Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Men are from Mars and Woman are from Venus...maybe so but we all still have live on Earth together!

So having just witnessed something of a 'small' domestic between the couple ahead of me in the queue at Morrisons, I started to wonder. Why is it that men and women after 200,000 (approx.) years of inhabitance, together, on this planet, still fail to understand each other?

I have read large portions of 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus' (not actually having read a book in full for ohhh about 2 years) and I have to say that although John Gray makes some interesting points, I am still non the wiser when it comes to the workings of the male mind...or the female mind for that matter. And yes I know I am female and so therefore should have a better grasp on how us women think, but I can honestly say that I only really, truly, understand how my mind works. I can sympathise, empathise even with my female friends when they tell me assorted tales of relationship woes. But I can't really understand because...well...I am not them. And just as we are all individuals, so all women are different in the ways that they think, although the sub-text might appear similar at times. 

So the couple in Morrisons? Well as an outsider I could hazard a guess at the root of the problem, he was teasing her about something and had obviously chosen the wrong moment, her reaction may have appeared a little over the top but well it could be the heat, or her hormones or whatever...who knows? Anyway she slapped him on the arm and stormed off toward the car, leaving him at the self-service check-out alone, looking very confused and a little forlorn. And I just felt for the pair of them.

So what have I found to be true? And trust me I am not the expert but men generally seem to expect us women to respond to their ridicule in the way that their friends would, as harmless banter with...'no offence meant mate'. Women expect men to be as sensitive as they are, to understand when it is appropriate to tease and when it is over-stepping the line. We expect our men to become mind readers. We want them to know, instinctively, exactly how we are feeling at any given time. And well that is just unfair, because half the time we don't know how we are feeling. As it is just as unfair for men to expect us to 'take it all on the chin' as we are not 'their mates' and as so should not be treated like we are...a bit of sensitivity goes along way lads! So what is the answer? Hell I don't know, if I did I wouldn't keep getting it so wrong...

But what I have always pondered on is this:

Why is it that a woman will meet a man, fall in love with him just as he is and then spend the rest of her life (or their time together) trying to change him, mould him into something he is not.

And why is it that men work so hard in the beginining to impress us, but once they have us they become complacent, lazy and at times, damn right uninvolved in the relationship and then they wonder why their woman has left them? 

It's a mystery, that's for sure!

Mars and Venus eh? Sometimes I'm not sure we are even from the same solar system...



Sunday, 24 April 2011

A week in the life of us!

So my baby girl turned two on Friday and she is not a baby anymore, although no matter how big she gets she will always be my little girl!

And wow what a week of memorable highs and terrifying lows! 

The week started out with a visit to the nurse to see if we could obtain some antibiotics to help rid Emily of a particularly vile and resilient cough, one that was keeping us all up nights. Violent coughing fits in the early hours, so terrible that they induced vomiting on a number of occasions. Wednesday saw mummy making a visit to the nurse to deal with a rather nasty case of conjunctivitis, suspected cause, removing gunk from Emily's eyes at the weekend and 'obviously' not washing my hands after...opps!!  

Thursday started out wonderfully with fun at the park but was followed by a not so fun and rather stressful treck around town, trying to collect all the last minute items required to make Emily's second birthday a memorable one. Once home, both mummy and Emily, hot, bothered, ill and miserable sat down to watch Postman Pat when mummy discovered a strange rash on Emily's neck, chest and face that 'DID NOT' disappear when a glass was placed against it. Tried to call the doctors, only to find out that they are closed Thursday afternoon (arrgghh...why?), took Emily to local Hospital, told we would have to go into the city. Got Emily back in the car, managed to track down my mother to occupancy me, and drove 40 minutes, in the blistering heat and rush hour traffic, into the city. Panicked and imagining the worst, the dreaded 'M' word rolling around inside my brain! The lovely doctor assured me that it was not Meningitis, but ruptured blood vessel from the violence of her coughing fits, gave us a prescription for some new antibiotics. Nearly got taken out by a lorry driver on the way home, ba*tard, ar*ehole man, that speeded up to stop me from getting onto the dual carriageway! I won't repeat the language I used and with my mother and Emily in the car too...once again...opps! 

Once home put Emily to bed, cooked the tea and then got a phone call from my sister telling me that all the trains from London were delayed and that she could get as far as Stafford. So got in the car at quarter to nine to drive the 20 miles to Stafford train station, picked her up, turned around and drove 20 miles home. Got back at half eleven, crawled into bed, having been up since six and with only 5 hours of disrupted sleep the night before. 

Friday was Emily's birthday and what fun. The weather was beautiful and we all went to Blackbrook zoo. The penguins, zebras and Meerkats being firm favourites among our group. We came back and I ran around like a crazy woman, preparing and cooking food whilst everyone else either slept or sloped off to Grindon with excuses of new house related issues to deal with, which I later discovered meant sitting outside the pub having a swift half. 

Birthday tea prepared and round two of the celebrations began, presents including a trike and a pop up tent, which is alot easier to put up then down! In fact you need a degree in 'festival' attendance to understand it as my sister relayed to me last night, whilst flattening and folding the thing into a circle resembling about a fifth of it's original size, in about 5 seconds!  Emily did cry, on a few occasions, but hey 'it's her party...' or maybe it was more to do with our singing, who knows?

So all in all an interesting week, maybe more lows than highs but no one ever said being a grown up was going to be easy and being a parent well that is the toughest job there is. So now my little girl is two and some days well into the terribleness but I grin and I bear it because she is still the cutest little lady I have ever known. I am hoping that next week will be slightly less stressful and a little quieter than the one I have just lived through, although based on it's events that shouldn't be too hard a request...right? 

Oh and as an afternote, Gavin woke up on Saturday morning with one red, weepy eye, see now that's couple sharing!  

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Make mine a triple please...that would be triple A's I mean!

In occasionally rare moments of insanity I consider having another child. I am currently surrounded on all sides by expectant mothers. Many of the women that I was pregnant with the first time around are in various stages of their second pregnancy, including one of my bestfriends. Also Emily is soon to have a cousin as Gavin's sister is expecting her first child in August. But then I have nights like tonight, or in fact weeks like this last week, where I realise that I am not sure I have the energy for the child I have, let alone another one! 

Emily has been ill on and off for about the last four weeks and we have spent many long evenings and even longer nights, of horribly disturbed sleep that is reminiscent of the early days, fighting running noses, high temperature and persistent coughs. 

Tonight I have spent the best part of two hours trying to settle my daughter, I have given her cough syrup (that does not work), rubbed vics into her chest and back, administered ibuprofen, been thrown up on as a result of a rather violent coughing fit, wiped her nose about a million times, lay on her bed, sat on her bed, held her in my arms until I thought my back and legs would give out under her weight. I have been up and down the stairs so many times that I won't need to do my Davina DVD for about a month or any other form of exercise for that matter. 

I am so beyond tired that I actually have no idea where the energy to keep going is coming from. All I want is for someone to tuck me up in bed with bob the bear, read me a bedtime story and then I can fall asleep for about a week! And yet what is my daughter currently doing? Playing! What is she, the fricken Duracell bunny or something? 

Another child? I DON'T think so! Not any time soon anyway!

So if you hear me talking about another baby, if I so much as utter anything remotely resembling the sentence 

" But another baby would be so lovely" 

Please feel free to hit me over the head, repeatedly, until my senses have returned!

However as a final note I would like to add 'Congratulations to all those lovely expectant mothers around me'. You are all braver women then I can currently claim to be!  

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Life - opera

So what do you do when your man is more of a drama queen than you? A trait, most men would argue, is normally reserved for women only.

Gavin, like most parents, is very protective of his daughter and her welfare. And whilst that is all good and fine and I am extremely happy to a) have someone else assisting me in helping to keep her alive - a challenge faced by most parents with a danger and inadvertent death seeking toddler and b) have a man that obviously loves our daughter with as much passion as me, it can at times be like living in the middle of an episode of Eastenders. And I much prefer my soap-opera's on a screen in my lounge, not actually just in my lounge!  

Take this afternoon for example. Having just shown his uncle around our house to discuss some work that we are hoping to have done. He comes back to inform me of the bad news! Not that his uncle cannot fit the new radiator where we were hoping, that the price may be considerably more than we had estimated or even that we would have to wait (what would seem like a millennia) to have the work done. 

No...He informed me that he and his uncle had been talking about the lack of ventaliation in our kitchen. And let me just set the scene, this is a kitchen that contains a gas Rayburn, fitted 16 years ago by the previous residence (namely my then married mother and father), installed by a corgi registered fitter, serviced every year by a corgi registered employee of Blakemore and Chell (local gas appliance specialists). So anyway, was I aware that if all the doors to the room were closed and someone was to fall asleep in our kitchen - as so often happens of course (I am rather partial to an afternoon nap on our kitchen table), that they would die of carbon monoxide poisoning? 

Or worse still that if child protection services found out that we had a child and were living in a property with an unventilated room. A room that contained a gas appliance that we had refused to have switched off  - because obviously we would stand and argue with a gas specialist if they told us to switch off a dangerous appliance, that they would take our child away from us as we would be deemed unfit parents?! And!!

After relaying this terrible tale to me, a story of potential death and neglectful parents. I looked up at him, sighed and said 

"There is ventaliation in the kitchen, the huge massive air vent in the bottom of the cellar door"

"Oh" he replies "well that's good to know" 

But the thing that really concerns me, is whilst he and his uncle were concocting this elaborate story of poison and protection services, they both failed to notice the air vent in the cellar door, right in front of them or came to ask me why there was no ventilation in the kitchen of the house that I have spent the last 21 years of life living in (on and off).

Just as I suspected, drama queen he might be but he is definitely still a man. Completely lacking in practicality and totally unobservant...ha, ha, ha!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

If you love someone, set them free...

This week has seen a new first for myself and Emily. Her first day at nursery. 

Tuesday morning, Emily and I got into the car and drove to the aptly named 'Learning Mill', because this was definitely one of those life lesson that people talk about and not just for my daughter but for me too. 

Taking her into a room full of strangers. The noise, the sounds and smells, all alien to my daughter. Her nervous little figure, clutching my hand as I lead her across the room. Having to crouch down and kiss my daughter goodbye. Leaving her alone for the first time ever with nothing familiar and only 'Bob the bear' for company. Watching her as I left with this look of confusion and apprehension on her face. Racing away so as to avoid literally breaking down in front of a room full of people. My heart ached! My chest was tight and I could feel a lump rising in my throat. The second I made it through our front door, into the safety of my own house, I just cried. As ridiculous as it felt, I couldn't fight the emotion.

Logically I knew that she would come to no harm, that the place was designed around children, for children - for their delight. That the friendly staff would welcome her, make her feel at ease and treat her as kindly as any mother could wish for. The logic in my brain told me that she would be fine but the love in my heart was screaming at me, to run back, take her hand and lead her out of this strange place and into the comfort and safety of my arms. 

How contrary it can be, a mothers love! In order to save our children, in order to provide the best for them, sometimes we have to do the opposite of what our intuition tells us. Sometimes we just have to let them go, let them live and hope that the decisions we make are the right ones. Which of course in this instance it was. 

On returning 3 hours later I found my daughter happily drawing pictures with other children, all stood around a big circular table. And when she saw me, she did not throw herself into my arms, she did not cry with relief that her mother had returned to her. She just smiled, kissed me and with a nonchalant greeting of "Hi mama" returned to her drawing!