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Friday, 18 February 2011

OMG!! Are You Kidding Me?

Not too long ago the Butterfly was having a “Just call me Terror” day. The morning began with a sudden inability to hear her mother, everything and I mean everything she was told or asked to do she just did not do. I would call her and would not even get the slightest acknowledgement, I stood in front of the television she stood up and walked around me, I switched it off she clicked her tongue at me and went to the computer. I’d yell at her she’d tell me to be quiet. I do find it exceptionally hard not to laugh when these things occur and that particular day the series and frequency of these events was rather amusing at first. Things did however start to irritate when she refused to get dressed, sit correctly at the breakfast table, throwing a fit when she was refused a sweet or throw her toothbrush out the bathroom window. So I eventually gave her a smack, which stung both of us because she was still not dressed. She was so mad at me for daring to smack her she told me to go to my room.
I made the beds, she unmade them. I put away the laundry she unpacked the draws. I tidied her book shelf, she took everything off it. I yelled at her she yelled back. I smacked her she followed me around the house screaming her head off refusing to go to her room to calm down. By the time she had thrown her lunch onto the back yard I was at the end of my rope and was now no longer amused at all. I was beginning to see red so she was sent to sit on her moon chair in the passage until I was calm enough to sit down and have a rational conversation with her. I took the opportunity to redo everything she had undone, effectively cleaning up and calming down at the same time. Half an hour later I was sitting on the floor in the passage having a heart to heart with a Butterfly whose eyes were filled with crocodile tears about the correct way to behave.

Fat lot of good that did! Half an hour of good behaviour later we were right back where we had started. She just went right back to ignoring my existence and telling me to be quiet when I spoke/yelled at her. It was in the middle of one of these tirades that the Mauritian arrived home, suddenly the little sh*t turns into a perfect angel all smiles and welcomes making me out to be the wicked step mother. I wanted to strangle her!

With peace and obedience finally restored we sat down to supper and once the Terror was safely in the bath I gave the Mauritian a rundown of our horrid day. He sat quietly listening to me rage on and on about the Terror’s horrendous behaviour all the time an amused half smile tagging at his lips. When I was finished ranting and blowing off steam he took a sip of his coffee, stood up came over to me and hugged me. Then he looked at me and said: “The best part is we're going to go through it all again with the next one.”

The Secret is Out

Nineteen weeks to go and it’s a girl! If you didn’t know that by now, where have you been? We’ve even settled on a name, and again for those of you who haven’t being paying attention we shall be naming our new daughter “Hollie Patricia”

What has amused me most about this whole process of finding out the sex and naming her is the vested interest that so many people seem to have in the outcome. My lifelong friend was not afraid to voice her dislike of some of the names I mentioned, though it has to be said that some of her suggestions almost had me in therapy. You can imagine the pea cocking that’s been going on though since she discovered we had decided to go with her suggestion for the second name. I spent the first twenty weeks going on about not knowing if I want to know the sex or not and throwing names out at people just for their reactions. My eldest niece is now glowing with pride that we chose to go with her suggestion for the first name, it was not a name I would’ve chosen on my own so I will allow my niece her moment of glory. I even got a thrill out of threatening my favourite Eeyore that I wasn't going to tell her a thing in revenge for not being told Sprouts name before she was born. At no point did I have any intention of not finding out or of keeping it secret. Firstly getting the Mauritian to play along would not have been possible, he sees no point in that at all. Secondly for me the effort of pretending and secret keeping is just not worth it really. I’m pretty good at keeping the confidences of my friends but useless at keeping my own secrets, I always slip up somewhere. We had decided right at the beginning of the pregnancy to find out the sex because, well in all honestly, because we could. In the end knowing the sex of the baby doesn’t take away from the birth experience and there was always the chance that the doctor would not be able to see the sex on the scan anyway.

With both pregnancies when I asked to be told the one thing I did say was to be told the sex only if there was absolute certainty. With the Butterfly the doctor didn’t hesitate, but this time round it was a different story. She was not so keen to give up her secret and we were very close to coming home none the wiser to the sex. We had been in the room for close on half an hour and all of us were getting restless and ready to end the consultation when the Doctor suggested she have one more look. I think the reason she suggested it was that she saw the look of disappointment of the Mauritian’s face. We had made the decision that after this scan we would not have any more scans unless there was a medical reason to do so, so this scan was in a sense the only chance we would have to know the sex. I was on the verge of telling the doctor not to worry, I was hot, tired and sore from all the pressing and prodding for the past half hour, but the Mauritian was very quick to agree with the doctor so I gave in. It was all worth it in the end when the doctor said “It’s a girl!” because the smile that lit up the Mauritians face could have powered New Plymouth for a month. On our way home that afternoon the Mauritian said he was really happy about having another daughter because he wasn't sure he was ready for a son. It may just be that he feels used to dealing with a girl and feels more at ease and ready for another one, though in truth I’m not sure he realises just how different the babe will be from her sister. I am also very happy to have another girl, as my talented mother said a boy just doesn’t seem to fit our family dynamic. I can’t help becoming nostalgic though and wondering if the child we lost might not have been a boy and if I will ever miss having a son. But there is no going backwards and looking back doesn’t change the now so the “what ifs” and so on serve no useful purpose.

So for the second half of the pregnancy we will be preparing for the arrival of another perfect little girl. I am sure friends and family will be shopping for anything pink, though I would prefer to avoid it if possible. I will be hauling out of storage those little outfits of the Butterfly’s that I could not part with, happy that they will get more wear and hoping I will be able to part with them once they have been out grown.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Missed You More

So I promised myself that I wasn't going to spend today hoping for tomorrow. For the most part I've done okay, I have concentrated on the now and what needs doing or what can be left. But with the Mauritian in South Africa for three weeks I didn’t do so well. I stared at the calendar every day and filled my days and nights with as much activity as I could think of. The Butterfly got so tired of going for walks in the mornings, helping mum with the housework or some other activity that eventually as we neared the end of the three weeks when I suggested we go play hopscotch I was told "No thanks I'm watching TV" In other words, "Go bug someone else!" I scrubbed walls, cleaned windows, even did all the ironing just to make the time go by quicker. I tried going to bed early, watching late night TV or reading till I fell asleep. Time still dragged its feet. My phone rang constantly with friends calling to see how I was doing, and as much as I appreciated the concern, the chance for a grown up conversation and their willingness to help me waste some time by chatting for at least half an hour I did get tired of repeating myself. I have watched so much television that I won’t miss it if it explodes, I won’t be baking for a while much to The Butterfly’s discussed I’m sure and it’ll certainly be a long while before I sit and painstakingly straighten my own hair.

I’m so happy the Mauritian is back home, three weeks without him was torturous. It never occurred to me just how much I would miss the little things, like waking up next to him in the mornings or tripping over his shoes in the dining room. I missed our falling asleep in the middle of a conversation at night then trying to remember what we were talking about the next morning. I never thought I’d miss his grumpy face when he came home after a particularly long busy day at work, but I did. Hell, I didn’t think I’d miss his smelly socks but I did. I missed his horrid continuous teasing I even missed cooking for him, okay I missed him cooking for me more but I did make a little too much food a few times. In short I missed the normality of our life immensely.

Once we had come to a decision that The Mauritian would go back to South Africa and for how long I began to plan how I would spend my three weeks without him. I had it all mapped out in my head, I knew what movies I was going to watch, that the Butterfly would get extra time on the computer and even an extra hour of television. I was going to start and finish a thousand paged novel, I was going to do minimal housekeeping and only cook every second night. I knew I would start really missing him by the last week so my plan was to fill the days then with a good old fashion spring clean, in the hopes I’d be so tired at night I’d pass out early thus helping the time pass. Well that was the plan and as I have said before, nothing ever goes to plan. We arrived back from the airport that Monday afternoon I lay down on the sofa and that was me, the Butterfly thought it was Christmas because she got to watch television till bed time and she didn’t even have to have a bath. The moment the Mauritian stepped onto the plane I began to miss him and by the time I got back home anyone would have thought that he had left for good. By the Tuesday afternoon I’d grown bored with doing nothing and was concerned my child would start looking like a television so I raised myself out of my stupor and decided the only way to ensure I don’t miss The Mauritian to a point of implosion was to fill every hour of the day with activity and busyness. So off went the television and the first thing the Butterfly and I did was to build a “worm chart” that we would sick up on the wall and count down every day how many more sleeps there were till Papa came home. We had so much fun! We got all of the Butterfly’s paints, felt pens, crayons and even some of the things I use for my greeting cards and loads of paper. We spread the paper over the dining room table and we scribbled, drew and painted the paper and each other amidst fits of giggles and skirmishes. Then while we waited for the paint to dry we headed off for a shower and managed between the two of us to wet the entire bathroom. We then or rather I then put the finishing touches to the chart by cutting out circles from our very colourful pages and writing in the available blank spaces a date and a number . The Butterfly then gleefully stuck each segment on the wall with far too much sticky tape and then took a lot of convincing not to take them all down again. We had had so much fun that afternoon and the time had passed rather nicely that I decided to do something like that with the Butterfly everyday or at least try.

We both started out very enthusiastically, the Butterfly happily followed me around the house in the mornings helping to make the beds, put a load of washing on, put dishes away or fetch the post. She would eagerly run ahead of me on our walks to the local Dairy for milk or the park, such as it is. The Butterfly would sit at her desk and write while I sat at my laptop and typed; we’d sit side by side on the sofa and read our books and ate every meal together at the dining room table. I spent more time than normal playing hopscotch and soccer then I ever have. I tried teaching her to skip and do head over heels and almost succeeded in getting it right.
But as the weeks dragged on the enthusiasm and eagerness got less and less and by the last week the Butterfly was more than happy to go off into her room or the garden and just be as far away from her crazed mother as she could be. Now how was I supposed to pass the time? With only myself to amuse it wasn't easy, so I would set myself tasks that I mistakenly thought would take effort and time to do, like cleaning windows, spring cleaning cupboards and the ironing. Every time I thought something would take me most of the day to do I was finished by lunch time, I was left with three days of absolutely nothing to do. So I started planning the Mauritian‘s homecoming and the Butterfly and I went shopping.

The Mauritian has been home almost two weeks now and I’m still as happy to have him home today as I was the day he arrived. I am so happy to be woken with a jolt by our screaming alarm clock. I am so happy to be staggering out of bed to make the Mauritian his coffee, breakfast and lunch. I am even so happy to fight with him to get up in the mornings. I am blessed with a husband who so willingly takes over entertaining his child the moment he walks through the front door in the afternoons, freeing me up to see to the evenings chores. I am blessed with a husband who will happily wash dishes, cook, put his daughter to bed and vacuumed the carpets when asked. I am blessed with a man who has long conversations with my belly button and happily goes to the shop late at night to satisfy a pregnant craving. I am blessed with a man who unashamedly will tell anyone who will listen how much he loves his family and how much he treasures being a father.

It really is so good to have him back home again!