg right now, Patrick will be old enough to not require as much attention as he needs now (I can hear the titters from here, by the way). Or so I’m telling myself. Certainly my youngest niece who is about 3 months older than Patrick seemed to have no trouble coping with her mum attending to her siblings, so I guess Patrick will do the same. Moreover, the middle child interacts so well with the youngest- and they are the same gap in age as Patrick and a prospective sibling could be- that it gives me comfort.

So there you have it. I’m seriously not expecting anything to happen for a while- not until I stop confusing my poor pituitary by both lactation and ovulation, but we have “shown the goalkeeper the red card” (as one of my friends said) for the time being, and thrown caution to the wind… but don’t hold your breath or I might have to come over there and resuscitate you- and I haven’t brushed my teeth yet today.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Not really new, but I like it

Friday, July 18, 2008

Don't know why this didn't come up before. My guess was that bloggerbots saw the title and barred it. So I've re-named it. Enjoy.

Patrick’s development daily astounds me. I know that doesn’t make him or me unique or any more special than any other mother/baby combo in the world, but hey, isn’t it just so nice.

But Patrick has picked up on a few of my less decent habits.

For example, loud burps.

When Mr T and I first started going out, one of our cute-to-us but eww-weird-to-other-people things was rating each other’s burps for length, volume, pitch variation, and overall quality. [Also when one person burped, the other had to put their thumb on their forehead or the burper got to whack them on the head. Just don’t ask. It made sense at the time]. We’re also a household of vegetarians with reflux, so gas emissions are not uncommon. The loud belching continues unabated whilst we are at home (we are far more decorous in public, of course), but now we have realised Patrick is copying us. If he burps, he tries to reproduce the sound voluntarily. If he farts, he giggles.

Then there’s the belly button “Hellooo”. Let me explain- at about 9 months Paddy developed pretty fearsome separation anxiety, bad enough that if I had to go to the loo, I had to take him with me. To stop him from getting upset because I wasn’t physically holding him whilst I completed my eh-hem- ablutions- I would pinch the skin – hell, who am I kidding- the flab around my belly button and made it say “Helloooo!” pretending it was a mouth. Now whenever Patrick sees a belly button- ours or his- he says “Helloooo! Hellooo!”. If you ask him where his ear is, he grabs his ear. If you ask him where his eyes are, he points. If you ask him where his nose is he points. If you ask him where his Hellooo is, he’ll point to his midsection. It’s cute but also disturbing when you have to explain to a stranger why when they say Hello to him he points at his tummy.

Finally, there’s a great passage in Bill Bryson’s book about traveling in Europe where he describes sitting on a train in (I think it’s) Austria and he’s just dying to remove a piece of dried up snot in his nostril that feels like there’s a cornflake wedged in there. I hate that feeling, and am, I am ashamed to admit, a nose-picker. I’d never, ever do it in public. I don’t even do it in front of MrT, but I will admit I have done it whilst breastfeeding Patrick. So now, of course, he thinks that the fact that his finger and his nostrils are the same diameter is not co-incidental. And it’s all my fault.

Now the problem is, what to do about it. That and the other bad habits he is developing all by his little self, like pulling things off desks and turning on the oven. Before I reached this stage in parenting I knew the answer was simple. Strong and consistent parenting. Say no, and mean it. Don’t let them get away with it. What they don’t tell you, though, is that a 16 month old trying to imitate a burp with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his dial is just plain cute, and it takes all of my muscle tone to not smile back at him. I Must Be Strong.

Then there’s the really bad stuff. Like biting. And whacking mummy with whatever comes to hand- normally a toy, but occasionally something heftier, like a wooden spoon or a book. When Patrick is over-tired and silly- the normal state of affairs if I have a late day at work and it’s taken me ‘til 7.30pm to get him fed and bathed- then when I am trying to dress him for bed, he lunges forward and bites me on the shoulder. My normal reference for all things baby is Robin Barker- but here I find I can’t follow her advice- to ignore the behaviour, not respond to it and walk away. I mean, I would have to be superhuman not to squeak when his chompers are well into the firm roundness of my deltoids (ok, the soft flab of my upper arm), and I can’t walk away from a baby who is half-dressed on a cold winter’s evening. On bad nights, this goes on and on and on. I tell him “NO!” in my firmest voice, but after the bruising starts, it’s hard not to cry. The response he gets from me just amplifies him until I’m stretched well to the limits of tolerance, and will admit, on two separate occasions, I’ve had enough to put me in tears and respond- horribly- with a whack on his bottom. This leaves me feeling like a child abuser, and Patrick in tears- he’s way too young to associate his behaviour with the whack. All he knows is that mummy’s in tears and she caused him fear.

This is obviously NOT the answer.

But what can I do? Like I said, I can’t just leave him undressed on cold days, and he’s already overtired- walking away won’t get him to bed any sooner. UPDATE I have managed to at least reduce my available teeth target by dancing on the spot. It makes him giggle, and I’m a harder target. He still tries, but it’s harder for him. It also has the side effect of stopping me from getting too upset with him. Hopping up and down has the same effect.

Right, now I'm really confused


Stupid blogger, show my freakin' post!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Bad daddies, travel with baby and other stuff

MrT had a bad parenting moment yesterday- glad to see it's not just mums that have them.

Patrick fell asleep eating lunch in his highchair. MrT wasn't sure what to do so he just left him sleeping there, slumped forward in the harness.

I haven't been writing or reading much because we've been away a bit... first to Vanuatu for an awesome holiday in early June. We stayed at one of the big resorts mainly because they had the whole baby option, but we spent a lot of time travelling around on the cheap local buses and eating at the Port Vila markets. I won't be all trite and say I felt a real connection with the local women who had their babies at the markets, because there simply isn't a comparison- dirt poor subsistence farmers with highly paid western doctor- our lives are so far removed that connection does seem a farcical concept. But we did share a devotion to our offspring, and we all laughed at our babies staring shyly at each other and patting each other's hair.The local kids generally take part in looking after all the younger kids, so at the playground Patrick was often helped onto the slide and pushed on the swing by clusters of giggling ni-Van kids. There was nothing in my trusty guidebook (I have a fondness for the Lonely Planet series unchanged by recent controversy) about breastfeeding in public, so I asked some of the nice maternal ladies at the hotel. At first they looked confused by my question- do I need to go "somewhere" or "cover up" to breastfeed in public "it's not taboo?" but then erupted in fits of laughter at even the concept- "Noooo! It's too hot! Just feed anywhere!". Patrick had a ball- there were plenty of people to play with, bananas to eat (a hand of lady fingers at the market cost 50c), and 'walking shells' (hermit crabs) to be fascinated with: but the thing that he loved best was the feral kittens that invaded the hotel's verandah restaurant looking for scraps. He got a massive sand crotch from this place but flaked out under a palm tree for a nap whilst I went snorkelling. In short it was awesome, just what we needed. I can thoroughly recommend it as a 'family' holiday destination- none of the tenseness of Fiji, not as expensive as Tahiti, better beaches than Rarotonga, and warmer than New Zealand!

Last week I was in Melbourne visiting my brother and sister in law and their three kids. I love Melbourne- if it had better beaches I'd live there- and we got to have a cuppa with J-Le and Drew whilst Patrick ran around the cafe causing havoc. So nice to meet other bloggers- just a pity we couldn't make it to blogher (the 3 hour flight to Vanuatu was enough, thanks). Whilst we were there Patrick and I picked up a hideous cold- he's nearly recovered, but I'm still sick- sick enough that even the Orthopods told me I should go home...

[In every profession there seems to be a specialist area that is always the butt of the jokes- I'm told for teachers it's the Phys Ed guys or the Kindergarten teachers, for Lawyers it's family law and so on. In medicine, it's the Orthopaedic Surgeons that are seen to be the dumbest. Why? Well, I can't say that 12 years of doctoring has given me any reason to contradict this concept, and certainly most orthopods don't try to change their image at all- most live up to the 'bone head', 'knuckle grazing', 'If it's not a bone I don't want to know' stereotype amply. Individually they can be engaging, funny, articulate, intelligent and charming, but collectively, well, they only seem to care about, well, bone. And power tools. And Bone Wax. And dynamic hip screws. And implants. And very little about other concepts in medicine, like, for example, cardiac function or pulmonary fitness (ie hearts beating and ability to breathe). Wholistic, patient-centred carers they are not. Bone surgeons they are. If an orthopod says someone looks unwell, they are generally comatose or just about to arrest. I'm not saying they aren't highly skilled at what they do- they are, and some of the finest surgeons are orthopods, but the key thing here is what they do. And not what they don't.]

Now where was I?

Can't remember. Dextromethorphan ain't all that crash hot for my cough, but it does make my head spin. And gives me weird dreams about bloodsucking aliens. Which was probably influenced by watching the Christmas edition of Doctor Who that MrT taped for me (David Tennant is the best Doctor. Ever. Better even than Tom Baker. And a major hottie).

I have posts in the works about "are australian tourists the new american tourists?", a reply to a meme, and oh, some photos and stuff. And, tantalisingly, ttc stuff. When I'm better, I'll get offamy sorry arse and put them up.