Wednesday, July 27, 2011

This time last year...

9.30pm  28/7/10

My little one is maybe coming. I’ve had strong Braxton Hicks for the last few hours. They’re very nearly constant. I'm feeling unsettled. Sleepy. Listening to music, lighting candles. Had a lovely night walk, with all the family - husband, sister in law, mother in law, cousin in law.  The Sprocket fell asleep quickly and is sprawled out on the bed now, exhausted. 
I do hope this is my little one coming. My mother-in-law has to leave the country on Monday and its Thursday now and she does so want to see her before she has to go back to PNG. Besides which – I’m just so big and cumbersome… and I want to meet my daughter!
Everything is ready now – we’ve moved into the granny flat and it’s very perfect! 4 rooms instead of one makes a big difference! The rooms are all ready – the moses basket is all made up and my bags are packed and by the door.
Hmmm – a tightening. It seems stronger. I hope so. I really hope so! My daughter.
I love my son – more than anything in the world –but I do want a daughter. Of course I’ll be all set to do girly stuff and she’ll want to wear jeans and play with trucks, but that’s okay,  I’ll have a few months before she learns to say no.I've spent so long imagining her… 
I hope we’re up to two…
I should be sleeping now… resting, preparing… but I’m too unsettled…
I hope all goes well. I can’t help but be scared after the Sprocket’s birth. If we’d lived in the past the Sprocket and I would have died – my husband thought he was going to lose us both – but I’m sure this time will be different – my body knows what’s happening and I haven’t put on as much weight.
But if anything does happen I hope people make sure my Sprocket knows his mummy loved him more than the world twice over – that he brought joy and delight and wonder – and that my daughter knows we loved her from before conception.
So peaceful – restful… A quiet house and soft music... the night outside. I remember the night the Sprocket was born, a different season and state, but the same detached sort of feeling. I hope it starts raining soon. I love the sound of the rain, the smell of the rain. The name we have chosen for our daughter means rain at night.
Oh – lots of kicking.
I know when it’s over I’ll miss having the little one within me – the kicks and pulls and strange distortions – but so eager now to meet her – will she be like my husband or I? Or like the Sprocket?  It's so hard not to want a little female Sprocket. We know that we’ll love her for her own darling self – but the Sprocket is the centre of our world at the moment.
Our own little rose is on the way… I wish I knew if this were true or false! Is tonight the night? Or at least the beginning?
I told my husband it’s about a 1 in 10 chance of being tomorrow – he was going on the 1 in 20, but I pointed out that the early dates had all been ruled out – so the odds have gone up!
He’s gone to pick up his phone from his cousins and I gave him dire warnings about what would happen if things sped up and he wasn’t here!
What will she look like? How will she behave? I'm so excited – but still unbelieving...
I can feel movement down by my thighs, little fingers searching.
I think everything’s nearly ready… a few little bits and pieces… but nothing that can’t  be done while I’m in hospital.
O little one – we love you so – and are so anxious to meet you. At night I lie awake feeling you inside the round bulge of my tummy and imagining your tiny toes and fingers, your little nose and tiny mouth…
Do come, come soon, we all so want to meet you! 

An Old Fashioned Poppet

Monday, July 25, 2011

She Reminds Me

There's so much to do. 

There are dishes in the sink and I optimistically put washing on the line and now its raining and there's another three loads to do and someone has smeared mandarin pieces all over the floor and the Poppet has pulled all the books off the bookshelf again and -

And the Poppet reaches up her arms and when I pick her up she just hugs me. She puts her cheek to mine and she puts her arms around me and nestles her head onto my shoulder and just holds. She holds for a long time. 

And I realise that none of the other stuff matters. 

The stuff that matters is that my little nearly-one-year-old girl hugs me. 

She has another tooth now. Seven in total. She learnt to say 'dog' this morning. She loves crawling into the laundry basket when I put it on its side. 

This is the stuff that matters. I'll do the dishes. Get on top of the washing. The books will be put away. It's not a big deal. It'll be done sometime. 
My Poppet's cheek against mine, her happy gurgle giggle. 

That's a big deal. 

She reminds me.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Me and Bobby McGhee (Bobby needs Milk)

So I offload the kids on my husband and tell them to go to the park.
They come back a short time later and the Sprocket is drenched through. It appears he found a large puddle and decided to go for a swim.
"Cold Daddy. Help!" Were the words used I am told. So my husband helped him out.
And of course he jumped right back in again.
So the kids return with the Sprocket soaked through and I take them under my wing and hustle them into the bath, emptying the water from the Sprocket's shoes, and the Sprocket starts playing. And he picks up his Builder Bob toy and he holds him to his little naked chest and he says "Milk for Bobby."
And I swallow and try not to giggle. "It's lovely to see you looking after Bob so well, darling."
"Ghee Milk for Bobby." Ghee is what the Sprocket calls himself. It is nothing like his real name and we do not know where he found it, but it is the way he always refers to himself.
My little Sprocket is starting to pretend. Starting to care. Starting to share. Starting to model himself on us.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


My Sprocket, in his own time, has discovered the wonder of ‘again’, or in his case ‘more.’
I suppose it's only fair as I've been reliably informed that I forced loving parents and aunties to go through Bambi again and again and yep, again. 
We're now going through ‘How do Dinosaurs Eat their Food’ again and again and yep, again.
In songs the Sprocket is declaring ‘No more star!’ (Twinkle Twinkle little star) and ‘No more ducks!’ (Five little ducks) instead he wants more and more of 'Ging Gang Gooli' and 'What Shall we Do with the Drunken Sailor.'
Repetition is good for toddlers. The more they read a book the more things they pick up and observe. It is supposed to help them build vocabulary. I am assuming hearing the same songs repeatedly works in the same way.
I'm just a little unsure of how hearing 'Ging Gang Gooli' for solid hours at a time (I am starting to alternate whispering and shouting verses just to entertain myself) can help his vocabulary when… there are no proper words. I am hoping it helps his musical ability. They are definitely distinctive songs.
I'm just waiting until he tells someone ‘More Drunk!’ ('What shall we Do with the Drunken Sailor')

Sunday, July 17, 2011

There were five in the bed...

(and the little one said…
rollover, rollover
so they all rolled over
and one fell out..)

Well, not quite, but nearly.
We have four of us in two beds, however the Poppet’s cot is flush with our queen bed and we’ve taken down the dividing rail so it acts as one big bed.
At present as I type my Sprocket is curled sleeping in the crook of my arm while my Poppet is sleeping on her back on the other side. My husband is reading his ipad at the bottom of the bed.
Before lights out we’ll move the Poppet into her cot, carefully making that sure she is well away from any pillows and our doona. During the night she will wake repeatedly, searching me out for milk. Luckily, the Sprocket no longer does that, although he will want mummy milk in the morning and will have to be distracted if I am to escape his industrial strength sucking.
I love having my little ones close. I love being able to wake in the night and listen to their breathing and reach out and touch them, to feel the rise and fall of their chests, the way their tiny chubby fingers curl around mine in automatic response. I love the feeling of them curled warm and amazingly them to either side of me.
I love the extra time of drinking in the curve of their cheeks, their full lips, the sheer perfection of them.
One day they will not want to be curled up beside us, will not want to wake to see us and smile and giggle with delight that we are there, will not coorie into us. While they do, I’ll make the most of it.
I miss spooning with my husband. Finding ‘us’ time is a bit of an art.
I’m not so keen on waking to find the Sprocket’s feet in my face. He has a decided preference for sleeping horizontally. Not sure why. But there it is. My partner and I are used to waking with little feet firmly pressed against our ribs or neck. I haven’t checked it out, but I think he might have some magnetic component too him that he has to sleep facing due north.
However careful I am to make sure the Poppet is well away from any pillow or quilt, I am always a little bit afraid and wake many times during the night to check her breathing and make sure that she hasn’t moved too far.
And although the Sprocket is almost three… I check him too.
I dream of sleep…
The Poppet wakes around o – 3.30 and starts sleep feeding – on and off till I get out of bed around 7. Sucked dry, I wake on a sugar low, cranky as all get out until I get food food more food.
There are many, many different ways families organize their sleeping. Right now, this is ours, and I know the day will come when I will sniff and sigh and tear up and say ‘Do you remember when we had both our little munchkins curled up with us.’
And my husband will snort and say “Yup. My back’s never been the same since.”
But he will miss them as much as I do. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Five years

Five years. That’s how long it is since my husband and I met and shortly afterwards started going out. That’s not too long ago. It's not a historic time period, but when I think of all that’s happened in those five years...
We’ve crammed in a lot. Anyway, five years ago today my husband and I were volunteers in the Solomon Islands and he was plying me with red wine in an effort to induce me to go out with him.
Obviously successful.
I’m having sudden flashbacks as we’ve just had a lovely weekend with friends who were volunteers with us in the Solomon Islands.
Bizarre and lovely and full of deep sighs thinking back to that time now.
First times.
First time I met my husband.(Inauspicious)
First time we went out together.(Inauspicious)
First time we moved in together. (He started sleeping on the couch where I was staying – I suspect it still has the massive dip)
First time we were evacuated together.
First time we got gastro together
First time we were in lock-down together.
Although it’s hard to imagine a pre-Sprocket and Poppet existence I do remember dancing till the early morning to Siseva and Litle Raskals and… and swimming through underwater landscapes, buying great armfuls of flowers at the market, crawling through the hole in the fence to get to work as the only person with the key to the gate hadn’t turned up… swimming in a green and silver sea as the rain fell and frangipani floated around us…

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Enforced Shopping...

The Poppet and I had enforced shopping today.
No one held a gun to our heads, but we had to drop the car in for a service and then wait in the nearest convenient walkable place, which – tah-dah – was the shopping centre.
So we got the boring stuff out of the way first and brought the dog food and bones and all and then we went s-h-o-p-p-i-n-g.
There’s only so much playing in the kid area a little girl can do, especially if everything is designed for a kid 3 times your size.
We looked at bags and shoes and tried on hats.
The Poppet looked very fetching in a black pork-pie hat and was most distressed when I made her put it back. It was just a little big, although yes, I admit, very good for peekaboo.
We ummed and aahed over coats we had no intention of buying and darling little dresses. We swooped down on sales. And then stepped back again after careful reflection.
We stopped for coffee and sang twinkle twinkle little star and then the Poppet did her very clever two-handed wave dance.
And… I can’t help thinking how different our time together is from my time with the Sprocket at the same age.
We were living in the South Pacific then and I didn’t have transport so to go out I’d put on a baby carrier and pop the Sprocket in, often in just a nappy and singlet (not like the Poppet’s lovely purple ensemble of today, tights and cord dress, long sleeved top and fluffy cardie) and then we’d go to the bus stop and hail a bus (a mini-van) and there’d be fake flowers and reggae, tourists and locals all heading into town and the Sprocket would make eyes and gurgle at everyone. We’d wander through the market filling our bilum with whatever was in season and then duck into the super market to groan over the inflated prices of western food. We’d have a brief interlude as the check out girls would ask to ‘kari smal’ and I’d hand the Sprocket over so that they could pass him around. Then we’d wander along the water-front and admire all the boats. We’d go to the bus stop and negotiate which bus was going in roughly our direction and then the bus would drive us home, dropping us at our gate. In the afternoon the Sprocket and I might walk to a nearby resort and go for a swim. We’d buy a banana smoothie to share and play on the sand for a little before getting in the water for a splash.
Every so often I feel bad our little Poppet misses out. But then she giggles as we try on hats and I realize that really as long as she’s with us, she’s pretty happy. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Goodbye teeny tiny Summer Dresses...

I'm putting away the Poppet's first summer dresses. As it's July now and officially winter I doubt she’s going to get one last wear out of them. Though I might keep a couple out just in case as they are entirely adorable. All doll- size pinks and whites and bows and flowers. 

But hey. I'm a girlie girl. And until the Poppet is old enough to say NO – hey, so is she.

Every time the Poppet outgrows something I swallow.I've been waiting - o at least 27 years to play dress ups with my daughter. And now that time is here it's going so fast. As much as I try to hold onto the time it just seems to slip away.

My little girl has an imperial wave now. She walks her way along the furniture. Recently come dusk Caleb was playing in the garden and I blinked and saw her little backside busily heading into the dark to find him. She claps and points out her desires and smiles beautifully for the camera. She has a good line in putting her head on peoples shoulder and smiling enchantingly. ‘Am I not adorable?’

She loves playing peek-a-boo with the Sprockets Bob the Builder hard hat.

She's growing up. 


For now though, goodbye teeny tiny candy-cane cottons, he-llo slightly bigger furry boots, woollen hoodies, fluffy boots, velvet, corduroy and tweed.