Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mommy's Little Helper

Ever feel like there's too much to get done and no way to do it all without help?  I feel that way sometimes.  Having a child can make getting things done difficult.  The priorities become everyone fed, watered, slept, wearing clean clothes? And I'm done.

But that's not actually when I'm done.  In this pregnancy, my first trimester was super hard because of the fatigue.  Little boy was not sleeping well at all as he was cross cutting teeth.  That means he was grumpy and waking up every three hours.  Or two hours.  Or one hour.  Every hour/ hour and a half.  Every night for a few weeks.  In the daytime I was completely useless.  I'd manage a few menial chores and then retreat to my couch where I could keep an eye on little fellow and watch Jessica Fletcher solve crime.

She's actually quite a terrifying person.  Everywhere she goes, someone is murdered.  She has no problem with this. Ever.

That's besides the point.  I really wanted a helper.  And now I've got one.

He picks things off the floor and puts them on tables.  Very helpful.  We're still working on discretion in this area as shoes don't belong on tables, but we're getting there.

When I sweep the floor, he holds the broom and helps direct it.  He's incredibly meticulous and will stand in one spot sweeping a square foot for 4 minutes before attempting to put the broom away.

Folding laundry is a bit different.  He prefers the casual look to clean clothes and will delightedly unfold and strew them about.  I'm not yet sold on the idea, but give me time.

While working in the kitchen he helps reorganise.  This is a much needed thing as since my second trimester nesting has kicked in I want to (in essence, not with superhuman skill) pick up the house and shake everything out so that I can sort it and organise it and put it away in a better place than it currently is.  He'll open a drawer or cupboard and put things away where they should go.  It's making me think.  The golden syrup goes in with the pots and pans.  As does the vanilla.  One lucky pot gained some cup measures.  The mill goes on the floor for easy access.  The pot lid goes in the drawer with the auxiliary kitchen tools.  The lemon press goes in with the reusable plastics.

He's got skills.

We've been trying to figure out how we will fit everything for two children in the nursery as we want the children to share (after the first bit, anyway) and I realized that our hall cupboard which is really the only storage place in the house needed to house more blankets and whatnot to get them out of the room.  Only problem is, the cupboard was already full.  So non-linen closet items are moving to the (now) storage room.  The little fellow and I spent a companionable few hours pulling out all the items on the bottom two shelves, sorting them and moving them.

It was then that I realised what an amazing helper I had.  I love it when he helps.  Really I do.  Even when it makes things take longer.  However, it does get frustrating sometimes.  I find that as he gets more independent and needs less cuddles and mom near him all the time that I can get frustrated with him more easily.  It's because I miss out on the cute ways that he does things.  The thoughtful air behind it all.  I'm not the best mother, crafting and time managementy and perfect, but I do love my child.  When I have to chase him down to get him to leave his nappy bin alone and to get out of that drawer for the 800th time, I forget the inquisitive nature, the adventurous spirit, the sheer curiosity that my little boy has.  Working with him as we destroyed today was fantastic.  We laughed and giggled and played about and eventually got things done.

I wouldn't trade my little helper.  Things will get done when they need to but I'm going to enjoy this slower, silly pace on the way.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cloudy with a Chance of Footfalls

As I mentioned last post, little fellow is a walker.  I have no problems with this.  Many people said, "oh, when he's walking, he'll be into everything!" but when he was crawling he could still stand and got into everything.  Walking, I decided, would be good, because then he would feel more autonomous and therefore sleep better.

It is true, you know.

The one thing that I was not prepared for as we enter "winter" down here was the quiet that accompanies walking.  Mayhaps he is an odd child and the fact that he was a noisy crawler (slap, slap, thump, thump) as he shuffled along the floor made it too easy for me to know where he was.

Now you hear him move occasionally, but just one heavy step as he rights his balance perhaps or stops to peruse something.  You'll look up and ! where has he Frankenstein shuffled to now?

As he's getting better at walking, he's lost the shuffle and is very confident with his right foot.  The left comes along for the ride.  He's even tried running a few times.

So no, he doesn't get into more, but he does it more sneakily.  Perhaps we'll have to invest in tap shoes.  Or a bell.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Art of Movement

Our little fellow is a walker.  And it's amazing.

It's hard to believe that at one time this self-propelled inquisitive force was at one point immobile.  Yet, he was.  It's a most fascinating thing, watching someone learn to move.  First they wriggle and roll, surprising themselves and completely unaware of what they are doing.  A look of shock accompanies the movement until it is harnessed and the next challenge broached.

They get up on hands and knees.  The balance required for this is just astounding.  One little part not right and the whole thing comes tumbling down.  And that's to balance on all fours!  A small rocking appears as they imitate thorny devils and attempt to shake their way forward.  Or a fellow on his belly wriggles and squiggles to no apparent gain until you remember that he started over there.

When finally they get all the balance in gear, they have to go forward or back.  It's a laborious practice with slow, deliberate actions.  Slow and deliberate for a few days anyway and then off they race, chasing dreams and toys and something that looks highly appealing and that you didn't realize was in reach.

But to reach you must stand! Our fellow started furniture walking a week after he started crawling.  Furniture is a good thing to balance against and hold as you explore a bipedal existence.  How do feet do that?  Hold the floor while propelling, maintaining balance and rhythm.

All of these milestones are accompanied by crashes as gravity will not be denied.  Some crashes are tearful and others unnoticed as the goal to move and to make one's mark still dangle tantalizingly like a carrot or a cup of coffee (wait, that's maybe just for me to get moving) held aloft always out of reach.

One day something is too exciting and must be had.  So he lets go and takes that step, that first step alone in the world, unsupported and free.  Freedom is all fine and good, but none too comfortable, so the first step is alone.

Confidence gains the upper hand, however, and soon these toddlers toddle precariously and oddly, yet gracefully. I've seen him do many things to balance himself to keep moving without thinking of it.

Walking could never be enough with things to climb and conquer.  New levels must be explored, identified and tasted to verify their meaning.  These movements and action stupefy parents as they query "how did he do that?" Possibly the only way is with his sticky gecko feet.

I don't know.  I don't actually know how I walk.  Think about it as you glide across the floor, carrying things, making minor adjustments for corners, for impediments.

And at the same time, I feel these movements inside as many little person learns to do all sorts of things and tests his/her limits as he/she goes.

It's an art, this moving thing.  So let's get moving.  What do you want to do? Dance? Sweep the floor?  Idly stand?  You can do it.  And beautifully.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Shot of Gratitude

When you have just been on holiday for a month, travelling around the world with your husband and 13 month old, having visited 4 provinces and one state completely across the country from where you live whilst 5 months pregnant you suddenly develop an urge to be home.

When you are standing in Perth attempting to check in your bags for your 11th (and final) flight in a month, hungover from exhaustion, hungry and with a headache and the lady checking you in says, "Oh, you're not booked in until tomorrow night's flight," you suddenly develop an urge to create language blue and buoyant.

What's that? You caught some information that needs clarification?

Oh yes, we've just been on holiday.  We went to Canada to visit family and friends (Ontario), family and friends (Manitoba), friends, haunts and malls (Edmonton),  family and friends (Vancouver) ending with a wedding of friends who are like family, whilst staying with family (Brisbane).

That's not what needed clarification?  The baby thing? I've been wanting to broadcast it for months, but wanted to tell people in person as we went so that's kind of why the blog went silentish for a bit.  That and the extreme exhaustion brought on by first trimester and teething son.

When you realize that you may have to stay in Perth for an extra night, so close and yet frustratingly far from your wonderful, comfortable, familiar bed when you are to a level of exhaustion not felt since 4th year uni and the costo of doom, you suddenly develop crazy thoughts of renting cars and driving 9 hours on nothing or of taxiing to IKEA and trying to sleep in the twin to your bed while telling yourself, it's okay, you have friends in Perth who would let you stay and wouldn't it be fun to be on holiday for another night? Although you're more likely to burst into tears (and you have twice much to the chagrin of the man attempting to watch a movie on his laptop beside you).

When a call comes through from your travel agent three and a half hours later telling you that you are on the flight that you were meant to be on and had signed documentation about, you suddenly develop a wave of gratitude.  A six hour layover that earlier had seemed ridiculous now seems a blessing because you'd made your flight!  Everything is fantastic, aided by the fact that your dear husband found you a blueberry bagel when you got through security.

When you crawl into your own bed that night, which you'd made up fresh just before you left with cozy flannel sheets, you savour the feeling before you suddenly develop a need for sleep.