Friday, September 23, 2011

In Which Keith Explains Some Of His Incomprehensible Research And The Children Are Massively Busted

Right now, George is tucked happily beside Keith who is watching the football, drinking beer and tinkering with complicated-looking graphs on his computer.*

Ted is in trouble for coming out of his bedroom all night. Right now he's been banished to the playroom for three minutes where he's wailing on the floor. We're taking turns using the Stern Voice on Teddy and cuddling little George.

I'm trying to capture some thoughts, now that I am working with both hands. I'm doing a lot of reading on the computer and watching shows while breastfeeding in the middle of the night but while my muscle memory is tapping back into many one-armed skills I've refined over the last five years, typing is not one of them.

Life is settling into a new rhythm. My doc diagnosed me with Post-Partum Thyroiditis, a fairly common baby-related thyroid disruption. It often resolves itself naturally, and I'm sure mine is doing that, because I feel so much better than I did a week ago. I'll write more about that soon, but in short I just need to monitor my thyroid with blood tests and medicate it if it spirals out of control again.

Generally, I'm realising that life with these three small firecrackers just means more of everything. More chaos. More stress. More joy. More laughter. More love.

So much love.

So much laundry.

I think that a happy domestic life for us will require an intensive structure and a willingness to let go of the structure completely. I'm trying to manage the highs and lows by taking it slow, enjoying the small moments, and letting us all find our feet.

I'm having some transcendent moments of happiness. The luck, the joy, the blessing of three healthy children, a beloved husband and a happy home in a free democracy... And other times, I'm overwhelmed by the task at hand. Yesterday I shouted at the children 'You are MASSIVELY busted!' (I'm not a big shouter. I confess it felt great to bellow this.)

I can't remember the details of their transgression, but it likely involved property crime (Ivy took my spoon) or actual bodily harm (Teddy kicked me in the ear) followed by high-pitched screaming. They both got sent to separate Time Outs and then I recalled them for a short lecture in my Grown Woman's voice along the lines of 'I expect better behaviour from you both, you are three and four years old, not babies, blah blah blah. ' They both gazed at me calmly. 'Do you understand me Teddy?' I asked. 'Well, Mummy, ' he said. 'Did you know I has a little penis?'

The day before I ranted at them with crazy eyes 'Can you HEAR Mummy is at the end of her rope? Can you HEAR it in Mummy's voice?' (Confession -this monologue felt really good too.) While Keith was in Canberra for two days this week I found myself simultaneously trying a comfort a crying George, talk Ted through a lengthy defecation episode and fix a recalcitrant Peppa Pig DVD. Inside my head the lambs were screaming. 'Is you doing your best, Mum? asked Teddy. Yes, I replied. 'Well, is not very good', he said.

Today I left them playing merrily in the lounge room while I fed George in my quiet bedroom and watched My Great Big Gypsy Wedding on YouTube. I thought everything was going really well until I emerged find both children paused in a guilty tableau. Ted was standing on a table trying to poke a broomstick into the ceiling fan that Ivy had climbed a chair to turn on High.

My mother-in-law advised me that if everybody was alive at the end of the day, that I was doing a good job. Well, they are today Mama.


* Specifically, he says he's working on empirical fits to develop algorithms that predict the efficiency of solar cells based on the photo-luminescent images of their pre-processed wafers.


  1. Man, that Keith's got a filthy mouth on him, hasn't he? Glad your thyroid's feeling a little perkier. S x

  2. It's good to see you back. (And I'm relieved that I'm not the only one who feels the release of a little bellowing. So far, I've only railed up and down the hallway bellowing once - only to find my little one, reading books, completely unfazed. I had to say "This is what mummy sounds like when she's ANGRY!" Still nothing. I guess it takes a while to learn that ANGRY is a bad thing and not just an entertaining spectacle completely unrelated to yourself.)

  3. Love the broom + fan story. Sounds like something my kids would do. Good thing you have written it down so you don't forget it in your baby daze.

  4. so glad it was your thyroid love and not your seretonin levels.

    its good Teddy has a little Penis. A positive note. xx

  5. I love how you turn pure chaos into pure comedy! You sounds like a fun bunch :)

    Had to laugh at Keith 'working on' (?)fits... while it sounds like there's plenty of 'fits' occurring in your household at the moment! Love it!

  6. I think you're doing wonders, I really do. You're totally ace, Mama Mogantosh. I have but one we child and I distinctly remember using my cranky grown up voice yesterday to explain about how close I was to the end of my tether. To which the response was "what is a tehter?" Leading unto a rather lengthy discussion of ropes and knots, horses and bridles. Which served to infuriate me and yet, paradoxically, move me nearer to only mildly irrational. So yes, I think you are doing a wonderful wonderful job.

    Oh and, I know it isn't cool - but I adore Georgette Heyer. Every time I pop in here I think of my favourite of her books - the Grand Sophy. And about how you are just like Sophy - all wonderful and worldly wise. And about how Ivy and Georgette will be just as so.

    Wow, aren't I just the Saturday Morning Sycophant. Have a delightful weekend.

  7. A lovely vignette on your crazy/busy/wonderful life!

  8. You said 'recalcitrant'. I love you.

  9. I nodded a lot all the way through this one. I had to remind myself that I've never met your kids, because you're so clever at making them real with words.
    I even nodded at the bit that explained Keith's work. I don't know who I thought I was fooling.

  10. hehe I am giggling way here. I liked to poke anything I could find into the blades of the floor fan.The trick was to approach it sideways otherwise it blew splinters into my face. I would spend ages destroying sticks and pencils and straws and anything else that was long and poky. I am glad to her you a feeling better (love)

  11. You are a brilliant, hilarious inspiration. If possible, more, now than ever.

  12. Oh I enjoy reading your blog so much... you have such a great way with words. I am so impressed that you can write sentences at this time in your life. Amazing.
    Laundry out of control here. How does such a small being double the amount of stuff to wash. I don't get it at all. Crazy.


Thanks for talking to me. I don't got cooties. Oh, except for when I got cooties.