Wednesday, November 26, 2008

a losing battle

Ivy made a terrible discovery today... that if she just lies down in the street, there's nothing I can do. The classic Toddler Goes Limp manouvre. When you're desperately trying to keep a grip on a baby, a handbag and the final shreds of sanity/dignity, picking a sack of potatoes up off the floor is no mean feat. The bandage on my wrist tonight will attest to that.

It took us 40 minutes to make it 2 blocks through town today; what with the rolling on the grass, the pacing of the stairs, the inspecting of the bins and the street-reclining. It was like walking a dog you're not allowed to kick. Miserable, miserable. I finally had to give in and carry them both to the carpark. When we finally made it back to the car, I saw I'd left the back door open and my heart sank. 'If that battery is dead,' I said to Ivy, 'Mummy is going to cry.' Luckily it wasn't. But Ivy chanted 'Mummy's a-donna cry' for the next three hours, as she subtly wore away my will to live.

The drama actually started at 6.30 this morning, when Ivy drove me out of bed with the force of her whinging. Then she spent an hour shouting 'No!' at every suggestion I made....and the day contined in that vein until I finally got her to bed tonight. All day she has begged to watch 'The Lady' - a YouTube video she has developed an obsession with. 'Please, Mummy, play-a lady...on-a puter, please Mummy, please a-lady...' We have to discuss, re-enact and watch it several times a day. Here it is:

As I tried to convince her to eat her dinner with a running commentary of how nice it was, Ivy looked at me with disdain and said 'Blah, blah, blah.' Her final power play took place in my greatest place of solace: the bath, where she laid a turd the size of a small dog. I stand defeated.

Friday, November 21, 2008

the housewife blues

I'm having a day.

Keith went off to town for an interesting meeting this morning, showered and shaved, wearing real clothes. Me, I'm sporting this seasons Vomit and Wee collection, chosen by many of the citys most fashionable derros and lunatics.

The housework faces me accusingly in all directions. The washing-up is breeding and I just went to bring in the laundry to find that little flying ants have chosen it as their summer nesting place. That explains the little bites on Teddy's face.

Ivy has a cold and is really ratty. She threw a cup of water high into the air in frustration yesterday and made me sleep with a dummy in when I brought her into bed with me. If I took it out she screamed and pushed it back in quite violently, then stared into my face to make sure I didn't remove it again. On the other hand, she sat so quietly over her lunch that I asked what was on her mind. She thoughtfully replied 'Penis'. So life still holds some amusements.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

adrian's party

Brother and uncle extraordinaire Adrian turned 40 recently and we had a blast in Centennial Park. That's the man of the moment down the bottom wearing the hat and the big smile. Keith's Uncle Roly took these great pictures.

While going for a walk today - Ivy in Keith's backpack, Teddy in my front-sling - Ivy looked at the baby and said 'Teddy happy. Ivy happy. Daddy happy. And Mummy happy too.' And a day or two ago, some poo escaped Ivy's nappy and as I picked it up with a baby wipe she said brightly 'Eat it, Mummy?'

Gifted, I'm telling you.

... somehow another picture of Barack Obama has got on here. Now how did that happen? (I found it on Joannas blog.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Beautiful Beaker

Little Teddy is two months old and takes out the title of Mellowest Baby in The Universe. Will his life always be shadowed by his firecracker of a big sister? I think so - in the best possible way, I hope.

Teddy is so good-tempered, quiet and calm that it brings a tear to my eye just thinking of his sweet nature. (Of course, that could be hormones.) Today, for example: Ivy; jumping madly in circles around him as he lay on the rug, missed a step and sat down heavily on his belly. Keith and I both jumped in panic, Ivy burst into tears, and needed comforting, and Teddy gazed serenely at us all and smiled.

We call him Beaker, because he spends a lot of time peering around curiously, enormous blue eyes peeping over his big nose. That's when he's not intently inspecting his own hands; admiring and turning them in wonder like an acid casualty. He smiles, giggles, practices his kicking and occasionally lets out sudden loud yelps: 'Glerp!' he'll shout from the corner. 'What was that?' Keith and I will gasp, looking up from our attempts to remove Vegemite from Ivy's ears, or Ivy's leg from the Vegemite jar or the Vegemite jar from the toilet... and then we remember that we have another child lying quietly in the corner.

He really is one of those mythical babies that doesn't cry. I had heard of such wondrous animals but never dreamed that we would bear one. I am amazed by his equanimity, and sure that with his mellow vibe and his blonde hair, he's our little stompie wompie surfer boy. Train him up on the guitar and he can be Coledale's answer to Jack Johnson. And then I'll give Ivy some scarves and she can burn off all that dramatic energy doing interpretive dances to Teddy's soulful folk numbers. They'll never pay off their mortgage but man, will we have some entertaining Christmas parties.

Of course, he might turn out to be a dentist, and Ivy an accountant, and they'll break their mothers heart.

Naughty Buttons Turns Two

A couple of weeks ago Ivy turned two. I feel the baby in her slipping away as she turns into a little girl. I still spend so much time with her that I know almost every thought that crosses her mind – I’m familiar with her whole world, her every friend, her every reference. I know what she means when she begs 'Havitapoon, Mummy!' (I want to eat this cheese with a spoon) or 'Singa flippy hat, shake it, Mummy'' ( Pretend you are a dancing scarecrow). Part of me wants it to always stay this way. But as she starts spending time at day-care, and I don’t see everything that she experiences, she grows more and more into her own person, and away from Mummy.

It’s so beautiful, but it breaks my heart a little bit. Is it wrong that I am desperate for her to go to bed at the end of the day, and yet would like to carry her around in my handbag for the rest of my life?

At two, Ivy is fascinating to watch. It’s all about ‘no’ these days, as she learns about her own power. Asking any question: ‘Can you put on your shoes?’ or ‘Are you ready for lunch?’ is an invitation for her to respond in the negative. To be Not-Mummy. Her only real power is to thwart her parents – and she loves to use it.

At two, Ivy’s dramatic flair is growing, and so is her love of comedy. These days she likes to pretend to be sleeping when you try to eject her from her car seat, put her clothes wackily on the wrong appendages, hide things behind her back, and try on the fake crying voice she uses when she imitates the baby: ‘Waah, waah’: to get sympathy. She knows a good gag when she’s pulled one - she tries to hide the smile of delight at her own wit, and can’t quite manage it.

At two, she spends a lot of energy ordering and making sense of her world. She uses her own name constantly. ‘Up, Ivy.’ ‘Please, cheese, Ivy.’ ‘Please, Ivy, pants off, Ivy.’ Her ‘friends’ (stuffed animals Dodo, TJ, Warm Tiger, Mousie and Norah) play a changing cast of characters in the ongoing play of her life. She uses them to act out everything that happens and everything she thinks about. Her friends get into trouble for disobeying Mummy, tipping water or biting each other and get sent to the corner. They fall over, hit their heads and have a cuddle. They get stung by bees and tread on bindies. They sit on the potty, breastfeed like Teddy, somersault like Daddy and play naughty games like jumping on the bed.

Ivy’s passions are many: jumping, laughing, Thomas the Tank Engine, books, motorbikes, tipping, underpants, cake mix, the beach, somersaults, blueberries, olives, The Wheels on The Bus, her grandmothers, big girls, any kind of straps, and drawing eyes, ears and silly men. She is charming, funny, affectionate, curious and has a whim of iron.

'Ivy do it' is her favourite phrase.