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Terrific Twos

img_5718Not something you hear often, is it? Terrific twos? Today I’m suffering from major-with-a-capital-m mummy guilt because I’ve dropped my gorgeous Big Boy (aka Henry) at daycare. And I’m not even at work.

My partner and I were worried Henry wasn’t getting enough play dates since we moved from Adelaide, away from my mother’s group. I have heaps of Tasmanian friends.  In fact, they’re my best friends in the world and many of them have kids, but they’re a 1hr20min drive away and Louis hates the car.

Since Louis came along I’ve felt like I’m not giving Henry enough attention. What with the food intolerances and the not sleeping, he demands a lot of my time. And I’m tired. With a capital T. In bold font. So I haven’t played with Henry with as much enthusiasm as I’d like.

Plus, in five months time I will be back at work, and I’m hoping a day a week in daycare will make that transition easier on him.

Ok now I’m just trying to justify the fact that I’ve dumped my gorgeous boy somewhere unfamiliar and probably traumatised him for life. So I’m sitting in a vegan paleo cafe (weird breastfeeding diet calls for this. I do NOT fit in) documenting all of the adorable things about being two.

1. We can have conversations now. And mostly we can understand each other.

His language is amazing and adorable. He sneezed yesterday and said “bless you, me.” He stubbed his toe and said “sorry, me.” We went outside to play because I was concerned that he was watching excavator videos on YouTube AGAIN and he said “bye dig digs.” Yesterday he told me the trees were hiding in the steam. He hadn’t seen a foggy morning before. I posted about that yesterday, I know. But it was so damn cute.

2. He plays make believe.

I hurt my toe yesterday. Actually I’m pretty sure his woo woo truck ran over it. He brought me his blue bear and put it on my foot and proclaimed it was a bandage and said “poor mummy.” Heart. Melts.

3. He’s started copying us  

When we’re trying to get him to sleep we often lay down on his bed and pretend to go to sleep. Last night he turned the light off, gave me his bear and said “goodnight mummy” and went right back to not sleeping. Then he came over and planted a big wet one on my forehead. I actually teared up it was so cute.

Sometimes he does squats and counts them out (that’s his dad he’s copying, not me!). His counting goes 1, 2, 9, 2, 10!

4. He adores the dog.

They actually play tug together. He puts the toy in his mouth too. Our dog can literally pull me over but knows to be gentle with Henry. He puts up with a lot. He also gets fed a lot so he must figure its worth it. He gets the crust of Henry’s toast every morning and gets told “good boy.” Actually, I get called a good boy a lot too.

5. The dancing. 

Oh, the dancing. It is so funny it takes all my willpower not to laugh. Lately he requires about five “Wiggly Woo” a day. We may have danced to it in a cafe on the weekend. We had the room to ourselves, but his dad was still mortified. Speaking of his dad, when he busts out the moves with Henry I can’t hold in the laughs. I don’t actually understand how he can dad-dance out of time to the music. It’s like singing out of tune on purpose. It’s gloriously awful.

6. He can blow his nose! 

(If I hold the tissue and read his mood just right and we’re standing in the right direction and wearing the right clothes and all the stars align). But he can do it!

Ok this didn’t help at all.  Now I miss him. But Louis is asleep so we’ll have to wait until he’s ready for his next nap before we can pick Henry up.  Otherwise there will be frustrated mournful crying in the car and I don’t want to traumatise them both in one day!

 

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mum, parenting

Fears and phobias

What are your biggest fears?  What makes your skin crawl?  What makes you start to sweat and feel sick to your stomach?

Last week I went to put on my baby carrier and there was a scorpion in it.  Cue hysterical squawking from both me and the baby.  Yesterday, a tarantula ran up the wall.  And then down the wall.  And then across the floor towards me.  I was wearing the poor baby in the ill-fated carrier and my hysterical squawking woke him up.  I managed to squash the poor spider (sorry, dude)  with my fiance’s sneaker.  I had to get really close to it to do that. Just about threw up.

But in all seriousness, what used to scare me (spiders, snakes, and heights post-bungee jumping, weird I know) pales in comparison to my fears since becoming a mum.

I’m petrified of leukaemia.  I try not to fixate on bruises.  I try not to feel my boys’ bellies in case I imagine hepatosplenomegaly (big liver and spleen). I won’t read stories about it on the news websites. Why? I have no idea.  There’s no family history or anything.  I think it might be the curse of being a doctor-mum.

I’m petrified of bronchiolitis and asthma.  Sure, I’m a doctor but I’m no paediatrician and the thought of my kids having trouble breathing terrifies me.

Anaphylaxis.  My first son, Big Boy, was allergic to eggs.  Thankfully he’s outgrown it now.  But I haven’t introduced it to Little Boy yet, who is 5 months and has been eating solids for four weeks now.  Maybe I’ll sit in the hospital car park and try out some scrambled eggs.  We are way too far away from a hospital.

Ok, I’m still scared of snakes.  Because I live in the bush and have small children, and dogs and goats and chooks that I love. That one’s probably reasonable.

I’m scared of driving long distances with the boys in the car.  I’m scared of anyone else taking them in their cars. I’m scared I’ll forget they’re in the car and leave them locked inside.

But lately, what I’m scared of most of all is that I’m doing everything wrong.  Here is an excerpt from my internal monologue:

Maybe Louis doesn’t sleep at night because he’s really overtired because I’m misreading his tired signs and he’s not getting enough sleep during the day because sleep begets sleep and anything less than 45mins is a catnap and babies grow while they sleep and maybe that’s why he’s tiny.

Oh no Henry is on Youtube watching dig-digs on my phone again.  He’s going to be short-sighted (or is it long sighted).  He won’t be as bright as the other kids.  He won’t learn to speak properly or be able to socialise.  I should play more with him but when I try he just says “Mum go away” or Louis starts screaming again and I can only keep one of them happy at a time and what if they both end up with antisocial personality disorder because I’m constantly ignoring them?

Louis is screaming again.  Maybe he’s constipated.  Did I feed him too many solids today?  Oh no maybe I accidentally fed him dairy or soy.  Maybe I accidentally ate dairy or soy.  Maybe he’s allergic to something else too.  He is spewing more.  Was that a big spew?  Or a moderate one?  I need to keep a food diary to keep track of this.  Maybe we need to see a paediatrician.  He’s feeding every hour so maybe it’s comfort feeding because solid food hurts his belly or maybe I have low supply?  Maybe it’s because he’s just snacking each time and I should encourage him to stretch the feeds out and have a bigger one each time? Oh no he’s screaming again, maybe I’d better feed him.

Sound familiar?  I really hope so. That means I just have normal mummy guilt and I’m not actually going mad.  Although sleep deprivation can make you psychotic right?

This sure is a tough gig sometimes, but I am well aware how lucky I am to have two gorgeous little men in my life.  Henry woke me up this morning to tell me that the trees were hiding in the steam. He’d never seen fog before.  Louis can be pulled from sitting to standing now and can roll one way and suck his toes.  They interact together. This melts my heart.  Sure, one day they’ll fight with each other but for now, when Henry isn’t trying to feed/squash/hit him, they’re each other’s favourite person.  I must be doing something right, right?

allergies, mum, Uncategorized

Love of my life

Let me introduce you to the new (secondhand) love of my life.  Let’s call her Thermantha.  Yes, I’ve joined the Thermomix cult.  I remember when I used to sit on my high horse and smugly smile at my friends who bought into this crazy cult a few years ago.  “It’s just a kitchen appliance,” I thought.  “It’s not like it peels your vegies.”

And then I became a mother of two under two.  One who wouldn’t eat anything which didn’t come in a plastic wrapper.  And one who had soy and cow’s milk protein intolerance.  Of course, it was the one I was breastfeeding, which meant I couldn’t eat, like, food. I became hangry.  And skinny.  Skinny was a plus, but hangry was not.

I couldn’t eat out anymore, unless it was plain fruit and vegies (and maccas chips).  Did you know all store-bought bread and cereal contain soy?  Me neither.

I started going in to shops I’d never noticed before to find dairy alternatives.  In addition to my babywearing and cosleeping habit (this baby was NOT easy), I suspect my friends were calling me a dirty hippy behind my back.  Or perhaps that was due to the occasional missed shower because, kids.  Difficult kids.

I discovered biocheese, savoury yeast flakes, and cacao powder.  To my absolute delight, I discovered dairy- and soy-free chocolate.  What I didn’t discover was extra time to cook all of this ridiculously labour-intensive food with two incredibly needy humans at my side.

Enter Thermantha. And all hail the quirky cooking recipe book.

I’ve become a little obsessed.  I make bliss balls most days.  I try and make healthy muesli bars for Big Boy (a little bit of chocolate is ok right?).  This week I made them with raspberry.  He sniffed it and threw it on the ground.  I made chicken nuggets last week.  Sniffed and threw.  I made a different version yesterday.  Sniffed and threw.  I made pasta.  Sniffed and threw (that was messy).  I made “hidden veggie meatballs” and to my absolute and utter delight, HE ATE FIVE!!  Hallelujah.  From now on I will only be making spherical food.  And pretending to eat it in order to make him think its worth eating (“No, Mum, its MINE!!”)

I’m sorry, dear friends and fellow cult-members.  You were right.  Thermies are life-changing. Stocking up the pantry has cost me a small fortune, but I’m not hangry anymore.

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Self-indulgent or just self-obsessed?

I’m having one of those days.  Other parents of little kids understand what I mean by that. Last night Mr 2 woke many times.  So did Mr 4 months. Note how I don’t say three times, or four times, or even five times. I’ve found it’s easier to cope if you don’t count the wakenings.  And if you drink a lot of coffee.

I’m hoping that having an interest outside of being a human pacifier/chef/tissue/personal slave will also help.  Ergo, blog.  I don’t expect anyone else will read this, but I think it’ll be nice to look back and remember what life was like during my precious time off work.

And it really is precious.  I just have to remind myself of that a lot.  Like when Mr 2 insists on closing my laptop lid and I find myself fighting over my “toy.” MUMMY WAS USING IT FIRST!!  Or when I’m chasing him around the house trying to change his nappy and hoping the poo won’t stain the carpet.  Or when I’ve decided there’s no point in changing my soggy jeans because Mr 4 months will just spew on them again.

Some days I find myself googling “Netflix vs Stan” or adding items to online shopping baskets that I know I’ll never check out.  And then feeling really guilty because I just wasted half an hour where I should have been playing in the sandpit, or making cardboard cubby houses, or teaching Mr 2 the alphabet in Japanese or whatever good mums do.

Some days I don’t get dressed until the afternoon.

And then there are days like today, where I give myself a break and stare at my gorgeous little spew monster while he’s feeding (AGAIN) and can’t believe how lucky I am.  Where I feel SO VERY proud of my little boy (who refers to himself as “Big Boy”) for learning a new word, or sharing a toy with his brother, or just being downright cute.

Better go watch Little Boy suck his toes and try and change Big Boy’s nappy.  Wish me luck.