Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Women Who Run With The Dogs

We think PB must be quite advanced. The 'terrible twos' behaviour has reared it's ugly head six months early, and now at twenty months she already knows it is most effective in public....

We were walking Dog in the park the other day. No, she would not get in the backpack. She wanted to go to the 'side' (= slide). So, no she did not want to go home, or be carried in my arms. Or Daddy's.

Then we managed to lure her into the excitement of the tunnel and distracted her into heading home. But she was still going to walk, and at her pace...

And then a strange thing happened... she hugged a tree. Oh, how sweet, we thought. And in that ridiculous way that one reads meaning into these things 'perhaps she's going to be an environentalist, or a horticulturalist...' Tree-hugging hippy was right out.

And then a stranger thing happened.... she lifted her leg.

In exactly the same way Dog does.

And then she moved on to a stobie pole and did exactly the same thing, at exactly the same angle.

It was hilarious.

And our daughter was no longer Champion Tantrum Girl but Champion Mimic. With an eye for precision.

Perhaps she's going to be a.... mime artist? Oh no. No. God, no. How she could possibly support Aged Parents on that income?

No.

She's going to be a vet, specialising in pet psychology.

And she'll be seeing patients at the park... between the swings and the slide.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Mummy Returns Again

Dear Readers,

Forgive me, for I have sinned, it has been months since my last blogfession....

So here is the abridged version of Good News for this Modern Woman:

Finished second draft of script, and TV series has had the final green-light : it will be shot this year and screened next year. Bloody Hooray. It's only taken a year....

Judged a script writing competition, which meant reading 60 feature length scripts: page total? Approximately 6000. Would I do it again? Probably.

Got a second job as a Care Worker, which involves domestic assistance (house cleaning and shopping) and personal care (showers). Interesting, underpaid, worthy, exhausting and confronting. But more about that at a later post...

Working on Baby No2 but if PB has anything to do with it she'll be an only child. Her current mantra is 'I did it my way'. But she is consistent in the sleep department. Consistently waking at 5 to 5:30am, screaming MUUMMEEE until she is lifted out of the cot and then quietly pointing and saying 'door'. As in, take me beyond the door so we can 'get this party started' *
Cute factor remains high though.

Tried to sell house in Melbourne. Failed.

Hail Mary that we still have our heads above water although I am fairly moldy from the neck down and have well developed paddling muscles.

And despite three colds and a bout of gesture we're all still healthy.

Hallelujah.

love,
FM


* A Shark's Tale.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Stop, I have to get off…

Today is a blue day. Haven’t felt like this for years and it’s hard to pull myself out. Somehow I never thought I’d feel like this again.

A friend once referred to her depression as being ‘Under the Doona’, as in ‘I’ve been under the doona for a few days’. I felt like that this morning. I didn’t go to bed late, didn’t get up especially early, but just felt drained, listless, indifferent, weary.

I thought of another analogy today as I tried to rally myself out of this mood. I was reading about inspirational people (or as they were so touted) in a glossy magazine, thinking about actions I could take, a mindset I should embrace and reminding myself there are so many, many people worse off. But that just served to make me feel pathetic.

And I thought: it’s like sitting on a train, looking at billboards that show you a way out, offer solutions. I read them, I acknowledge them, but I don’t move. I can’t get off the train to take up the suggestions. I just sit.

But I can’t do that. I have a responsibility to a child. Fortunately she’s at day care today in joyful play with other toddlers. I don’t fear my mood will cause me to do anything selfish but I fear that her light, pure soul will pick up on my negativity and I’m desperate for that not to happen. Desperate…

I don’t believe I’m a clinically depressed person. I don’t believe I have a chemical imbalance and will not seek drugs or counseling. There are reasons now, as there were last time. And I won’t go into them because it’s far too boring and quite pedestrian – lots of people have these problems. And it’s something I have, in the recent past, been determined not to get depressed about.


When I was at Tresillian (the sleep school – which was by the way, a success for us), I met a woman who was the mother of five month old twins. It was the second time she’d been there: one twin wouldn’t sleep.

She always seemed to be in a hurry, which was odd because there’s nothing really pressing to do while you’re there. And she was nice enough but kind of brittle and hasty.

We got talking in the lounge one afternoon and she told me about her life. About her first husband who ran off with the neighbour and no longer wants any contact with his two sons. About the twelve year old with ADD who had to move schools after being bullied, about the eight year old who is autistic.

Already a high school teacher she did special training so that she could handle his condition with early intervention. And they’re doing okay.

But way before his diagnosis, not long after his birth she was diagnosed with PPD – post-partum depression.

And she told me she could feel it creeping up on her now. Again. She sought help from the resident psychiatrist and been given medication for it. But she was still afraid. She knew the signposts and despite her exhaustion and the sleep friendly environment of Tresillian, she refused to lie down or sleep during the day… It was important not to lie down.

Then she briskly bundled the twins into the pram and went off for a walk.

And so I take my inspiration from her, not some famous celebrity in a magazine.

I’m off to mop the floor, coated in baked bean juice and crusty mashed potato.

Then Dog and I will walk up to collect PB who’ll very possibly be dancing with the others to a song from the kids movie Madagascar: You’ve got to move it, move it.

So I guess I’d better.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Small step for a big person, big step for a small person

I finally got my first draft script in. Truth is it was the fourth version of that draft but so be it. Now we wait... and wait... and pray it's not all thrown out the window. Nevertheless it's good to have handed it in...

And just in time...

We're off to sleep school for a week, tomorrow. In a special house at the back of a hospital in the Not-So-Inner-West. I'm sure I will have to learn to sleep through the night as much as PB will. Maybe it will take me longer... I already wake up at three in anticipation of hearing her snuffles and squawks.

Despite my very practical self I'm getting a bit sentimental about it all. First time Wolfy will have had a night away from PB (he could join us in the barracks if he wanted but Dog can't, so it's boys week at home for the two of them.) Also, we are going to begin weaning. At least two of the four feeds.

Yes, it will be great to have my body back and try to get the boobs back into some kind of shape that makes them resemble a pair (not a pear). Yes, she doesn't really take it seriously half the time, feeding and simultaneously using her feet to explore my chin or just enjoying waving them in the air, playing with my bra strap with one hand and pointing at my freckles with the other... But still, it's one of those growth phases that makes you realise how quickly time passes and there'll be no going back. Not for this little one anyway.

Indeed I'm sure at the end of the week I'll also be happy to hand the maternity bra in...

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Rune sharing

This was mine and I'm pretty happy with it.

Algiz: Elk, protection.) Protection, a shield. The protective urge to shelter oneself or others. Defense, warding off of evil, shield, guardian. Connection with the gods, awakening, higher life. It can be used to channel energies appropriately. Follow your instincts. Keep hold of success or maintain a position won or earned.

I especially like the follow your instincts bit.

xx

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

New Year’s Resolutions

It’s a week or so into 2006 and etiquette wise I think I just make it. The year is still pretty new.

So. I am resolved to:

GET MORE SLEEP
ASR (Anticipated Success Rate): moderate/high

You can only whinge about not getting sleep for so long (see previous post) before people start to yawn.

Princess Bride and I are booked into a residential stay at Tresillian, where we will have 5 nights of what will feel like luxury accommodation as PB learns to sleep through the night.

We will also begin the process of weaning. For someone who thought they’d be lucky to breastfeed for three months, I think lasting thirteen months is pretty good.

WORK MORE EFFICIENTLY
ASR: moderate/low

Got the rough first draft of my first script in before Christmas – WOOHOO! (Partly why I’ve been so slack on the blog front). I still have a polished first and two more drafts to go and really need to get a better writing rhythm going.

As a chronic procrastinator (I once bought a book on the subject “Do it Now” which I read cover to cover, as a distraction from writing an assignment) this is an issue for me.

I am also not used to working freelance and work better when I have a screaming deadline rather than a wafty one. Apart from anything I can’t afford to work so slowly as Wolfy and are getting into a hairy financial state…


BLOG MORE REGULARLY
ASR: moderate/high

If the above works then there should be a flow on effect. As the saying goes: if you want something done get a busy person to do it.


CELEBRATE SIGNIFICANT BIRTHDAY OVERSEAS
ASR: somehow it will happen, in some form

Ideally, we’ve been talking about hanging out at a friend’s house in Tuscan Italy around this time. Realistically, W estimates an Italian holiday for the three of us will cost $10 000.

Maybe a package to Fiji or Vanuatu will be more likely. But I’ve never been there so I’d be happy with that…

Okay. A resort on an Island in the Great Barrier Reef also passes.

In which case it’d probably be cheaper to got to Italy… Or an Italian restaurant.

GET LESS INVOLVED IN FAMILY DRAMAS
ASR: high

After the huge stress my brother put us all through last year, Christmas passed as if nothing had ever happened. Turns out his “soulmate” who he went back to twice after my blog and finally left, was a nutcase. A ‘Bunny Boiler’ of the Fatal Attraction variety. She rang my sister-in-law and introduced herself as my brother’s girlfriend suggesting the two of them talk about that.

Not surprisingly, this did not endear her to my brother and surprisingly, brought my brother and his wife closer together. Go figure.

The Bunny Boiler showed her true colours recently (in case there was any doubt) by offering my brother a deal. She’ll leave his wife alone if he gives her five thousand dollars.

Nice try.

WORRY LESS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK
ASR: moderate/high

It’s a trait I’ve inherited from my mother and constantly battle to shed. The battle is made harder when PMS paranoia drops by. I forgot how it affects me because I didn’t get it during pregnancy and the first six months of PB’s life. So it’s not been an issue for well over a year.

It also starts to creep up on me if I hang around my mum too much. For example, I invited some long time family friends and some more recent friends to PB’s first birthday party. I had a fine time apart from the heat and PB had a ball. However, my mother got feedback that one of the family friends couldn’t be bothered mixing with the ‘actor people’. Never mind that none of them are actors.

I wished my mother hadn’t told me. I can’t take back PB’s first birthday. And it has tainted my memory of the occasion.

My mother thought it would be good for me to know, so I don’t mix the groups again. 'Don’t want to offend people… '

Well, she’s right in one way. I’ll never mix the groups because I’ll never invite that family friend to any party ever again! I DON’T WANT TO BE OFFENDED BY HER IGNORANCE.

Did I mention I’m a Scorpio?

HEALTH AND FITNESS
ASR: moderate

I’m desperate to get back to yoga and although I’m well back to my pre-pregnancy weight, I’m way off pre-pregnancy fitness and a tummy that lands on the bed beside me before the rest has rolled over.

And if we’re thinking of trying for another on the wrong side of a Significant Birthday (and keeping up with PB) I’ll need all the strength I can get.

VOLUNTEER WORK
ASR: moderate/high

I think it’ll be good for W and I to get a bit of perspective on life. Things aren’t so hot financially but they could be a lot worse and the rest of our life is pretty blessed.

Can’t help thinking though that W’s suggestion is a bit like cheating: he’s put Dog up to be a Pet Partner. If he passes assessment we get to take him into children’s hospitals and aged care homes for people to pat and hug. We already get a lot of pleasure and pride from watching strangers enjoy our dog, so it doesn’t feel like much of a sacrifice.

Mind you, W and Dog will have to wear matching red bandanas as the official uniform (teehee) and W will have to speak to strangers which will definitely challenge him.


I think that’ll keep the slate full for another year of barely reachable goals. But hey, at least they're out there. And I was sober when I wrote them.

Happy 2006 everyone - Be resolute!

xxx

ps
If anyone wants me to pull a New Year's Rune for them - lemme know.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

To Sleep, Perchance To… Sleep Some More

A friend who recently had a baby was complaining about not getting sleep. And surmising I must be getting more because I am now writing a script… (a what? Oh yes, that thing that will hopefully pay for Christmas.)

I reassured her I was not getting that much sleep. And being the Sage Earthmother of one eleven month old baby, I deigned to explain ‘You get used to it’.

Then, as though I had consequently invoked the Curse of the Pompous Ass, Princess Buttercup got sick: gastro. Vomiting and diarrhoea. With the latter happening at any time of the day or night and so violent it required a change of clothing, bedding and usually a bath, usually around four. That’s ay-em.

I think the next strike was the ‘Did You Say You Were Thinking of Weaning?’ Curse. She couldn’t keep down any solids so I was back to breastfeeds – day and night, as regular as required for as long as required. Which was about six times a day for six days…

I didn’t get used to it.


PB has never slept through the night and at first people said that was pretty common, but I seemed to be surrounded by pesky Allnighters from very early on. One mother in particular would preface her gloating by saying ‘I don’t mean to boast but Violet (‘Vahlet’ in a North Shore accent) has been sleeping through the naht since she was 6 weeks’. Oh yes, I said, trying to focus daggers through my puffy eyes, do go on… ‘She goes to bed at seven and wakes up at 5am and then we take the dog for a walk’.

I took some comfort in the fact that 5am is at least 2 hours short of ‘through the night’ in my book. So she could kid herself that getting up at 5am, feeding her child and NOT going back to bed was jolly. But I could not deny she was getting at least seven hours straight sleep. Cow.

As I lay awake the other night post-feed (see, waking up in the night to feed is one thing, then you have to get back to sleep) I realized it had been over a year since I had more than five hours uninterrupted sleep. In the latter days of my pregnancy I had extremely bad heartburn whenever I lay down, plus the constant peeing…

I guess it’s nature’s way of preparing you… For hysteria, for not being able to work (or write blogs), change out of trackydaks or sometimes even leave the house, for turning you into a sooky lala or an impatient stickinthemud.


I’m starting to fantasize about a night in the future. PB (weaned) is with doting grandparents. Darling Wolfy and I are in a fancy hotel. There’s maybe a bit of uninterrupted horizontal dancing with the option of making noise. I drink a little too much champagne (because I’m not breastfeeding) and pass out til about 9am with no need to get up and pee during the night. My head hits the pillow and I do not move for eight hours.

But then…

Where’s the little toddler whose soldier penguin walk and excited gummy smile greets me in the morning, lighting up her face and mine? Arms outstretched for cuddles and giggles that say: we’re both awake and it’s daytime, isn’t that great?

Aaah. I’m going all mushy. I must be tired.

Dream on. I have a happy, healthy, alert eleven month old baby girl.

I must be lucky.