Thursday, April 21, 2011

Where smugness gets you

Purple crayon in left hand - thanks for vindicating me, sweetheart. Eat that Shane.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Once in a while I have a sleepless night. And before you start telling me it comes with the parental territory, let me qualify - it's not related to my child, my relationship, my finances, or anything else of substance. It's my imagination, running wild, ripped out of the harness I keep it in and spinning like a dervish, miles above me and completely out of my reach. You're going to laugh at what set me off. It's those damned vampire stories. Perhaps I should explain?

I've been battling against a lack of focus for sometime. I've picked up at least ten different novels in the last ten months with the intention of reading them, and I haven't been able to get beyond the first few lines. I have never had this problem before and it's been freaking me the hell out. Normally, I can happily read a book a night, will gladly go without sleep just so I can absorb those last few chapters. It was one of the warning bells for me, my inability to partake of something I adore as much as reading. The fact that my meds have given that bit of joy back to me is glorious. And I have all but consumed anything that vaguely resembles literature in my house since, making up for lost time I guess.

So, after finishing a couple of half-read novels I had lying around, I thought I'd move swiftly on to a series my little sister has been harping on about for a while now. Years even. Yes folks, I'm talking about the Twilight saga, Edward and Bella and werewolves and pale skin and red eyes - the whole schtick. It's taken me roughly a week to get up to speed on what apparently has taken teen romance to a whole other level.

I can understand why people are so taken in with these stories. How could they not be? It's first love and first kisses, it's the delicious agony of protracted foreplay that is sexual awakening, it's about good and evil and a hundred shades of grey in between. I don't care who you are, there's no way you could have passed into adulthood without at least a taste of all of those things.

It makes me nostalgic, makes me smile for the girl I was once, the dear little wretch with crappy self-esteem and not an inkling that she might be considered attractive to certain members of the opposite sex. There are memories from that era that carry profound humiliation for me, things that I've only recently been able to examine from other perspectives. There are memories that carry so much confusion, so much ecstasy, so much of everything really - moderating emotions really is a difficult concept to grasp with so little life experience.

Truthfully - as much as I envy my younger self her smooth skin and perky breasts, as much as I sometimes itch for the thrill of a first kiss, as much as I pine for dreams I left behind - I wouldn't go back to being seventeen again by choice. I like how well I know myself now.

There's more to say, so much more, but my eyes are heavy and my brain is slow. An imagination is a beautiful thing, but so very tiring to keep up with, particularly while conscious. I'm just really happy to have found my voice again, albeit a slightly deranged and over tired voice tonight. It's worth smiling about.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dear Ezra,

I wanted to write to you on your birthday, but things haven't been quite as straight forward as I'd like around here lately. Still, as the saying goes, 'better late than never', and you'll find out in your life that I take that notion quite seriously. (It's not that I don't realise the importance of marking an occasion, rather that I prefer to be sincere in my wishes instead of hammering out another cliche for the sake of good time-keeping - you understand, don't you?)

Your lifetime to date totals fourteen months and a day. I almost can't believe a life can be so short and still have as much impact as yours has had.

You are a source of much hilarity, Little One, mischief has found you and made you its willing servant. You are regularly found wandering down the passage from the bathroom, merrily unrolling five bucks worth of two-ply as you go. I closed the bathroom doors for a few weeks to try to discourage you (unsuccessfully), and soon you found that lifting up whole sections of parquet flooring could be just as fun. And almost as fun as the fireplace and its never-ending supply of soot. Almost as fun as the booze cabinet and all those sparkly, smashable glasses it holds. Almost as fun as unpacking bookshelves, drinking the dogs water, switching the washing machine on and off midcycle, and climbing up everything.

You say a few words perfectly now - 'shoes, Gogo, Homer, Dad'. You refuse to say anything that sounds like Mom, though you can point me (as well as your grandparents, aunts and uncles) out in a room full of people. The rest of your communication arsenal is baby sign language and sound effects. Jack the Labrador and Buell the Rottweiler are known as woof woof. Our cars are vroom vrooms, the birds are whoo hoooos (the owl sound Dad taught you), food is mmmmm mmmmmm combined with tapping your hands to your tummy in an approximation of the hand signs we've been teaching you. You eat your meals at the table with us, breakfast and lunch with me, dinner with Dad included. You eat almost everything, and in healthy amounts. You love to sit on the kitchen counter while I cook or bake, passing the time by stirring, sampling, and generally fidgeting with whatever I'm busy with.

You like to follow Chorina around the house as she goes about her day, sweeping when she sweeps, wiping when she wipes, running off with the toilet brush when her back is turned. You like to sing, and accompany most of your mischief with song. You frequently stand in front of the radio, pointing and singing and dancing in an effort to get us to switch it on for you. Bob Dylan, The Offspring, The Beatles and Suzanne Vega are high up on your list of singalong tunes. Dad's been trying to teach you to chant Oompah Loompah while marching around the house, and I laugh each time you get closer to mastering it. We always know you're unpacking my handbag or shoving something into the video machine when you're silent.

I've tried to show you how to draw, but for now you appear content to eat the crayons. You're very right handed in most things, a little victory for Dad. He likes to pretend that I am inferior for being a lefty. It's still early for him to be getting smug about that though. You love to look at books, your favourite being a book of shapes as told by the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. I don't know where the book came from, but it is a seriously stupid story. I can't wait for the day when you're as bored of it as I am. We read it at least seventeen times a day.

You are healthy my love, almost never sick. You figured out that sleeping was best done for long periods, at night, not long after you were born, and I thank you for that. You rarely interrupt our sleep patterns, the exception being the one or two nights before your new teeth arrive. Those nights you snuggle up in our bed, the rest of the time you sleep in your own bed, curled around your favourite furry dog. The cot didn't get as much use as I expected it would. Then again, my expectations have hardly been accurate. And you have exceeded every one of them anyway.

It's been an eventful year and a bit. I never imagined that I actually would forget what my life was like before you, even though so many people said it would happen.

Thanks, Little Guy, for being all that you are.

I love you more than I knew I could.

Mom x

Friday, April 8, 2011

Navel gazing

Sometime in the next week or so I need to go back to my GP to assess how I'm doing on my drugs, and to be given the repeat prescription for the next five months. Sounds simple enough, right?

"Hi doc, it's me again. Yes, yes - all singing, all dancing, smiley-faced and dry-eyed. Side effects? Well, a touch of dry mouth in the morning, but that I can live with. None of the weightloss you promised. I was hanging a few hopes on that. Mmm. Ezra? He's fine. No, no more thoughts of strapping him to a rocket and sending him skywards. Yes, quite right you were, quite right, not an ideal solution to a parenting crisis. Committed to completing my course of treatment? Of course. As I said I would be. Repeat my script? Erm, sure. No, no problem. No, not at all.. Well..., there is the one thing. It's just, ....well, ...about that commitment you want..."

Could someone just explain to me what the deal with human nature is? Because in my newly clear and rational mind, I know, that the right thing to do is to go on with the drugs as planned, wean myself off sometime after September and wait to see if the problem is resolved once and for all. If not, reassess treatment and get on with getting on.

Instead, what I'd like to do is, either scrap the drugs entirely (okay, I don't actually want to do that) or be changed onto something that is safe in pregnancy so we can go ahead with the original (read: pre-depression) plan to start trying for number two sometime soon. If I'm not okay in September and I'm going to have to stay on pills forever then why change our plans, right? You see, if we leave it until after September to start trying, then we're going to have a baby born in winter, and getting up in the middle of the night will be yuckier than necessary. And if we wait until the next year, well, a three year gap is too big for my ideals, and it's an uneven number, and I don't want it.

I am fully aware of just how inane the 'want' side of my argument is and even more so, I am amazed to see that the 'need' side of my brain is still entertaining the debate. Because really, what is important in the long run, is not the mental health of their mother, but the perfect two year gap between our children. Right? Groan.

And while I write this, Reality stands up and slaps me on the ear. "So you think all that stands in your way is a fistful of pills and a timing problem? How about the miracle that is successful conception? And a healthy pregnancy? A perfectly formed set of hands and ears and toes? Dry your eyes little girl, and be grateful for what you've got. You've got more choices than most."

Thanks for that Reality. Always nice to know someone is waiting in the wings to piddle all over my pity party / parade.

The real concern for me is this: I am completely smitten with my little boy, and I wouldn't change a thing about him. But as his cuteness grows (and grows and grows), so does his anti-cuteness. And I am rapidly chickening out of doing this all over again (yes, I hear you laughing, those of you whom I had assured that I wanted at least three children. Laugh it up, I know where you live). I know that this testing stage will get worse before it gets better, I know it will get a lot worse, and I know that it will get a lot better. But if I don't get myself pregnant soon, I think the worse part will get the better of me before the better part arrives. And by then I'll be way too scared to start with a brand new baby all over again. Thinking about it is already bringing me out in a light sweat.

Is that a really crappy reason to want to try for another one right now? I'm trying to make myself feel that I'm being selfless (*cue violins* putting aside her need for anti-depressants, one mother fights her doctor and her demons to provide an appropriately planned two-years-younger-sibling for her son...) but I'm damned sure that I'm really just being idiotic for the sake of argument. Shane's take on this: 'Well, we'll just wait'. End thought process. Infuriatingly reasonable. I flushed the toilet while he was in the shower the other night to punish him for it. Swine.

You know, I really thought I was going to skip all the angst about parenting. Truly I did. For now I'm putting it down to the last few months of zero navel-gazing and hoping it'll leave me in peace, instead of in pieces.

Until that happens I'll be in the pantry, sucking down gin and hot cross buns. All visitors welcome.