Sunday, September 26, 2010
Yes, it does translate to your life becoming somewhat of an “open book” (although I admit I do not have the courage to be as brazenly bold as some bloggers) it remains to be seen what the inspiration behind all of this, the beautiful Harrison Adam Webeck, thinks of all these recollections floating about in cyber space. One can only hope he thanks me for the heartfelt entries such as http://nappydaze.blogspot.com/2009/09/im-being-haunted.html and opts to forgive me for some others http://nappydaze.blogspot.com/2009/07/poo-pandemonium.html .
While I am the first to admit I have been approaching this heartfelt hobby of mine rather blindly, I am now attempting to exert more effort into making it something truly memorable and unique. That’s why my ravings, once so centred on my son, have branched out to also encompass the many and varied musings that motherhood entails. And while many unfairly treat we “mum bloggers” with as much disdain as you’d find in your local RTA in your lunch hour (cue rolling eyes and smirks of despair) to come across an outlet you can clasp tight to and make it all your own, is a lifejacket in a sea of parenting uncertainty.
In a quest to educate myself further in this ever-changing field, I stumbled upon the most amazing community of likeminded souls and it has truly inspired me and given me new direction. Thanks Aussie Mummy Bloggers http://aussiemummybloggers.com/ for reigniting the flame within, and opening me up to a network of entertainment and support I cant believe I never knew existed.
I’ve also encountered some bizarre words and concepts suddenly spring up in my vernacular (SEO anyone?); encountered the internet best bud for bloggers (or so I am told) including the http://www.stumbleupon.com/ and http://www.nuffnang.com.au/ phenomenon’s. Although I’m the first to admit I’ve become rather technologically challenged when it comes to knowing how to best use these blogging tools (ideas anyone??) and am acutely aware I still have a long way to go til I am up to scratch with many of the talented blogs I’ve since unearthed on my yellow brick road of self discovery.
I must give a special shout out to the one blog I adore the most – do yourselves a favour and check out the utterly hi-lar-i-ous Woogs World http://www.woogsworld.com/ – you will be cackling into your morning coffee (if not spitting it out during fits of hysterical laughter).
So a special thanks to my super supportive Husband who encouraged me to have a crack at the Cyber Space creative realm. He knew there were too many words crammed inside my head that were longing to be unleashed; that there was a desire, so profound, to contribute to this world and a craving to explore my ultimate passion, writing. It may not be something that pays the bills, but oh what sanity it brings me. To feel so alive, when I am immersed in shaping words into sentences has returned to me a joy I had once feared lost forever.
Finally, to those who take the time to read these ramblings, I bow before you in sincere gratitude. And to those who leave me Comments; they are but little wrapped Christmas gifts, coveted and captivating, and eagerly unfurled with love.
I now beg that you permit me leave from my Nappy Daze blog as I tackle another little interim project – http://www.winfreywatch.blogspot.com/ (which is still under construction – forgive this apparent laziness, but there are only so few hrs in a day I am allowed to deprive my family of me). You are all aware of my quest to be in the presence of the divine Ms Oprah so I’ll be siphoning some of my elusive spare time into a (hopefully) entertaining and insightful weekly blog that summaries what beloved “A-ha” moments I’ve from the week of Winfrey viewing (otherwise known as any excuse to watch her show and call it “research”).
Rest assured I’ll pop back in every now and then to the NappyDaze realm – it is like my other child, after all. Til then, dear readers I declare, hand on my heart, these 100 posts have been one hell of an unexpectedly enjoyable journey for me. The Thelma to my Louise, you might say - minus the young, virile Brad Pitt!
Posted by Donna at 4:57 PM
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I suppose I need to qualify this little fixation so you don’t think me quite so strange. As a youngster, I dabbled in Donohue, sussed our Sally Jesse Raphael – hell, I even jeered along with the unruly Jerry Spring crown - but through it all, only one remained as the undisputed sovereign of all things talk show and left me feeling like Tiger Woods or Jesse James at The Playboy Mansion. Quite simply (and for many, you will say, sadly!) heaven is an uninterrupted viewing of The Oprah Winfrey Show.
You know that old chestnut that gets trotted out during dinner parties and small talk “If you could have 5 people over for dinner, who would it be?” Anyone who has ever asked me this can vouch that my answer always included the Divine Miss O. Every single time. Not that I get asked much, but you comprende, si? And while I’d certainly be thrilled to literally extend this offer of hospitality her way, I’d issue it with a disclaimer. If it’s only 5 star cuisines she has cultured her palette into accepting, then perhaps we’d better just skip straight to after dinner drinks. My 3-ingredient pasta specialty might not quite make the cut.
So, after the announcement was replayed throughout the day on various News Bulletins (once for every viewer in Australia, methinks) and the shock had started to subside, slowing my heart beat back down to about 150 beats per minute, the excitement was promptly replaced with a mild form of hysteria. A new quandary had arisen… I HAD to meet her; I MUST be in that audience. But short of taking out a second mortgage to issue bribes to the powers that be (and then remembering that might go against the good karma she so readily promotes) just how could I make this dream a reality?
Problem is, I’ve lived a life a little ordinary for the likes of Lady O – no mercy dashes to oppressed countries to free the downtrodden; no building of orphanages; cant claim to be a hoarder, overeater or overcome with agonising addiction issues (unless chocolate counts?) and not remotely famous unless an acutely embarrassing appearance on the Life Education Ad circa 1987 counts (and yes, I am still haunted by the fact my mother let me out of the house with my “Farrah Fawcett-eque” hair …)
I wondered if perhaps I wrote some witty ditty maybe Ms Winfrey might notice me. Words are my only weapons that might set me apart... Would she be thrilled to know that one of her recent episodes brought about one of her revered “A-HA!” moments in my life, appearing on my blog, a mere few days BEFORE this mammoth announcement was made? http://nappydaze.blogspot.com/2010/09/waiting-to-exhale.html Is that the work of the TV Gods who are subliminally soliciting this desire of mine into realisation?
Could she be fascinated by my overly cute and impressively articulate 2 year old who can reel of the names of various Dinosaurs as if they were actual family members? What about being so kind as to care that a decade ago I survived a supreme life changing event, shedding one wholly unsatisfactory existence in a mere matter of months to embrace another, entirely exhilarating one? That it then led me to discover the courage to turn down an engagement to a man who flew to the other side of the world to woo me because I listened to my intuition? How I managed to travel solo from Naples to Sicily and only managed to get ripped off the once? Or the time I endured the most horrific holiday as a virtual hostage on a Turkish Gullet? Perhaps I can woo her with the the fact I would have never met The Husband (or welcomed our precious boy into our world) had I not endured the death of a most beloved friend, who somehow managed to orchestrate a match made in heaven?
Are any of these offerings actually awesome enough to get me front and centre (note, I’ll accept far back, top row, as well) in her audience???
I beseech you, cyber space friends, tell me just how I go about making this major life mission of mine a reality. All ideas will be considered (if not actually undertaken) and rest assured if I do happen to find myself directly in the presence of the Divine Miss O come mid December, consider yourself included on that “5 people in the world over for dinner…” invite list. Promise I’ll get The Husband to cook instead!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The Husband is a product of the “short age gap” – a mere 15 months between births for my amazing mother-in-law. And, as he points out, he at least grew up with a readymade playmate on hand so there was never the opportunity for boredom to breed.
While I shudder at the thought, it’s still a common occurrence in today’s world. A friend has this same few months between her girls, and while I think they both should be awarded medals for courage and bravery for undertaking such a mammoth task requiring super human emotional and physical strength, they concur, quite casually, that its not too traumatic (unless one of said children is nursing a broken collarbone, while your husband is away on a work jaunt, leaving you home alone… Am I right Claire?)
Then there’s the camp that make the comment a large age difference will compliment welcoming a new child in to the fold. Who needs to hired help when you have a 3, 4, or (and heavens, this could well be me) 7 or 8 year old on hand to fetch the baby’s errant dummy, keep it amused as you cook dinner, and act as a veritable Nanny, assisting with nappy changing, or rocking the pram til bub is soothed to sleep. My mother-in-law (yes, same as the aforementioned who has actually experienced both circumstances) admits that when baby number three eventually made his grand entrance into this world, it was his two besotted big brothers who watched him like a hawk every waking second that she never needed to worry about his wellbeing. Sentry Number One (The Husband) and Sentry Number Two (the Brother-in-Law) kept such a close eye on him that the minute an eyelid looked like fluttering open, they swooped in to take charge. Built in babysitter, anyone?
In keeping with this larger the age gap school of thought, some advocate the more one on one time you spend with your first born equates to a deeper connection with them. You can concentrate on creating and cherishing the special moments that might be missed if you were tending to a newborn. Controversial, I’ll agree, yet it is possibly something worth considering. I, for one, struggle to imagine focusing my energies on anyone other than the child who is already the centre of our universe. But that’s the amazing thing about our human hearts. Like Phar Lap, they are a hell of a lot larger than we actually think.
I should point out, I too am a product of a relatively short age gap (by short, I mean, one I was not willing to entertain for any possible future children!). My sister was born a mere 20 months before me, and yes, I will concede it has given me a great gift, in that she is my strongest ally and best friend. Had there been more months and years between our birthdays, we would not have shared the similar path life led us down, travelling together, laughing, loving, learning and living life experiences in sync that forged a bond of true kinship. And while it will break my heart just a little that my own son wont grow up with such a nurturing, unique bond, in this day and age I believe cousins are as close as siblings – thank goodness he has three all within close age range for him to hopefully cultivate the same sort of intimacy.
Pre-parenthood, I was always a fan of the “quick turnaround”, envisaging that we’d have bred two under two. But then the financial, emotional, and physical reality sets in and you realise perhaps you were a bit premature in your grand plans to over populate the world. Of course I am not the only naïve one to have indulged in this ambitious life strategy. I’ll often enjoy a secret giggle when other expectant first time Mums start planning their future large families – all before they have even welcomed child number 1! Just survive the first child, and then come back to me with your revised parenting proposal….
And for the record, the mum who got me mulling over this million dollar mystery, and I concluded that, unlike fine wine, there is no such thing as a “good age” to uncork and enjoy the opportunity to procreate. Whether it happens far too fast (Irish twins anyone?) or Mother Nature thwarts your many attempts until you are well past your planned gap, you will have about as much control over this as you do an overtired, hungry child in the chocolate aisle of the supermarket.
Mind the Gap, everyone; no matter what the expanse between offspring ends up, you will still be watching where you step!
Friday, September 10, 2010
Choking back sobs as I watched, I became acutely aware of the daily circus-juggling act always on rotation in my world. I can be preparing breakfast, washing clothes, packing lunches, feeding my son, checking emails all at the one time. And just like juggling, inevitably a ball gets dropped. There for the grace of God go I – or you… Any one of we multi-tasking Mums could accidentally make a fatal mistake because we cram far too much into our already overcrowded lives.
As near back as Tuesday night I was feeling completely overwhelmed by my world. It was creeping close to the 12hr mark since The Husband had bid us farewell earlier that day; I was trying to cook our dinner, feed Harrison his (because for some reason it is the ONLY way he will actually eat, if I stand and spoon feed every single morsel into his open mouth), I was trying to pack his bag for day-care the next day, ready my own requirements for an early start at work, and also catch up on the Everest pile of ironing that was manifesting into a mountain range the longer it was left untouched. I’d spent the day not only doing the usual taking care of my child routine but as well trying to find a handyman to fix a leaking tap, getting groceries and running errands, cleaning bathrooms, tidying the house, washing, folding, cleaning the kitchen… you get the mundane picture I’m painting right? And by 6.15pm when I was trying to get at least one item ironed so the husband didn’t think I had been purposefully neglecting it, and my son was clamouring for my undivided attention, it was all could do to remember to actually breathe. I was spent.
I’m vague far too often for my liking; if I’m not thinking I’ve forgotten my mobile phone I’m “losing” my car keys, only to find them a frantic half hour later dangling from the bottom corner of my trolley. I am constantly walking around wondering what it is I have forgotten to do and never quite make it safely away from my car before I head back to check one last time I have indeed remembered to lock it and put the park break on.
Being the type of person who always has a “to-do” list on the go doesn’t help either. Since becoming a mother, I inevitably fail to achieve all I expect to in a day. Sure, in an ideal world I’d have a flotilla of hired help on hand to make for smooth sailing in our lives, but if you are dealing with work, children, and the domesticity of household chores, not to mention trying to be the perfect wife/mother/sister/daughter/friend/employee (some times all in unison), you do feel as if you fall into bed at night feeling a little bit of a failure for leaving the dirty dishes in the sink, or forgoing the ironing for a cuddle on the lounge with your husband.
Then there is the whole multi-tasking “myth”… Acknowledging that there is no such thing will be tricky, as I used to consider myself the Queen of this, pre-parenthood; but truthfully you are not tackling many tasks at once, you are switching between each one and failing to finish them and each time you do that, a little bit more of your full focus and attention is being eroded away. Yes, it may equate to eating dinner a little later (we did, because I suddenly refused to run Harrison’s bath and peel vegetables all at the same time) but the sense of calm, and focus, if you can achieve it, makes the wait worthwhile.
Admittedly, it’s not just the mums out there who face this overwhelming state of mind. The Husband, who is working so hard to provide for us and make up for the lack of income I earn, is even guilty of “vague-ing out” because of the pressures piled on his plate. Just the other week he went to work wearing mis-matched brown shoes, and failed to notice until lunchtime. Again, one of those casualties of constantly racing the clock each day.
For some ignorance is bliss, yet I struggle to overlook all that needs to be done, which then translates into a difficulty to relax. But this harrowing episode of Oprah has taught me what I must attempt is to train my brain to be more present in the moment and slow the hell down! Stop and smell the roses, so the saying goes… And instead of constantly living in the past or propelling myself into the future (both sadly regular occurrences in my state of mind) I declare to try my damndest to focus on the here and now and undertake my responsibilities one at a time .
Finally, I should point out this is not some futile attempt to elicit any sympathy. Some will surely say, get over yourself – what you have described is quite simply LIFE so deal with it and do what you have to, to get by. And I agree, there are times it will be impossible to adhere to these mantras I’ve discovered and it will take a lot of practice on my part to stick to this new path. But somewhere along the line parenthood became a sort of overwhelming, high powered profession where excellence was expected at every turn. We need to restore balance, we need to remember to breathe. Our loved ones, not to mention ourselves, are worthy of that.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
My most treasured moments are the stolen ones where Harrison doesn’t know I am watching. He brings his dinosaur collection to life, whether they be duelling and roaring, or, at the other end of the spectrum, indulging in kisses and cuddles between the mummies and daddies. Who knew the Jurassic era was so caring?
Sometimes I do wonder what seeds are being sown in his “fertile” mind, like when he produced a bottle from the back of the pantry and preceded to tell me it was for “the baby”. Puzzled, I questioned him where this baby might be hiding, since I was pretty sure I’d know if we’d somehow inherited a stranger’s child, or even a DOLL in his toy box. Off he led me to the front door, and, like all kids who lose themselves in the magic of make believe, he began to talk to an imaginary infant, apparently hanging around the entry to our home. He even offered it the bottle saying, “Good baby, have your bottle” while I stared on, entranced by the scene unfolding before me.
I can recall another time, in the bathtub, when his crocodile became the front and centre of his stage. “Poor crocodile sad”, you lamented to me. “He misses his mummy” and then grabbed the toy Princess Fiona figurine and, like all inquisitive kids, made them kiss. Deciding I’d participate in this fractured fairytale, I produced his plastic Diego and suggested the Daddy might like a kiss from the mummy and croc too. Turning to me with mocking eyes you scoffed “Not Diego, he not the Daddy!” as if it was the most outlandish proposal ever! Right, so a character from Shrek and an Australian native reptile can be related in Harrison’s imaginary world, but far be if for a Nick Jnr character to get a look in!
The delightful world of dress-ups has not escaped Harrison’s attentions either. Whether he’s donning my dark sunglasses and strutting in my shoes like a celebrity down Rodeo Drive, or opting for the safer option of traipsing about in The Husband’s footwear, its quite a sight to behold – but how long it will be before he is asking for the matching handbag and earrings I do not know…
Even the darker side of daydreams have woven their way into his world. He’ll not hesitate to tell you if something is “scary” or, as was the case the other night when it was he and I home alone at bath time, that there were monsters near by. And its funny how in those random moments of your child’s ramblings that you suddenly become acutely aware that you are now the one charged with being the brave and fearless one in our little twosome. God knows how I’ll handle him having nightmares, considering at my very adult age I still am haunted (albeit rarely, thank goodness) from them.
Make-believe monsters aside, I’m so thrilled Harrison has taken his first steps on the enchanted journey that is his imagination. As a child its what nourished me most, and to this day, I still wrap its presence and importance around me like a precious shawl of protection. What child will ever be lonely if it has a vivid and vibrant imagination to call upon to brighten the dullest day? May boredom never fester within, my beautiful boy, because fantasy and make-believe will always be blooming and bursting out, nurturing that ever inquisitive brain.
Posted by Donna at 5:48 PM