Sunday, December 20, 2009

Well, you can take the child out of the city, but seems you can’t take the city out of the child…

Major milestone moment on Saturday – we got the keys to our new home, the joy of which is largely linked to the fact our son will finally have a backyard! Shame then, that the first time we put him down on the plush emerald green grass, he erupted spontaneously into tears and pleaded “up a day, up a day” for us to rescue him from this obviously threatening and foreign substance.

And there was no joy again when we tried later on that day, and once more this morning. Nope, apparently dusty paved courtyards and dirty footpaths are far more enticing in which to play the day away!

He’ll get used to it, we know - otherwise we have just made a massive error in judgement about needing him to have more space in which to wander without restraint of a tiny enclosed courtyard!

Thankfully though, the interior of the house was a hit. He had free reign to roam from room to room, racing crazily and shouting an exuberant “WOW” as he saw each one for the very first time. That was also his first statement upon driving up to the house – a good sign that he was suitably impressed upon first glance!

I do hope his infantile memory retains some fragments of this momentous day. His joy at the simple things in life is so tangible at present, just the sight of a bus or a bird or a car is enough to produce oodles of joy from him. He could probably happily live in a cardboard box right now and be blissful. Its we parents who have pinned all our hopes and dreams on this one adventure being a success and are sure in time we’ll see the rewards of this risk threefold.

Til then, we must just march onwards with the whole moving process – and try not to forget Christmas is looming large and hope that I haven’t forgotten to buy any important gift…. Harrison, with his impeccable toddler sense of timing has been so sick these past two weeks, after a rather problem free few months before that. So right when we need him at his peak (and also at a time when we need our energy reserves directed solely at surviving the whole moving 1.5hrs away project) he has suffered croup, conjunctivitis, rounded off with an ear infection. Perhaps then the timing is actually perfect? A blast of the crisp, salty sea air of the Central Coast will be a balm for his embattled immune system – and at the same time (once we are all settled in) soothe the stresses of city life for the Husband and I too!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A duel of devotion

The notion of two men vying for your undivided attention and playing for your sole affections is a love story straight from the scene of any cheesy book or movie. With rose coloured glasses in place, I’d always envisaged this oh so romantic notion to be the epitome of a saga on undying love. Shame then that it was my 16 month old son and my 4 month old nephew who were (metaphorically) waging war for the rights to my everlasting devotion!

Be careful what you wish for, isn’t that what the prophecy proclaims? I’d long been yearning for a child who would lavishly bestow bucket loads of affection on me – again this wishful thinking would have been best issued with a disclaimer. Perhaps next time I’ll add in a footnote – please let my son smother me with those clinging for dear life cuddles on any other day than the one which also entails me being primary caregiver to my baby boy nephew Mason.

My son, still sick from his nasty cold, was openly and ardently against the sharing of his precious Mummy on this day, and he had no hesitation in letting it be known to the smaller person in the food chain. Poor, poor little Mason, if he copped one wayward whack to the head, then he would have worn four or five more in the 6 hours he stayed in the battle zone. I did my best to referee, I truly did, but I swear every time I inched away from protecting Mason’s trenches, Harrison swooped in to re-assert his utter annoyance at the situation he had forced upon him.

There was one time where I whirled around just in time to see my son hovering dangerously close to Mason’s little head, him brandishing a pencil in hand and ready to leave a permanent mark on the poor little tyke’s face. And he, who hasn’t had a afternoon bottle for oh, six months now, saw fit to try and sneak Mason’s almost from his mouth, had he been a few seconds faster than his mummy as we both lunged for it at the same time. Little Mason then copped a few more “love taps” on the leg as I tried to juggle feeding him in one hand and alternated between swotting away Harrison and consoling him as he sobbed, as if utterly broken hearted, on my knee, all the while pleading in his inconsolable voice, “up a day” which roughly translates to “pick me up mummy and cuddle me, I am BEGGING YOU!”

And then there were the few times when I had both of them squawking and stretching their lung capacity at full scope, when I thought I don’t think I have ever been more sure about Harrison’s only child status. There is nothing quite like the ear splitting squeals and sobs of two little children to make up your mind to NEVER forget to use contraception…

But Mason, bless him, at least there was always a reason for his cry and soon as the need was met, he was a blissfully happy bub! His cousin, on the other hand, had the day marked down in the memory bank with a big black cross, as one of the toughest ever endured in parenthood. Not much could bring laughter to that face, nor smiles to those beautiful big blue eyes. We hope our happy and healthy bubba returns soon!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oh what a night...

You know you have finally arrived as a bone fide fully fledged and paid up member of the parenthood club when you have experienced your first little emergency room rendezvous – via an ambulance no less!

Then there’s that heart plummeting, soul sickening feeling of fear which twists at your heart who you find you suddenly have one extremely ill child on your hands, who is struggling to breathe no less – who when you put him to be only an hr and a half before, seemed perfectly fine! Yes, you freak out. Silently, of course...

I couldn’t show you, little Harrison, that I was scared, oh no. But after swooping you from your bed and frantically sweeping the surface to see if you had somehow choked in something, I raced around the apartment trying to calm you down, all the while trying to remember what my first aid training would have had me do.

It came down to the fact that I had to make my first (and I hope to God, last) ever 000 call. Sure, Mummy may have over reacted but, my cherished little man, with breath so ragged and laboured I barely knew what else to do. I would never risk losing something as precious as you, so in hindsight it was no overreaction at all.
Bless your beautiful heart, you broke mine as we were whisked outside and into the ambulance. “Ca-a-a-a-r-r” came your standard, but stuttered response as you saw the parked vehicles on the street. I remember thinking “phew, can’t be too bad if he can still summon the strength to say that”. I don’t think I have ever been happier to hear that lilting little voice of yours spring to life!
So we had the diagnosis, confirmed. Croup. Nasty little bugger, which apparently I pinpointed precisely when I described to the Dr that it sounded like there was a seal in your room barking angrily, and, in between each frightening cough was the exceptionally scary sound of you struggling for breath. Textbook definition apparently. You hear that, your Mummy is a veritable Dr-in-waiting!

And finally, I think its safe to say you have truly arrived at the destination of motherhood when you stand and endure your sick child retch and spew forth all the contents of his little stomach directly on to you, so that you are suddenly sporting a thick veil of vomit from head to toe, complete with the chunky chunks of vegies you demanded he digest at dinner a few hrs before. My own fault really – I should have trusted him when he refused to eat… Little did I know I’d be bearing the hallmarks of this indignation much later on!

So you gave your Mummy one helluva scare, Harrison…. And Daddy probably deserves an apology too one day, seeing as though we dragged him from his awards night where he was to receive two awards from his peers. Instead he was helping mop up the oodles of vomit we both were swathed in.

But, despite the fact we both reeked of regurgitated food, I fell in love with you all over again (not that I have ever been out of love with you, oh no!) Clasping your chubby little hand in mine, as I crouched by your bed and stared into those soulful big blue eyes, you staring listlessly back, willing me without speaking to make it all better and for the illness to go away. My heart nearly broke with how you wanted to cling to me, nuzzling your head into my neck in search of solace. If I could have swapped places with you, I’d have done so in an instant! Now all thats left is to face the fact this will no doubt happen again but at least we'll be better prepared (and no doubt more calm!) the next time we wage war with the nasty Croup!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

All You Need Is Love....

Parenthood can be broken up into solitary moments in time which either make your heart sing or your soul shatter. It’s a road often fraught with dangerous bumps, but one also that leads to bliss.

And I, still very much a novice driver negotiating this rutted road, was blessed to have one such spirit soaring moment yesterday morning, just before leaving the house, bound for work.

My beautiful boy, perched in his high chair, hair askew with stray porridge splattered in its wispy midst, and smears of vegemite daubed haphazardly around his angelic face, began his usual routine of sending me on my way as I clutched my handbag – his cue to start saying “buh-bye” and waving me on my way.

However, on this unique morning, as I lent over to kiss him farewell and remind him that his Mummy loves him, the most memorable moment of motherhood yet came to pass…

“Bye Bye Bubba, Mummy loves you,” I said, kissing his cherubic face, those bright blue eyes shining with his inherent mischievous glint. And then…

“LOVE YOU…!” tumbled forth from the mouth of my baby boy, a cheeky grin punctuating his unprompted, unparalleled display of emotion.

My heart swelled to a size that would rival the whole of the British Empire and I blinked back tears of pride and surprise. Sure, we know he was merely copying me (a feat not overly startling seeing as though he is such a sponge these days when it comes to his ever expanding, amazingly sizeable vocabulary) but it felt like he actually meant it. Like he understood the meaning and emotion behind such a significant saying... And to think, I was lucky enough to bear the fruits of this voluntary offering (and not his often preferred Daddy) – my heart is still smiling!