August 2006 Archives

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Dear Finn

As your mother sees it:


What you looking at, wench? Stop flapping yo' jaw and cook me some eggs!


S'ok Mum, I's only messing wit' ya...

You said it, kid.
xx

Toddler

Dear Finn

People often say when they see you smile, that you have a large amount of teeth. To me at least, it doesn't seem that you have any more teeth than any other kid your age...you only have seven after all...it's just that you love to show them all off. You have a big jokerman grin just like your Dad. Aint happy genetics a marvellous thing?

Your smile has been a constant occurrence recently...with excellent reason...as you have just started to walk. All by yourself. Your Dad and I line ourselves up on the floor with an ever increasing space between us. You toddle from one to the other and back again...arms stretched high above your head in your best monkey impression, huge grin on your face...you are so pleased with yourself. You get encased at either end of your listing toddle in hugely proud parental arms. You are so clever. The cleverest clever boy ever, not to get too overly dramatic about it all.

This seems to be one those momentous occasions that all parents remember. Your grandparents can recite the exact ages your Dad and I started to walk, when their memories of many other childhood milestones seem to have disappeared into the haze (note to all grandparental readers: I of course am referring to the razor sharp haze of clarity). Is it joy or sadness at the increasing independence that is cause for rememberance? The fact that you no longer need to hold your Mother's hand...the possibility that you might chose to walk away rather than towards? The baby has morphed into a toddler. We too shall remember this time.

So my soon-to-be explorative little toddler. Have fun out there in your wild new world. Face every challenge with your smile as big as Elvis and you won't go far wrong. No matter how far you roam, your Dad and I are always here. Ready to encase you in loving arms as you launch yourself across the chasm.

love
Mum

Emancipated man

Dear Finn

We keep the toilet lid down in our house when we remember. Largely because when you were smaller I had the horrific vision of you clambering into the toilet and getting stuck by the gravity of your giant head...this would presumably happen in the hours that I left you to play alone, while I lounged by the pool sipping pina coladas.

Today your Dad lifted the lid in the usual manner and got a bit of a fright. You for some reason understandable only to yourself had dragged one of your t-shirts out of the washing basket and deposited it into the toilet.

But well done you. You remembered to close the lid again. In many future years hence, somebody is going to thank me for training you so well.

love
Mum

Bubbles

Dear Finn

Tonight we got out the bubble blower and delighted in blowing bubbles for you to chase and pop. Your Dad livened up the proceedings by doing some wacky ballet moves a la Nureyev through the middle of it all. You laughed like you had never seen anything funnier in all your life. You are so alive my little one, and so overcome with joy at the simplest of pleasures. You make my heart swell to breaking.

All my love always
Mama




Thirteen. How embarrassment.

Dear Finn

Today you are thirteen months old, which seems as good a reason as any to write you a letter. This morning you were happy and chuckling to the extent that I entertained fleeting thoughts that I'd entered a parallel universe. You really have been so unhappy for weeks now. It was a marvellous change to see. And your appetite is finally back...you've been chowing down on spag bol and yoghurt and eating Stan's famous brownies which are VERY healthy. VERY good choice. The VERY is to do with all that butter and sugar.

We didn't get up to a lot today. Too busy scoffing brownies. Bella and Jasmine came around to visit with their Mums and we had a little Mum's group sitting around on our absolutely filthy floor. I was a bit embarrassed really about how filthy, but that's all your fault for refusing to let me vacuum so it's you who should be embarrassed, not me. I'm hoping one day (SOON) you'll realise that your aversion to the vacuum cleaner is just plain silly...and that you are after all far too staunch and cool to ever be bothered about something so trivial as a vacuum cleaner. People tell me it's to do with first babies and noise, but you hate that thing whether it's going or not. I expect that you might read this blog as a teenager and go "Mum...gee you talk shit...I was so far too ever cool and staunch to be scared by a vacuum cleaner. You are SOOO embarrassment".

Well my dear, since we are going through this hypothetical teenage embarrassment phase you might as well know this:

I sniff your bum, and pull down the back of your pants...in front of ABSOLUTELY ANYBODY to check whether you've done poos in your nappies. Then I'll talk about how I'm going to clean your bum...like it's a perfectly acceptable conversation topic. (This is only mentioned here as Collene was laughing at my nappy checking performance. You can forward all therapy checks onto her.)

So there. Undoubtedly not the first nor last time Your Staunchness will be totally embarrased by your ever loving and totally uncool mother. But I AM your mother and you can't change that. Ha.

xx

To sleep, perchance to dream...

Dear Finn

Welcome home! You seem quite pleased to be home, amongst your familiar surroundings. The chuckling you did when having your first swing in four days was positively lover-like. You were obviously overjoyed it did not forsake you, and swing off with the nearest hot swing for random kinky swinging...sorry I digress. Blame it on the sleep deprivation. Which brings me back to the point of this letter.

Travelling with you was not a whole lot of fun, as you were very sick. Well I say very sick (though it probably wasn't), as it's the sickest you've been in your short life. You kindly started your illness on the day we left, by spiking a fever of 38.5 at 5 am, and then thankfully started to come good again on Sunday evening, before we had to fly home. The first doctor we saw on Friday reckoned you had a virus and that there wasn't much that could be done. The second doctor we saw on Saturday (when you continued to look like you were auditioning for the living dead) diagnosed you with tonsillitis and prescribed the mother of all antibiotics which I suspect are causing you to feel better, but are also making the contents of your nappies rather unfortunate.

You were sharing our room. You snored every night. You snuffled and woke yourself up with brief (scary) periods of apnea. You refused to sleep anywhere else except in the crook of your Dad's arm or perhaps on my chest. Your nose was not snotty and you hadn't been hitting the booze, so I suspect it was your tonsils causing you problems. Let it be known that I or your father would've gladly removed them for you by the end of the second night, if only we'd known what the hell we were doing. That's how much we love you. Or perhaps how much we love sleep.

You scared me stupid by developing a rash that could possibly have been meningitis. Apparently it was heat rash. I had no idea how the glass test was meant to work, but I'm sure if you had had meningitis you wouldn't have put up with the myriad ways in which a glass test might be performed with such stoic disinterest.

I'm sorry you were sick on our holiday to Sydney, honey. It can't have been any more pleasant for you than it was for us. But it wasn't all a waste. You didn't get to gaze in awe at the Opera House, but you did get your (very unfortunate) nappy changed on the front steps. Your Dad was very proud to be thrown out of the local pub...and that was all your good effort in causing him such exhaustion that he looked like he'd been drinking forever. I suspect he wished he had.

So now, we're back home. You're starting to look much better and eat something other than custard or yoghurt. Your swing is here, waiting for you anytime you want it. And once your Mama has had 12 hours sleep, we might contemplate going on holiday again.

xx
Mum

Tripping

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Dear Finn

Tomorrow we're off to Sydney on the plane. It's only for a long weekend, but seriously it's already doing my head in, trying to pack for everybody. I really don't need to pack for your father, nor does he need me to pack for him...in fact quite the opposite...but he knows by now that I JUST CAN'T STAND the way he packs. And although I hate to say it, I prefer for my own peace of mind to do his packing for him. How wrong is that? I know I know. I find it hard to even explain what it is that's so wrong with his packing. The closest I can get is to say there's NO SYSTEM. It's unbearable to watch. And I suspect he does it even more these days just to wind me up. That's the kind of sweet loving guy he is, your Dad. For all that though, your Dad barely wears any clothes anyway, and apart from his enormous collection of "essential" medicines without which his head would undoubtedly explode and his nose fall off...takes up very little space at all.

You, on the other hand, my tiny little bundle of joy, take up an inordinate amount of space. I was ranting to Dave, my yoga instructor tonight about the whole packing dilemma thing...this was before yoga of course as afterwards I was peaceful and relaxed and at one with the world. Namaste.

Dave said to make a list. So I will. Here is the list of everything I feel I need to take for you:

Clothes. T-shirt. Trousers. Sweatshirt. One set per day. Five days. One or two extra sets for when you dribble/ eat/ muck about in pot plants/ find the nearest pool of water and attempt to throw yourself in.
Jacket. Sydney is way cold dude.
Sleeping suits...about three. Sleeping bag.
Shoes and socks.
Sunhat. Which you won't wear. Beanie if it's cold...which you also won't wear.
Nappies. Day nappies. Three per day. Night nappies. One per night. 19 nappies. I'll probably make it like 25 to be safe.
Wipes. Plastic bags for that whole nappy etiquette disposal thing that I don't quite get.
Towelling nappies for spills, drying you after your bath, changing mat.
Toys. On the plane. In the bath. For your bedtime.
Bath soap. Flannel. Nappy rash cream.
Medicines. Antibiotics. Panadol. Thermometer.
Books. A couple of your favourites.
Laptop. Complete with Baby Einstein.
Snacks. Muesli bars, breadsticks. Yoghurt.
Plastic bowls. Baby spoons.
Bibs. Two at most. You hate to wear them.
Milk in a sippy cup.
Water in another sippy cup.
Stroller.

And that doesn't include the stuff that will be waiting for us in Sydney. A highchair and a portacot. We're not taking a carseat and you don't use a dummy. What have I forgotten?

Because we're only going for the weekend we're taking one suitcase for all three of us. I am convinced what without my systematic packing ability this would be completely impossible. As is it, your father and I will be wearing the same clothes for three days straight. You however, will be the freshest, most fashion-forward daisy that it's possible for you to be. Step out my son, and make your Momma proud.

xx
Mum

Hooray for Boobies

Dear Finn

It is an interesting time for us at the moment as you’re starting to face the world without boobies. Because it took us some time to conceive you, and we’ve been thinking about drumming up a sister or brother for you and I’m highly suspicious that I’m not ovulating…we thought weaning was a good idea to maximise our chances. You’ve had a year now of Mummy’s nutritious milk and I think we’re OK in feeling confident that that’s a pretty good start for any kid to have. It was a bit of a disappointing conclusion to come to originally…being a relatively keen member of the ABA…not that I’m a rabid believer in only breastmilk, or that the long term future of any child without breastmilk is automatically dire…but just that I thought we would be having boobie-Finn bonding sessions for a while longer. Boobies have made you a healthy happy boy. I liked the fact that boobies could fix anything. Send you to sleep when all else failed. Quiet the most extreme of night terrors. And I loved the idea that there was something you could always rely on your Mum for. Something that only Mum could do. How would we cope without it?

But we set off down that track and it has been surprisingly OK. We took it slow, distracting you out of the daytime feeds first until you only had a morning and evening feed. Then we ditched the morning one, while Dad preoccupied you with toast and Nutella. And then the evening one gradually disappeared. This one I thought would not go without a fight…but your willingness to drink warm cow’s milk instead has been the saving grace of all of this. It’s been 4-6 weeks now of gradual down-milking and we have not bumped boobies in the night now for nigh on a week. I think it’s done. Even if you wake in the night, you’re quite happy to suck down a cup of cow’s milk and have your back rubbed. Mum’s replacement is a cow and a cuddle. Does this make only me start to sniffle?

But there is joy in this for me as well. I went to the movies last night. You stayed at home with Dad. Being the fairly capable sort that he is, Dad can serve up pasta and warm up cow’s milk and tuck you in to bed. For food at least you don’t need only me. It is with a mixture of sadness and joy, and the realisation that you are no longer a baby that I move on through this moment. You are weaned my son.

Remember though, the boobies may be redundant but the comfort remains. Whenever you need a cuddle, your Mum is always here.

xx

Minutiae by Minutiae

Dear Finn

When I started this blog, inspired by Dooce and Mightygirl, it was with the idea that it would be like a diary of your life. We seem to have these mad keen friends who document every waking moment of their child’s life, make DVDs or get photo books made and when it comes down to it, I can’t explain why we haven’t done these sorts of things in any other way except to say we frankly just don’t care enough. We’re not into family portraits and taking a photo of you every Tuesday, although I do still have the idea of making you a personalised mosaic chair. I might even finish it by the time you turn 21. You have lazy parents kid, get used to it.

Hence the idea of a blog. You might get to read these letters later on and realise, despite the fact that there are no framed photos of you lining our walls, we still did sort of love you in our leisurely kind of way. We liked to take the silly things that you did as a kid and immortalise them on the web. That’s the kind of parents we were.

But I have realised that I miss out on the minutiae of it all...the silly things you do, between the other silly things that you do. You know, when you’re making other plans as John Lennon once said. For instance no-one out there in cyber land knows that you have suffered constantly with ear infections for the last 4 weeks and that this is your third bout this winter...your first winter on earth...not that this in itself is newsworthy, but possibly interesting for when you are being driven to drink by your own kids with ear infections and we can roll our ancient eyes and say remember that old blog...you were a little ear infected child yourself. Blogs last forever and they never lie.

So maybe these letters might become a little more like ramblings from the mother that you are driving to drink (you with your sore ears, your refusal to eat and inability to sleep). Expensive plonk mind you...you haven’t driven me as far as the kero just yet. Feijoa vodka is lovely stuff when mixed with apple juice...and I blame your father really anyway. His last alcohol free day was before the dawn of time.

And in those times when I’m not hitting the booze I can reminisce about how much you make me laugh...not that I can show you, because on the outside at least Mummy has her serious face on. You know you’re not allowed to stand up in your swing but you also hate it when I refuse to watch you swing back and forth indefinitely and instead read my book. Dude, watching you swing all day is just deadshit boring, I really must say. So to effectively get my attention, you stand up, swaying unsteadily on your short stubby legs. When I look at you with my sternest don’t-mess-with-yo-Mama face...you sit down so fast you look like you’ve been chopped off at the knees.

Even a threat of having the swing removed is not enough to scare you from testing your power...I am surprised in times like these that the world is not ruled by children. Your self belief is enormous. I only hope that we as parents don’t inadvertently destroy this. You CAN do anything and BE anyone you chose to be. We believe in you.


love Mum

Destroyer of backs

Dear Finn

You spend a lot of your time these days grabbing our hands and encouraging us to walk you around. You with your baby orangutan sway and absolute delight in this new perambulatory ability...you are hard to resist. Until our backs give out from the strain. You need to grow a little taller my love.

Your favourite place to lead us is your swing. Should, for any reason, you not be walked, or not placed immediately in your swing...a large tantrum will undoubtedly occur until your needs are met. You will walk me! You will swing me! You will obey me instantly in this, as in all my needs! I am the all powerful and all controlling Finnster!

OK. So maybe I hear things. Perhaps I should get that seen to.

As always, your ever loving, somewhat stooping Mum.
xx

Forkin' good

Dear Finn

Today you ate pasta (gorgeous creamy cheesy Mac cheese...with celery to make it healthy) with me for lunch. I had the big fork and you had the little fork and we ate the whole bowl together. You are a star my little one. This forking moment will be treasured.

xx
Mum