Posted on September 25, 2008 by Sarah
Parenting is a hard slog. If it isn’t the lack of free time, then it’s the constant effort of taking care of another developing human being and all that entails (the main tasks that come to mind are: entertaining, feeding, coaching, cleaning up after, reprimanding, keeping them out of harms way, etc.) Most of my childless friends find it exhausting to be around kids for a few hours, let alone all day, day after day.
However, if it was all like that we’d be a doomed species. Fortunately, us parents also have the absolute joy and happiness of being around a growing person, one with an emerging personality and wit, and with an absolute adoration and love for you. That kind of felicity doesn’t come cheaply.
One of the things I find most interesting and rewarding about being Rose’s mum is watching her grow. She learns new things all the time. It seems like every day she shows me a new level of understanding she has about the world, and it’s incredibly fascinating and humbling at the same time. Take this morning. I said my usual, “Okay Rose, let’s get our shoes on before we go out the door.” Today, unlike previous days, she went over to her shoes, sat down and lifted one foot up.
For some inexplicable reason this floored me. I knew she knew what shoes were. But today she showed me not just that she knew what shoes were but that she knew the routine involved with those shoes. She understands me.
After putting on her shoes I looked at her and said, “come over and give mum a hug.” She ran over and hugged me tight.
I am her mother. Nothing beats that.
Filed under: Parenting | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 24, 2008 by Sarah
We bought Rose new shoes about three weeks ago. She no longer fits them. I don’t know what the heck is going on, but her feet are growing like mad! So, yesterday we grabbed the cheque book and went out to buy yet another pair. We went to a one of those boutique childrens’ shoe stores in Haberfield, recommended by my friend Petra. Rose had a lot of fun running around grabbing shoes, and I Chris and I had a lot of fun looking for the most expensive pair. “Hey, look over here – these Spanish sandals are $130!!” Fortunately, we managed to find a reasonably priced pair of navy mary janes, and a pair of regular shoes for half off (old stock). We also bought them in the largest possible size that we could manage without Rose’s gait being seriously impaired.
After the shoe errand was dispatched Chris set off to find some Italian pastries (did I mention that the best Italian pastries in Sydney are from Haberfield?) and I took Rose over the road to a small park. As we were approaching a little boy of about two years ran up to the fence and said hello. We stopped to talk to him. He stuck his hand out to Rose from between the bars, and Rose tentatively took his hand.
She proceeded to strike up quite a friendship with this young larrikin, named Luca. (I say friendship, but I’m not sure what friendship means to the under-two set.) It was great fun watching her pick wildflowers with him (she picked them one by one, he grabbed whole fistfulls) and play peekaboo in the playground tunnel. They giggled and giggled. A lot of Rose’s interactions are with adults, and it was nice to see her engaged in some non-directed play. When it was time to go, Rosie waved and said, “bye bye” and Luca did the same. It’s always a bit sad to go home after a fun day.
Filed under: As it happened, Friends | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 21, 2008 by Sarah
A few observations about Rose this week:
- As well as walking forwards, she can also walk backwards and sideways.
- She loves picking up objects and throwing them over one shoulder.
- There’s been a lot of dancing this week. Also, instead of just bobbing up and down in time to music, she now dances with each foot stepping, side by side. Sometimes it looks like tap-dancing. This morning I went to mass with Delwyn and Cleo, it was the ‘blessing of the animals’ and I knew Rose would love it. She spent a good part of the mass either crouched down looking at cats in cages or tap-dancing during the hymns.
- She ‘tap dances’ without music. She often tap dances when she’s standing on new types of flooring.
- She now climbs up stairs upright, holding on the railing. She used to go up on her knees (essentially crawling).
- Today she said, “Up! Up!” when she was climbing up the stairs
- At Delwyn’s place she spent 10 minutes carefully putting puzzle pieces into place in their box, and then taking them out. She’s very focused on learning new skills involving co-ordination and spatial imagination.
- The new shoes we bought her two weeks ago are already too small. Her feet seem to be growing a lot lately.
Filed under: Developmental Milestones, Personality | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 16, 2008 by Sarah
Me: I can’t believe you accepted that line I gave you last night.
Chris: Which one?
Me: The one when I said I wasn’t sleeping through the movie, I was just blinking slowly.
Chris: That was a line? I thought it was just a piece of knowing irony?!
Me: No, I was dead serious. I was asleep, you woke me up to ask me if I still wanted to watch the movie, and I said whatever came into my mind first to make you go away.
Filed under: As it happened | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 15, 2008 by Sarah
I don’t know about any other kids, but Rose is definitely eccentric. Just recently she’s started creeping up behind me, standing very close. The first I know about it is when I feel her warm breath on the back of my neck. I turn around, and she’s an explosion of giggles.
I’ve also noticed her suddenly walking as if she had really big feet, or as if one of her legs was wooden. She sometimes walks as if she can’t bend her knees. I’ve also seen her walking backwards and trying to eat with her eyes closed. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I think it’s just joie de vivre.
(RIP, David Foster Wallace.)
Filed under: Personality | 2 Comments »
Posted on September 13, 2008 by Sarah
I discussed my general lack of energy with my midwife at my last antenatal visit, and she recommended that I consider wearing support hose. She told me that when you’re pregnant you have a lot more blood circulating around your body, and coupled with the extra pressure your baby puts on your body it causes your veins to dilate and work much less efficiently, and your heart is working harder to get the blood around. It makes you to feel tired.
“Support hose!” I said. “Is this to cement my feeling of being the least attractive woman in the world?”
“They come in skin color – people don’t have to know,” she said, hopefully.
So I’ve been wearing support hose today and I have to say they’re not worth it. They’re warm, scratchy, uncomfortable, and they make you feel like you should be in a hospice. It’s 30oC in Sydney today (86oF), and I have sweat pouring down in between the hose and my legs. I don’t care how good they’re supposed to make me feel medically, they make me feel bad in so many other ways. The hose are going.
I’ve uploaded some recent photos of Rose, including a couple of her with her Grandad.
Filed under: Pregnancy | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 12, 2008 by Sarah
On Sunday night when we put Rose to bed I told her, “Tomorrow morning Grandad will be here!” She appeared nonchalant about the news, and took it the same way that she takes all the other news I discuss with her, from “We’re going to the Zoo today!” to “Mummy needs to stop at the record store on the way home to see if they have the new Drive-by Truckers album”: disinterestedly.
Yet when we (mum, dad, and Grandad) got her up the next morning she took one look at him and said, “Dah-Da!” She’s continued to repeat the name constantly during the days he’s been here – we can only conclude that she’s saying “Grandad!”
She’s loved her Grandad being in Sydney. He has so much fun with her, from showing her how nuts and bolts work, to making silly noises. She’s been so affectionate around him, in fact at times it’s like she’s not really interested in Chris or I while Grandad is around. When she comes rushing out of her room with some new interesting object she goes to him first! It’s so great to see.
Filed under: Family | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 11, 2008 by Sarah
Well, I’m officially into the third trimester now, which some people call the “home straight” although I seem to remember last time that those last 12 weeks seem more like 6 months. I have to say that I’m really excited about D Day and I really hope the rest of the pregnancy just flies by.
I was thinking today about how different this pregnancy has been. Here are a few things that come to mind:
- I haven’t put anti-stretch mark cream on my expanding belly once. Last time? Every night.
- Chris has been to one antenatal visit; last time he went to all of them. This is mainly due to the fact that my antenatal visits are all on Thursdays, which is the day Chris looks after Rose. We learned very early on that waiting for an hour in an obstetricians office is much more pleasant when you’re flipping through magazines than when you’re trying to stop your toddler from going behind the receptionist’s desk. Over and over again.
- When I look at my calendar and see that I have an antenatal visit coming up I think, “Again?” Last time it was “Yay!”
- I’ve only looked a few things up in What to Expect When You’re Expecting (AKA the pregnancy bible). This time around the “insomnia” and “braxton-hicks” contractions sections are well-thumbed, but I have not found myself looking up oddities like “weird dreams” or “cravings”. This time around I pretty much assume that everything is normal.
- The braxton-hicks contractions (practice contractions) have been a LOT more noticeable this time around. Maybe it’s because I know what they are?
- I’ve only put on 4 kilos (9 pounds) this time around. This time I know those pregnancy kilos are VERY hard to shift and I’ve been super vigilant about my diet.
- I don’t think we’ve bought one ‘new baby’ item yet. The truth is, we don’t have much to get this time around. We still have Rose’s bassinet. We have all the sheets, cloth nappies, baby monitor, etc. that we need. I think the only thing we need to get is a double stroller and that’s about it.
Filed under: Pregnancy | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 7, 2008 by Chris
Rose has several words or pre-words that perform a range of duties. One is ‘ow-dair’, often accompanied by a gesture to the door or to the window and which we therefore take to mean ‘out there’. If she does it while I’m dressing her to go out, or packing her bag, I’ll say something like, ‘Yes, we’re going out there in a minute’. But we hadn’t been sure that she meant ‘out there’.
She said ‘ow-dair’ a lot on Friday, when the rain was pelting down. I’d taken her to a park after dropping Sarah off at work that morning, and she got about fifty minutes’ outdoor play before the rain started. But by the afternoon she was clearly feeling cooped up. She started doing something I hadn’t seen before: leaning over a low table or a stool, rubbing her face against it and crying. And then saying, ‘Ow-dair’. Suddenly I thought she might be asking to go out there, out onto the balcony. We have a long and deep balcony that is fairly well shielded from the rain (usually). We don’t usually let her out there because it’s featureless and there’s nothing to do apart from mess with flowerpots (one empty, one occupied) and tip over the clothesrack. But I opened the door and let her out. She ran back and forth from one end to another, unleashed and happy to be ow dair.
Rose and Sarah have given me the most loving of Fathers’ Days.
Filed under: Talking | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 7, 2008 by Sarah
Rose is a lucky girl. She’s lucky to be brought up in a happy home by people who love and care for her. Her parents aren’t worried about where their next meal is coming from or how to pay the next bill. Their house is dry and warm, and she has certainty and regularity in her life. She has grandparents that love her very much, and a circle of friends that make her happy.
She’s growing up in a country with a world-class health care system freely available to all, where access to high quality education is valued, and where there are museums and art galleries everywhere. There are huge beautiful parks nearby with extensive facilities and amazing animals. She will go to schools with people with a wide variety of backgrounds and languages spoken at home, and she will grow up knowing how to eat sushi, use chopsticks, and where to get the best felalfel and pastizzis.
But one of the biggest and most important reasons why she’s lucky is she has a dad that loves her so very much. Her dad takes a day off work each week to spend with her, gets her up out of bed most mornings, reads her stories and puts her to bed at night. He loves taking her to the park, and nothing makes him happier than to see his wife and daughter happy. When he comes rushing in the door after work his face looks like this was the highlight of his day, and Rose’s face looks like she’s been waiting for this moment for hours. He is patient and kind when she is tired and cranky. He is boisterous and fun when she wants to play. He is ALWAYS there for her, and she comes first equal (with his wife) in his affections. There is nothing he wouldn’t do for the benefit and safety of his family.
Rose is daddy’s special girl, and she’s the luckiest girl in the world for it.
Happy Father’s Day, Chris.
Filed under: Daddy | 1 Comment »