Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 30. Day 120. I'm not going anywhere

If they want me to be nice to them they should not call me at dinner time. But still the man in India trying to fix my computer or sell me solar panels for my roof insists on phoning when I am trying to cook. This and the small matter of the clear invasion of the Do Not Call Register provisions drives me nuts and tends to make me say words that are somewhat less than ladylike. And as soon as the home phone calls I am ready for it because people who know me use my mobile (except my mum and I always know when it will be mum). Thus my cranky pants were on when the phone rang still I reluctantly agreed to market research. Question after question about why I live where I live and what it would take to consider moving to Logan. "Logan?" I said. "Not going to happen". And while I was well aware that sounded all judgey that wasn't my intent. I love where I live and I have no intention of moving. Not now. Not ever (well not until I win Lotto and I can buy that house right on the beach I want). Living in walking distance of South Bank, West End and the City suits me just fine. More than just fine. Just don't phone me at dinner time to confirm.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April 29. Day 119. Fight to the death

The more you love someone
The more you want to kill 'em
The more you love someone
The more he make you cry
That's a line from Avenue Q, the deeply provocative, naughty and very, very funny musical which makes a return visit to Brisbane Arts Theatre next month.
And while it is designed to get a reaction, the fact is it's so true. If it's a fine line between pleasure and pain, our nearest and dearest are the ones most equipped to hover close to and cross that line. The fact is no matter how much we try to hide our buttons, our families know where to find them and how to push them to get a reaction - over and over again. But we keep going back for more because, well, we love them and because while they know where the big bad buttons are they also know how to make us proud, happy, safe etc, etc.They help us learn to roll with the punches, to get back up and do it again. Pretty much the same thing was on display at South Bank this afternoon. Two young blokes were undertaking a bit of fitness training when they decided to ditch the equipment and use their bodies as weapons. It wasn't quite a fight to the death but it was undertaken with about the same amount of ferocity - and then they would break, dust themselves off, smile and do it again. Clearly they were the best of mates. Only our nearest and dearest would get away with that.

Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28. Day 118. A leaf out of my book

I've decided that my family should take a leaf out of my book and follow my new health kick. I mean, all of the experts say dieting is more successful if you have a support person. And hasn't that got off to a glorious start? Husband's first response was to whip down to the bakery and buy a sausage roll AND a pasty. Apparently that wasn't bad because a) he only intended to eat the sausage roll for breakfast. The pasty was for later and b) he had it with tomato sauce and that covers a fruit or vegetable food group or something. This was the same logic Dram Teen used to justify McDinner. Fries are potatoes and he was assisting me by refusing to share any. Right. I think perhaps I should lend them both one of my many, many diet books. But they would probably destroy them or eat them or something. Neither seems to have any desire to do this diet thing by the book.
*Today's image is from the Visual Art studio at work. I look at it and think food. Diets do that to a person.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

April 27. Day 117. Chocolate makes perfect

If practice makes perfect, I should be the world's best dieter given I have been on a diet for approaching 35 years. But like so many things it just gets harder with age.
However, after weeks (perhaps months) of the seafood diet (yes, I see food and eat it) I have decided moderation is the new me. It is either that or buy a whole new wardrobe. That is appealing but if I am to invest in new clothes, I would much prefer they were not size tent.
So a new healthy eating regime has begun and today is day three. So far so good (where so good is defined as not having killed anyone yet).
Will power is clearly a super power which I have been blessed with. Or not. But today I did display a rare moment of restraint. I went to one of those specialist chocolate restaurants and didn't dip a single thing in the delicious melted choc pot. Big elephant stamp for me (with any luck in a few weeks the stamp won't need to be quite so big).

Saturday, April 26, 2014

April 26. Day 116. Darkness descending

Late last year I was on the beach with the Fur Friend when Rumple bounded up to a family playing in the sand. The little girl, apparently scared of dogs, started running. Rumple, convinced this was a very exciting game, gave chase. It was ugly and only stopped when the girl was cornered by the dune and trapped and I was able to pull Rumple off. I felt awful and totally responsible. It was my bad but I really wanted to implore the girl's mum to teach her not to run, to hold her ground. You can not beat the black dog by trying to run away. Ever. This statement is equally true of the small black puppy on the beach and the great big ugly black dog that seemed determined to chase me today. The black dog chases more when you try to get away. The dog was menacing me as I walked this afternoon so that instead of seeing the colours of the sunset rise I could only feel the darkness descending. Curse you black dog. Be off to the pound. If only it was that easy ...

Friday, April 25, 2014

April 25. Day 115. On the ball

Colour blindness is well known to be a gender-linked condition, affecting mainly men. It is not the only vision-related deficiency which strikes the male of the species. Men don't, as far as I know, have a problem with vision. They do, however, have a distinct inability to look for things, thus leading to the phrase "the boy look". The males in my life are tragically afflicted. Over and over again we have conversations that go something along the lines of:
Male: "have you seen my phone, keys, homework, tie, remote control ...."\
Me: "no ... but I haven't been looking for it"
Male: "could you?"
A search, often lasting 2.7 nano seconds, is then launched generally finding the lost item either in clear view or exactly where it should be. Seriously, some people can't see for looking.
Like today, I dragged the males to the dog park with Rumple and me. When we got there I asked my husband if he could find a ball in my backpack. Nope, apparently there wasn't one. I suppose that was true. There wasn't one ball, there were three all in clear view. So we got to play with the flattened but favourite green ball, the new purple ball AND the ball on the rope. Rumple didn't care which. He, at least, was one male in the family who was on the ball.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

April 24. Day 114. It's a gift

A friend of mine who is an awesome musician finds it annoying when people tell her how lucky she is to have been born with such a gift. It's not that she dismisses the concept but what she finds irritating is the assumption this is something God-given and not something she has had to work her butt off to develop. This is true with so many things in life. It's not what you have it's what you do with it that really counts. It's a notion that recurred a number of times for me today. When I looked at another friend with her newborn bub what I saw was the greatest gift of all and such potential right there in the tiny little fingers and toes. But later in the day at the Anzac Eve concert at the South Bank Piazza I saw so many gifted people sharing their talents. The biggest surprise to me was not how good the music was (that I expected) but what a truly awesome impressive speech writer, orator and human being our Governor Penelope Wensley is. How did I not know that? We were told that music can say so much more than words and the musical performance was the orchestra's gift to the city to honour our soldiers. An orchestra, a navy band, a police pipe band, two choirs and two sopranos - that's an awesome free gift and a fitting tribute to those who gave the ultimate gift for our peace and security. In return, it is our responsibility to do with it the very best we can.
Not often do I feel any desire to quote a member of the Royal Family but a segment of Prince William's speech this week where he said that Australia "may be known as the lucky country but often the hardier the work, the luckier you get" struck a chord. How true that is.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April 23. Day 113. You can tell a lot about a person by the company he greets

 You can tell a lot about people's relationship by the way they greet each other. The polite nod, the smile, the half wave, the awkward embrace, the warm embrace, the kiss on the cheek, the kiss on both cheeks, the kiss on the mouth, the tongue kiss .... they all speak volumes without saying a word. Working out what those wordless exchanges mean is a bit of a game I like to play when bored in places like airport arrival and departure lounges. It not only kills time but it is a genuinely interesting study of the human condition. It also melts the heart watching when nearest and dearest reunite after absences. I witnessed such a reunion of sorts today when the Fur Friend Rumple and his adopted half sibling The Fed had a play date after being apart for a week. Such a cute but odd couple they are. When they are together I find myself referring to them as one entity - calling  for RumpsyFeddie (one word, rolled together) in much the same way as in the past my father would hollow MarieSusanLisaMichael if he wanted one or all of his offspring. The teen tells me I have this naming convention all wrong. In the way of Brangelina, I'm told the couple name for Rumpsy and Feddy would be Ruddy. Regardless of what they are called, I must say that when it comes to greetings, we humans have a distinct advantage over canines. The greeting ritual of Ruddy is exhausting just watching it. They jump on each other, roll around a lot, bite each other's ears and mouth, sniff bums and run round around like possessed creatures until they run out of steam. Then they break for a bit and repeat. And that's because they like each other. Goodness only knows how they would react if they didn't get on. Probably much the same way....

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 22. Day 112. Stranded

There is something of a magnetic attraction to Noosa for me.
I am not talking about its glorious beaches, the wonderful national park, the  nudist beach or even the shops and restaurants on Hastings Street. For some reason "disasters" befall me in Noosa forcing me to extend my stay here.When my now husband first came to Australia he managed to lose his passport just before he was due to fly back to the UK. We were in Noosa and were "forced" to stay at the rather delightful On The Beach for a few extra days while new documents were fast tracked.
This time it's the car. The new car. The car I bought because I wanted a reliable vehicle that wouldn't break down. The car that is still under warranty is about to be towed. So instead of driving back to Brisbane last night to get The Teen to school this morning as planned, I was on the beach this morning working out what to do next.
There began a long, tiresome standoff. The Holden Customer Care man hung up on me telling me "there was not a damn thing he could do". Bad move, sir. The customer might not always be right but you sure as hell don't hang up on them. The problem was this. The nearest Holden dealership couldn't even assess the car until tomorrow. Holden "policy" is that the vehicle must be assessed before a courtesy car can be considered. So I guessed I was supposed to walk with all luggage, the dog and the teen back to Brisbane when we got kicked out of the accommodation this morning.
Seriously, just quoting your policy doesn't make the policy good. Surely there is such a thing as a case-by-case basis. And while we are at it, surely there is a moral obligation to sell a car that actually works for more than a year without being towed.
So the bulldog was activated. On to the person who sold the car, back on to customer care and finally an agreement to tow the car to Brisbane and provide a hire car to get us back. So the thing that Mr Hang Up on Me Man said could not happen did. That people, is what customer care is and for this I am very grateful. My gratitude also goes to the agents who said the cleaners were not due until lunch time so ignore the 10am kick out time. 
There are far worse places to be stranded than Noosa but it's hard to enjoy it when you are being messed around and treated like shit. The car breaking down may have been an act of God but it is how men deal with it that makes the difference.

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21. Day 111. Three's not a crowd

There is nothing that terrible about the terrible twos.
No defiant tantrum, no wilful disobedience, no dummy spit comes close to what a teenager can dish out. The more I see of it, the more I love my dog. But for all their hormonal unpredictability there are real payoffs in the teenager years. More independence, greater reliability, easy banter and intelligent conversation are definite plusses. You just need to be very aware of which version of the teenage creature you are dealing with at any given moment (and it can switch in a moment). Which left me with a big decision – should I take just one teenager on the Easter vacation or share the love and take three. I decided on the latter and my own son was joined by his cousin Scarlett and her boyfriend Alex. It was a flash of inspiration. I still got to enjoy the solitude of the dawn walk with dog along the beach because no self-respecting teenager sees that time of day unless they are still to go to bed. Then when they eventually stirred they were happy to join me for a swim or for the afternoon play with the dog as we ran along the beach. And at night we had a quorum for board games. Three is not a crowd. Three is a happy group of teenagers who enjoy each other’s company and are good fun to be with. I’d be delighted to do it again some time.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

April 20. Day 110. A race against time

The best thing about holidays is that you never have to be anywhere at a particular time - at least the type of holiday I now favour. Get up when you want. Nap when you want. Eat meals according to no particular schedule (and because it is Easter that includes chocolate for any and every meal if so desired). It is just as well there was no race against time today because quite frankly I would have been on the losing team. My pre breakfast stroll took an impressive four hours in no small part because my walking buddies (one human, one with four legs and fur) got lost. This is itself is no mean feat. We were just walking from one section of beach to another in search of the dog off leash areas. Pretty much everyone should be able to follow the Coast without having to follow stars or the movement of the sun or tides or anything else - but not us. And even when I resorted to the GPS on the phone I refused to believe that its directions were right (they were) further delaying the return. Now this sort of delay would normally see my stress levels reach boiling point because being late and lost is one of my least favourite combinations but not holiday mode Susan. Holiday mode Susan just enjoyed the sights, sounds and smells of the seaside and the walk with two buddies. Time and tide wait for no man but today breakfast did wait - and even after the four hour walk we arrived home just in time for breakfast with the stirring teenagers. That's something else that doesn't like to be raced.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

April 19. Day 109. As good as it gets

George Orwell had Room 101. JK Rowling had the Boggart. These were the living embodiment of a person’s worst nightmare; being confronted with thing we fear most in the whole world. I know what would be in that room and even to speak of it brings a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. I can not go there. But what about the opposite? What if there was a Room 202? This room would not just be like the Room of Requirement in Hogwarts that brings you what you need at the time. This would be the room that represented not only want you need but what you love. This would be utopia. I would call that room Beach Access 30. A long uninterrupted sandy beach represents just about everything that is good in the world. The smell of sun screen, the sand between your toes, the warm water lapping at your feet. It is not possible to feel sad, or mad or bad on a warm sunny day on the sand. Well I can’t anyway. The shrieks of the children as they charge down the dunes, the way the dog’s ears are pinned back as he charges after the ball, the laughter as families roll in the surf or jump on a newly-constructed sand castles. The whole Garden of Eden thing may have been ruined by a woman and an apple but there is no spoiling the beach in the Bible according to Susan. This is as good as life gets.

April 17. Day 107. A Good Friday

 For the following reasons I make it a rule not to go away for the Easter long weekend:
a) Meeting the accommodation cost requires a second mortgage
b) It almost always rains
c) It is the most crowded time of the year
d) Massive traffic snarls are inevitable
e) The Easter Bunny may not know where to find me
But there's no need to be silly about it. When I learned that my husband wouldn't return from his Shanghai conference until Monday and my mother, sister and niece would be in Hong Kong for Easter I decided to be a little home body no more.
I called the credit card into action, booked a palatial beach home and recruited the boy, my niece Scarlett, her boyfriend Alex and Rumple and off we went.
When the Bruce Highway turned to carpark just outside Brisbane, the plan suddenly seemed insane but the bottle neck soon cleared and as soon as we hit the beach all was forgotten.
Even if the Easter Bunny can't fine me, the weather is glorious and the decision to go to the beach is the best one ever. If necessary, there should be just enough money left on the credit card after paying for the accommodation to buy my own chocolate.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April 17. Day 107. Making bunny ears

The Easter bonnet parade - an annual ritual which I used to joke was devised by early childhood educators to torture parents and laugh at their truly awful creations. All those years trying to create something that looked even vaguely festive out of a combination of cardboard, feathers, glue and egg cartons or other equally implausible craft items. But today I got to get all misty eyed sentimental about how cute it all was and how fast time flies. Today, having passed the test, my "baby" is the proud owner of a learner's permit and legally able to learn to drive in Queensland. And I thought making an Easter bonnet was cruel and unusual torture. Now the fun really begins. With the bit of paper in hand we walked into the Queen Street Mall where the signs of last minute Easter shopping - and Easter bunny ears - were everywhere. My favourite was he stall making the balloon bunny bonnets. How I wish I'd been able to create something like that back in the day. But you know what? Whatever I came up with, it was always received with the same great pride and joy. And that, and not parental torture, is what it is all about.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 16. Day 106. I've got my eye on you

A work colleague is fond of saying that just because you are paranoid doesn't mean the bastards aren't out to get you. I suppose the reverse can also be true - that even if you are not paranoid you can't be sure you are not being watched. I KNOW I'm being watched but in the nicest possible way. From her seat at the front window, my neighbour Margaret sees everything that happens in the street. Where others use the TV or the radio as background noise for their daily life, Margaret sits by the window from dawn until dusk and just watches. Now aged well into her 80s, there's nothing she misses. She can tell without seeing the driver whether it is me or Charles reversing the car out of the driveway. Apparently Charles comes much closer to the guard rail every time. She knows if I leave early or if I'm running late, when the mowing man last visited or if a delivery man has arrived at the door. And this morning she looked with bemusement as I pulled the car over, took this photo through the open car window and then drove off. I suppose a person could be irritated by having her comings and goings so closely scrutinised but frankly knowing someone is watching over my place and my family is comforting rather than threatening. And after all everyone's got to have a hobby.

April 15. Day 105. Irreconciable differences

It is almost universally agreed that disunity is death in politics. To divide is to conquer and pretty much the same rules apply in parenting. Parents need to be on the same page and present a united front or the lunatics will seize on the weakness and start ruling the asylum. I know this to be true but some times there are issues - important issues, vital parenting issues - on which your views and those of your significant other are just poles apart and there can be no common ground found. Neither consensus nor compromise are a possibility. It's war. So it is with our fur baby and the battle of the bows. Rumple's "stylist" always adds bows at the end of his spa treatment. I adore the bows. In fact I would pay the treatment fee for the bows alone. Charles hates the bows and at the last treatment actually instructed that they be removed before he collected Rumple. Them's fighting words. Rumple's file at the stylist now has a note on it that says "There WILL be bows. Ignore any arguments to the contrary". Yes, yes it's pathetic and the people at the salon are in on the joke (or are talking about us behind our backs, or both). But my argument goes like this. I think the bows are beyond measure cute and bring a huge smile to my face. On average they last in the fur friend's fur for about three hours. For every other minute of every day of the six weeks between treatments, there are no bows. So why would you deny me that small pleasure even if you do think they are "ridiculous" and "laughable" and "completely wrong on a male dog"? Rumple has never asked me to remove them out so I shall take that to mean he is with me on this. Not that I would start forcing the children to take sides - that would be very bad parenting indeed.

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14. Day 104. How much can a koala bear?

One of the things that impressed six-year-old me most about the new family home my parents had just bought was that the property had a name (that and the fact that I would have my own bedroom and would no longer have to share with my baby brother). I'd never known a house with an actual name before but our home had a sign over the gate that read Yaraandoo.  Later, much later, I learned that meant "place of the white gum" which was ideal because there was indeed the most perfect white gum tree in the back garden. It was a stately old thing with a circumference so wide that it would take three of us standing arms outstretched to circle the thing. We all desperately wanted to climb it but the lowest of branches was way out of our reach. It was the type of tree we always imagined should be home to a whole family of koalas (although not once did we ever see one). I say WAS because although my mother still lives in that home, the tree is no longer there. It was chopped down about 30 years ago and while I understand why I am still glad I was out of the country when it happened so didn't have to see it. In the end it came down to this. It was the tree or the house and quite possibly its occupants. The ghost gum was huge and very close to the house. The way it swayed in tropical Queensland storms scared the living sh*t out of my mother. The fact that she spent her life raking up the leaves it dropped also gave her the sh*ts, but that wasn't what led to its demise either. That type of tree has the nickname widow maker because of its tendency to drop giant limbs. Our tree had started to do just that and for the safety of all it had to go. As one who had sobbed for weeks when Judy in Seven Little Australians had died under a fallen gum, I knew about the lethal power of the eucalyptus tree but still I lament its passing. The sign is still over the gate but I rather think there should be something more like this carving in a tree on the university campus where I work. Nothing can replace a tree like that but something should be in its place. At least that's what six-year-old me thinks.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

April 13. Day 103. Time and tide

An "unusual" woman I worked with once decided to share that she really enjoyed when her period arrived because it reminded her she was a woman. She went on to elaborate that cycles were important part of the natural order of things like day and night and the seasons.
While frankly, I can't imagine ever needing a reminder that I am female but I think she had a bit of a point about natural cycles and the need to take notice of them.
Specifically, tides. Not even for a second did I consider the not so small matter of tides when I decided to take the fur friends to Nudgee Beach at dawn this morning. As a dutiful wife, I volunteered to take my husband to the airport at 5.30am. That would a) mean I was out and about at an indecent hour and b) I was very close to the fur friends' favourite place at a time of day that should be perfect for dawn beach shots. It seemed like a perfect arrangement except that it was far too overcast to see the sun rise and the far bigger issue - the tides. A run along the beach would have been lovely if there had been a beach. So it didn't go to plan but we decided to make the most of it and three hours later we arrived home for breakfast. Meals go on a cycle too and that's one pattern I never ignore.

Friday, April 11, 2014

April 12. Day 102. Washed up

I would last 20 seconds on Survivor. I wouldn't even last until the first tribal council meeting, I'd evict myself. This creature loves her creature comforts. And frankly I am quite perplexed about the whole camping thing. Why, for the love of God, would people volunteer to holiday in places where there are no flushing toilets and running water. Bathing is one of life's simple little pleasures. Whether it be a long hot bath or a refreshing shower, washing away the stresses and strains is a feel-good-for-free thing you can do without guilt every day. What's not to love about a bath? Quite a lot if you ask the fur friends. For the first time today I took the fur friends for a hydrobath and seriously you've never seen such a performance. Pathetic. But whether they like it or not they both smelt and looked a whole lot better for the experience and that, too, it a simple pleasure.

April 11. Day 101. Clocking off

One of my all-time favourite cartoons was the Merrie Melodies classic involving Ralph E. Wolf and Sam Sheepdog. The pair arrive in the morning at a sheep meadow and exchange pleasant chitchat clocking on side by side. For the entire work day Ralph tries to steal sheep and Sam retaliates using far from reasonable force, each response more violent than the last. And then the end of day whistle sounds, the two calmly clock off, there's more pleasant chat and they head off home to do it all again tomorrow.
My fur baby Rumple and the visitor Cousin Fed are just like that. They will have wrestles which you would swear are fights to the death which will stop, almost as suddenly as they began, and the two of them will curl up together and go to sleep.
I wish I found clocking off quite that easy. The off switch is a little faulty at the moment and getting a good night's sleep is annoyingly illusive. I'm sick and tired or feeling sick and tired and thus tonight I shall take Valium for the first time. It's something I have resisted by desperate times call for desperate measures. I'm hoping that like the tactics of Sam Sheepdog, a short sharp measure will stop the problem in its tracks and then I can just clock off ....

April 10. Day 100. Don't fence me in

When Drama Teen started school he had a principal - who was nearing retirement - whose response to just about any criticism or suggestion a parent would throw his way was "We've done it this way for 10 years and there's never been any problems". That's what happens when we age. Our thinking becomes more rigid and more locked into how things have been done rather than what could or should be done. There is less and less thinking outside the box and more and more being boxed in by old habits and protocols. Kids, however, know no such restraint and it's a breath of fresh air. Today at the dog park we were playing with a delightful chocolate labradoodle called Cherry, her two young owners and their mum. The kids were running around and throwing balls and frisbees for the dogs to chase and catch when one went straight over the fence. The adults watched as Layla ignored the two perfectly good gates and instead scaled the chain wire. She wasn't going to be fenced in by conventions of what people "normally" did in such situations. And, of course, having fetched the ball she decided that climbing on the fence and hanging off the tree made an awesome alternative activity to playing with her brother and the dogs. Doing things a different way opens up a whole world of new possibilities. And that, I think, is the problem with the "if it ain't broke why fix it" mentality. We shouldn't have to wait for things to fall apart to evaluate how things might be done. Like Layla, see a barrier and take a leap of faith. The results may just be surprising.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April 9. Day 99. Barking mad

In the scrum at the dog park
"They're not compulsory, you know." These were the wise words of a now departed family friend of ours. Dogs. No-one is holding a gun against your head and demanding you sign on to pet ownership. She'd say it with each expensive vet treatment, or bill to replace something a pet had destroyed or when her heart was shattered at the death of a beloved fur friend. It is totally voluntary. In the past 24 hours I have been presented with many a good reason to revoke the fur friend agreement or at very least the unpaid contract to house sit a certain beagle. I thought the fire brigade might need to be called in when he became wedged between a water bed and the wall. We managed to get him out. Barely missing a beat he chewed up a shoe or two and then to seal the deal managed to steal a printer refill cartridge and treat it as a chew toy on the carpet. Black ink and pale carpet are not friends and in that moment nor were Fed and I. But it didn't last. Within an hour he was out of the dog house and curled up in the small of my back in bed. Dogs are always pleased to see you and that alone ensures their survival. In any case you can't remain mad with a creature that doesn't know what a printer cartridge is and just wants to play. It may be barking mad but dogs repay you in love for all the bills and the heartache they cause. No-one is holding a gun against my head. In fact, I'm not sure I would surrender the dogs even if they were....

April 8. Day 98. Sleeping like a baby

Whoever coined the phrase "sleeping like a baby" clearly hasn't spent much time with a new born. Yes, I admit that there is nothing quite like watching a baby sleeping peacefully. Their gentle innocence, the way they snuggle, they are so at peace with the world. You could just lose yourself watching their little chests rise and fall (I know this because I did just that this afternoon when I did a spot of babysitting so a friend could run errands). I could have watched the little man for hours; except of course that would never work. You can't watch a new-born baby sleep for hours on end because they don't. I can only assume that when a person says they "slept like a baby" what they actually means is they woke up every couple of hours screaming. I'm feeling like that baby right now or perhaps the mother of one desperately seeking hours of uninterrupted sleep. My whole life I have earned nicknames such as Snooze and Snoozen (hence the twitter handle) because of my love of catching ZZZs but right not I am finding sleep hard to come by. The night is interrupted by frequent wakings. By morning, I feel like I've been hit in the head with a blunt object and quite frankly by day's end I am often so tired I could cry like a baby. I really wish I could sleep like one. Sort of.

Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7. Day 97. A little bit catty

At the risk of starting a cat fight, I am going to buy into the delicate issue of parenting - and more specifically the parenting of others, because of course I am such an expert (not).
But two things I saw today got me thinking. One was a stray cat and her kittens sheltering very close to where I work. They were beautiful animals despite 1) my known cat antagonism and 2) the fact that the five of them were clearly strays. What I saw was a mum doing her best. What I also saw was that no-one was judging. As humans we use words such as "catty" and "bitchy" to describe less than admirable human traits when in fact I think the animal world could teach us a thing or two about good behaviour. An incident in point occurred later in the day with another new mum, a close friend of mine who gave birth to her bundle of joy just two weeks ago. She asked me to take her to a specialty breast feeding shop to stock up on necessary equipment while Grandma cared for the sleeping bub. It was my pleasure. I wish I could say the same for the experience.  Despite happily selling hundreds of dollars in breast pumps, bottles and sterilisers the shop assistant simple refused to discuss teats and was simply frosty when my friend talked about how her bub would need to learn to feed from the bottle when she returned to work. Well excuse me. Can we not actually support each other's parenting choices rather than being all judge and jury? It takes a village to raise a child, yet too often we all behave like the village idiot when it comes to assisting others to raise their kids. Sorry people, the claws are out today.