Saturday, November 25, 2006

baby's first meme

This has been in my drafts folder for so long that a) I forgot it was sitting there in all its half written glory, and b) where I found it in the first place.

3 Things That Scare Daniel

  • The vacuum cleaner. After the old one died a few weeks ago, I bought a new vaccuum cleaner that has so much suck, it threatens to rip the lino of its hinges. I don't hate this one with the thousand suns that fueled the hate of my old one, not for the suck factor, probably because it's called a 'Hygiene' and I'm a sucker for snappy marketing, and mostly because unlike its crappy predecessor, this one isn't crammed inconveniently in a cupboard and is stored in an easily accessible alcove, so I don't hate having to contort time, space and myself in order to get to it. Lesson learned? It's all about location, location, location. Anyhoo, Daniel was scared of the old vacuum cleaner, but since it so rarely saw the light of day, the fear factor was effectively nil. These days the kid is frequently challenging his vacuumophobia, so I'm frequently seen with him on my hip and clinging to me much like a barnacle does to a whale.
  • His new toy. It's an electronic ball thingy that plays tunes and makes car, plane or train noises, depending on which button you press. It also has some inner doohickey that makes the ball roll around on its own in a rather possessed fashion. It's hella loud, and as it scares my little boppy, it's been retired to places unknown til he's old enough to kick its haunted electronic arse.
  • Global warming.

3 People Who Make Him Laugh:

  • Me, duh.
  • Everybody.
  • That guy who works in the cold produce section at the supermarket. I carry Daniel in a back pack most of the time, and when Daniel sees John, he leans right over and squeals until I've transported him over to apparently the funniest man on earth, so he can gaze adoringly into his face and giggle like a little lunatic. John, by the way, doesn't actually do anything except, you know, breathe, which is hilarious, apparently.

3 Things He Loves:

  • The electric toothbrush. Whenever I used it, Grabby McFeelyhands was all over me, so I gave it to him one day and oh, the joy! Now he has his own toothbrush so I give it to him every day after I'm done with my ablutions, and he chews on its vibratey goodness until I get sick of it and take it away from him. LOVE, I tell you.
  • Watching the bath tub fill. He props himself up on the side of the tub and dances around on his tippy toes. His naked little bottom looks especially cute in these surroundings, by the way, and he especially loves being able to play with the spray thingy that the water comes out of, but that's for supervised play only because I'm not insane.
  • The bedroom. Left to his own devices, he'll high velocity crawl in there and rush up to the bed so he can bury his face in the edge of the quilt. My bed is really low on the ground so he also crawls onto it so he can, in between throwing himself face first into the pillows, roll around with his legs in the air.
3 Things He Hates:
  • Having his nose wiped. You'd think I was trying to steal his brain or something. Good grief.
  • Being refused a breast feed, right now, in the middle of the shopping mall, ferpetesake.
  • The brand spanking new backyard lawn. That's right, the one that cost me - or rather, cost Mr Visa - over a thousand freakin' dollars.

3 Things He Doesn't Understand:

  • English
  • Why everybody loves Raymond
  • Quantum physics

3 Things On His Changing Table:

  • The blue teddy bear his father sent on my birthday, with a card congratulating me on the birth of his son. I leaved it on the change table in case Daniel needs something for target practice when he pees.
  • A tub of organic, biodegradable baby wipes, because they're biodegradable, baby. Mostly I use clean water and soft cotton wash cloths, the wipes are for the kind of poop that clings to rather than peels off his bottom.
  • An interesting smelling concoction of cod liver oil and zinc oxide in a medicinal looking plastic container that is responsible for the aforementioned peeling effect.

3 Things He's Doing Right Now:

  • sleeping
  • breathing, hopefully
  • sleep crawling and bonking his head on the cot rails.

3 Things He Can Do:

  • Eat. Good lord, can he eat.
  • Climb on and fall off the bed without killing himself.
  • Take apart the printer and remove the ink cartridges.

3 Ways to Describe His Personality:

  • Daniel is very friendly and not at all shy. When he meets people, new or otherwise, he will totally look them right in the eye and smile his gapey, open mouth smile at them in delight. He does do the flirty hide-my-face-in-mamma's-neck-aw-I'm-shy routine, but it's a big ol' lie because then he'll turn around and blast them with his thousand watt smile.
  • Like most babies, he's curious, but he seems to want to understand things, so it's almost like living with a teeny, weenie engineer. He inspects his toys more than he looks at them, turning them around and looking at them from all angles, almost as if he's mentally taking them apart and rebuilding them to make them New and Improved. He also loves getting into boxes and cupboards and bags and ripping everything out and strewing them all over the floor so that he can see what else is in the whatever it is that he's emptying.
  • He's also very easy going. If he's been adequately fed and watered, nothing really bothers him. They say that it's the bright babies that are high maintenance, and if that's the case then Daniel has the IQ of houseplant. He's so bright and inquisitive and engaged though, that I think he's the exception to that particular rule.

3 Things He Can't Do (yet):

  • Walk
  • Talk
  • Drive home when I'm too drunk.
3 Absolute Favorite Foods:

Daniel has a fliptop head and food just gets poured with no more feedback than a hearty belch, so it';s hard to know what he actually likes versus what he'll eat. He does like scrambled egg yolks though, and teething rusks, and pretty much anything I'm eating is a favorite that he just can't miss out on.

3 Things He'd Like to Learn:

  • He'd love to know how to stop me from putting everything out of his reach.
  • He'd also like to know how take apart the printer with no intervention from his ma.
  • And I might be wrong, but I'm sure he'd love to learn how to manufacture a purpose built boob of his own that he can whip out whenever he darn well feels like it.

3 Beverages He Drinks Regularly:

  • breastmilk
  • water
  • tequila

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

more cat tales

Riley died on a Wednesday and only a week before Christmas, so accordingly, what with the drowning of my sorrows and the freely flowing Yuletide cheer, I went to our work Christmas function the following Friday and got utterly and completely maggotted. I don't think I've ever been so drunk and capable of standing.

Given that I'm a very cheap drunk on any day, and given that it generally takes only one or two shots for me to start wearing my wobbly boots, this day, my goodness. It started out at a (very liquid) luncheon at a restaurant in the city, progressed to a pool hall down the road where the boss declared an open bar, and then we all staggered back to this house and sat on the balcony drinking fig martinis until well after the sun set. I'm not sure how the others fared, but my last memory is of emptying the contents of my stomach into the gutter outside the boss's front door, and then being put into a cab with a pat on the head, a cabcharge docket in my hand, and the cabbie, with a wave of my boss's hand, being given the vague direction of 'take her that way'.

Even in retrospect, I only vaguely remember being asked if I wanted a new kitten. I don't remember answering at all, so apparently my eyes rolling backwards and passing out on the front lawn is the universal sign for yes please because, come Monday morning, I was presented with the most uncolour coordinated kitten I'd ever seen, squawling at me from inside a cage.

I was all 'NOOOOOOOO!!' and the kitten wrangler was all 'oops', and then I spent ages convincing another workmate to convince her elderly and lonely mother to adopt the kitten instead, which although it took time and a lot of cajoling, she did, which would have been awesome if when she came back to my office to take the kitten off my hands, I didn't reneg on the contract and effectively steal the kitten from the lovingly open arms of a dear little old lady.

I called her Hollie, it being Christmas and all, and that, as they say in the movies, was that.

Unlike her three (THREE!) predecessors, Hollie made it past her second birthday and is, in fact....I don't rightly know how old she is now. Nine or ten, I think. I never counted with her because, given the ridiculous history of cats dropping dead, I didn't think I needed to.

Daniel loves her to bits, but doesn't quite know what to do with her when he sees her, so in between gaping at her in wide eyed wonder, he squeals. Hollie too, is so good with Daniel, and puts up with his adoration and little grabby hands with the kind of patience one would never expect to see in a cat. I'm always, always right there though, because she is, after all, a huntress, and shouldn't be expected to not think he's a giant mouse with alopecia. She's accepted him with grace, especially since she used to be my princess and now she's kind of considered to be a smelly, hair shedding thing that I love very dearly but would like to shave because, jiminy crickets, enough with the fur!!

In other news, Daniel bit me on the weekend. Hard. He even broke the skin and left bruises in the shape of teethmarks on my chest. We were at a party and he'd been sitting on my hip while I was talking to my girlfriend, when he leaned on over and sunk his teeth in. I yelped an approximation of the f word, what with it being mixed company and all, and Daniel laughed. Now he thinks it was a great trick so he keeps going the chomp again, and I'm all jittery and nervous with the anticipation of more bits of me being chewed off and spat out on the ground. How do I stop this? Biting children are annoying little fucks and besides, I don't wish to end up looking like I've been gnawed on by rats. Also, my nerves. Oy.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

meow, etc

Several years ago I had a cat who was the unfriendliest cat in the entire world.

Now, in the past my cats have been my only family and they've been my only source of affection, so when Riley came my way and refused to even be in the same room as me, much less sit on my lap or god forbid, allow me to scritch her chin, I was devastated. The cat before her had been the sweetest thing, and she'd died after eating the end of a corn cob (I know. What the flaming fuck, eh? ) when the stupid vet heard me say 'coughing' each of the many, many times I said 'projectile vomiting' and so, missed the damn blockage in her inner bits, and the kitten before her, again, a total ball of fuzzy loving, had died while being spayed. I KNOW! LUCKY!! Jayzoos. Aaaanyway, Riley was antisocial to say the least, but even so, a parent knows when something is amiss, so when she yoinked up a furball one morning, I took her to the vet on the way to work. While the vet examined her, Riley snuggled into me and buried her head in my armpit and when he was done, kind of leapt into my arms for a full on cat-as-a-handbag experience. I was flabbergasted., so much so that I even said it out loud, "I'm flabbergasted" because before that day, instead of eyes, Riley had beaming rays of hate, and the vet said that of course she loves me, duh. A big ol' motherfucking lightbulb came on and I realised that she did love me, but in her way. That very moment I realised I'd been wasting time looking for signs of affection and love that I understood instead of recognising the signs she was giving me.

The vet told me to pick her up on the way home and then sent me to work with a pat on my head and the diagnosis "hairball" scribbled in Riley's notes. He called me about three hours later and was a little incoherent because five minutes earlier, Riley had dropped dead, just like that, three hours after I'd had this revelation about me and her and our happy little home.


If one believed in messages from the universe, which of course, I don't, ahem, one could possibly deduce that Riley was sent my way to teach me a thing or two about life.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

more whine?

Daniel has a heart murmur, which is no big deal bla bla bla, your neighbour, brother, sister, aunt, dentist, whoever has one too-and they're fine, but pish. Daniel is my son. I'm not freaking out or anything, and have no plans to do so as, according to his pediatrician, it's most likely related to the iron deficiency which is being treated so murmur, begone etc. Still, I feel...worried, sure, because my little boy can't be feeling one hundred percent at present, but also...I dont know. Disappointed, maybe? Sad? Guilt ridden, definitely, ugh. I take inventory a thousand times a day, did I feed him enough of this, do I feed him enough of that, and come up with a solid yes each time, so really, I don't know what my problem is because I feel sick with thinking over and over about what I should have done to prevent this, but when I think about those things I come up with *drumroll* nothing. God.

Dude is having an ungodly amount of a sickly ferrous sulphate solution squirted down his gullet twice a day for the next eight weeks, which is causing some interesting artwork in his underpants. Also, his poop, which doesn't smell too flash on a good day anyway, now smells like something metallic died in there, like he's harboring the rotting corpse of C3P0 in his bowels or something. From his perspective, I can't imagine it's too much fun, and from mine, OH MY. GOD. Ferrous sulphate rusts in water, by the way, which is an aside and doesn't really explain why some days his poop, if one could destink it, would be perfect as road tar, and why on others it makes an odacious beeline to the back of his head. Anyhoo, in two months we go back for some more blood from those tiny, tiny veins, and then we celebrate because everything will be perfect and fluffy bunnies etc. In the meantime, I can't tell my mother any of this because she'll freak the fuck out. Frankly, it'd be nice if I could have an adult conversation with her, something like 'ma, Daniel has heart murmur and I know he's okay, but I'm in turmoil, hold me' and have her do so, but hello. It's my mother we're talking about here. I'm kind of resentful that I always have to censor my world when I talk with her. Not that it means anything anyway because she only goes over all le freaque when it looks good to do so. It looks good to for the witnesses and she'll look like a good grandmother if she worries about my son. She looks like a good friend if she worries about other people. She's all about how it looks, in my biased little opinion. Or, she cares about everyone else in the world except for poor weetle me. Case in point, my friend A, with the breast cancer? Mum was all cooking her lasagne and being all upset and worrying about leaving because A must need the support, but when I had my own breast cancer scare several years ago, she didn't even call to see how the surgery went. Oh, and six weeks after that, I was in hospital again for a totally unrelated, totally major surgical intervention, and being a fool, told mum what I was up for. Why, you ask, when she's never shown any concern for your wellbeing? See aformentioned reference to 'fool'. Also, I think I keep hoping she'll magically care about me one day, so I keep offering her opportunities to demonstrate that she does. Which she does, I suppose. How much though? This much, and just so you know, I'm punching the air between my thumb and forefinger right now. Anyway, as it was around Christmas time, mum's response was to invite me to spend the holidays with her and her brother, sipping champagne on his balcony. You know, to recuperate. From major surgery. Yeah. When all she really meant was that my ill health was an inconvenience she had no willingness to actually mother me. After I had Daniel, mum was all telling people how she was here to help me and bla bla bla when in fact, she didn't do a damn thing except to say "they don't look that bad to me" when I was going over all emotional at the filthy state of my floors. I'd had a cesaerian fercrisake, so no doing anything of significance for six weeks etc, and she was supposedly here to help me except I, being a fucking martyr, actually ended up doing more, thankyou very much.

I just had to take a break and fan myself because, whoo boy, my blood pressure. I'm chock full of resentment - did you guess? Enough for pages and pages of blog, because for whatever reason, I'm hanging on to the hurts of the past, woot!

Oddly (or not, if you're a deep, universal thinker that believes in life lessons etc) enough, Stef was the same with the whole lack of care thing. God, what a fuckwit. And what a fuckwit I was to put up with that crap! Seriously. Then again, if you believe in life lessons etc, you'll understand why I essentially slept with a short, fat, hairy backed, male version of my mother for five years.

So, um, yeah, that's why I can't tell my mum.


an interlude about eggs: Stop buying cage eggs. It doesn't cost that much more to buy eggs that come from happy chickens, so spend a few cents more per egg and buy a damn carton of free-range.. Thankyou.

Speaking of eggs, as much as I am so fucking blessed to have my miracle boy, I'm also pretty pissed off that I'm unlikely to ever have anymore. Pissed off works better for me than 'incredibly saddened by' does. Also, resent. Resent, resent, resent, because had my mother actually given a damn when it mattered, it might not be like this. I'm still grieving what my life could have been, if only, you know?

Four years ago, I weighed under 45 kilos, and fifteen years before that, I barely weighed more than 33, and today, I'm not that far out of an eating disorder. I'm not even out of it at all. I live with it now, not for it, that's all, which while it was the goal I set myelf, go me, it kind of sucks because now I'm an anorexic who actually is fat. In all those years in between though, I was left alone and condemned to die. I was 22 when my family left me, and I'd been sick for less than eight months.

As difficult as it is to see where I am now as a success, I know intellectually that it is. Emotionally though, I feel like a big, fat failure. I mean, how bad of a person must one be to have one's own family not think you're worth saving? And then I compare myself to others my own age, with their house, their car, their families, their success, when I should be comparing myself today with who I was and where I was at not even five years ago. The gains I've made in that time are more than many make in a lifetime, but I still feel I need to explain that to others, to compare my gains with theirs, and to explain that my past isn't that long ago. I'm so saddened by the thought that if someone had helped me all those years ago, my illness might have not have been something that defined my very existance. Blaming others isn't a proactive way to move forward, I know, but I do. I do blame my family. Not for my illness, but for leaving me to succumb fully to it. From a purely objective point of view, I don't know how anyone could survive what I did, but from a subjective one, it was my life , it wasn't bad, I just lived it.

None of this makes any sense. I guess I just wanted to point out that I have achieved a lot, even though I have nothing, and probably because I feel like such a fucking loser pretty much all of the time, and I don't want you to think I am that much of one too.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Yet more hours of our lives spent in the germ infested emergency room. Bleah.

We went for a long walk yesterday, did some shopping and set home again the long, meandering way. No ducks for us today, no sirree, we went to Target and bought me some...I think you rockstars call them wife beaters which, what the fuck? You crazy kids. Anyhow, in the Antipodes, we call them singlets and in lieu of purchasing anything classy or pretty or that could be seamlessly put together with a tailored pair of trousers and an elegant pair of shoes, I got some more shit that goes with nothing except my trackie dacks worn with my clapped out old running shoes.

Sidebar. When someone tries to sell you a pair of Adidas Supernovas instead of your handy dandy Brookes Glycerines, take the laces out of the Supercrappies, ball them up and stuff them down the the salesperson's throat, would you? Much obliged, thankyou.

So we bought my two new high fashion pieces, and toddled off home the long way because it's been almost eleven months now, and "I've just had a baby" doesn't cut it anymore as an excuse for my wobbly bits.

Daniel loves a walk. He leans back in his stroller seat, elbow out one side with his feet propped up on the bumper in front, and chows down on a teething rusk. He'll usually get a bit antsy half way through, and that's when I pick him up and carry him for a bit, before cramming him back into his seat and loading him up with a new, not yet chewed to a choke risk stump, rusk. Other than that mid way interlude though, he kicks back and enjoys the ride with barely a peep coming out of him. Yesterday, he was so mellow he didn't even have his half way mark oxytocin crisis, and I was all glowing with pride at my laid back kid.

I got him home though, and discovered that he was super mellow because he was super running a temperature of around 38C. By 8.30, his temerature had reached 38.8C, after dipping to almost normal again some time in between, so I gave him some paracetamol (which you guys call acetaminophen, which is a totally awesome word, by the way) and called the ER for some advice, which was that anything above 38.5C needs to be seen by a doctor, stat. Fabulous. I hate the ER. It's full of germs and besides, if he isn't dying, I feel like I'm abusing the system and the system takes sooooooo looooong to use because people do abuse it because they're too tight to pay to see their own GP. Probably don't even have a GP because they save their money for beer and cigarettes by going to the ER. We have a socialised health care system here, and people are always bitching about it, about how it takes so long and bla bla bla, and my answer to that is, Really? And why do you think that is, Einstein? Here's an idea, next time you get a sniffle, go to your own fucking doctor and pay the damn gap instead. When we see a private doctor instead of going to a government funded, public hospital, we don't even have to pay the full doctor's fee as medical care is generally government subsidised anyway. We pay what's known as the "gap", which is the difference between what the doctor charges and what the government pays for. It's usually way less than the government subsidy, but people complain about that too. God. What happened to being responsible for oneself? I mean, look at me. I'm perfect and all so despite being poor and shit, I have ALWAYS made sure I have health insurance so that I'm never a drain on a system that really should be utilised with more social conscience. When I had Daniel, I could have opted to go in as a public patient and not paid a damn cent. Instead, being perfect and all, I chose to use my private insurance and went into the same hospital as a private patient and so, paid $250 for the experience. Because I give a damn about the future of this country. Booyah!

Aaaanyway, since the stupid nurse had told me over the phone that my kid needed attention, I packed him up and raced into the city. It's only a fifteen, twenty minute trip that time of night, and by the time we were halfway there, Daniel was singing and chatting and daa daa daa-ing away in his car seat, and was totally not the limp little rag that worried me so for most of the evening, which meant that when we were triaged, he go the label 'healthy little boy'. I thought it would be better if we just went home, and the triage nurse was all ".....", and the nurse who took his PERFECTLY NORMAL vitals a half hour or so later was also all "......", and throughout this whole time Daniel was all "whooppeee!" and I was all wishing he'd pretend to be a little more under the weather than he was, and feeling guilted out at even considering going home before someone took a look at my chipper little guy, while feeling guily for needlessly bringing my chipper little guy to the ER in the first place. That last one had me feeling guilty for my treatment of him and the system. Argh. So we waited until midnight to see a doctor who then told me that we probably didn't need to come in at all anyway.

I should be grateful that the nurse was so conscientious, but four more hours of our lives spent in that place means I'm not quite there yet with the appreciation thing. As far as ERs go, this is probably one of the nicer ones, with a huge wide screen TV even, donated to the department by a local credit union, which would have been awesome had someone though to put on a dvd instead of the not-for-children crap that was on last night, bitch, moan, etc.

After seeing the teeny weenie doctor for long enough for him to tell us our visit was a waste of time, I took Daniel home and put him into bed and by 4.30am, he had another fever. I stripped him off and poured the requisite 1.5 mls of parecetamol down his protesting gullet, and off he went to sleep again. We didn't wake up until about 10am and he's been a bit feeble all morning. Not sick or anything, just clingy and sad. He's napping now, and it remains to be seen whether the fever will come back again. My money is on that it will.

Things I haven't got around to telling the internet which are kind of pertinent right now:
  • Daniel has had at least ten colds since June
  • He's currently on antibiotics for an ear infection
  • He's shitting up a poop storm, so woot! Here's a shout out to the augmentin!
  • He's been on ventolin this week, for his second bout of Bronchiolitis
  • He's very iron deficient.
A bit of background: the last time he had unexplained fevers, we spent six hours in the ER waiting to get bloods taken because Daniel was hitting 40+ temps over night. They came back suggesting his haemoglobin was low, and the ER doc wrote to my (actual) doctor and suggested follow up iron studies, which is how we found out about his iron status. Thank fuck I used the system that day, because my (not actual) doc had, at the time, said to keep an eye on him, he'll be fine. If I hadn't taken him to the hospital, he'd never have had blood tests, and we wouldn't have found out about the iron deficiency, which can lead to anemia which can lead to developmental and growth issues. That's not me being a freaked out mama, that's actual fact so, phew, lucky.

He has an appointment with a private pediatrician to work out what in fuck to do about his iron levels, but as that's not until January, so I've made another one with the pediatrician at the hospital, and we see him on Tuesday. Daniel doesn'tfit any of the risk factors for iron deficiency, the only explanation my doctor (who isn't actually my doctor, but as he's currently only working two days a week and is booked up until Daniel turns twenty seven, we're the Medical Centre sluts, and will take on whoever is available) has is that it might be because of all the damn infections he's had this year.

And that's all folks.

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