Monthly Archives: August 2011
Unlike my usual posts, this one has a more reflective, soppy purpose – yes I am human, not all cynical uber bitch 100% of the time!
I feel like a slack mother for not always diarising my kids’ progress, instead I tweet and Facebook it, because who has time to pull out the baby journal and hand write things in every time. So here goes. My happy 2nd birthday message to my darling baby son, Jon Jon.
Today my youngest baby boy turns 2 – I can hardly believe it. He is definitely still my baby (swaddled him for fun the other night!)
Jon Jon has always been my “textbook” child – outperforming all other kids his age in developmental milestones and pretty much always setting the benchmark for his peers. Although, in the past month I have detected a naughtiness that is apparently age-appropriate. Nonetheless, he is absolutely adorable, his sparking blue eyes, clear complexion and golden locks are the perfect ammunition for winning me over all the time, even when he bites my neck, pulls out clumps of my hair and smacks me in the face. His command of language and his unique expressions are just a delight and he makes me chuckle on cue with almost everything he says. He’s also learnt defend himself from his older brother and won’t take lightly to being clocked on the head with a cast iron Thomas train anymore – what’s more – Jon Jon has even become a little mischief-maker and instigator himself – but I guess it’s all part of the natural sibling rivalry.
His severe asthma does sometimes get him down but we are winning the battle slowly and I think he will out grow it soon. Jon Jon and I spend a lot of quality time together, he adores reading with me and has an aptitude (like his brother) for remembering the words to a book we only borrowed a week ago from the library. He is definitely a mommy’s boy and cries when I leave the house to go somewhere, which is like, never. He is very cuddly and loving which makes me absolutely melt – I hope he never loses this affectionate part of his personality – it would be a massive blow for me I think!
Aiden on the other hand, is a tough cookie, a smart arse, to be sure, but a cutie pie at the same time. He can be very challenging at times but he is also very caring and conscious of other people’s feelings and will often ask “Mommy, are you OK” if I trip or do some other clumsy act in front of him. He is at quite an in-between stage – but becoming a little man very quickly!
He comes up with the funniest little comments and I’m sure I will kick myself one day for not compiling all his little quotes and consolidating them into a book somewhere. The other day Aiden pointed to my eyebrows (to be fair, they were looking a little unruly that day) and said “Mom, who painted those eyebrows on for you?” I replied “they’re my natural eyebrows” to which Aiden responded ”Well, you look like a clown.” Mortified, but laughing all the same I queried “Oh, and what do YOU look like?” “A gentleman!” was the answer I got – absolute gold!
So, with all the funny comments and naughtiness, my boys are definitely growing up rapidly and I need to make sure I don’t get consumed with aggravation and lap up every joyous moment instead. Is it any wonder that I have acquired some brand new forehand and eye wrinkles in the last week?
I have to say – it’s all so worth it, even if it does make me look a bit like a clown!
So happy 2nd birthday my gorgeous Jon Jon, keep thriving and making me and your daddy so, so proud and happy! I love you immensely my darling boy! xxx
Just a temporary measure, of course. Like, say, if hubby had to go away suddenly for business, or something, and I desperately needed an extra pair of hands round the house, to do ‘odd jobs‘ and the like.
So, for fun, here is an excerpt of my dream advert – and Darling Husband, if you’re reading this (which I safely know you aren’t) – I’m only joking, so please, please don’t go anywhere – I really, really do love you ‘just the way you are’ – this advert is a mere ‘puff’, just a bit of poetic licence, laced with exhaustion and a maybe just a dollop of non-melancolic depression.
Temporary Role: Replacement Husband
Desperate, exhausted housewife seeks capable replacement husband/helpful significant other for short term assistance and workload sharing.
- To be successful in this role you must be male, easy on the eye, competent and keen with all housework and handyman type stuff, including and not limited to vacuuming, sweaping and mopping floors, folding linen, mowing lawn, dusting and polishing, various types of heavy lifting, washing cars, washing out school lunch boxes, making school lunches and cooking gourmet fat-free, dinner-party style, impressive adult meals.
- You must be a self-starter who has no qualms about taking and following instructions and must expedite all tasks completely and thoroughly without raising complaints or expecting anything beyond your usual remuneration in return.
Candidate Personality Traits:
The successful candidate must be witty, worldly, charming, charismatic, rich, own sports car and be willing to permit shared use of the above assets. (It is expected that applicants are not applying for the position in connection with personal revenue raising, but rather in course of gaining a richer life experience about ‘what life is really about’.)
The successful candidate must be able to dispel all the usual theories about husbands and men in general, so as to restore the employer‘s faith in the ‘stronger’s sex.
Candidates who have little or no knowledge of the following areas, or would consider any of the following items to be “non-issues” need not apply:
- Wouldn’t bath the kids unless the odor became a real cause for concern
- Oral hygiene is not a high priority – that is, teeth brushing, hair brushing and face washing – not necessary (maybe before bed, but hell, why bother every time they wake up from a nap etc)
- Meals and Nutrition - not sure what they would consist of, snacks and offering drinks of water would be on request only and
- How one dresses kids – i.e. Fashion style – not too crucial as long as shoes are on the correct feet.
There will be a 24 hour a trial period for the successful candidate - this is only because the employer will know within that a very short time frame (almost instantly) whether or not you have what it takes.
Perks to the Job:
Excellent remuneration for the right candidate. Bonuses include a jam-packed day of on some very witty conversation, leftover dinners for you to take home and bottles of wine to share at the end of a busy day. Plus you’ll get to feast your eyes on a diverse array of fluffy, coloured bathrobes and matching slippers which your employer will model for you for free as part of the ritual to cap off each interesting day on the job.
This is a highly rewarding position for anyone ready to take fatherhood to the extreme and to take fatherhood seriously. Either way, each day will be different and challenging but not without its lasting lessons and souvenirs, like toddler sized bite marks on your limbs some days, food stains on your clothes and matted chunks of your hair.
Funny, I would be thrilled to find anyone able to cope with the workload at all, but the truth of the matter is that my husband cracks it when he has to look after both of our sons on his on for more than a couple of hours. If left ‘in charge’ for longer than 2 hours, I’m bound to hear things like ”You’ve slept in for 2.5 hours this morning and I’ve done everything for them – you should be feeling so relaxed!” or “You’ve had your free time now it’s time for you to spend some time with me instead of sitting on the computer!”
Don’t get me wrong, I am very, very grateful for any spousal support I get, as I know some husbands do little or next to nothing, but still, it could be better, and an initiative-taker would be a win.
Alas, for now, I won’t be placing any adverts.
Rather, my dream is for my husband to take our sons on an outing* ON HIS OWN for an entire day.
*”outing” does not include sitting on the couch with a drink and a newspaper while the kids look after themselves and kill each other for the entire time. It means an actual, not simulated in a Ben10 Tent, out-of-the-house-for-more-than-5 minutes actual excursion.
Well, a girl can always dream, right.
- 13000 police for london riots (vault9.net)
- PHOTOS: UK Papers Splash London Riots (huffingtonpost.com)
- BlackBerry helped spread the London riots (asspeaks.wordpress.com)
- August 2011 London riot maps (vielmetti.typepad.com)
- London riots: Telegraph readers’ photos of the rioting and looted areas of the city (telegraph.co.uk)
- London Riots around Josephine PR HQ (josephinepr.wordpress.com)
- London riots: Absent fathers have a lot to answer for (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
I absolutely hate putting out.
I said it.
I really don’t know if that’s normal or a common phenomenon, but what I do know is that it’s not a new phenomenon and that I can’t even blame motherhood for my ‘condition’.
No, my fear of having to put out probably has everything to do with the way my mother raised me and also that I was probably the last 23-year-old virgin left on the planet when I got married. The potent combination of a well-delayed wait and a coping mechanism of not having to need or want to “go there” only made my fear of putting out that much worse.
My ‘birds and bees’ tuition commenced even before my baby ballerina days. Probably even before I could eat solids or sit up straight on my own! My mother had a fabulous knack for put the fear of G.d into my baby sister and I about all things to do with boys. She conjured up some gruesome images for us that today would even make the thought of Brad Pitt, George Clooney, or Robert Pattinson completely unpalatable. But the clincher always lay in the mystery that my mother imparted on us – that ‘boys have got , weird and mysterious ways of touching a girl in ‘certain places’ that after a certain moment ’the girl will find it impossible to say “No”.
Ewww. I still cringe inwardly when I reflect on those lectures. I have never been a particularly sexually promiscuous person. To be sure, I would almost always choose a night on the town with friends drinking and dancing or, on the other end of the spectrum, a hot bubble bath. After that I’d much rather jump into bed with a hot Elizabethan fiction novel than a hot guy!
For me, putting out is my currency. So as much as I hate to admit it, it makes my world go round. For me, putting out is as luractive and cut-throat as the financial services world when the stock market is in turmoil. Every time I put out, it’s almost inevitably a foreign exchange transaction.
“OK, OK, if you really, go without having ‘it’ tonight, then do it. But you should know that I have the worst headache in the world that not even 2 Nurofen Plus tablets could kill. Also, if I agree to enter into this transaction, the trade-off is that you will dress the kids tomorrow morning while I sleep till 7.30am, and you have to give them their breakfast while I shower!”
So, I quickly ‘settle the trade’ in the market (which is already in turmoil, buy a few put options and a few call options, then roll over, comatose and fall asleep for a few short hours, morning birds already chirping outside. And – if need be, I’ll do it again tomorrow night, but only if I am absolutely strapped.
Don’t get me wrong, it does aid a tense relationship at times, and I totally get that men need it more than we do to survive. But I’ll be damned if I’m using the money I earned during these overnight heavily contested negotiations on sexy lingerie. What’s in it for me then? Hell no, I’m going to buy me some new Clinique base (instead of the cheap substitute crap I’ve been using lately from the supermarket), or a new pair of shoes or get my hair done!
As far as I can tell, I’ll be putting up with putting out for a while yet. But – if there’s still a tiny chance that there’s something (material) in it for me then I can close my eyes and think of makeup/shoes/hair colour for a few minutes each night – I owe it to myself!
Lately everything I have been doing is completely absent-minded, forgetful, and verging on negligent.
I am so out of it that I am beginning to think that either I must be going senile, or early demetia has set in? I know it cant be ‘baby brain‘ – how could I possibly claim that as an excuse 2 years after the fact?
Even the most mundane things are complicated for me to process, I am struggling to set my brain on track and the exhaustion from having an almost 2 year old who has harnessed the power of the tantrum and can sustain all night no-bed strikes for the entire night every night is probably not going to help!
I really, really hope that this is not permanent damage and that things will improve because I can’t continue on this path of destruction – denting and pronging my poor old car every time I’m in it, not concentrating, being short with my kids
and husband and anyone else who looks at me funny at any given moment.
Worst of all is that for a control freak, I’ve completely lost control – I’ve been letting bad language slip, letting my temper get the better of me (Jon Jon, go the F?@@?@” to sleep so I can get this off my chest!) which leads to bad skin, lost keys, leaving the car unlocked whenever I park, leaving the car door open and almost having it blown off by an oncoming car, daydreaming and staring into space when the preschool teachers are giving my child a dressing down , walking confidently into the grocery store with my skirt tucked into top of my stockings at the back with not a soul to rectify the situation and then getting back to the car park and wandering around in the abyss of the carpark combing each level for my poor, old, lost car. Then I finally get kids home by getting them to remember for me by rote learning the number of the carapace where we parked.
But it gets better, because then I get home, haul them into the house and try to run the bath water while cooking dinner. Then, I hear the sounds of torrential fooding and notice water seeping through the cracks in the staircase wall. Little did I know, I’d let the bath water overflow through the whole entire house. At the time it was pouring with rain outside so I innocently thought to myself “Ahh, must be a leak in the ceiling”. Nightmare. Classic example of too much multi-tasking gone bad.
Actually, there is a definite pattern in this brain deterioration. It is always triggered by a series of multi – tasks which, when put into overdrive in conjunction with exhaustion leads to a spiralling situation of chaos and lost marbles. Like a few weeks ago when I was cooking a huge fancy Friday night dinner and I as doing the washing, roasting food in the oven and cooking rice on the stove, taking out the rubbish and chatting to a friend. Next things I know, the fire alarm is beeping like a lost firetruck, the house is consumed with smoke (both kids upstairs aasleep for their lunchtime nap!) and then when I finally dash into the house, disconnect the fire alarms and run around like the a mad march hare opening every window and door I can think of I hear the front door slam behind me while I’m outside. I then start hyperventilating and sprint around the side to jump the side wall and thank Gd the backdoor was unlocked because I had forgotten to lock it earlier that day! Needless to say, there was absolutely no rice for dinner that night, and the house smelt like a stale nightclub for the better part of that week.
So, if anyone, anyone at all has seen my lost marbles, please, please let me know before I do anything else to render me commitable to a place where all the others have permanently lost their marbles!
I’m not into politics at all.
In fact, the only time I actually even give a damn about politics is if I want to try to pretend to know something about current affairs to make me feel remotely like an adult for a few minutes in my day – or, if I’m compelled to stretch my brain to capacity at some fancy dinner party, where I will no doubt be expected to steer my conversations away from the more pressing subjects of our time, the way I see it, (being “why I detest and loathe making school lunches) to more dry, but relevant matters (like the US debt ceiling, potential increases or decreases in our interest rates and the imminent inception of carbon taxes (blah, blah, blah, right!)
Nonetheless, this lack of interest in politics did not hinder me from becoming a staunch member of the Labour Party almost 4 years ago – Labour Party, meaning I come to the party when it means having babies – meaning I actually go through labour, meaning I’m lucky not to have had any complications to render me ‘too posh to push’.
As a point of order, I need to make it so clear that I respect the Caesarian section procedure in its entirety (not only because I studied Latin in high school and love all things Roman, but also because I am cognizant that not everyone has a choice in ‘the matter’ and that sometimes it is absolutely crucial as a means of getting the baby out alive, safe and well.) However, for me, it just so happens that G.d blessed me with 2 routine, textbook labours and which went relatively quickly and with 2 obviously splendid outcomes. So, because of that I am a proud Labour Party Supporter and for me, if I have a choice, I will always vote Labour, if G.d wills it and I have my time again.
Prior to the births of my babies I never had a ‘birth plan’ or even a ‘game plan’ other than getting that baby out alive and well, and if that meant surgery, then I was open to any and all options. My only other guiding light was to remind myself in the lead up to each D-Day that the whole idea of labour is, bluntly put, just a ‘means to an end’.
When I reflect on the whole birthing process, the whole thing is a completely ‘out-of-body’ experience. The first time round, I was more petrified of the unknown than the fear of inexplicable pain. In retrospect, the pain was bad yes, but the product was so worth it and the after-pain was worse when I had all 4 wisdom teeth removed under general anesthetic. I recall vividly every entire event. The anticipation is worse than any election result night. Tempers flare. People say some pretty crazy things, which they probably don’t mean but only say them to get past the whole election process, like:
Me (pre-final contraction): Umm, I’m feeling quite a lot of pain in my lower back.
Midwife: Jeez, if I had a Dollar for everytime you said that tonight I’d be a rich woman! OR
Me: Ummm, I’m still feeling a bit of pain, maybe we should call the anesthetist guys?
Midwife junior to Midwife senior: Oops, I’ve just notices that the gas hasn’t actually been plugged in or switched on for the last 45 minutes. OR
Anesthetist: Now, I need you to arch your back like an angry cat for me OK.
Me (always the literal thinker): Ahhh, I’m a little hazy right now, and also, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cat arch its back so you might have to show me what you mean…
And, of course, as any Labour Party mom would agree, there are moments, however mundane, that will stay with you forever. We may all be members of the same party, but the way re run our campaigns can be slightly different. I know I run my Labour campaign like a half-marathon, I drink Berry Powerades and I wear a combat sweatband on my brow, I and I spend the entire campaign trying not to swear or dig my nails into my husband! And just like the end of any good victory campaign, the afterparty caps off a 9 month campaign of hard work and perseverence. I personally like to celebrate with some Kosher Rose wine and endless smoked salmon and brie cheese baguettes. (I’ll never forget the midwife’s face when she caught me in my hospital room having a quiet, little drink on my own, a mere 3 hours after giving birth – post-feed OF COURSE!)
At the end of the endurance and the labour there’s a real sense of satisfaction. The physical exertion and mental effort that goes with being a Labour supporter is profound. The pride is immesurable, then sense of achievement – unfathomable. That said, when the midwife asked me if I wanted to bath my secondborn straight after the birth I distinctly recall answering “No, I’ll just have a quick shower and wash and blow-dry my hair, and then I’ll bath him!”. For those brief moments after the birth, all I wanted to do was shoulder my leg in the shower (for some weird reason, I was yearning to experience that supple and limber feeling that comes with not having touched or seen your toes for a good 4 months prior to the D-Date!) and have some ‘alone’ time to reflect and relax on my own for a moment or 2.
So, ever since joining, nearly 4 amazing years ago, I tell everyone I can – first-timers and old hats too – Be bold, be brave, “Vote Labour” – the after-party alone is so worth it, there’s always a chance of re-election, if you’re lucky!