#1367 Bathing it away

I’m actually kinda surprised. After getting rained on after school drop off, and having to witness my cat totally drugged out with pupils like saucers due to his new meds… I was almost laughing today.

You know when thing after thing goes wrong, and you literally look up to the sky and say “what now?”

But I amazed myself in my strength. I thought all this crap would have worn me down… but instead, like the main character in my book says “BRING IT ON.”

Maybe I’m somehow channeling her. Maybe I’m gaining inspiration through her fictional self. Either way, I moved on from the crap, and set myself up for…

A blissful bath.

There is always a reason why I shouldn’t have a bath. There are always 58 things I should be doing instead of lying in water, alone, breathing in to my thoughts.

But I’ve learnt by now that time like this isn’t a luxury… it’s a necessity.

So. Candle light. A steaming bath. The meditative sound of a slowly dripping tap, against the backdrop of howling winds outside the window.

Steam rises above me. The air is damp. I sink into the watery cocoon and let it swallow me whole, my body submerged by all that is peaceful, all that is good.

And with it my mind and soul slide into a place where my equilibrium is restored, and everything makes sense.

 

#1256 Asleep in my arms

I sat on the couch after work, as Hubbie and I aired some grievances.

Not at each other… but at LIFE.

Baby girl was next to me. She wanted to sit as close to me as possible… then she wanted me to cover her with the throw that was draped around me. Soon we were sharing.

It seemed the more heated the conversation between Hubbie and I got, and the more frustrated we became with our topics, the closer she got to me. Soon she was asking to sit on my lap, and I pulled her on top of my crossed legs, covering us with the throw, as my blood continued to boil.

My anxiety rose. I felt I had to practice some deep breathing. All of my insides felt like they had been twisted up and left to untangle, and yet they weren’t… with every word and utterance I only grew more upset and frazzled, as baby girl hugged me and nuzzled her head into my chest.

I took a deep breath.

“She’s gonna fall asleep,” said Hubbie glancing at her.

“No she’s not,” I said dismissively. We kept talking… and as I held her in my arms, I suddenly realised.

She WAS asleep.

Her breathing was deep and ragged. She was totally stuffed. Two nights of school productions had taken it out of her. Here I was, all tense and crazy and mad, heaving up and down and getting shitty with everything… and meanwhile baby girl had not minded.

Had not minded one bit.

She had come up close, for love, for comfort, for my heartbeat… and had fallen asleep in seconds.

I was forced to think. Be present. Breathe more calmly. Hubbie left the room, and I hugged her back. Breathed her in. Remembered when she was a baby, and used to fall asleep on me sometimes, when we were on the couch… oh that’s right, that very couch.

I started to relax. I realised I had never thought she would fall asleep on me again. She was bigger after all. 5 going on 16 as I sometimes say. And yet here she was, loving me, and giving me exactly what I needed, even though I didn’t realise it at the time.

Time out. A chance to step back. Reassess. Most importantly, appreciate the beautiful moment.

I rested my head on hers for a bit and almost fell asleep myself. My hands lay on her school uniform. Her pony tail coming loose and stretched out in front of me.

And I was happy to just BE, with her. ♥

#1036 What she said no. 11

I was feeling a bit cranky today. Perhaps it was inevitable, my high from last night having nowhere to go but down… or it was the little sleep I had after struggling to fall asleep from such a high…

OR, the fact that we drove 2 and a half hours in total, getting to a kids birthday party and back home again, so that all it feels like I’ve been doing for the last few days is living in my car!

We have an unofficial rule, that the time spent at any event or get-together MUST EXCEED the time spent driving to and from said-event.

But today, we failed. We were there for only 2 hours.

Maybe it was all of this combined. ‘Apparently’ I was whinging a lot. I say ‘apparently’ because I really didn’t think I was all that bad… I was just ‘pointing out’ a lot of things that were bugging me.

Like Hubbie’s driving.

To which at one point, he said to me in a half-joking fashion – “SmikG… shut up.”

I feigned mock horror, while suddenly, baby girl’s hand reached out from the back seat to touch my shoulder.

”Tato, don’t talk to my beautiful Mama like that!”

Awwwwwwwwwwwww.

My little bodyguard. 😍👩‍👧❤️

#1023 Laps of calm

It was one of those days.

Everything was bugging me. I was stressed. Anxious. Biting back easily. Overly emotional.

Just feeling like a pile of shit.

I threatened cancelling baby girl’s swimming lesson several times during the day when she didn’t listen to me… but to be honest, it would have done me as much of a disservice as to her, if I had gone through with it.

That’s because, of the guaranteed peace that comes with her swimming lesson.

It’s all go-go-go up until Monday afternoon. Pick up from kinder… go through her bag… clean up… much-required coffee… more clean up… get her ready for swimming… get in the car…

GO-GO-GO.

And then.

Just like the kids jumping into the water, there is a –

WHOOSH!

of release.

And. Silence.

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I breathe. Sit back against the wall. There is commotion and voices all around me but it becomes white noise as I focus on being still.

Breathe in….. Breathe out.

My hands are collapsed on my lap. Eyes are glassy, reflecting the water in front of me. My pupils dance as the children leap and dive, splash about and swim with arms thrashing all about them.

I breathe in…. and I breathe out.

I stare blankly at the sights before me. The humidity of the room creeps into me, covering every inch of my body, seeping into every garment I am wearing, forcing the tension and stresses of the day to flee away.

I start to smile. When baby girl waves and looks at me in recognition, I nod. Hold a thumbs up. I usually look at my phone at times like this – 1 minute head down, 2 minutes head up. And on it goes, ’til the 30 minutes are up.

Breathe in… breathe out.

But this time I hold the phone, for minutes upon end. I don’t look down. I don’t need to be entertained. I don’t need to think about other things, read about other things, or even laugh about other things.

I need to centre my scattered thoughts.

Breathe.

And suddenly, like a swimming board clapping down against the water, the children are exiting the pool, and just like that my reverie is broken.

My 30 minutes of calm are up.

A dripping, overly-excited, goggle-eyed girl, stands before me, threatening to spill water all over me if I move the wrong way.

Wide-eyed. Wild expressions dance on her face, and I read the future antics in her head in a heartbeat.

My girl is back.

And my work, once again, begins.

 

#973 Taking to the pedal

My deep and heartfelt gratitude did not come from our family event outing, nor during the bonding we spent there, the down time at home, or that cheeky ice cream we squeezed in on the Main Street afterwards..

No. It came later on in the day, after much tiredness, frustration, raging emotions, and passionate tempers.

It came when baby girl hopped onto her bike.

She got her first bike after our first Christmas here in our Sea change location. She was almost 3 and a half, and was more than excited about riding a bike that had her fave character, Dora the Explorer plastered all over it.

But, it was HARD. She found the pedals difficult to circle. A couple of attempts here and there, and though we regularly went back to it at the start, the bike soon found its place in a corner of the garage, gathering dust, while baby girl still didn’t have a good grasp on how to ride it.

😦

As it happens often in life, doesn’t it? We buy something, and it just sits there, unused and unwanted. We think something will be a peace of cake, but it isn’t.

Baby girl had said she would ride her bike all the time… and we thought so too… but she didn’t.

It’s always been there in the back of her mind though.

Like the streamers peeking out from the handlebars in the corner of the garage, so too did bits and bursts of other bikes pop into baby girl’s mind, or in front of her eyes, reminding her that she did not ride a bike.

She had one. She didn’t ride one.

It’s been picking up momentum lately though. Kids from her kinder will ride to and from the pre-school. Littlies will ride past our house with their parents. She even watches Disney dolls riding bikes on youtube.

She would say “when can I ride my bike?”

And we would say “you need to practice honey.”

So today… we practiced.

Sure, it was hard at first. The whole motion of turning your legs in opposite directions in a circular motion, combined with steering the handle, and looking ahead, is a very multitasking job! We had to keep helping her with her feet, pushing them around, trying to steer her at the same time, reminding her to go “forwards, not backwards,” and “look ahead,” and “don’t go into the grass”…

She started to get it.

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Just a little bit of encouragement, praise for her getting it, and she was off and running! Or should I say riding! There are still quite a few stops and starts, riding into bushes of flowers, and random sudden brakes… but to see her so happy, riding along in glee, telling me “watch out Mum I’m coming!”…

It just clutched at my heart strings in the strongest way.

And it made this funny, interesting and mixed up day, the best one. 🙂

#966 What she said no. 9

I sat on the floor of the bathroom beside the bathtub. I leant over to squeeze some water from the wash cloth over her head, in doing so trickling water all over her hair, arms and body.

“I’m sorry honey.” I trickled some more water over her.

“What?” she turned to me.

“I’m sorry I yelled at you before.”

“Yeah,” she agreed with me. “You yelled at me. It’s not nice to yell at people.”

I nodded. “Yes that’s right. But don’t keep calling out like that. I could hear you, Mummy was coming…” my excuse fell on my own deaf ears. It was total bullshit. I was tired, under-slept, and my crankiness had earlier come out as I lost my shit at a fairly insignificant moment with baby girl.

“I’m sorry baby girl… do you forgive me?”

“Yeah.” Without skipping a beat. She picked up a cup of water, and spilt it over her barbie doll’s head. Without looking at me, so casually, she returned:

“Me always forgive you…”

Awwww.

“… Me always forgive you when you yell at me.”

Oh, F&$k. Well there goes my daily parenting award.

Still, a little awwww nonetheless. 🙂

#925 Funny convo sends me roaring

“I don’t know what’s wrong today.”

Those are the words a fellow Mum said today as she walked away from her daughter during her swimming class alongside baby girl. Her daughter was upset, not listening, not cooperating, and as this Mum walked away coining this phrase, she smiled tensely.

Lady, I hear you. Those words are the living mantra of ALL of parenthood.

“I don’t know what’s wrong today.”

As I laughed internally at the very true nature of those words, feeling sorry for the Mum, and thinking I too have had those really hard days, I realised that it’s a sentiment not just reserved for children… but for adults as well. Because we are big kids too, aren’t we?

Sometimes we’re hungry. Sometimes we’re tired. Sometimes we’re sick. Sometimes it’s the Moon. Other times it’s our raging hormones. Whatever is the case, we too have those moments, those days (even those weeks or months, even) where we say –

“I don’t know what’s wrong (insert timeframe).”

Well, funnily enough, my timeframe was today, this morning in fact, and I had been in the worst and shittiest mood WAY before baby girl’s swimming lesson was even in the horizon. And no they weren’t post-holiday ending blues. It was just drab. Super cold. I was still sick. In fact I was copping it bad since coming back. Baby girl was also sick. She was staying home from kinder because of that fact. We were a WHOLE LOTTA FUN TO BE AROUND. And I was also super-duper-super-duper-super-duper erratic and emotional.

A REALLY bad combo.

I was having a whine, a moan, while all 3 of us were in the car together – Hubbie, baby girl and I. We were in between heading out and heading in, to be honest we had NO IDEA what we were doing…

I had already received a message from my sister about some weekend plans, and asking when we could talk… but I was so cranky-pants, that I just couldn’t. I don’t like getting on the phone to my Mum or sister and being in one of those states, because it doesn’t help anyone, and I just hate putting them in that zone. It’s not like I’m sad, or I need help… I’m just shitty. I’m upset, then I get them upset, and then EVERYONE is upset. It’s just no good.

So while we were in the car doing absolutely nothing, I texted her quickly. Just a ‘hey, all good, I’ll call you later because I feel like shit to be honest XO’ type message.

I soon got one back telling me that she was feeling particularly sick and crappy too – oh no… was it going around? I sent her my well wishes in return, and then, had a funny exchange with Hubbie that quite frankly, made me smile. He didn’t find it too funny which made it more so (HA HA HA).

So I decided to text my sister, hoping she might find the humour in it:

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Oh, how I roared with laughter at the ‘Nah!’ Baby girl was in the back asking “what did Ja Ja say?” (her pet name to my sister) and then I showed Hubbie the message, laughing out loud even more.

All of my anger, all of my negative emotions, all of the crappy-ness of the day just flew out and away from me at my loud guffaws, and I swear, I immediately felt lighter. I was happy to learn that Sis did, too.

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And suddenly I was grateful. I was grateful I had reached out when I was feeling most shitty and the least like I wanted to reach out. And in doing so, both mine, and my Sister’s days became a little brighter, a little lighter.

It just goes to show, sometimes sharing the angst with those you love, can actually help…

And if you’re lucky, you might be able to laugh about it too 🙂