#390 Baby girl’s naps no.2 – catch-up

This post has very little to do with baby girl, and all to do with what I do when she is NOT around.

I’m lucky that at the age of 3 and a half, she still naps. About, an hour to 90 minutes a day, sometimes even 2 hours if we’ve been to the beach, or she’s been to kinder or run around heaps. And even then I start to make a lot of noise at the 90 minute mark, as I know that putting her to bed that night might be a tad difficult after a long nap.

She’s just like her Mum. She loves her sleep, and I’m fortunate to say, she always has.

Today she went for an hour 40 minutes. During this time, I plop myself in front of the laptop, and begin all kinds of writing tasks/passions.

Today it was personal journal writing; food review writing; and book review writing.

I’ve been behind in my food and book reviews for so long. Soooo long. You know when you are so behind in something, you start to consider giving it up?

‘It’s too hard. I can’t keep up.’

‘My life is too busy right now.’

‘This is getting out of hand.’

‘Maybe I’ll try this in 5 years time.’

I wasn’t sure, whether any of it was worth it. The reviews. The blog. Even the gratitude. I question myself on some days, when things are hard, when time is pressed, and I don’t think I’m going anywhere.

But, I am grateful for the stubborn Lion that I am.

Because I just can’t freaking give up so easy. It’s not in my DNA.

You shouldn’t either.

As hard as it has been in the last months/years/life since parenthood (!) I have still persevered. I have moved EVER SO SLOWLY. And I fortunately, have not given up. These moments I get when baby girl is napping, and then when she is sleeping late at night, I am able to move on, to try and catch up, to keep things going with my blogs, my personal writings, my passionate pursuits, as much as I can.

They are slow, ever so slow, baby steps. A snails pace. And there are days when I have to do other things. ‘Responsible’ things. I can’t write every day, and those days feel so wasted on me. But when I can, I try my damn best.

But today, after doing some more writing, and then taking a kind of step back to go ‘hmm, my food reviews are almost catching up,’ and ‘hmm, I’m heading through my current book review at a decent pace’ (with 3 more looming in the background but that’s not the point!) I felt, good. I felt like, I was getting somewhere. And I started to feel like, I might actually be catching up.

That was such a good feeling. And I am so grateful, I had it. More so, I’m grateful that baby girl’s reliable naps, gave me the opportunity for it 🙂

#331 Somebodies to love

I was having a really shitty morning. Even for a glass half-full gal like me, when I am upset at something, or as was the case today, when I am upset at a NUMBER of things, even I struggle to find a piece of good in it, or something to be grateful for in the day.

But, I try. As bloody shitty as I am.

And pissed off as I was, running around being a taxi driver, people not working with me, feeling like a failure, feeling like I had to answer to people, feeling like everything was up in the air, feeling confused, feeling AHH!…

I had a thought. And suddenly, I realised I was lucky.

Here I was, running around for baby girl.

Here I was, running around for my parents.

Here I was, with my mother-in-law who was dropping plans her own plans to help me with baby girl.

Here my sister was, helping amidst her busy family schedule, to help me, and help our family unit out.

And all of these people, who were helping me, or were the recipients of help, I realised were part of the ongoing help cycle that is “US.”

I help them often. And they help me, much, much more.

And then Freddie Mercury came to mind.

“Can anybody find me…. somebody to love?”

I had so many people to love. And they loved me.

Suddenly, running around didn’t seem like such a chore anymore.

Suddenly, running around for those I loved, no matter how trying or frustrating some moments were, and knowing that those people in my ‘unit’ had run around for me too, so many times before, and probably would until the end of time, well, it became a blessing.

And just like that, my frown turned upside down.

It’s amazing how a change of perspective can change a situation, instantly.

Now for some genius… Freddie Mercury. 52 seconds.

You’re welcome.

 

#319 Little Scares

Big things aren’t always the best things. Sometimes, the little things are much rather preferred.

Take a little scare, over a big scare, for example.

It’s been a long and tiring day. It felt like it took 3 times as long to drive to the hospital where Dad was, following his health scare this morning. Plagued with worries and unreal scenarios in my mind, indented by the picture I had of Dad smiling at us that I posted about the other day, I was a bit of an emotional mess.

But I had no reason to be. Because it was a little scare. For now it seems anyway, and they are keeping him overnight more as a precaution, than a real concern. Dad is good, his spirits are well, and I even noticed how we had a moment of silly family fun, as Mum, Sis and I waited for Dad to be moved into another room, joking with the ‘taxi driver’ (bed mover) in the process.

I will take a little scare any day. When it comes to my family, it allows me to at least, breathe a sigh of relief, and express deep heartfelt thanks for it.

 

#305 Christmas at my parents’

Today was a long-awaited, yet weird Christmas Day. Definitely not a normal one. But these unusual ones come every so often. Like that one year there were freak hail storms which damaged too many cars, houses and general premises alike. Or that Christmas where we caught a canary, which became Hubbie’s pet “Chrissy” for a good few years. Or that other one, where we threw water balloons at each other in the yard, and made such a mess that Dad told us all off and we got in big trouble.

Hold on, that was last year.

Anyway, we were clearly due again this year.

All my life we’ve spent Christmas Day at my parents’ house. That’s 33 Christmases in a row. That’s a lot of Christmases. They were filled with a lot of family, relos and friends when I was growing up… nowadays our group is intimate, consisting no more of my sister, bro-in-law, 2 nephews, hubbie, baby girl and I, and our parents.

And today, amidst the usual food, cake, opening of presents, D&Ms, some kind of water activity (this year a cactus sprinkler) and endless photo-taking, there was an at-home doctor’s visit, followed by a trip to the 24/7 medical centre; me scolding Hubbie for drinking more than he was eating, and subsequently throwing him ‘looks,’ and 3 hours plus driving time on the road.

I was a little shitty, and feeling under pressure many times throughout the day. But my realisation was this: I wouldn’t pick any other group of people to spend a tense and stressful day with, even if that unusual day had to be Christmas Day.

The tough moments. The ones who are there for you in the hard times, and who make your life easier then – those are the keepers.

I still loved the day, because I was with my group of number 1s.

I hope you all had a magical Christmas Day 🙂

 

#291 She comforts me

I was really upset. Crying made it better. Well, it was more sobbing, the kind of body-shaking, throat choked up, watery squinted eyes, high-pitched squeaks escaping from my lips type sobbing.

I hate to cry in front of her. Not because I think it shows weakness. No. I worry that she will worry too much about it, about me, and she is so young, so innocent and naïve about the world. It kills me to think it, but she will come across her own disappointments, letdowns and frustrations, to have to worry about mine now.

But baby girl climbed up on my lap. She grabbed my face and held it still, willing me to look her square in the eyes. Almost like a “hey! calm down, look at me” type action.

We met eyes. Mine were sad. Hers were curious and testing.

But within moments both our gazes matched. Happy. Relieved. Thankful.

I’m so grateful for what this inspiring girl brings to me on a tough day. She is little, yet no one else can turn my frown, upside down 😦 🙂

#290 I know her, and she is my best friend

I am grateful that I know my baby girl. Not just know her, in the way that you know someone’s eyes, the way they walk, their favourite show or even how they sleep on the same side every night.

I mean, I know her. I know the way she breathes. The way her heart beats. I know what she is thinking, and what she is going to do before she even does it. I know she runs to me whenever she needs something, and I am the only one that can fix it. No one else.

I know her inside out. I know when something is wrong. Like today. She has been sick lately, and we had a big day, which made it physically hard on her, despite her unfailing never-stop-play attitude. I knew what she needed at the end of the night, when she was crying her eyes out, exhausted. I took her to her room. I listened to her.

I didn’t use the excuse of her being tired, or unwell, to ignore her pleas for help. So many people do. “They don’t know what they want,” they argue. I disagree. She knew, I listened, and I am so grateful that I know this. Because by knowing this, it really shows that I know her.

Of course I do. She is my Angel. My beautiful girl. My cheeky monkey. My best friend, and my everything. In fact I think I am so lucky, in having a girl. Having a girl, means I get a best friend for life. Without question, she is immediately, with no reservations, wholly and completely my best friend. And I am immediately, with no reservations, wholly and completely her best friend in return. No matter what, this girl will always be in my corner, as I will always be in hers. Because she came from me, and I made her. The bond is never ending.

(It’s been a hard night. I really needed this self-speech tonight. At least I have someone).

#271 Laying in bed together

‘I think’ I may have mentioned that some things have been difficult as of late. One of these things has been the changed routine to baby girl’s bedtime.

You see, before we moved, I would go into her room with her… we’d do a little sing-song of the ABC displayed on her drawers, followed by her turning off the light and subsequently finding me in the dark… then I would stand by her cot and gently prod her to come over… when she did I would pick her up, put her in the cot, and then wait another few minutes while she got the last shred of energy she had out by jumping about the cot like a maniac… and then she would request some water, so I would bring some to her…

And then, she would lie down, I would kiss her forehead, whisper I love you, and creep out of the room while she fell asleep on her own.

Any non-parents wanna become parents after that description?!

Wait, it gets better…

After moving, things have clearly changed. Not only are we in a new house, but she is in a new room, downstairs, while we are upstairs. And also, I decided to start afresh and plonk her straight in a proper bed and out of her cot.

When I tried to leave her room in this house, she would simply follow me out. Well, she could. So why not? It’s a game of course, bedtime that is, and staying up and aggravating your parents is the most natural thing for a toddler to do…

So I had to change things up. Introduce a wind-down routine. We read books. At the moment, our nightly quota is 5 books. Here’s how it goes:

We read 5 books… then I tell her I’m getting her a sip of water… I get the water, while she looks around disinterested, pretending to read, staring at her Dora bedsheets… when I leave the room, she suddenly comes charging after me, now wanting the water…  I go back in her room, giving her water… she reacts very slowly, as if she has just had 10 litres of water… she eventually has water after I threaten her with something, like no more babycinos/no more beach/flies will come into her room if she doesn’t behave… one of these tactics works and after her water she lies in bed… I then turn off the light and sit at the edge of her bed until she falls asleep, and I only can guess at this by the sound of her breathing… and then I proceed to creep out of the room as stealthily as I can, Tom Cruise Mission-Impossible style, my heart racing intensely and breathing a sigh of relief when I am out.

Don’t ask me what happens if she wakes up while I’m creeping out. It’s happened twice, and it’s so frustrating.

You know, the above would actually be funny if it weren’t happening to me.

The huge difference between the two, other than the obvious varying routines from old house to new, is the fact that in old house, I could leave her to fall asleep on her own since she was in a cot and couldn’t get out… in the new house, if I leave her to fall asleep on her own, she follows me because she can… so to counteract I sit there until she is asleep.

I lose about 30 plus minutes sometimes waiting for her to fall asleep, and then subsequently acting like Tom Cruise on my exit out. That’s 30 plus minutes of writing time, catching-up-on-anything time, me time, lost. It’s not like I’m spending those 30 plus minutes doing something special, or bonding with her. I’m just hunched over, getting cramps in my legs and thinking there is no way I can keep this up when I am eventually pregnant again.

But, lately we’ve been doing something different that makes it all the more bearable.

The last couple of nights I’ve climbed into bed with her to read, instead of sitting on her toybox beside her bed. And tonight, she moved over to make some room, and patted the spot next to her as if to say “here Mum.”

It didn’t change anything about the routine itself, it still played itself out like every other night… but somehow, lying next to her and pointing to animals and letters and colours in her books, was made that much more special by our heads being so close by.

You know non-parents, you should have kids… moments like that are what we live for, and they’re the sweetest gifts there are to receive.