Friday, April 30, 2004

more evidence of tired brain: I just stood up and went looking for a pen so I could calculate some relative Melbourne-HK rents as part of our planning. yes, I stood up and left a computer to go do maths. on Wednesday I arrived at the pool sans bathers. it's getting almost funny.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

some popup or other took me here, which got me this:

"Your IQ score is 135

This number is based on a scientific formula that compares how many questions you answered correctly on the Classic IQ Test relative to others.

Your Intellectual Type is Word Warrior. This means you have exceptional verbal skills. You can easily make sense of complex issues and take an unusually creative approach to solving problems. Your strengths also make you a visionary. Even without trying you're able to come up with lots of new and creative ideas. "

it might have been more, but I guessed a question that would have required pen and paper, and fudged one that seemed not exactly "culture-fair". so I still have a mind, nearly as good as it used to be. it's just resting (or hiding, quaking beneath the covers).

no, I didn't have a better night, thanks for asking.

supposed to go to the daytime movies today. veering between the desire to stare at the walls and the feeling I ought to get out and do something for myself. after yesterday's unpleasantness I was pandering to him a bit less and though I felt guilty, it helped to just get on with what I needed to do. this sounds extreme, but I feel sometimes I'm losing touch with parts of my own personality, that I'm being removed from my creativity and what used to be a sharp mind. sigh. but I love him.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Sleep deprivation is not like torture - it is a form of torture

I've never understood people who can hurt their children, but today I caught a glimpse.

I'm tired. The phrase is trite, suggesting a too-late night, a too-long walk, maybe a bit of overwork.

Jessica Anderson gets closer: "I am exhausted, holding myself by will-power above a black area of total collapse."

But what happens when you've collapsed and you're dragged back, not even allowed to sink in to the blackness? Yesterday afternoon caught up with me last night and I went to bed early, 9-ish, and didn't officially "get up" until 7.30 after six awakenings for various reasons. At 1pm today I put him down again after stuffing myself with bready things in order to be sure I'd sleep. half an hour later I was woken by inconsolable crying that didn't respond to the usual dummy-and-pat routine. it got worse. I picked him up, the only effect of which was that I was that much closer to the source of the noise and distress. I could hardly think, having been woken from a deep sleep. I brought him to the day cot - not gently, either - and went back to the bedroom. of course I could still hear him wailing. I got him again and rocked him in my arms. he settled, but as soon as I put him down he screamed again. I tried the rocking routine but he yelled more. so I yelled back. not just loud singing but STOP IT at the top of my voice. three times.

I know you're supposed to leave them at this point, walk around the block, take a shower, whatever. but I didn't want that. I wanted sleep.

eventually I fed him, even though it was nowhere near time for the next feed. he's asleep again now. I couldn't go back to sleep of course so I'm up, mainlining caffeine and feeling ashamed of myself, and of the fact that I felt like doing more than just shouting.

Monday, April 26, 2004

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bv b bg f cgg

yawn. why is my mothers' group midafternoon? doesn't everyone sleep then?

still, must get there. today I discovered that one woman's best friend has just got back from Hong Kong, and now have a promise of a comprehensive briefing on what I should be looking for in accommodation etc, and I also got several leads on possible house sitters. plus sympathy and the knowledge that at least a few people really do understand where I'm at - because they're there too.

have I mentioned lately how much I love my little boy?

visit from brother and SIL, sans their 3 kids yesterday. at one point they were discussing how they'd had their kids close together to maximise her maternity leave. I had to say " do you realise I know women who can't just say "so we decided to have another straight away." my brother responded "well I just have to look at (SIL) and she gets pregnant."

really, it didn't bother me. I just think they should be aware of what they're saying; and that maybe there are times when they could really cut someone with lines like that.

Sunday, April 25, 2004



They say beware of any enterprise requiring new clothes (and pregnancy and breastfeeding do qualify for that); but what about enterprises requiring new friends?

It's hard to say this without sounding ungracious, but I have a friend overload problem. there are my existing friends, who fall into two categories: close and fairly often seen (weekly to a monthly minumum) and the "stay in touch" types with visits either way 3-4 times a year. plus of course my family and dh's.

now there is a new group: the other new mums. the woman across the road I've been having coffee with, the woman from mothers' group who knows I bike ride and rang to suggest we ride together next weekend, the mothers' group itself.

and despite (or because of?) my extra hours granted by not being at work, I feel overloaded. I like all these people. I genuinely want to forge new friendships with people whose kids are A's age, and who share my experience - most of my friends have had their kids, though a couple of dear ones are breeding right this second - but it's becoming a kind of chore.

I know that feeling social activities to be difficult can be a sign of depression; it's not that. It's just that I've always liked a bit of solitary time in my life, a bit of space, that I find meeting commitments that require me to be ready, out the door or presentable at a certain time to create pressure and make me feel stressed, particularly if there are several in one day. It's just that I need my afternoon naps to feel halfway like myself. I could soldier through and smile and catch up with everyone, but to what end? to having no time for myself, to read, to write, to keep my house halfway in order? I told a work colleague yesterday not to visit - she'd rung and said she'd come by in the afternoon. I countered with a message that that was no good, I'd be swimming, could she come with my boss when he visits next week? instead of accepting that, she rang back to say she could come right then and seemed put out when I said no, no good. apparently during the week is no good for her. well so what? can't we just accept that sometimes we won't catch up? in the end I deliberately walked back into the room where dh was dealing with a crying A perfectly well by himself, in order to have an excuse to say whoops, gotta go.

and there is no polite social code for "sorry, I know you'd like a bike riding chum to motivate you but I'm fine, thanks". I'll see if I can divert the mums' group woman to swims (where we can actually help each othe with the child care), or to coffees, but I simply don't need to fill that 75 minutes of solo exercise on a Sunday morning with another human being, no matter how pleasant and friendly. (let alone the logistics of getting both our dh's, both our sons and our own timing right to get an hour on the road together on a Sunday at the same time!) is "I want to be alone" one of the last taboos?

listen to me, whingeing that I'm too in demand. pathetic. but at 37 I do finally know myself and what I need, and a 24-7 party ain't it.

Friday, April 23, 2004

cutest new thing: he's learned to hold his toes, and spends a lot of time lying on his back, curled up with his feet in his hands, rolling about.

that's when he's not rolling from back to front and not being able to get back again; dh calls it his "reverse beetle" act.

and I love the little wrinkle that appears between his brows when I take something away, or turn the tap off (running water is the new big thing). it tells me he's experiencing minor frustration or displeasure and I love that he is growing into the full range of feelings. but only minor, I hope.

j dkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkjnnnnh mmmmm,,,,................inmmmmmmmmm,,..mnn,mnnmn0jilkjnllllllllllllllllllllllllllllljjjjjjnh yhjjjjjjjjjjj

any new mother should read this post. fathers should read #10

aargh, A. is already trashing posts!

as I was saying....

he wouldn't let me clean the country place (wouldn't be left alone or cop the vacuum noise, and I didn't want to raise the considerable dust around him), so it's still dirty. it was nice for him to see horses and open skies. not so nice for me to sleep in a separate room from him and have to trek out in the cold night to feed him.

and we won't mention that I left an esky full of food in the kitchen and had to drive 20 ks back to get it (it would have rotted and stunk the place out). did I mention I also crunched the new car into a stationary object two weeks ago? sleep deprivation sucks.

Monday, April 19, 2004

baby class (mothers' group) is coming along well. today we went back to the health centre for the missed "dance class" which turned out to be just wafting around with the babies to music, but fun.

each baby seems to be emerging from generic newborn-ness with its real face, and I'm finally sorting out the mums (terrible memory for faces, me)

but it's Monday afternoons, and today instead of the increasingly good daytime naps (and associated better evening put-down), the Baby From Hell has returned, called back by a 20-minute pram nap instead of a 1-2 hour solid sleep. I'm terrified of what will happen later this week when I'm up in the country by myself. but it has to happen.

ouch. things are raw enough to make you cry over at Dawn's, where getting a baby has never been such sweet sorrow.

completely off topic: is Salman Rushdie's new wife gorgeous or what?

I think she may be Neela in Fury

some recent press articles have got me thinking again how lucky I am. the whole "when to have babies" debate is running hot. and I remember being 31, having just broken up with a man I was really serious about and deciding I couldn't risk another stuffed-up relationship. that I wanted kids and I'd better, well, find someone worth marrying. now, at 31 many women think they have AGES. but it was a month before my 32nd birthday. I met dh only a few weeks later (via an online dating site), got engaged a year later, married a year after that, and started ttc a year after that. that lot took me up to 35. at 36 we were into the serious investigations and I was pregnant by my 37th birthday. now if I only wait until A. is 18 months and I'm lucky again, I'll be 3 months short of my 40th birthday when I have my second child. it's not a lot of margin, is it? and that's with what I'd consider as much haste as is reasonable in a new relationship. my point? it's later than you think? and that, heartbroken as I was at 31, I think the smartest thing I ever did was to log on, post a profile and start auditioning for A's dad that minute

tonight dh is going to sleep in with me and try to settle A. if he wakes up between feeds. wish us luck.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

just doing my bit to knock off the nasty antisemitic Googlebombers: Jew

special moment on Monday: the look on my Dad's face, sitting on the floor with dh holding A and my Dad's finger firmly held in A's mouth by one teething baby. just aglow with grandfatherly happiness. made it worth the drive up there for Dad's birthday.

the new thing: sleep in the afternoon. wake at the 45 minute mark as usual (if I've slept at all). pat baby. lie down. pat baby. lie down. eventually, it seems, he can do up to 2 hours. and wakes up at the end of that happy rather than crying. now, will it make the nights better as the sleep clinic say it will?

haven't blogged much lately. too tired. why then have I said "yes" to even a little freelance work?

Sunday, April 11, 2004

2am. wake up. feed baby. go to loo. go to bed. turn light back on. write sonnet. turn light off. turn light on. write to-do list. turn light off. turn light on. write down thoughts about what's going on with my creative writing urges. turn light off. turn light on. write down thoughts about how babies and toddlers like repitition of stories and how this is related to the way nonliterate societies function, wonder if I should reread Walter Ong. realise I'll probably never read anything remotely abstract again. turn light off. get up. go to loo. try to sleep. etc. .... finally get to sleep. 1/2 hour later baby wakes again.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

he's up to 2 hours for the afternoon nap. normally this would be cause for rejoicing - I slept for an hour - but it's because he's got a cold of some kind, and probably also because I gave him a dose of nasal decongestant that causes drowsiness. it's times like these I really love the SIDS alarm.

work is coming to get me. I've just this morning finished saying no to that 4-days-a-week work in June, with real regret, and now there's a message from a friendly editor asking for 4-5 200 word pieces with a five-week deadline. if I can't do that, I can't do anything. I guess I'll have to have a go at it. not that I don't have enough to do in the next few weeks with a place up in the country still needing attention, a mother-in-law in town for the next few days and everyone assuming I have all the time in the world for various visits from people I used to know but really don't want to see any more. maybe if I start some work I'll get some respect in regard to my schedule?

which is a way of leading into a real gripe: parents in law know I hate afternoon engagements. they know I'm not sleeping well. dh knows I need my naps. so why, when they're down for the 4 days of Easter, do they, only when dh calls them, inform us they're having a Good Friday afternoon barbecue? and that no, they can't (as we'd mentioned to them earlier) come to us for dinner, or brunch, or pretty much any other time that suits us? I'm flatly refusing to go (which means A. won't either). I feel like I'm being put in a position where I have to be the one being ungracious. but I'm going to do it. maybe then they'll start asking us before they book themselves up for every other possible timeslot during their flying visits to town. after all, if seeing A. isn't first on their list, why should I rearrange my very tired self and my sick baby to suit them?

and the nice SIL and my brother aren't helping - they have a day off from their three kids in April and have announced they'll use it to visit us. a) they ought to be going to a movie or having sex or something and b) that puts huge pressure on me to say "stay all day" when I really don't want to do that. I only skip naps for mothers' group (and then if I get a morning sleep) and for things like Monday when it's my Dad's birthday and I'll be up in the country and there'll be no chance of a sleep. what happened to discussing these things before unilaterally making dates? yes I love them and want to see them. but. but.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

cousin baby report. small. perfect. adorable. cousin happy, me, well, clucky. can't wait to see mum and baby again and to start getting little S. and his big second cousin A. acquainted.

referral madness:

"how should I feel having a baby" - sweetheart, that is entirely up to you. should does not come into it.

"crack baby for adoption" - are you looking or offering?

guppies having sex
- this gets a link to my blog? ???? .... ?????

envy and baby loss - I'm sorry.

he's awake. no time. sleep school May 11. must make him nap longer in day=longer night sleeps?. but all else fails, wrap him like Frodo in the spider's lair and hooray! only one wakeup. can you wrap 6-year-olds?

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

a travelling with kids site that could be useful. I like the portable "highchair" under "products" but someone on my bulletin board makes them cheaper.

Monday, April 05, 2004

haven't been here for YONKS - and he has a new adopted daughter! so pleased to see good things happening to good people

I look down at him, sigh and say "I love you, but I just don't think you're my intellectual equal."
He looks up at me, gurgles and says "That's O.K., I'm gradually bringing you down to my level."

rang the sleep school today. I have to wait for a call back from a "booking nurse" to discuss what needs to happen. so I don't know if there's anything there for me. three feeds again last night. headache. shattered. baby lying in cot being neglected because I haven't the energy to speak to him. (there are good moments, btw, just at the moment not many. and he seems quite happy alone in there with 57 toys). all I'm doing is waiting for the afternoon nap in the hope that will knock this headache off.

my cousin had her baby last night. will drag myself in for a visit tomorrow. can't say no to newborn access.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

this isn't tired. this is exhausted, in the sense of there being nothing left. I'm not sure I even exist any more. today I foolishly compromised the afternoon nap period in order to see LOTR with dh at a 10 am session (he's been sooky about missing movies). result: a blinding headache, tears and the feeling that all I want is for the next four hours to vanish so I can try to sleep again. I just can't keep this up. several visitors due next week, and I don't want to think about anything. why does he need four @#$(* feeds a night? why can't he just SLEEP?

Saturday, April 03, 2004

embryo glue. seriously.

look! Dawn has a new daughter! happy, happy, happy, joy, joy, joy!

Friday, April 02, 2004

Madison has arrived: now Dawn is waiting with superhuman patience and grace for J. to decide whether to parent or not. I want so much for her to have another child, but she's right: this is J's decision, and such a hard one.

another three-feed night, another blurry day. am going to say "no" to the work in June, having faced the reality of my tiredness and the likelihood of Hong Kong, plus my reluctance to leave him.

the movies they put on at "baby sessions" all seem to be the ones I don't want to see. seriously considering hitting a "normal" session and taking the chance on having to leave. I don't think they can exclude me, discrimination law and all that. dh and I are both wistful about Lord of the Rings (though maybe for different reasons; I have a shocking crush on that Viggo boy) and I wonder about a 4pm session - early enough not to interfere with my sleep, late enough that A. may be convinced to feed through it and perhaps even sleep.

and big news: solids! he's only 4 1/2 months and I never intended to start this early, but the sleep thing is driving it, and he did seem to enjoy smearing a teaspoon of rice cereal and breastmilk across his face. I guess now I've started I have to offer it daily - I'm going to do it at the second "up" session, midmorning, or just after afternoon nap. first thing is too hard to organise, last thing at night we're all too tired and he's often too grumpy.

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