Monday, 31 January 2011

Why is that?

Why is it that
  • when I look in the mirror or at recent photos of me, all I can see is fat/ugly? I'm not that fat. Just a bit fat. I'm pretty much as ugly as I was before.
    I know it's untrue and yet I feel it in my bones. Crap.
  • it's okay for me to leave Charlie to play on his own when I'm doing the laundry, but not when I'm blogging?
    (Actually, this one is probably for the best. And I don't have any guilt issues when he's napping.)
  • I find it so hard to stop Charlie's night feeds? Is it because they make me feel needed? Is it because he's probably my last baby and these would be our last night feeds? Is it because he's so big and needs a lot of fuel?
    I feel I have made a good effort, introducing the late-night bottle, trying to give him water instead of nursing him, and still no luck.
  • my funny me has gone on holiday but my tidy me is at home and doing overtime?
  • self-hatred is the hardest thing to stop?

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Cra-zy in the head

I can see her in the distance. She's been sick with a bad flu all week, but now she's ventured outside. I'm happy to see her. She's a good friend and I've missed her. She's closer by now. I put up my hand for a little wave, and so does she. Her hand goes off course, and straight to her mouth from which she emits a small cough. It's a small cough - hardly audible - but unmistakably a cough.

A little alarm bell goes off in the back of my head. I tell this bell to fuck off. This is my friend, she has a little cough, she's most likely not going to kill me. Or my little innocent baby in his buggy. No, she definitely won't. Get a grip, Mwa. Everyone carries all kinds of bugs, she's no different. Just get on with the conversation and forget about the cough.

She gets to where I've been standing at the school gates. We catch up. I commiserate about her flu. I mean it. Poor her. But this conversation does rather make me think about it. And it makes me wonder, at the back of my mind, how long can a virus live outside the body. Is her coat infectious? Is she still infectious? Maybe her cough is just a secondary infection and no longer carries live viral matter. OMG MWA will you give it a REST? This is your FRIEND! Your very own children are CESSPITS of disease who bring home every kind of bug you can imagine from school. GET OVER IT!

The conversation gets off the topic of the flu and I feel slightly better. Almost forget about it. Yes, look at me standing here, being all benevolent to the woman who really should still be in quarantine or at least wearing a mouth guard and I'm not even mentioning any of that. I'm carrying on a conversation as normal. LALALA! Look at me being all socially adapted. No one can even tell I'm cra-zy inside. OCD I kick your annoying arse!

Toddler girl comes running out of the school and asks me to pick her up. While I bend down to gather her into my arms, I realise I have left the baby-buggy area unattended. The situation has gone from code orange to code red now. I took my eye off the ball. And there you have it already: my friend feels another cough coming up, lifts her hand, coughs into it, then out of the corner of my eye I see her "helpfully" taking the buggy from me. With the infectious hand. The hand full of cough residue.

"RED ALERT!!!" someone screams in my head. "GENERAL ALARM!!!" The head of virus monitoring inside my brain's OCD command centre goes purple. He fucking knew this was going to happen. Why hadn't I listened to the "fight or flight" command he so clearly sent out at the first glimpse of the lurgy-ridden ex-patient? This was a preventable cock-up, people!

My friend and I walk a little way. The buggy is now well and truly contaminated. Then I put down toddler girl and my friend gives the buggy back to me. I force myself to hold it, in the normal place, in the very danger zone. I will not make my friend feel bad. She's been helpful - kind even. She hasn't meant to infect me and my entire family with her awful flu. I feel like Mother Teresa or something. Mwa tends to the sick with no care for her own well-being. I can just see the headlines: "Mother of three dies from swine flu after act of kindness to friend; Baby will most likely pull through."

All the way home, I am conscious of the flu being on my hand. And then it's on the children's coats. And then on their hands which I hold. And then on the school bags. And now on the key, and then on the door. By the time we get home it's no use desinfecting hands or buggy because I would have to wash all of us with bleach all over, which I'm not going to do. Because I'm not crazy, people! So I let it go. Oh yes I do. I hardly think of it the rest of the evening. Maybe twenty times, but that is all.

The next day, I wake up with a sore throat. Bugger.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Non-anal baking high

See what Ms. Moon made me do yesterday evening:

Looks like muffins
Tastes like brownies

But then she put me to shame today with her own gorgeous brownies which actually look like brownies.

I've been wanting for ages to bake something without being completely anal about it. I've only ever baked two things in my life (how typical I blogged about both), and each time I measured everything to the motherfucking gram. Which is tiring. And not fun. And quite unnecessary I'm sure. This time I scanned a couple of online articles, then consciously forgot them and threw some stuff together. No bain marie for the chocolate and butter - just the microwave. No sifting, just chucking. No measuring, just "does this look okay" and "does this taste okay?" Just a little more of this and a little more of that.

It was liberating! Baking like that is such a joy and no one ever told me. I'm planning a lengthy campaign of baking, and I won't be using any cookbooks. Trial and error only. I am reconnecting with my cavewoman ancestors (just like michelle with her knitting). It makes me feel powerful, my people. Like I can do anything, anything useful that is - like nurturing and loving and feeding and clothing. It makes me finally realise to the full what I thought I understood all along: that my job in the house just now is an all-important one. One that would beat market research's and investment banking's ass any day. (Maybe not gynaecology or social work or nursing. Bygones.) And all because of a bit of baking. (Maybe the eggs were bad or something - I'm obviously tripping.)

Still on my baking high and with the exact same attitude, this evening I also made - no kidding - the best quiche in the whole world ever! It has slices of sausage, diced courgette and emmental cheese. I don't even like quiche but this was great. The children finished their pieces completely.

Who the mama?  I the mama.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Thank you!

I just want to say thank you to everyone for your advice the other day. Charlie has now drunk a bottle for the second night in a row. I don't know if he would eventually have caved and had a normal bottle anyway, but I went out and got the boob-shape tommee tippee bottle yesterday. I gave him some water in it with his lunch but he was still not sure about it. (Today I just gave him a cup for his water. He may as well learn to use one.) Then yesterday evening he drank a good-size bottle. He still didn't sleep properly last night, though. In fact, I think he slept worse.

Tonight, we added some heavier formula which promises to give him a more satisfied feeling for longer. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The bottle is a good start already because in theory I could now get a longer sleep. If I didn't stay up to watch TV and then go online.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

The road to enlightenment is bumpy and sometimes smells of bacon

So the bummer is that all the beautiful equanimity resulting from a good dose of buddhism for mummies only lasts as long as the mummy in question keeps up her bloody practice. If you don't "study the texts" or meditate for a couple of days, your kitchen will be a stinky mess and you will once again be surprised, and ever so mildly annoyed, if your baby dares to nap for less long than you planned. (I'm speaking hypothetically here, of course.) If only there was an enlightenment switch in the brain which could be flicked to "on" by reading the right book. That would be the ticket. No more bloody "journey," or "it takes a lifetime." I want to be free from urgent desires, and I want it now!

The way back to happiness often starts with a good lunch for me. If I bother to cook myself something tasty, instead of chucking together a slice of bread and a dollop of Nutella, there's a good chance the day will end better than it started. A quick perusal of the fridge and the cupboards only showed that I urgently need to go to the shops. There was some bacon Babes had bought, and a jar of pesto, and then some white bread left over from Marie's class breakfast yesterday. Now everyone knows the Buddha's famous saying
"For human to achieve happiness, sometimes pig must suffer."
so the pig got it. Vegetarianism will have to wait once again. The pesto was overkill (what a terrible choice of words, in light of the hog's demise) because it competed too much with the taste of the bacon. It would have been more respectful to trust the pork to shine by itself. Bread and bacon need no accompaniment, except for the bacon fat straight out of the pan. Or chicken. Or lettuce. Or tomatoes. Okay, it can have an accompaniment, but there was no call for pesto.

I will give the pork another chance to shine tonight, and properly this time. I saved the bacon fat in the pan and the leftover rashers of bacon, with the vague intention of doing "something" with them for dinner. I have since arranged to have dinner out with An tonight (see, I told you the day would get better), so I won't get to partake of the marvel I will cook up but cooked up it shall be. Maybe I'll get some chicken to go with the bacon. And some lettuce and tomatoes. Yes, that would be good.

I shall leave you now because Charlie is having another nap and I need to spend at least some of it regaining my sanity (meditating, studying my texts) so I can survive the hours until I get to escape the drudgery that is my everyday life (yay positive thinking) to go and have dinner with my darling sister.

Namaste, my beloved people. Namaste.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

These books will change your life

My books have been behaving like buses: no decent reads came along for ages, and then all of a sudden three brilliant ones arrived at once. I'm alternating them - reading a chapter in one and then onto the next book. And, because I'm so generous and loving, I will share them with you. Because you're so pretty, dear reader. Oh yes you are.

1. Buddhism for Mothers of Schoolchildren, by Sarah Napthali

I'm not sure words can describe how happy I am with this book, and how absolutely bang on time I was given it by my sister An (may her lucky streak continue evermore). I read the preface last night and actually cried by the end of it. She'd just described exactly my situation, and the changes I would like to make.

Today I read the chapter on stress. And OMG it changed my whole day around. I had a frazzled and chaotic start to the day, then read this chapter and...

(I hardly dare to say it, it sounds so ridiculous) ... the rest of the day was like a different country. It really truly was.

The book just made me aware (again) of the fact that stress is a reaction, and with every reaction there's a choice. I remembered to relax my body, look at the causes of my stress, and to accept unforeseen circumstances more easily. I stopped thinking of all the things I "should" do. I did so much more than that as well, but I'm not going to copy out the book. I suggest you read it. It doesn't actually matter if you're a mother, a father, or neither. That first chapter would help anyone who is stressed.

Napthali talks about conflict of desires so clearly that I couldn't help applying the concept immediately. I was reading her book in the room which has my bookcases in it. I've been meaning to weed out a whole lot of books for ages but hadn't managed to do this successfully. Reading the chapter, I could finally see that my conflicting desires (uncluttering vs. holding on to my books) were holding me back. I decided there and then to remove a whole lot of books to the attic. Now the room is uncluttered, but I can hold on to my books nonetheless. In about half an hour, I had solved a problem I've had for about five years now.

The rest of the day went ridiculously smoothly. I fed lunch to Charlie and didn't put the TV on in the background. I was in the fucking moment, people. Yeah - you hadn't expected that, had you? Neither had I. Later on I went for a walk to the shops with him, bought whole complete vegetables (no bag of pre-cut stuff), a pie (to reward myself on my progress) and a minty Labello so I take care of my lips while simultaneously surprising myself with minty fresh lips. Ah yes. Life can be good that way.

I got to the children's school half an hour early! Then afterwards I did homework with Jack, only losing my temper once. (I apologised and moved on.) I let Charlie suck on my cheek for ages (he loves that) and I let Marie play with her plasticine for as long as she wanted. I'm a fucking saint! (No, I'm not - I do realise that. But it does feel like I was abducted by aliens. (They can keep me.)) On top of all that, I managed to cook, tidy, put the kids in their pyjamas and set the table, all before Babes got back from work. This is unseen, my people. Just unseen. And it felt bloody good.

My spaghetti sauce was abundant.
Even managed to finally use those chickpeas.

It's amazing how much time and energy is freed up if you just stop stressing about everything. Overthinking, thinking what I "should" be doing, feeling guilty, wanting other things than what I have, planning the future all the time - all these things tire me out so much more than I ever realised. Just stopping those things leaves me with energy left at the end of the day! I haven't felt like this in many many months. (Probably since I last meditated and exercised. No surprises there.) Being happy and content in the moment is the greatest joy there is. (I'm about to levitate now. Any second...)

I will be reading and re-reading this book, probably for a few years. I imagine a chapter a day is the most I'll be able to manage without having too much to process at one time.

So yeah - excellent book. I would definitely recommend it, after reading only the preface and the first chapter.

2.World Without End, by Ken Follett

This is the sequel to The Pillars of the Earth. It's historical fiction, set in medieval England. Monasteries, knights, outlaws. Complete escapism of the most entertaining kind. I found the first part kind of unfriendly to women in parts, but not so much that it stopped me racing through its pages and regretting getting to the end. I'm hoping to get the same (minus unfriendliness to women) from this book. So far, it hasn't disappointed.

3. The Mirror Within, by Anne Dickson

The subtitle of this book is "A new look at sexuality." It was recommended to me by my own personal smut guru, who has indicated that she may not wish to be identified as such, so I will leave it up to her to claim or not claim the honour in the comments section.

So far I am very happy with this book. The first chapters deal with the history of women's sexuality in the West, some of the myths attached to it, the roles we assume or identify with, and body image. It's making me think a lot. I'm not sure if I'm ready for the practical tasks yet (yes it has them at the end of every chapter), and when I am I'm pretty sure I won't be sharing here.

So - I haven't read all that much of this book yet either, but I already have a feeling that it's been a well-kept secret and someone should have told me about it years ago. Its main purpose seems to be to assign greater value to the female body, and to give the power over their sexuality back to women themselves. It has me hooked.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Search term update

Yep, I've still got it: my search terms are all poo, breastfeeding and gay porn. Just the way I like them.
  • cant sit down after poo..bum contracts
    → That is an unfortunate problem. Please see your physician. I sympathise, though. A lot.

  • cows breast feeding cats
    → Would make a funny picture.
    In fact, just in case anyone else comes here looking for the above, I found this picture for you on Google:

    My search led me past some very disturbing images of women breastfeeding cats and calves, and of a man "cutting out the middle man" with a cow. Google at your own risk.

  • gays using fruit jack off porn
    → Just any fruit? No preference? You'd be disappointed if they were using a kiwi! Just saying. Next time you may want to specify.

Friday, 14 January 2011

From breast to bottle: help needed!

On Wednesday I reached my limit. A person can only go without decent sleep for so long, and "so long" in my case seems to be five months. I went out and got some formula for Charlie to see if a bottle at eleven wouldn't make him sleep a little longer, and - crucially - deeper, so he wouldn't ask for his dummy every hour. I'll keep going with the breastfeeding for his other milk feeds, but I need a little help in the night.

I was determined to breast feed exclusively for much longer than six months this time. In an ideal world, I still would. At the weekend, I have great milk even at night. I get to catch up on some sleep, I get some good meals thanks to Babes and his culinary talents. During the week, I seem to run out of milk by the evening. I try to eat and drink regularly and rest enough, but it's impossible. The other two children need attention, too. There's shopping to do, school runs, tidying - well, you know, the work of the household drudge - and I only have so much energy in me. I'd be able to keep it up if I had more help, but I don't and that's all there is to it.

I've been slowly getting Charlie used to eating vegetables and fruit during the day - a spoonful at first, then gradually more. I am saying goodbye to that gorgeous breastfed baby smell. It is also the end of liquid nappies - I'm less sad to see them go. The major change, though, is in his naps. He's sleeping much better during the day. It doesn't take me twenty minutes to get him to sleep, and I don't have to keep going up to give him his dummy.

This boy needs stodgier food than he's been getting. He's a five month old giant, and giants are not satisfied with milk only. I feel bad for him that I've left him feeling unsatisfied for this long. He was obviously getting enough nutrition because he stayed at the top of the growth curves, in both length and weight, but I think he did need a little extra substance. You should have seen him the first time I gave him a spoonful of fruit mush. He was so happy - it was as if he was saying "That's what I've been trying to tell you at the table every night. I needed some decent food!" Now we just needed a similar solution for his night feed. Some stodge. Some nice, sleep-inducing stodge.

So - it's a bottle we need and out I went to get him one. Of course it turned out like that saying "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." God in this case would have been Charlie. He knew the breasts were around, so he wasn't going to settle for anything less. After a little while - predictably - he won. I've offered him a little bottle before most meals since. He doesn't cry any more - he just chews it. He gets a little bit of formula that way, but nowhere near enough to fill him up. And I need him to suck! Now!

I've tried to trick him by giving him a dummy first and then making the switch. I make sucking noises so he'll get the idea. I let him suck on my hand. I make sure he gets a little taste of the milk first. Occasionally he sucks it by accident, stops himself, then starts to chew again.

Please tell me all your best tricks. Please! I need a night off.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

I'm into blogging (more than dogging)

A couple of months ago, the lovely Jo posted what must be the most hilarious video of the year. I am shamelessly reposting it here (but read on because there's a point to this):

I think half the appeal is to hear that smut out of the mouth of someone who looks like a mother-in-law. It is such a catchy tune that I have found myself giggling randomly and at the most inopportune times over the last two months. One sleepless night, I started to make my own lyrics:
(Please do watch the video first, or only watch the video, because it is about a gazillion times better/funnier/prettier than the derivative attempt below. Also, you need to know the tune to appreciate the verses to the full.)

(To the tune of Aida's "Dogging:")

On Tuesday I was sitting here upstairs at my computer,
while in the living room the Polish help looked ever cuter,
and Babes who was off work because on Monday night he'd sneezed
was left unsupervised to do exactly as he pleased.
When I'm blogging, when I'm blogging,
I don't care who Babes is pawing, even snogging.
If I am left alone, he can kiss or even bone
any floozy or old crone, when I'm blogging.
On Wednesday both the kids were home from school and I was stressed.
I put on the TV and told the kids don't be a pest.
I didn't see the older one give baby beer and cake,
the girl peed in the sofa but at least I got a break.
I was blogging, I was blogging,
so the children had been threatened with a flogging.
One got a hacking cough - do you think that I logged off?
No, I told her to fuck off, 'cause I was blogging.

*Parts of this song are fictional.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Pretty presents, moon-phase wonder

  • She knows me so well
    Christmas presents from my ever-so-thoughtful sister An, may her screws stay fast and her ducks be all in a row:

    Buddhism for mothers of schoolchildren
    Finding calm in the chaos of the school years



  • Was it the moon or something?
    No one slept in this house last night. Well, Babes would have had it not been for the rest of us. No one is sick and no loud noises were made in the neighbourhood, but I could not sleep and neither could all three of the children.
    It turned into a farce which by two o'clock I had called "Upstairs Downstairs" to the blogging audience in my head (as you do). No one cried (not even me), no one was annoying - it was all "I'm thirsty" and "I need to pee" and "I have a dirty nappy" and "I'm hungry." I tried not to wake poor Babes but the second poopy nappy was a poopy bridge too far to me, so he did get sent downstairs for that at twenty to three. After which it took me a good hour to get Charlie back to sleep.
    Paradoxically, this complete lunacy has made the back-to-school fantabulousness even better because when I asked that gorgeous Babes to get the children ready for school and take them there as well so I could get a measly hour's sleep, he kindly did so and only woke me up at ten (!) with a hungry baby for me to feed and by that time he had taken the day off, been to the shops and was making a beef stew for our dinner!

    Did anyone else experience freak sleeplessness last night? I'm seriously wondering if it was something to do with the moon or the weather.

Friday, 7 January 2011

I'm right on schedule with the end of holiday despair - always a relief

It is January the 7th. Charlie, my newest baby is four days away from being five months old. If I was a normal Belgian full-time working mother, I would have been back at work two months ago. This just seems ludicrous to me. My only goal apart from taking care of my family is to write one blog post a day, and I can't manage that. I don't understand how people can go back to work and function like normal human beings just three months after giving birth. They must be some kind of superhuman cyborgs. Either that, or pretending to be fine while really falling apart on the inside, especially the ones whose babies are still refusing to sleep properly.

(This is no stay at home or out to work manifesto. Whatever works for you. I've done both, I just happen to be at home this time.)

But then again of course I do understand how they do it. Because today, going back to work would feel a little like a holiday. I would see adults! I would get to go to the bathroom without sprinting back to check if anyone has been smothered by someone else. I would get to eat without having someone shout for my breasts as soon as I set the plate down in front of me. Someone else would deal with all of it. My aunt, also a mother of three, was asking me only this weekend why didn't I just give up on the breastfeeding and go back to work. She said sure you feel bad for a bit leaving them, but just think then you can breathe. And she's right.

I remember that feeling from when I went back to work after having Jack. First you have the guilt - "how dare I leave my baby in the care of strangers what if he dies because they misinterpret his cry what if he grows up fearful and depressed because he was abandoned by his mummy when he was only tiny" - and then comes the relief. Because all of a sudden you aren't constantly needed and cried for and prodded incessantly and guilted into leaving your tea to get cold to clean up another nappy or another spilled drink.

Of course I feel guilty even writing this. My babies are gorgeous and fantastic and it's my pleasure to stay home with them to take care of them and love them to bits and cuddle them when they fall. How can I say I want to be away from them? (If one of them dies tomorrow, I will be sorry because it will be as if I asked for it. (That's just my sick neurosis talking - pay no notice.))

I just want a break. I want to go to the gym and spend a couple of hours listening to Britney Spears and the Village People while pounding my body into obedience. I want to have lunch with my sister and not have to spend it apologising to her for not listening 100% because I'm breastfeeding/wiping a nose/changing a nappy/consoling a child-with-a-bump-on-the-head. Actually I'd settle for just having lunch with my sister at the moment.

I know that time will come, and when it does I will think back of this time and miss it. I will miss the breastfeeding and the snotty noses. I will miss the soft little buttocks in the stinky nappies and I will miss my kisses being the one and only thing that can heal a bump on the head. Those parts of my day I love right now. It's the bits in between that I am counting down to the evening. The bits in between I need to tell myself over and over and over again will end will end will end, because every other day so far has ended so surely this one will.

I'm a barrel of laughs today, I am. I hope I'm not bringing you down. Actually, most sensible readers will have probably clicked away by now. If you're still here, I can only assume that despair is something you are familiar with and doesn't scare you off. In which case do join me for a little moan. Tomorrow will be much better. Tomorrow we do gratitude and calmness and appreciation of all the many, many plentiful gifts the universe has bestowed on us. Tomorrow will be fun and games, love and laughter. Until then, I will be right here feeling sorry for myself.

(And Monday school is back, so all will be well then. Thank fuck for that.)

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Operation "Kill Snow White"

My lovely brother is getting married in February, which meant that yesterday I went out to find myself a party outfit. This would have been fine normally and I have recently lost a dress size (which you know because I keep bragging about it) but let me tell you there is still quite a bit of baby fat there. My nearly-five-kilo excuse is now four and half months and eight kilos already, so the excuse is wearing thin (I wish I was) while the self-hatred is reaching new peaks. I need to lose two more sizes before I will feel happy about the way I look and feel and I should really stop hiding behind the breastfeeding because that does not normally stop people losing weight. Au contraire, mes chéries.

I was so sure that I wasn't going to find anything nice in my size that I was in a bad mood before I even started. With this positive attitude, three children in tow and a patient and very brave companion, I set off for the centre of town on the second day of the sales - a ridiculous idea under normal circumstances but simply suicidal with two prams and one of the children coughing up alarming amounts of phlegm. I intimated to my companion that I was not feeling too great about myself. (Okay, I whined. I sulked. I refused to even enter shops which only cater to the fashionably-sized. (Oh, how I long to be fashionably-sized again. (Give it six months, Mwa, give it six months.)))

When I finally did go into a gorgeous (and very fashionable) shop, of course I did fit in some of their "size 4s" and I found a stunning dress, teaching me that pessimism always pays off because I was far happier than I would have been had I not been expecting abject failure. I had been trying to hide my self-loathing from the children by discussing it (okay, lamenting it bitterly) only with the shop assistant and my shopping companion but I probably should have expressly stated this desire to obfuscate to them, as my shopping mate told me "You say 'I'm too fat, I'm too fat, I'm too fat,' but this camouflages your belly quite well" right in front of them. So much for my attempt not to pass on the self-esteem issues. Another faux-pas was the most used description of outfits shown: "Not exactly slimming." Sigh. I'd call that a completely failed mission.

Which makes my next operation all the more important: I call it "Kill Snow White" because that is what I may perhaps be planning to do. I have not decided the means of her demise yet, so perhaps you should all help me. Marie was given this Barbie - well, officially Snow White but see for yourself - by someone at Christmas. I may have slightly put my foot in it by making a derogatory comment about this doll of horrors the next day in front of the horror dolly giver. Woops.

Actually I haven't fully made up my mind to exterminate her yet. Marie really likes this doll. But the very first thing she did was take off all her clothes, revealing her in all her ridiculousness.

Well, obviously she didn't come with those various instruments of torture. That would have been even more ridiculous.

I don't think it would be a very nice thing for me to secretly murder Marie's new friend. Then there's also the trail of evidence to consider. If I document my unspeakable (but apparently bloggable) deed, she may find out in the future and resent me for it. Then again, if I don't she may develop an even more unhealthy ideal of the female shape than she was no doubt already going to have, and potentially an eating disorder. I mean, look at those fucking legs. And the breasts actually poked me when they were in my trousers, they are so pointy. (Maybe I should explain that I put them down my trousers in order to smuggle them past my assembled brood, just to avoid the obvious question of "Where are you going with my new dolly and those matches, mama?" No, still doesn't sound good, does it? A Barbie down one's trousers may never be explainable to a satisfactory degree.)

So, interwebs, what do you think? Do I let Snow White disappear quietly, do I maim her in a cathartic and symbolic revenge for all the hours I've spent disliking my own shape because of cultural stereotypes like Barbie, or do I allow miss pointy-limbs to continue messing with my little girl's mind? I fucking hate her. I'll probably just hide her in the back of my wardrobe, where I will find her each time I attempt to get into my gorgeous dream-on-jeans (three sizes away), making the humiliation sting just that little bit harder. Karma's a bitch that way.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Antichrist-Mas ramble

Well, thank fuck the festive season is over. Let's get on with life! *breathes big sigh of relief*

On Friday, I had not realised that there were Big Expectations that go with New Year's Eve in the Mind of Babes. I was in my usual festive funk and decided that I was fed the fuck up with all the bloody mess in this house (yes, I am a darling dollop of delight around the holidays) so pulled out all the contents of all the drawers, cupboards and storage boxes in the living room and kitchen, and proceeded to reduce, reorder and rehome them.

As much as I claim not to be interested in the pointless celebration of the mere change of a number on all our calendars (the Chinese, Jews, Muslims and probably many other people celebrate their New Year on a different day, underlining its arbitrariness), I do see the symbolism in my deed there: out with the old, in with the new.  It was rather cathartic and went some way towards lifting my most morose mood, which is why I couldn't understand that Babes considered my actions less than festive and in fact not in keeping with the occasion. I don't know why he complained, really, because he got the booze, the bites and the whole TV all to himself. And a tidier house on top of all that. Win-win-win-win!

I haven't stopped tidying since, and I hope the urge won't leave me too soon. I feel liberated and cleansed.

(I did stop tidying for the hour or so before and after midnight - had some champagne and all that. I don't know why he was surprised. I ask him every year can I please go to bed at nine.)
(Also I do do the happy holidays part for the children. Really. Tree, light, presents, even a smile and a song. Yes, a song.)

And - AND - a!n!d! - my lovely people, last night Charlie slept from ten until seven with only a brief interruption around two o'clock for the dummy dance - which is the first time since he was born that I got a decent stretch of sleep so all is well with the world. Truly. I could almost be persuaded to drink some gluhwein, set off some fireworks or send out some Christmas cards. Almost.

Another benefit (apart from the tidier house) to my antichristmas spirit and a fussy baby is that I keep missing meals, or parts thereof, either breastfeeding or pretending to, or running up and down the stairs to reinsert a dummy, which makes me probably the only woman in the world who went down a dress size at Christmas. Only three sizes to go now. (Two, realistically, but I still have that gorgeous pair of jeans that I bought a few years back "to grow into" and a girl can dream, eh?)

There is a point to this post. Really, there must be, somewhere in the middle of all that rambling. Ah, there it is: hating Christmas makes you thin, your baby sleepy, and your house pretty, people! You're welcome.