Thursday, July 29, 2010

Flus, Loos and Academy Awards

I have the flu which is hardly suprising as I am getting very little sleep and the kids have all had it. D comes home from daycare reguarly with some contagious germ or snot producing gremlin. He then kindly shares it with the rest of the family. The result is a sleep deprivation for me and usually by the time they are all well and back at school I am dying a slow and steady death at the hands of the germ.

Any sign of a lurking germ and I hit myself with eneough vitamins to  raise Pharlap from the dead. They are usually the size of horse pills and get lodged in my throat. However I can usually keep the germ at bay until all the kids are well again and then like boat people it sneaks in one night as we all sleep. I run a small pharmacy from the kitchen cupboard and have all sorts of weapons of mass destruction such as olive leaf extract and algotene. All of which are supposedly healthy for you but are particularly unhealthy for your wallet and tastebuds. I have a degree in daycare defense and toilet training.

I cannot help it but when I see a child at daycare with a running nose I want to hit the panic button and like in Monsters INC have the child removed at light speed. Its not the germs I'm afraid of but the sleep deprivation and hijacking of my study time. I have had D sick with flu one week, then the following week L sprained his ankle running throught he house with D in pursuit, apparently it was all D's fault. I have never seen so many tears outside of a natural disaster area as there was about football being banned for a week. Apparently if your sprained ankle doesn't kill you then no football will definately do the trick.

I later heard L telling his friends how much it hurt but how tough he was because he didn't cry. Pulllllllllllllese!! I was waiting for someone to knock on the door and say the "ACADEMY AWARD GOES TOO........ L FOR OMG A 2YR OLD MADE ME ( yes made him with his awesome powers) SPRAIN MY ANKLE."
With each retelling the injury grows in severity and L's awesome power to overcome obstacles grows alongside. Thankfully  I was able to utilize my arsenal of pharmacy products to treat the sprain.  I did however have to buy a $20 ankle support that I am positive was only there to recieve the award for best supporting role in a drama.

That week was then followed by both D and S getting the Flu. I have been through an amazing amount of tissues. Why was a mystery until yesterday when I caught D wiping the noses of each toys in his room then flushing them. He must have decided  my rant about how we don't do that wasn't as fun as the toilet. As later that day he tried to flush 4 toilet rolls and then stuffed more tissues on top. I was in shock and awe as I approached the flooding mess. My face of horror and shock was nothing compared to the happy little face that greeted me. He was beaming and that little cherubs face turned to me and he said " me big boy".

Right then I was struck by a huge and painful stab as my toilet training  degree came back and bit me on the arse. You see in my infinite wisdom I had been saying that " big boys use the toilet" " when you finish you flush". Little did I know how literal he would be when he flushed our whole supply of toilet paper and tissues down the loo in a day. I couldn't help but laugh as I relocated all the new toilet paper stockpile I bought to the top off my wardrobe. At least when they grow up I may have an actor and a plumber in the family!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Guilt and side salads

This morning I bathed S as I was beginning to look at her with guilt instead of adoration. Its been 3 days since she was bathed. ( I did top and toe her though.) Its amazing as a parent how much guilt we heap on ourselves when others aren't doing it. I remember when I found out that S was on the way and I ducked into the chemist for some prenatal vitamins. Only to have the pharmacy assistant asked whether I had been taking vitamins prior to conception. See the guilt creeping in here? It begins before you even get morning sickness!

I promptly told her that it was a bit hard to plan ahead for a bloody big surprise. She was shocked but tried not to show it. Now I was feeling guilty for disclosing too much information.Yes S was a huge surprise. I confess I wasn't particularly thrilled about it either. I didn't have a plan not to get pregnant and I definately wasn't trying. I had just weaned D from breastfeeding and was ready to ditch the huge and ugly maternity bras I had been climbing into every morning. That's right I resented my unborn child because I was chained to ugly underwear. Even more guilt about that one and I hadn't even got to the morning sickness yet.

Morning sickness kicked in with a vengeance and I travelled everywhere with an ice-cream bucket. I hated that bucket and many mornings as I looked at the bottom of it I wondered what had led me to buy that bottle of white wine and drink it all after my breastfeeding dry spells. It was probably the celebration of having it guilt free that made me consume that bottle of wine with abandon and lust. Needless to say M who I was trying to reconcile with was around. He doesn't drink and although very disapproving of my consumption was quite impressed with how amorous I became.

More guilt! Then there is the guilt of resenting all the salads and healthy food I ate so I didn't get too fat this time. I really dislike being pregnant. I am not good at it and as much as I would like to be an earth mother I don't enjoy having my body taken over. Then stretched and prodded until I look like I'm going to give birth to one of those dugong calves David Attenborough makes documentaries about. I know that I am supposed to feel radiant and blessed and just enjoy it, but honestly I count the days till its over. See how guilty I'm feeling and the pregnancy isn't over yet? There is plenty more guilt and mistakes to be made.

Anyway these ponderings have led me make a list of the top 15 things that I feel guilty about as a parent trying to do it all.

  1. Telling L at 8 that Santa wasn't real only to have him ask "does that mean there is no Easter Bunny too?" talk about making the kid grow up too quick.
  2. Wishing I'd travelled and had pets instead.
  3. Fantasizing about my before baby body returning complete with vaginal reconstruction. If I knew it would be so easily lost I would have enjoyed it way more!!!
  4. Using the toilet as a self imposed time out so I can mutter a string foul language to myself.
  5. Recognising the 10 second rule as an immune building necessity on an almost daily basis.
  6. Not giving my children an appreciation of vegetables as I'm not stoic eneough to beat a toddler in a standoff.
  7. Letting D eat his boogers in public pretending I can't see him do it. There is no reasoning with a child who treats snot as a food group.
  8. Refusing to buy L another school jumper until he found the one he had lost during a very cold winter week.
  9. Feeding D lots of sugar on the mornings of his visitation day with M.
  10. Letting everyone have a PJs day to save on washing.
  11. Pretending to listen to L rave on about football and getting caught out because he's old eneough to spot my disinterest.
  12. Not breastfeeding S after feeding the boys and loving it as I can drink good coffee and cheap wine.
  13. Borrowing L's birthday money and not repaying it yet.
  14. Putting everyone to bed early to get an assignment done because I left it till the last minute.
  15. Not laughing with the kids as much as I should. Basically  being a grump!
If we listen to all the disapproval and shoulds as parents we will miss out on those beautiful moments when memories are made. Despite the guilt I must be doing something right D just gave me a spontaneous hug and wiped snot down my tshirt and S in all her unplanned splendour is asleep on my knee as I type .

Friday, July 16, 2010

Trying to be with it when your truly past it!!

It took a great deal of courage to even get out of bed yesterday. I had one of those moments where your feet hit the floor and you just want to recoil and dive under the doona like a heat seeking missile. It was cold, D was standing beside my bed with his nose running profusely and L was hovering in the background talking about his position in the school rugby team and his missing in action mouth guard. All I could think about was getting L to school on time and my need to go to the Uni printers.

Like any true veteran of a war zone I managed to make it through the chaos and get L to school on time. I was even wearing my trusty cargo pants with pockets stuffed full of essential items like tissues and lip gloss. I decided that while I was on a roll I would take the plunge and attempt a mission into the world of campus dwelling pre-child somebodies. D was cooperative and cheerful despite his constantly running nose and S was sleeping blissfully. All indications were that this was an opportunity to get the study materials I needed printed for this semester.

I found a park amongst the cars with P plate signs and parked the Superbus (as it is affectionately known ) amongst the cute little cars. I looked in the mirror and realised D had dosed off. Two things you should know about D, if you wake him before he is ready or he is over tired D stands for Demon. I had already driven out of my way to get there so I wasn't going to waste the fuel. I decided to be clever and give S a bottle so she would behave during our mission into student land.

My downfall was that I was thinking how clever I was to pull this whole show together and maybe I wasn't beyond my societal used by date on campus. I could do this .I could combine parenting, strategy and study. Absurdly confident I packed the kids into the road train double pram careful not to wake D. I managed to find the print room ok and wrestle the door to get the road train into the room, despite stares my courage was unwavering. I sat at the computer road train conspicuously beside me.

I tried to look like I knew exactly what I was doing. I was afterall a with it modern Mum and I could have it all. S was grizzly so I picked her up, D stirred and began to wake. S expelled a loud belch everyone turned to look. I congratulated her and then she vomitted all down the legs of my cargo pants and onto the carpet. D began to whine like a siren as he was waking fully. Realising he was in a strange place he began to demand "home, home, me home". I replied lovingly " soon darling ." So he threw his toy he had been clutching when he fell asleep at the nearest wall making a mark and a deafening bang.

Abort mission! Abort mission! my mind screamed as my toddler thrashed and my baby griped. I was being stared at with horror. There was nothing for it I had to retreat. I strapped S into the road train and tried to look as together and unflustered as I could while I wrestled the door and made my escape. I was mortified at how quickly my lovely children could become a scene from a horror film.

By the time I reached the carpark I was giggling. Then laughing at my own stupidity. By the time I got to the car I had tears running down my cheeks. Life is Absurd!!! What an adventure and what a disaster. Later that day in my favourite PJs I ordered my study materials online with a glass of wine in one hand and three children all bathed and fed and tucked up in bed.