In the moment.

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A while ago, Lily and I were driving home from the local town and I really wanted to get Lily home for a decent sleep and myself some food. Not gonna lie, there was was a touch of hangriness involved but I became very irate as we hit one of the two passing lanes before you get to the motorway to home. A convoy of cars were taking up BOTH lanes and driving well below the speed limit. I got on my horn and waved signs and mouthed pull over pull over slow ****. Once I finally passed the convoy I realised perhaps why they were driving slower and taking up the two lanes………it was a funeral procession and the hearse was in front.

Ohhhhh God. Awful human being right here!! I slunk down in my seat and did a courtesy wave (cause that’ll make it better right?) and carried on my way feeling TERRIBLE.

In that moment, I realised I needed to just let what ever else I wanted to do go, and just drive, cruise, be in no hurry.

Easier said than done with all the ‘things’ we feel we need to get done each day, but ask yourself, how important is that thing in the grand scheme? Are you missing key moments, beautiful moments, with not only your baby/child but also yourself?

Recently, tea time for Lily is a fun game of put hand to mouth and spit out the food given from the fork. We do offer finger foods for dinner but in this instance, it was daddy feeding her from the fork chunky food instead (again, it’s what we thought as being ‘faster’. All a learning curve). I was watching and saw she was grabbing the fork when daddy put it near her mouth. So we gave her the fork and bowl and let her ‘feed’ herself.

It was a beautiful and happy emotional moment, seeing the sheer joy on her vegetable covered face, teeth grinning through the mush as she tried manovering the fork from the bowl to her mouth. Subtle, fine movements. And once that ended, forceful banging of the fork on the plate, singing and wiggling in the chair. That’s my girl.

Smell the roses, literally. Take the time to touch, smell, even taste the roses with yourself and baby. We keep saying it but they truely grow so fast. We forget they are experiencing moments for the very first time pretty much every day so enjoy it, savour it, cherish it, slow down, appreciate it. We are lucky. Enjoy them and their awesomeness.

Be in the moment. But be in the moment on a full tummy ūüėä

If you are looking for more information on children being children and letting them dictate the pace of their experiences, Janet Lansbury has good resources. http://www.janetlansbury.com

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The word good.

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Walking around the neighbourhood, stalking hedges for a little inspiration, we came across 3 neighbours. Usual conversation ensues….’Hey, how are you?’, ‘good thank you’. ‘How was your weekend’ ‘Good thank you’.

All the convos involve the easy word of good. If I launched into a depressing spiel of no sleep, sore knee/back/tum/brain blah blah blah…you get the idea..they would think I’m a Debbie downer.

Or ‘life’s great, life’s perfect, can’t complain’ I’d come across as a pompous tool. So the word good is good enough.

But here is where it perhaps grates my rusty gears; The use of good when describing a babies/childs behavior or actions.

Cases in point.

Petrol station man sees a photo of Lily in my wallet. ‘Is that you?’ He asks. WTF. Why would I carry a photo of myself as a baby around. Some may say why would I carry a photo of my own baby around too. Another time.

‘Haha your too kind (and silly), no no that’s my daughter.’

‘Oh cool. Is she a good baby?’

Me thinking ……Oh what, a good baby? I don’t know? What does a good baby do? Me saying out loud, somewhat confused ‘Yes she is good’…

Cafe lady. ‘Oh what a beautiful boy you have’ *girl*cough*dick*cough. ‘Is he good baby?’

Me thinks….what, this question again? What do I say? What if she isn’t a good baby? Is she ticking the boxes of what a good baby does? What if everything I’m doing is terrible and she turns out bad? Because the opposite word to good is bad right? Shit. ANXIETY SETS IN.

Me says ‘SHE (emphasis) is perfectttttttttt’

Checkout lady. (and this poor lady is about to face crazed 2 hours sleep deprived- breakfast of dry weetbix encrusted on lips-stannnnnk breathe-grey type prison clothed mother) ‘aww is she a good baby?’

Me says….’she’s bad. Bad ass, waddles around selling crack, stays out till all hours getting drizzzzunk af, tosses her toys, which consists of knives, numb chucks, needles and Knuckledusters are her fav. No respect for authority, oh lady, she is badddddd.’ awkwardness ensued as this convo began as I pulled INTO the checkout with a trolley full….oops. Soz not soz.

I know these people are well natured and just having a convo with you, which is a nice change from singing incy wincy spider 100x a day. I guess my point is it’s bloody exhausting doing this mum bizo without having to justify why your baby isn’t doing X y and z and¬†feeling¬†like you have to¬†explain that she doesn’t fit the preconceived ridiculous idea of being a ‘good’ baby. Coz all babies are different people! And whoever came up with the idea of good baby is a douche. Below is what I feel people think a good baby should do/be like…. And my reply.

Very good friend. ‘She a good baby?’ And I asked, cause she wouldn’t mind, ‘what do you mean by good? If you mean intelligent, beautiful, affectionate, demanding, inquisitive, snuggly, caring, strong willed etc etc etc, then YES, she is a good baby.’

‘Oh sweet. So does she sleep?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Does she sleep through the night?’ ‘No.’ ‘Does she feed well’? (This was at the stage when BF was like razor blades slicing the old nips and having Lemon juice squeezed on them) ‘she does but it hurts’

‘Does she cry?’ ‘Yes. She’s a baby’ ‘A lot?’ ‘Yes, to which I instantly comfort her…’ ‘Loudly?’ ‘Plunket lady in her 30 years had never heard a baby cry so loudly.’ ‘Ohhh. That’s no good at all.’

Deep breathe. Happy place. Go to it. Breathe. Crying begins. ‘I feel like a failure. My gorgeous baby isn’t a good baby! By definition she should be doing all those things that aren’t happening, right?? I AM a failure, right?’ Breathe.

‘A gigantic big FECK No no, she will do what ever she wants and I love her absolutely unconfuckingditionally for it. She is badddddddasssedd, she is FIERCE.’

That poor friend probably thought gee, sorry I freaking asked.

When we praise and encourage and celebrate the things Lily does, we try not to say good girl because what does that mean? When I’m being tired/lazy I say great blah blah blah or when I’m tired/lazy but rather impressed I’ll say amazing blah blah blah. But usually it’s a reinforcement of the task, ‘I like the way you did/said/showed/…’ blah blah etc. And many times it is ‘good girl’ and I think hmmm I’ll let it slide. Even tho your totes a wild child and I love it.

So maybe instead ask, how is Lily going? How has Lily been?(and thank you for asking too! Taking interest in the lives of friends with babies is kind, even if your so hungover you want to rip your dry tongue and hanging eyeballs out after getting home at 5am out partying. I’m slightly jealous) My honest reply will probably be ‘great, Lily is great.’

This is not a dear diary moment

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This is not a dear diary moment….more of a telling tale to all the parents who will have their precious offspring go through the motions of bullying.

…An hour before netball practice the other day, the manager text us saying we would be doing a club promotion with a photo or video shoot. Panic set in. Hairy, white legs cannot be hidden when you are wearing a dress that barely covers your cellulited ass. Mumma ain’t got the body she used to have.

Immediately I took to the bathroom and applied instant fake tan to my legs. Summer has just ended and you’d think a girl with Maori blood in her might get a slight colouring on her skin. Alas, this is not the case. And never has been the case. As I applied the fake tan, anxiety flooded back to me like a tsunami. ‘Jess, get a grip! Your 30! Surely feelings you have from being bullied about the way you looked as teenager would have subsided’ said the small yet large voice. Nope. Still there.

Watching Paul Henry today, a researcher on there said that 15 years after people were bullied, they still felt anxiety and insecurities. Some even to the extreme that it affected their work and productivity. On Sunday, it wasn’t work but getting my photo taken which would eventually be public. I resorted to fake tan. Ridiculous. 15 years is bang on for me, stirring up feelings when I wanted to leave the earth. No shit. It felt like that. I wanted to leave the earth.

 

I just hope, pray, that parents of children teach their kids about empathy, celebrating diversity in those they meet, caring, respect. And also teach their own cherubs to celebrate their uniqueness, their beauty both inside and out. I wish that parents of boys teach them to respect every single girl and say shut the f up to those boys whose mothers didn’t teach them manners, or those that choose to ignore it just to be cool. That word. Cool. Such a bitch.

 

Lily will be shown all those things and so much more through our words, actions and constant love. There will be no cool. Only uniqueness. That way no-one she surrounds herself will ever feel they want to leave this earth.

Rocking up to netball, whipping my pants off, feeling photo worthy with my tanned legs, only to get told keep my pants on, it’s a shoulder up video. Fuck it. If only I’d tamed the caterpillars growing where my eyebrows are suppose to be.

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Breaking the water.

The title of this first blog is suitable for 2 reasons. One, I thought saying ‘losing my virginity’ (blog wise) might get a few people reading who had different intentions of what they wanted to find.

So here I am, breaking the waters of the first blog. Breathing, bobbing around, flailing at times.

Bare with me, I am a Science teacher, not an English teacher. I still get my apostrophes wrong. I may have even spelt apostrophe wrong? Shit knows. But I’m here to pen fingers to screen and share thoughts, ramblings and just what ever the heck springs to mind about this beautiful thing we call life. And mainly life as a parent.

The second reason for the title is while flicking mind numbingly through sky tv channels, waiting for Lily to wake, I came across ¬†a birthing programme. There, in the birthing room, were 8 extra (extra!) people (mum, dad, sister, friend, husband, granny, sister n law, aunty) and a FREAKING LIVE STREAM ON A LAPTOP to an Aunty and uncle!!! What. The. Hell! And there, all 10 of them watched while the midwife got the AWFUL crochet hook (I had this done to me. Violated) and broke the girls waters because they wanted it to “hurry up and get into the world”. No words.

So here is the first blog. It’s done, pressure is relieved, just like the feeling of release when the crochet hook nicks babies watery cocoon, whether intended that way or not.

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