Under Pressure

Finn: Dad, how did Tasman come out of Mummy's tummy?
Dad: Tasman came out of Mummy's vagina.
Finn: Noooo, that's just silly!

Finn, future gynaecologist, aged almost 5 years


Pressure, pushing down on me
Pressing down on you, no man ask for

Yesterday as we were lying in bed at the end of another day, your Dad turned to me and said I was his rock. I was sure he meant that I was some wondrous piece of carbon well on the way to becoming a diamond, or at least some sort of sharply dressed igneous, but what he really meant was that I was the rock on the edge of the precipice....the rock holding him back from leaping off. Lucky I'm so fat and heavy I said. Can't get around me and can't push me off either.

We joke of course, but this last year has been and continues to be tough. It's been a pile of house-building, house-moving, children raising and work pressure. An exhaustion-inducing mountain of stuff that seems to extend higher the more we climb. In hindsight it is easy to see that there are many reasons for our exhaustion...trying to build a gigantor complicated house and have a third child in the same year, having three kids under 4 in a region where kids don't go to school until they're 6, having three kids at all. I look back at the sentence I just wrote and see how lucky we are compared to many. We can afford (almost) that gigantor complicated house. We have three lively healthy kids. But all I really feel is....tired.

Tasman, you are now 15 months old. Walking, giggling, cheeky. You know exactly how to wind up your sister....you think being told NO! is funny, you sleep well, eat well and are mostly toddling down the bright side of the road. I love you to bits and you annoy your Dad intensely. This has less to do with the fact that you are too young to be sent out to work to pay off the bank, and too young to litigate for the return of his youthful hair colour and more to do with the fact that to see him is to love him and to love him is to cling to the hairs on his legs or his chest so tightly that separation is impossible. This makes you unbelievably happy, your Dad, less so. I don't understand it myself, this wish he has to achieve things, to get something done for himself, without Limpet Boy attached. I mean really...who needs to make a cup of tea or go to the bathroom? Where do you get these crazy over-reaching ideas I ask him?

For me Holly, it is you. My own personal demon, my little devil in short shorts. See, we're already stuck in that horrendous playing favourites thing that parents say they're never going to do and seem unable to avoid. You are almost 3 and are absolutely certain that your small self is the centre of the universe. You are demanding, petulant and whiny, destructive and funny. The fastest way to get you to do something is to tell you you can't. Your father even when enraged by your coating your hands in the plaster that he has expressly told you not to touch....or having to turn the pc back on for the umpteenth time because you slam the keys randomly (having expressly being told not to) says he finds it all endearing. I would dearly love to lock you in your room for the next 18 years but your Dad (after swearing under his breath) chuckles and calls you delightful. He is so illogical and you make me so mad. He then has the nerve to tell me that you are very like me. All of your pouting when you don't instantly get your own way, and your high priestess preciousness, and your cheeky grin. What rubbish I pout. I've a good mind to flounce away and not be his friend any more.

You Finn are the soul of good child, which is good and bad. I can sense that far too easily you could get lost in front of a TV or a computer game and not noticed for a wee bit too long. You try to be good, you're immensely empathetic and curious and you're generally happy. You love kindy and your bike. You are almost 5 years old.

Finn and Holly are in the bath.
Holly: Look Finn has got a penis!
(Holly bats Finn's penis to illustrate her point)
Mum: Holly, Finn's penis is his private parts, and we don't touch people's private parts unless they want us to.
Silence.
Finn: But I want her to touch my penis.
Mum: (dazed and confused) Um. No you don't.
Finn: Yes I do.
Mum: (having absolutely no idea what to say) No you don't.
Finn: Yes I do.
Mum: You really don't want Holly to touch your penis.
Silence.
Finn: Yes I do, I need Holly to touch my penis.

Finn, future shower taker, aged almost 5 years.


This is ourselves
Under pressure

Under Pressure - David Bowie, 2003 A Reality Tour
Gail Ann Lovely Dorsey indeed.