#528 Motherly Moments no. 2

2 in a row.

I am settling her for bed.

“Mama, one more blanket.”

Our heater has died. Bad enough when it was working, the Winter chill would creep in immediately as soon as the warm air had stopped flowing, but now, there was no warm air at all to blow and warm the house at an even level, bar the little portable heaters that have been placed in a few strategic corners around the place, bringing warm pockets to generally icy cool areas.

I take another thin blanket that I keep beside her bed. There is actually a stack of about 8, of varying thickness that reside here on a permanent basis, but with the onslaught of Winter, this pile has now dropped to 4, with the heap on her bed rising instead.

Dropped to 3.

I lay it across her, making sure all the blankets are evenly spread across her, and there are no open areas to bring cold air into her bed.

“Thank you Mama.”

Oh, clutch my heart.

“No worries Princess. I love you baby girl.”

Big hugs and kisses ensue from both of us as I bend down for more affection.

She holds me in a firm bear hug.

Eventually we part, and I go to take post at the end of her bed, until she falls asleep.

She waves to me.

“Goodnight Mama.”

“Goodnight honey, I love you princess.”

“Goodnight Mama, I love you.”

Kill me now and I’ll die happy.

Oh that girl pulls at the heart strings.

♥♥♥

 

 

#512 Bullshit stories to feed to your child…

…or as some like to call them, little white lies.

Up until a little earlier, I had no inspirational, sunshine-y, happy-go-lucky or renewed vigour for life post to mention here in this little gratitude blog of mine.

But then, as all the other nights before it, the bedtime routine happened.

And as I stood there, counting slowly, breathing deeply, and making occasional bribes to baby girl that all her toys would be gone in the morning, in between warning her that my angry face was going to turn on soon, something suddenly occurred to me.

Just like the sun rising from the dark horizon to fill the world with light, so too did an incredible thought emerge from my fury, giving me Hope that I could remove myself from this shithole.

A bullshit story.

I’ve mentioned this here before. You know, those stories we as parents tell our kids, to get, I don’t know, anywhere?

To get them to listen.

To get them to comply.

To stop them crying.

To shop them whinging.

To distract them.

Hell, to make life easier.

“We have to leave the beach now, because it closes at lunch time. It actually closes.”

“Yes the park is also closing for lunch, everyone is going home to eat.”

“You can’t leave the house without brushing your teeth. The shop people won’t let you buy a kinder egg if your teeth are yucky.”

“Paw Patrol will wait until you’ve had a nap, and then they will come on TV.”

“You have to wear a jacket on the trampoline (in 11 degree weather). It’s the Rule.”

And we get away with it because we can.

Why do we do it? Well as you can see from the above list, sometimes it’s for their sake – cleanliness or health. Sometimes it’s for convenience.

Sometimes it’s for OUR sanity.

And tonight once again it was the latter. Because for some reason, baby girl’s room was too dark. In amidst stalling with a variety of ways to not sleep, she kept pulling this nifty excuse out of her bag of tricks. And all I wanted to do was rest, and have some kind of ‘me time.’

She has two lamps in her room, albeit battery-operated ones, so perhaps the room was getting dimmer from the gradual battery strength lessening. However when I was getting her to finally lie down, and again she complained too dark, I just ripped out –

“We can’t have too many lights, you know why? The bugs will catch us. The bugs and spiders will find us because there are too many lights. So we can’t have too many lights. Goodnight!”

And you know what I got in return?

“Goodnight!”

Thank Fuck. I love Motherhood, but I also love that she is at an age to still buy these stories…

 

#464 A new way to Write

I had it REAL good when baby girl was in fact, a baby.

I mean, aside from the not-knowing what the hell I was doing, second-guessing every decision, crying a fair bit, being sleepless and fatigued most of the time, and just wondering when this confusing and struggling never-ending stage would pass.

But then, came the naps. That’s how I had it good.

During her day naps, baby girl would sleep for hours. Sometimes her day naps combined, would equal about 5 hours of sleep time for her, and non-baby time for me, a day.

This was really good. At first it was all catch up on this, maybe I should meal prep for dinner, pay an online bill, make that important phone call I’ve been putting off for 3 months, and wash that pile of soiled baby clothes that will re-fill by the day’s end.

But then, she settled a bit…. while the naps remained.

And as she settled, so did I. I relaxed into Motherhood, and so began journalling again.

I really wanted to capture as much of parenthood and her early months and milestones as much as I could, and so recommenced a fave past-time of mine that I hadn’t done for quite a while, a past-time that I both love and loathe simultaneously. I feel like I HAVE to do it, and that is exactly WHY I loathe it. Because I feel it needs to be done.

And I can’t stop.

And then, I relaxed MORE into Motherhood. And I began to do some food reviews, here and there, read some books, start notes on them that would eventually become my book reviews… and hell, I even started my parent blog, SmikG.

And years later, that followed with this one.

Now as the years have passed, her nap durations, as her naps, have significantly reduced to just one a day. It’s still allowed me some great ‘me’ time, to do whatever I need to do, and yet I always try to do what I feel I need to: write in some capacity, however I can.

However recently, I’ve come to a realisation. With baby girl getting cheekier and cheekier at bed time, her hyper-activity shooting through the roof, I decided I had to do the only thing that made sense.

Drop the nap altogether.

It was doing me good, because it meant she was more tired (or so we hoped) at bedtime, since she hadn’t napped at all during the day, and would be ‘out’ quicker. Well yes. She is ‘out’ a bit faster, a bit less reluctant to drink 15 sips or water, go to the loo 7 times, jump on the bed 10 times, and then ask for a tummy, hand, arm, leg, foot and back massage, following her 3 books read to her by lamplight.

Yeah, a bit less.

But anyway, bedtime routines are somewhat better. She does go to bed slightly earlier now. But it means my writing time during the day, IS GONE.

R.I.P precious writing time.

Or so I thought.

She’s 3 and a half, I thought today. Often, she is quite happy to play on her own, build some blocks, or watch some Paw Petrol.

Surely she would let me do some writing. She’s not 2 and climbing over me to grab at the laptop as I pay a bill or buy the one concert ticket I’ll be going to that year.

A year and a half, makes a difference.

And so, today, I tried. We had had our coffee/babycino/cake break, she was fuelled, she had Nickelodeon shows on in the background, a whole family room full of toys including her new Sofia the First mini figurines, and I sat in the same room as her, and began to do what I started all those years ago, so tentatively, while she was out cold in another room –  I began to write.

Journalling in fact. And there were times I stopped, and she called my name, repeatedly, and I looked back over my shoulder. Repeatedly. And she left the room and came back, and even walked on over and yelled “O” multiple times after looking at the keypad. But after about 90 minutes, I had written 3 pages long.

3 pages! I was a bit surprised, yet pleasantly so. Had I just learnt a new way to write? Multi-tasking, with child in room, interrupting me every so often?

And I did it?

I did it. Yes it wasn’t smooth sailing, but it was done. My quiet writing time may be over, but that’s not to say, I can’t write if I don’t want to.

Where there’s a will there’s a way.

No excuses people. That’s what I take from this. No excuses. And I’m pretty chuffed with that 🙂

 

#454 Hide and seek

Baby girl LOVES LOVES LOVES playing hide and seek. We do it at least 3 times a day, and at night she ramps it up, trying to score another 6 hide and seek sessions.

Sometimes, when all we want to do is get her to bed, it can be annoying. We finish one game, and she wants more.

Alright then, we give her one more… then she wants ANOTHER one.

But tonight, Mother’s Day Eve, I thought to myself ‘this girl loves playing with us. She wants to play hide and seek, with US.’

So we played. We all had turns hiding, and seeking. Baby girl gets so over-excited, she can’t contain herself, and in the process of hiding, will just stand there losing her shit, and yell “boo!” at you, with no trying at all to keep herself hidden.

It is HILARIOUS. We really need to sit her down and explain that she needs to stay hidden, at all times.

We do this thing, where we will deliberately hide in an obvious spot – like tucked into a corner, or in the pantry but with our hand holding the door closed from the outside – and she will squeal with excitement when she sees it, but will do the ‘done thing’ which is  pretend that she hasn’t seen us, acting like she is actively looking in all other spots, when it is just a diversive tactic that she has seen us do with her… and she will do this until she returns to where she first saw us.

But a lot of the time, as she moves onto another area, we too jump out and hide elsewhere, so that by the time she opens that pantry door with a “Boo!” it is empty, and instead we are behind the kitchen island, giggling our arses off while she goes “huh?”

LOL LOL LOL.

On a Saturday night, playing hide and seek with our girl? Pretty freaking rad if you ask me. By the way, I top the leader board with the best and inventive hiding spots to hide in the house;)

#386 The age of Innocence

Tonight, baby girl hugged and kissed a star lamp. How much more delightful can she possibly get, at age 3?

When she gets presents for an occasion, usually in bulk, like at Christmas, or her Birthday, it’s not too hard amongst the frenzy of new ‘things,’ to pop a gift or 7 away, for a later date.

I like to draw things out. I can see the insane joy in her face when I later take out her presents, all fresh and brand new and exciting, as it’s suddenly something interesting to play with. She has no idea it’s been sitting out of reach on the top drawer of her cupboard the whole time. The only thing she knows is “Oh! New toy!”

I can get away with it at this age.

She received this star lamp for Christmas. And because she had a little fairy lamp that we were using in the meantime, I popped the star one, you guessed it…

Her fairy lamp was going dim. I mean, I could have just changed the batteries, as I’ve done so many times before. But I needed an excuse to take out the star lamp, albeit another battery-operated one, but what the hell.

It looks a lot like this:

lamp

Only in red.

Hubbie and I put in some batteries and set it up in her room, and then as bedtime approached I asked “do you want a surprise?”

Of course a 3 year old wants a surprise at bed time. Stalling is what they excel at.

So we took her into her pitch-black room, I fumbled with the switch on the lamp, and

Ta-da! The room was alight with a warm glow from her new lamp.

She was rapt. She looked at it in admiration. She held it, carried it about. She hugged it, even doing her “awww” bit as if she were hugging a baby. She then kissed it.

She hugged and kissed her lamp.

And you know what? It was freaking adorable. It was beautiful. She is at such an innocent stage, so naïve to so many of life’s treasures, experiences, and discoveries, and it is precious. She is amazed and takes great joy in the smallest of things, and I find it inspirational.

She sees Nutella on the table during breakfast and exclaims “Oh!” before clapping excitedly.

She jumps up and down when we tell her we’re going to walk  to the park.

She hugs a friggin’ lamp because it’s red, it glows, and it’s a star.

How much more simple can you get? How beautiful life is, when things like this make you happy? When you appreciate them to the degree that they bring you irrepressible joy?

I hope to nurture those innocent qualities in her for as long as I can, for as long as she will let me.

In fact, I hope to keep it alive in me while I am at the task. I actually think this gratitude blog, is helping me to do that too…

 

 

 

#353 30 kisses

Kiss.

“Awww.”

Kiss.

“Awww.”

Kiss.

“Awww.”

That’s how it went tonight. I had just put baby girl into her pyjamas, and she was sitting on my lap as I tied her hair up into a half-ponytail.

She turned my head to the side so she could gain access to my left cheek.

Kiss.

“Awww.”

Kiss.

“Awww.”

I turned my head to the other side, offering her my right cheek.

“What about here?”

Kiss.

“Awww.”

I don’t need to know, or understand, or even decipher where this, and many other recent displays of affection have come from. Really, I don’t care.

All that I do care is that, she wants to kiss me. And cuddle me. And wrap her arms around me.

And give me approximately 15 kisses per cheek. That is gold. 🙂

#327 Back to routine

I think we were ready for it. Even Hubbie said today, following his first day back at work at a new workplace nonetheless “I was happy to go to work.”

Holidays are amazing. They are freeing. They are a luxury, but also, they are very, very, very much-needed.

But, what tends to happen to us on holidays, is, like in the words of Elsa, we Let it Go.

Wake up early? Let it go.

Cook? Let it go.

Washing? Let it go.

Hobbies? Let it go.

It might seem a normal thing to sleep in during your holidays, but when you are going to bed late and then waking up late, every day, your body comes to expect so much more, until that first back at work morning when your 5am alarm gives you a very unexpected and rude awakening. Not to mention your body suffers.

Eating out everywhere might seem like the most first-world thing to do, the most luxurious of fanciful endeavours. But when you’re over-indulging night after night after night, and taking that extra bit of cake, just because holidays, well by night 12 you might be wondering why it’s so hard to zip up your jeans. Not to mention your body suffers.

Caring about the washing might seem like a fairly tedious and insignificant thing to pay much attention to… but when several week’s worth of everything gather up to the point of having piles on your laundry room floor, well, it’s hard NOT TO notice. Not to mention your body suffers… from lack of clothes.

And when you start to push away your usual everyday hobbies, passions and pursuits, whether they may be playing an instrument, writing a novel, learning a language, or practicing some form of dance… well you start to miss it, while your artform at the creative endeavour also slips. And your body, mind and soul, suffers.

Today was Hubbie’s first day back at work. And though I don’t go back for another 2 days, I like him, was also happy for the routine to recommence. To some degree, you need a routine. You rely on it. It keeps you on track. With just enough of it

*going to bed and waking up at a reasonable hour keeps you more alert

*cooking keeps you healthier, and mindful of what goes into your body

*washing keeps you with a smaller laundry hamper!

*and hobbies keep you happy, and with a sense of purpose.

Hubbie and I have realised that we need some sort of order in our lives. We always need something to do, something to work towards, and something to look forward to. Today I was quite happy getting back into the habit of washing (several loads), cooking (and really being mindful of what I was eating), and getting back into some sort of more regular writing habits.

As for the sleep? Step by step peeps.

I think we went a bit crazy over these last few weeks, because, well that’s what you do on holidays. We knew we would go back to some kind of routine eventually, and wanted to just Let It Go, for as long as we could.

And I mean, if we happened to ever be the recipients of a massive cash windfall, and never had to work again, hey, I WOULDN’T COMPLAIN. Not at all. It just means we would have to set up a regular routine, of looking after ourselves and our life, in amongst the fun of never working again.

Sigh. Dreams.

Random is good. Random is great. But I wanna enjoy my life in amongst the crazy times, you know? So I CAN enjoy those crazy times.

So today, I’m actually happy for the return of routine into my life. Hell, I’m even grateful for it.