Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Red, Hot Mama

The human denizens of the world can quite easily be divided into two groups.  You might think these would be the haves and have-nots.  You might think they were people who speak English and those who don't.  Those who watch sport and those who play it.  Those who don't understand mathematics and those who do.

Actually, you can split people into a ridiculous amount of groups.  I seem to be getting away from the point here.

In the world are freezers and heaters.  Freezers are (quite obviously) people who are cold.  This is not limited to people stuck in snowbanks, but rather includes those who feel cold most of the time and require an extra sweater, even in the middle of July (January).  Contrarily, heaters are those who run hot and not only from slaving over a hot stove.  Heaters wear shorts when the sun shines.

I am a heater.  I have been known to wear sandals in the snow (not always on purpose), to always wear a singlet despite the time of year because it just gets too hot sometimes and you need to cool down.  I used to routinely pass the sweater I was wearing to a friend of mine who was a freezer.  A nice synergism, I suppose.

Australia is hot.  Not today, but often.  A few days ago, I and my family spent most of the day outside.  It was 32.  Given that it's technically winter here, that was a wee bit unexpected and, especially for heaters such as me, not pleasant especially when you remember that a baby + outside = holding the child.  Holding a child means raising the temperature of the caregiver by about 24 C or 12682 Kelvin.  And (this is the really fun bit), mothers warm when holding babies as their bodies try to keep them warm.

That and the sunburn that I picked up whilst trying to block all rays from hitting my little one made for quite a day.

Talk about a red, hot mama!

Stewed in History

There are times, not frequent nor long lasting, when I am suddenly stewed in history.

Stewing - unless beef is involved - is not a good thing for me.

Mayhaps I've done something silly or stupid or mean but, whatever it is, once realized it can occasionally trigger a moment of sadness for past sillies, stupidities and meannesses.  Momentarily mired in muck of my own making.  Regrets at things I ought not have said, things that I shouldn't have done.  Poor judgements here and there, remind me of my sin.

I know these things have been absolved, and though God has forgotten, I stew over things unimportant and already accounted for.  I know that I am a damnable sinner; I know that God looks at me and sees Jesus' righteousness.  The hope of my life as a Christian wins out over the hard moments of self reflection, looking in a mirror at a mess, the stew gets eaten and replaced with grace.

These are the times for a spiritual song, I'm sure.  It changes the mindset to the important history, the divine mystery, of the love of the Father, shown through the Son, acknowledged and clung to through the Spirit.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Just Sing, Sing a Song!

The one thing that all the baby books agree on is that babies enjoy music and singing.  Though they themselves cannot sing, they really enjoy their parents la-la-laing.  Our little fellow is no exception.

This is not a bad thing.  Before he was born - or even thought of! - there was a good deal of singing going on around here.  But there is something else to realize about this, however.  Babies are highly attuned to the mood of music and they don't like it when you don't know the words.

I don't know if it's mommy brain or if all the lyric of children's songs have been replaced slowly at school with other things deemed more important (bye bye Baby Beluga, hello History of the World -18th century), but I forget the lyrics to children's songs a lot.  And sometimes the tunes.

As they say, "necessity is the mother of invention," and this mother has been inventing things left, right and centre.  I'll be belting out Down By the Bay and suddenly realize that I have no idea what's near those growing watermelons.  Insert frantic wordsmithing: "Haaaaave you ever seen a llama performing a drama?"  The little boy has not been provided with the liner notes and graciously allows discrepancies between renditions.  And even though I sing many real children's songs in a day, as I sit and write this I cannot think of another one.  They are like fairy godmothers and only show up in times of need.  And even then, I get more pumpkins than carriages.  So we write our own songs.  Many of them feature what is happening: "Look, we're in the car! And going for a ride.  I wonder what we'll see/ as we look outside."

Others are related to his mobile that hangs over the change table.  It has two cows, two sheep, two chickens, two horses, two ducks and two pigs.  Oh, what masterpieces have been written about this farm.  It truly is a hobby farm (ha ha!). Some of the best and worst spontaneous songs have been written about these critters.  "The cow says moo, the sheep says baa! The goose says oink and the duck says honk.  The chicken says buck-buck-buck-buck-buck-buck-buck-ca!  Listen to the animals at the farm."  There's not even a distinguishable rhyming scheme. Terrible.  "The cow is black and white.  It is a Holstein.  And it's good for ice cream!"  Or the standard, "Look at the animals spinning around.  Look at the animals touching the ground! Look at the animals doing their thing!  Look at the animals as we sing!"  We learn about the animals: "Cow is spelt c-o-w! Duck is d-u-c-k!  Horse is n-e-i-g-h!" To which Adrian bellows from the bathroom where he's getting the bath ready, "Um, no it's not."  This merely shows that the songs have similar tunes and my brain was on vacation.  In Malta, probably.  And sometimes (vegetarians look away!) we sing about eating animals.  There's a pretty good verse about not eating horses as we don't live in France...

It's not that I don't like children's music.  I do! I love it, really.  At crunch time, though, all children's music leaves me and I'm left with karaoke crap.  What child doesn't like to be sung to sleep with a rendition of Cher's Jesse James?  Or have a bum change accompanied by Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard?  Actually, he didn't like that one.  Aunt Tracey should be proud.  A sunny July day might be cheered with a few verses of Have a Holly Jolly Christmas, we might dance around to 8 Days a Week or Walk Like an Egyptian.  And then again we also sing hymns and liturgy.  Many oldies radio songs are perfect.  Simple tunes, easy to fake lyric, liberally laden with the word "baby".  Talk about handy!

Whatever.  I'm not after a Tony.  The boy is happy with it (and is probably achieving a pretty good appreciation for all styles of music).  The books should be happy too.  And if not, the should put the Wiggles in the appendix.

Monday, August 8, 2011


All I can really remember from physics class in high school is that something that has come to stop takes more force to move than moving something that is in motion.  Inertia is a mean ol' thing.  Of course, I may not have learned that in physics class.  I could just be attributing that to physics class... in which case all I really learned in physics class was that wind power is not viable for automotive transportation.  Unless, of course (taking into account things of which I now know), said vehicle was in WA, but still you could only go one direction.  Oh, and I learned that if you throw Landon's crutch into the centre of the earth and it doesn't burn up, it'll just spin forever.

This really wasn't my physics teacher's fault.  I have not got the physics type brain.  Perhaps I'll look for one on ebay.  Although if one was being sold, that would be a whole other problem.  Should we then alert the media or the police to let them know that brains were being sold?  And did the brainless people know that their brains had been taken?  Should we be on the lookout for zombies that walk among us?  Should we question federal politicians to try to determine if they were the donors? Nah, too difficult.  (A shameless political joke.  I must be lazy!)

Not the point.

Inertia is a difficult thing to stop (ha ha!).  Life around here has been busy.  One young person makes much laundry, changes all schedules, limits sleep, defeats the weak, orders shoes on the internet (oh wait, that was someone else), exponentially multiplies the joy, and takes up much time.  Whilst it is an amazing thing to have a little person here, I found that I was getting frustrated and tired.  Why? I wasn't getting anything done.  I'd do laundry.  There would be more laundry to do.  This was especially frustrating if the first laundry hadn't actually gotten away yet.  I would have a list of projects to get done and everyday would have the same list of little projects.  Everyday it seemed that less and less got done and I got tireder and tireder.  Suddenly it was all "Oh, the baby will be awake in a minute.  I should just watch a bit of television and put my feet up."  Or, "I haven't checked facebook in a bit.  Is anyone on to talk to?"

I should posit that this happened in a lovely time I like to call "pre-teething" which involves sleep regression, short, spluttery day time naps and bad weather.  It was only a few days but it felt much longer.  Like a short decade, perhaps.

At any rate, the days were long, the accomplishments few.  I had enough.  I would not let that inertia overtake me!  So, when he went down to sleep I cleaned more than the basics, baked, did extra things and the time flew by.  And would you believe, at the end of it, I felt better! Less tired and happier in general.

So here is my challenge to you:  fight back against inertia!  Don't let it take you or steal Landon's crutches! On those tired days, get something done.  Maybe your physics homework. You'll feel better for it.  And you'll be able to make a better analogy.