what I write about
she has fallen and now she is awake
On my way home yesterday evening, a freight train passed us in the opposite direction. The fading sunlight reflected momentary rainbows as we passed and as the night rose. It was really lovely.
fifth week herbs by geekanachronism, on Flickr
My herb garden is growing quite well. An early casualty in the thyme, then gifting the coriander to a workmate, only to receive garlic chives in return! Still no garlic but I have high hopes for next week. I’m planning on tomato as well.
To touch something real,. Will help your wounds heal – Whitley More Than Life. It seems to help, it must be said.
Watching one of my favourite patrons at work win something today. For everything else that went to shit for the day, that made me really happy.
Mofo and The Artist and their kiddo, The Lawyer, have been in the state and visiting. He’s a biggun, homebirthed, breastfed, all that crunchy stuff. And ADORABLE. We’ve been doing the rounds of various cafes and restaurants and are due for breakfast out tomorrow. Which is one of the many many things I miss about Melbourne (first and foremost is the people).
I’ve been taking time out on the patio with the garden, Bunbun and the ubiquitous blue clamshell. In the afternoons and evenings it is really nice.
fifth week paddling by geekanachronism, on Flickr
I have been overwhelmed with negativity lately.
(which is a total surprise to all of you, right?)
It sucks. I don’t like it.
But all it seems to take is seeing someone else’s joyousness, someone’s creativity and wonder and beauty and it makes me more determined to do something about it. To try harder. To try less, but better. To let it come.
So, the other day I was making black bean enchiladas and following Cherry’s example of having Bunbun ‘help’.
You should have seen it, such a lovely moment. The sun was setting so everything was a glorious orange. She busied herself putting beans in the pot at the table while I chopped onion, garlic and tomato. Occasionally she’d eat a piece of the tomato and I’d smile and think about all the different foods we enjoy and how wonderful it is to share this with her.
At which point I looked over and saw her taste one of the beans, then throw it in the pot. Then throw a few more handfuls, then chew a bean for a bit, then take it out of her mouth and put it in the pot…
It was still a lovely moment and the enchiladas were delicious.
Some douchey goddamn neanderthal was in the same carriage as me, Wolfman and Bunbun today. We were heading to the Ekka and this guy was doing fuck knows what apart from harassing women on the train. We got on and all we could hear was his fucking monotonous whining bullshit with occasional “no seriously, stop talking to me” and “no, I’m not going to cry” from a woman near him. Eventually she got up and walked down to where we were standing – well, I was sitting because I had Bunbun strapped to me. She was shaking and pissed off and neanderthal raised his voice and went on and on about bitches.
I wanted to say something to her, I just couldn’t think of anything appropriate.
A few stops later she moves to another carriage and another woman gets on and sits near him. His monologue on bitches gets interrupted to start in on this new woman. Does she know how fucking stupid this other bitch was? All he did was say hello and she was totally going to try. In the beginning the new woman smiles and says how stupid some women are. He launches into another monologue, more and more explicit.
I try to catch her eye. She’s looking down now, picking at her fingers.
He launches into how he’ll wank tonight about her and how that’s better but hey, why isn’t her boyfriend here if he’s so awesome?
I try catch her eye again.
I am not going to put myself in the firing line. My adrenaline is already up and I’m shaking and I just fucking can’t, not with Bunbun nesting against my chest. Not even with Wolfman behind me.
We get off the train and get onto the connecting one. I launch into a diatribe on just how much it fucking sucks to be a woman in public. To be on public transport. I tell him about the time I pretended this was my stop but only got off and ran to a carriage a few down because the thought of even letting this guy know my real stop was terrifying. I didn’t explain that I only did that because it was a well populated stop and I knew that I could have lost him in the crowd.
He asked me why it took the first woman so long to move and why the second one hadn’t. I explained how there’s that initial need to be polite. Refusal to believe they’re actually saying what they’re saying and doing what they’re doing. Then there’s the risk assessment – are they going to be violent or merely vile. Are they going to threaten you or assault you? It’ll be one or the other.
All this with our baby daughter resting on my heaving chest.
I’m sorry I didn’t do anything. The risk assessment just wasn’t worth it. But I’m sick to my stomach nonetheless and I am sorry.
I have been without the internet for about 2 weeks now. It was far harder than I would have wished and I dislike admitting it.
I’m in my ‘home town’ now though and by God am I struggling with it. My new job is fine* and the house is alright** but there’s a sacrifice to this that I wish someone would just fucking understand without being told, without being taught.
I sacrificed friends and a budding little community of like-minded people in order to surround myself with relatives who call me daughter a ‘sook’ and a ‘whiner’ and deride her tears because she couldn’t possibly be truly upset/sad/mad. I’ve sacrificed total and complete acceptance of any breastfeeding goal for ‘ha, you’ll change your mind’ and ‘pfft what are you going to do when she’s five?’ and ‘god, if I walked in and you were feeding a five year old I’d walk back out and not let my kid over’. I sacrificed some of my breastfeeding relationship***.
I sacrificed distance, emotional and physical. Read more of this post
My anxiety is full blown and I feel desperately ill-prepared for work. My visit to family was disastrous in terms of mental equilibrium and I’m still struggling to find my feet. Only to get my roster and discover my first week back is a six day stint with two night shifts. Then a day off to prepare for a normal five day week. With two night shifts. There are other concerns, but that’s the main one.
THE WORLD IS COMING AT ME TOO FAST.
to stay home and care for our 10 month old daughter*
“so…what’s he actually going to do?”
“is he going to start doing housework?”
“ha, is he going to keep going with cloth nappies?”
“I’d love to take time off”
“aw, that’s so cute, how long do you think it’ll last?”
“but seriously, what’s he going to do at home?”
“he’ll work part time won’t he?”
“will he start helping overnight?”
“that’s so weird, why are you making him do that?”
“are you sure he wants to?”
“no, honestly, what’s he going to do when he’s at home?”
*$100, a giant bottle of decongestant + antihistamine and 2 hours later it turns out that not only is she teething. Not only does she have a cold. She also had an allergic reaction this morning and probably last night too. Which explains why Wolfman called me a shambling zombie the other morning.
One of the (many) things I wish for Bunbun is a good relationship with her father. I don’t want her to have to fear her father, or loathe him, or simply feel that distance so many women feel. I don’t want her good memories to be made up of the times they did his hobbies (or his chores) together*. I don’t want her to feel desperate for his approval or love.
In short, I don’t want her having the same relationship with her father that I have with mine.
In some ways this is completely unlikely – Wolfman has a reasonably high level of feminist understanding and certainly has feminist leanings so a lot of the fraught aspects of my paternal relationship aren’t going to exist in our household. He actually gives a fuck about parenting as a choice, not just something that you do when you aren’t doing other stuff. So even if reading the same book four times is boring, that’s what he’ll do and that pattern will go on because it isn’t just about what he does and what he feels – she is just as important as he is.
Yet, he still does the kind of half-arsed things Bluemilk talked about here** – I looked over the other day and he was holding a balloon on a string like it was a cat toy while he played his DS with the other hand. Apart from that I have had to say (more than once) that if I request he takes over fully for a while he has to take over fully. Not let her whinge at my feet. Not hand her over for a nappy change (even if it’s the fourth in an hour). Not start talking to me because now he’s bored. I still do the bulk of the emotional work and he knows this. Acknowledges it. But we find it hard to change. I don’t want Bunbun growing up and thinking she’s got to be the caring one and I don’t want her growing up to expect her partner to do it either. Which is the crux of a lot of issues.
What am I modelling here? Read more of this post
Yesterday was the first whole day I’ve spent away from Bunbun. We’ve spent multiple nights apart because we had to, the occasional morning or afternoon by choice, but never an entire day. I was fucking terrified. That fear and anxiety that turns to white out and makes me act in odd ways because I just cannot bring the fear to the front. It just underlays everything else and I begin to cry because I listened to a sad song, or I get irrationally angry at the washing up, or I simply have to reorganise my data.
So when I woke up and got ready it was almost a relief. It’s here it’s happening and no stopping it now. I fed her and got up. I had breakfast (by myself, making only my own food) and fed her again and left. I walked in and people said hello and hugged and enquired and cooed at pictures on my phone. I sat down amongst almost all of my coworkers and we planned for the upcoming year and talked about teamwork and mindfulness and changing your attitude. I found my mind was still as useful as it ever was, even as my breasts tingled and I realised I hadn’t packed breast pads. I pumped in the car and only had a letdown listening to Bunbun growl into the phone when I checked in at lunch. I missed my afternoon pumping session too taken with the new ideas. I found I’ve lost my knack for public speaking. I lost my track of thought and my desire to be there as my breasts began to ache with the need to see my baby. I drove home, my need riding me, only to find she was still asleep (apparently her 1400/1500 nap only happened at 1700 after walking for a while). I pumped and waited and eventually she woke again.
We settled back into our routine and I breathed a sigh of relief. We were fine. We were okay. We survived. She took barely any milk while I was gone, but I made more than enough. She was happy, I was happy, Wolfman was happy.
We can do this.
So. Today marks the day that you have been outside of me as long as you were inside. Give or take a few days at the beginning of course. We didn’t have a great day though – you’re tired and teething which means I’m tired and sore. So we had a pretty bad morning all round. I’m sorry that there are bad days now and days when I’m not as nice or fun as I wish I could be. I know that will always be the case though, so I just try to get through it. Read more of this post