Tuesday, July 20, 2010
You know that lingering feeling that you have forgotten something vitally important, yet you cant quite pinpoint exactly what has slipped your mind? Like a cloud of suspicion hanging low over your head, seeping into the peripheral of your every thought, its just enough to make total relaxation a touch out of reach. That is, I’ve decided, how it feels to travel sans the son. As if I’ve misplaced my passport in my luggage, or forgotten to check I’ve locked the front door, leaving a vaguely uneasy feeling to wash over me.
Posted by Donna at 7:42 PM
Monday, July 12, 2010
Ok, so perhaps its not so much “terribly advanced” as it is “terribly normal” but I naively felt I had until the clock struck midnight on August 20 to anticipate the arrival of this dreaded period, no doubt to be punctuated with lots of tears (mine) and stubborn shouting (mine again). But to be clear; he will always be the apple of his Mummy & Daddy’s eyes – naughty or not. But I fear others may find their formerly intense affection for Master Harrison Webeck starting to wane.
I can see it in people’s eyes – the once cute child who could do no wrong has morphed into a little monster – as if over night! He now insists this sideshow we call everyday life be run on his terms, and woe behold anyone who stands in his way. Unfortunately that “anyone” is often yours truly – oh yes, lucky Mummy… He has no hesitation in vocalizing his every demand (“Hey, give back my keys!” came one order from the car seat, after I wrested them from his steely grasp. Rather difficult to drive a car without them but try explaining that to an almost 23 month old who has his mind firmly fixed on only what he wants, not what Mummy needs to make the car go.
And then this afternoon’s little episode – even nature’s creatures can bring about a meltdown. We arrive at the Park, and the magpies refuse to listen to his pleas to stay put as he chases them around the grass. After he cracks it, he storms off in a strop, informing me he is going home. Dutifully I begin to follow until he turns to me, and hand out in front in a halt signal he cries angrily “Stop Mummy, you stay here!”
Or this little gem, straight from the handbook of surly teens “I’m going to bed!” he shouted hotly, stomping off in the direction of his room, after he failed to win yet another battle of wills. I had to hide my bemused smile, instead offering a “Great, I’ll meet you there shall I? You can have a spell in the naughty corner at the same time…”
As my Dad points out, Harrison’s rather sizeable vocabulary is, in this instance, a bad thing rather than a blessing. I have to shake my head sometimes and think, “Am I really already arguing with a child who is yet to blow out 2 candles on a birthday cake”? He knows what he wants and to his advantage, he knows how to demand it. His stubborn streak (no idea where he gets that from…) shines through and its as if he is setting himself these goals to ensure he get what he wants. Underage overachiever, that’s my boy! And like I have said before, the reasoning of “oh he is just a baby and doesn’t understand” just doesn’t wash anymore. There is no shadow of doubt in my mind he is well aware of everything I say – mostly because, parrot that he is, he repeats it straight back to me!
So I ask blackmail my only currency when these tantrums coincide with us being in public places? I feel like I am bartering bikkies like a tourist on a shopping spree in Turkey’s Grand Bazaar. At home I can employ other tools to try and teach him this is unacceptable but with the eyes of the public peering at me, I sometimes commit the cardinal sin of giving in.
I imagine I am not sailing solo through this turbulent sea, but still, it’s small comfort that other parents too are dealing with fractious children when its your own offspring creating an epic scene at swimming lessons/the park/shopping centre/meal times etc (I’d say insert most appropriate but I envisage you too took the “all of the above” option as well!). I just have to work on honing those skills of parental peacekeeping and somehow get the son to count to ten (out of the blue he counted to 8 tonight!) and calm himself before the outburst kicks in.
However, I am secure in the knowledge from others who have lived (and loathed) this phase, it does eventually end, and we will get our sweet little angel back. Give or take four years. Joy.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
But more so it was the events that transpired on Sunday that made me think the cosmos had secretly put a target on my back and all and sundry in the heavens above were taking aim with glee…
It was on that day, having been charged with the task of meeting my Dad in Sydney who was flying in to spend a week with me, that I somehow managed to leave the house sans mobile phone. Rather inconvenient when you have to try and find someone who may not know where they are going and you have assured them you will be contactable at all times….
Cue a few desperate voicemails to my Mum to explain just how I’d find my Dad at Sydney’s Central Station without it, I was forced to board the train and trundle 1.5 hrs away, a ball of anxiety the entire trip.
Finally at my station and I had spare change for one last call – The Husband. Another who did not answer! After one last vain attempt at communication he answered – relief! But respite was short lived. The screaming son in the background signalled perhaps it wasn’t such a good time for him to try and be sympathetic about the situation I’d gotten myself in. Nor was it probably the place to remind him that he was living my world, every Monday & Tuesday but for me they are last about 13hrs solo…. But I digress! And now, with no change left I legged it up into the City in the vain hope of (a) cheering myself up and treating myself to lunch at a former fave haunt and (b) finally get some coins to enable me to use a public phone. Of course the diner was closed – bugger!
And do you think there was a Convenience Store in sight in which I could get some change? Inconveniently, there was not…
Racing towards Pitt St Mall, and with no time to admire the new renovations, I stumbled down to the Food Court which was swarming with the lunch time crowd. Finally, laden with coins, I was cashed up enough to make as many calls from a phone box as my heart desired. Only problem now - I couldn’t find a public phone to save my mobile-less butt!
I hurtled back up to Street level, and finally found one right next to the busy road side. And yes, the pun “its like Pitt St around here” certainly does ring true. I was able to place the call but damned if I could hear if anyone was answering at the other end. Twice.
By this time I was drenched in an anxious sweat and panting after all the running – and STILL I was not able to locate whether my Dad was in the vicinity. I knew there’d be more phone booths at Central Station on the platform I hoped Dad would be. I stalked the length of it – not a bloody one in sight! Yet casting a longing look at the 5 platforms stretching out to my left, and the 7 or 8 to my right – yep, all dotted with the distinctive, bright orange Telstra domes. Oh yes, I was on the ONLY platform that was not fitted with a phone box!
And so the marathon continued, me dashing to another platform to place another desperate call to Dad’s mobile (1st box busy) and then finally found a free one (did I mention by this time I had to get over my phobia of germs lingering in public places such as these?!). Oh sweet relief when I finally made contact with Dad – except that he’d missed his train from the Airport (no thanks to the dithering man in the ticket queue who didn’t know how to use the damn machine) so we were then going to miss out connecting train back to the Central Coast. And wait half hour for the next one…
Now, this wouldn’t have been so bad except for the fellow passenger who sat directly across from us, and who we’d have to share our sojourn home. She was sizeable, sweaty and smelled like she had not showered in about 6 months. Worse, I suspect she was suffering from some sort of schizophrenia as she spent the whole 1hr 45minute trip alternating between laughing, crying and chatting to her various invisible friends surrounding her. I was feeling sorry for her until she started picking at her scalp and flicking unknown things in out direction. Nice.
But eventually we arrived in the haven of home, and were greeted by the still cranky child (you know things are bad when Harrison’s beloved Poppy cant even shake him from his funk), and yes, we may have had a tumultuous few days but at least I could share the insanity with Dad rather than shoulder it all alone.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Much as I secretly adore this extra attention being lavished upon me, I’m actually a little unsure how to deal with this whole new Harrison. You see, my boy has always dallied on the side of sheer independence. Never before one to stop and lose himself in a lingering cuddle, and not one in need of being engulfed in a warm hug of bear proportions, he has gone about in his merry life happy enough to nonchalantly rebuff any affection advances – until now.
Perched in his highchair the other night, he wanted nothing more than for me to stand at his side and simply hold his hand. So there we stayed, his little fingers clasped in mine, not even speaking, but not allowed to be separated.
Or at bedtime of late, when he nuzzles his head, koala bear style, into my neck and loops his little arm around it so that it encircles me, pulling me in tightly. I could happily press pause on life at that moment and stay in that embrace until he way, say, old enough to go to Uni!
But this newly minted affectionate side also has its drawbacks. Suddenly going to bed at night involves constant reassurance of “Mummy here? Mummy here?” as I place him in his cot. He grips my hand tightly and rolls into position ready to sleep. Only problem is that he doesn’t wish to let me go and suddenly a tear-free extraction from his grasp is going to be trickier than finding a NSW Origin team that can pull off a win.
It breaks my hearts, because I know he wont want me to leave, and I truly could watch over his serene sleeping face the whole night through but when you have worked so hard to teach your son to sleep on their own it feels fatal to fall back now. So I wait as long as I can, til he is on the edge of sleep and commence the creep from his room. Yes there is then wailing but thankfully before the minute is out there is again silence.
Perhaps it’s the unconscious affection that I adore the most – the running and launching himself at me so as to encircle my legs and hold me close; the demands that he “sit with mummy” which translates into him curling into a ball against my chest and snuggling as long as we can; or the kisses that I am suddenly allowed to smother that too cute face with which were always rejected before. Heck, he was even happy to let me lie with him on his little kiddie lounge a few nights back (a benefit of being small is that we both make a cosy fit on it!), his head happily rested against mine. I even managed to close my eyes for a few minutes and soak up the serenity!
So what has ignited this sudden desire for endless tender attention, and detestation of being apart from his Mummy, I do not know. And as for whether it will last much past the last days of winter and continue to bloom through spring, is anyone’s guess… But the one thing I am sure of is that I will be lapping up this extra loving while it lasts!