We're in the middle of some mightily wintry weather here, which I'm not sure what the temperatures get down to in your neck of the world, but when we say wintry, brr, here, we mean "I really should wear thicker socks and think about investing in a woolly jumper". We, as a city, suck at keeping warm in winter so we bitch about it until the sun warms our not quite blue toes again. Though to be honest, I stopped bitching about it quite so loudly, firstly when I spent my fist Autumn (Fall!) in Italy. I didn't even make it to Winter, and secondly, ever since I got knocked up my internal thermostat has been set on 'overheat' - and if anyone nods knowingly or even thinks the word 'menopause', I'll find where you live and lob a can of soy beans through your window. Anyway, the point being is that I no longer bitch. As loudly, at least. Also, the ten year drought we're been in (driest state, driest continent, and out stupid state government has only JUST last year put in water restrictions. we went from years of being in Code "Be Careful With It Folks" to being suddenly introduced to Code "Let All The Parks And Gardens Die and Stink It Up Good, You Water Wasting Fuckers Because Y'all Ain't Showering Again, Ever! (evil laugh, evil laugh)" last November. And then the federal government got all involved and now they're all huddled in a corner making Big Ass Decisions ( "one potatah, two potatah...") while the Murray-Darling slows to a trickle. Some of the obvious (fucking) solutions are desalination plants or reclaiming our waste water to supplement our water supply. The common man, however, is all "I am NOT drinking my own pee!". I look at that man as he rests his beer on his corpulent belly while he stuffs a burger and fries into his pie hole, and think "Well, you don't seem to have a problem with the SHIT you're eating....".
For the record, I celebrate the notion of reclaimed water (word has it, it aces all the double blind taste tests anyway), and I don't get why the political bog knobs don't talk more about desalination plants. We're a land girt by sea, forcrisake. Girt. By sea. A never ending supply of it! Especially since the ice bergs are all conveniently melting!
In a related side bar: Before Sperm Boy totally aced his Piss Me Off exam and commenced Operation Stay The Fuck Away From Me, we were chit chatting about this and that and at some point, the subject of water water restrictions came up. I merrily opined away (I think of me as conversational white noise. I blow a lot of air but I don't really say much and given the chance, I'll probably lull you to sleep) and wondered out loud something like "I don't know why we don't get on the desalination bandwagon because, with the ol' girt by sea dealio, it just stands out like dog's balls as the obvious solution.". Ol'Spermy thought about it for a bit before replying "but if we keep drinking the seawater, it'll eventually run out too.".
or, I went and renewed my Senior First Aid certificate on the weekend.
Everyone who did it passed (of course) but I have some serious doubts about the quality of the course providers. When I did their course year or three ago, the presenter was deliciously anal (Porny? I really must review my personal repertoire of descriptive terms) about making sure we knew the difference between and were able to breathe air into lungs and not stomachs, and compress, not fan, the appropriate area of their chest, not some random area somewhere south of their eyebrows. The instructor we had yesterday would have been okay, had we all been taking a class in kissing and groping. One of the other class participants kind of batted away at one of those freaky armless, legless, with mouth open in a disturbing way blow up dolls, ineffectively making contact with her own fishlips every now - and she PASSED! This woman couldn't even use the idiot proof defibrillator's, and they're idiot proof! Oh, wait. I said that. I shouldn't care but I do. I DO! Mostly because I'm a control freak about quality of service, (I really am quite a pain in the caboosky about that) and also because haybus crispy! If I get a qualification, I want to know it's because I earned it, not because I paid for it. And it'd be reassuring to know that any of those clowns out there packing a first aid certificate actually could save my life, in the event. You know?
Leaving Daniel with mum isn't something I'd consider an optimal arrangement. The rational part of me is all tossing rose petals and saying "forget about my relationship with her, she's his grandma, theirs is what matters now (tra la!)". The bigger part of me wonders why in fuck I'm leaving my child with someone who's been such a big ol' negativo in my life. Then I question that bigger part of me, even though people, it's the bigger part of me. It's the wise part, yo, because it's rational to not leave your child with someone who fucked with your head. "But self", I then argue "what if your angst is based on perceived hurts?" Then there's the bit that wonders about such a number being done on me that I can't acknowledge the neglect and the abu...see? I can't even say it. Abuse of my trust is about as far as I can go.
I hate that I leave Daniel in her care when it suits me to do so, because I feel like I'm doing it because I'm too much of a tight arse to fork out the cost of a sitter. It's not like I need babysitting so I can go out and get drunk or anything though. I've never left him to go out and do something social. The significance of which has only sunk in in writing that. Awesome. I really AM a social retard! But onward, and at ten bucks an hour (which is pretty fucking reasonable) when I do need it, babysitting generally adds a minimum of sixty bucks to the cost of whatever course, tuition or professional development I'm attending. Last week, if mum hadn't inflicted her crazy upon my son, it would have been eighty dollars, this week, one hundred, and next month it'd be an extra two hundred, so yes, it's convenient and fiscally responsible for me to put him in the midst of her crazy, never mind that it might be fuck with his future sanity and be detrimental to his emotional health in the meantime.
I hate that.
Seems I hate paying out the hardly-big-bucks more though. And yes, you did catch that my mother is still here.
I spend my time in therapy working on how to deal with my crazy, the one that resurfaces each time she visits. Oh, if only 'visit' meant leaving at some point. I pay financially and emotionally when she's here, which is all the fucking time, but it doesn't justify leaving Daniel with her because what about the cost to his sanity?
There's a permanent knot in my stomach when she's here, and when she goes (which is NEVER) the calm settles upon me and I find myself twiddling my thumbs in my shrink's office, wracking my brains for things to grouse about. Life without mum is idyllic. With her? Find me a wall and I'll bang my forehead against it.
It was during the years she'd opted out of my life that I really got on my feet again and I was working toward turning my back on the what my life had been before that. Now it's been, what? Nineteen months since she swooped back in? And not because she suddenly realised she wanted to be my mother. Oooh, no. It was because she wants Daniel. It's been nineteen months and I've still got that feeling of hope that if I bide my time, she'll fuck off again. Which she won't. It's like grieving in that when we grieve, it takes time for the loss to sink in. Even though we know out loved one is gone, at some level there's hope that it's true or permanent, and it may take months for that the deep ache of sadness to sink in. I hope that her being here forever isn't true. I anticipate her leaving for good. When it sinks in that she won't, I may just go batshit crazy(er).
There's another reason why the entries are a little sparse over here though, and it's the Cling Factor. Right now, right this moment, it's hitting about 9.7 on the Richter scale, explaining the midget seemingly permanently attached to my lap whose hands I need to keep batting away from the keyboard. If he's not here, he's wrapped his arms around my thighs and is hanging on so tightly that if there were an abyss beneath my feet deep enough to lead to China, you'd shake your head with grim understanding and say "Oh dear. That is a problem.".
Every day this methane gas producing, vertically challenged, neat freak's level understanding measurably grows. For some time now, when I say "shower?", he's been toddling over to the bathroom (and by 'bathroom', I really do mean 'bathroom') door and thumping it while mumbling something about "mah mah", and at bedtime, he holds out his copy of Goodnight Moon and requests "Moh moh". We live near a train line and after ignoring my excited cries of "Look Darling! A train" for, like, ever, now whenever he hears the wig wags, he perks up, points out the window and tells me "cah!", or "bah!". So okay, we're still working on that one, because generally cars are "cah!" and buses are cause for celebration, "BAH!!!". Last night he hit a new height when he saw a truck and rather than scratching his head, computing something about this thing looking like some kind of hybrid bus, train and car thing and calling it a "...", he joyfully recruited Mr Pointer Finger and correctly identified it as an "keh!".
One of the things he does, though I'm not quite sure how appropriate it is, is when we're in the shower, he maneouvres himself behind me so he can pat my rearendicular region while happily identifying it as my "bah dum, bah dum!". Um, I never taught him that. Seriously. What I did teach him though, was to locate his own bah dum, which he does quite frequently, and always with joyous abandon.
These days, he mostly feeds himself too, and does a fine job of it with only a minor proportion of cereal ending up in his ears and up his nose. When he's finished, he piles all his spoons (one for each hand and one for luck) into the bowl and holds it up for me to take away. Then he'll whip off his bib and politely request, "ub."
that's me in the background, my 'ta da!' skillfully averting a meltdown by turning a crisis situation into an achievement.
Did you get a load of the bruise on his left cheek? Headfirst into the corner of a milk crate. Awesome.
Now, about all of the above, up to and including the swan dive into the dairy case, I've been impressed with it all because I'm a) his mother and b) easily impressed.
And then he started building things.
And that also impressed me greatly because seriously, he's seventeen months old. Would you cop a load of that symmetry?!
Each day there's more to be impressed with. Like yesterday, we went for a long walk and when we came home hours later, the first thing Daniel did was rush into the bedroom to pick up the absorbent disposable undergarment I'd removed from his tush earlier, wrapped, and then forgotten to dispose of. I was all *eek!* thinking he was going to do something gross like try to eat it, but as I also didn't want to take away what he felt was his winning moment, what with all the crowing and proud waving of his trophy above his head, I didn't grab it from him, I told him "Good boy! Now let's go put it in the bin!", thinking, shyeah, right, like that's going to happen without a fight....and Daniel hightailed it out of the bedroom, little legs pumping, arms waggling above his head, undergarments held high, and leading the way with his rotund little belly, while I strolled ahead, ambling at a snail's pace and looking back to see if he'd caught up yet. "Come on Darling, this way!", I chirped, veering left toward the laundry. Dude hung a right though, and as I rolled my eyes in despair and wondered how I'd be able to disarm him without a precipitating a monumental shitfit, he took off into the front room, wobbled up to the front door, banged on it and effectively requested it be opened. Which it summarily was, so he wobbled out of it, across the porch and toward to the bins outside. Finally buying a clue, I got there first so I could open the lid, and Daniel stood right up on his tippy toes and tossed his skivvies inside.
This morning we woke up and after a good morning cuddle ("cuh-deh!"), I told him "Come on, Sport, let's get you some clean pants!", and Daniel promptly rolled off the bed and headed toward the change table. Holding a clean nappy (that's a diaper, for you superfreaks) aloft, he hopped back on the bed before laying conveniently on his back with his legs in the air.
Thing is, none of the stuff he does is Check it, My Kid Is A Genius stuff. It's what all children do. They play, they grow and they learn, and they're all equally impressive for every single of their own individual accomplishments. What totally blows my mind is the dedication they give to whatever task it is at hand. Like when Daniel was learning how to roll over from his back to his front. He tried and tried and never gave up until he finally flipped his little self over. Or when he was so little and so bobble headed. Put him on the floor with Mr Bunny and he'd fight to keep his focus on him and he'd fight to control his uncontrollable limbs, and he kept fighting until one day he could reach out with that barely controlled arm and thwack that fucker's lights out. Now his job is to understand and to be understood, and he's taking it on with as much alacrity and determination as he's faced any of his other monumental tasks. You've got to hand it to those little people because seriously, how many adults with lives so full of frustration and failure, would ever persist enough to the part where achievement sets in?
Depending of whose perspective you take it from, either I'm the resident psychic genius or Daniel is.
I hired a handy man last week to do an assortment of jobs around the Villa de Bee today, and he's been here this morning busily doing what handy men do (which, side bar, please. Could there be a more descriptive job title than 'handy man'? I think not. These are men who are indeed, handy. Fantastic! It's even in the yellow pages. Pages and pages, all devoted to handy men. The Gloria Steinman in me is appalled at this misogynistic nightmare, but the rest of me wants to sit back and dream of men in overalls, wielding hammers and carrying nails between their teeth), and has been drilling holes, erecting shelves (both of which sound porny), and baby proofing the cupboards. Daniel, on the other hand, learned how to open cupboard doors yesterday, and the most I've seen of him since are his legs hanging out while the rest of him is busy rummaging around inside the cupboard like there was no tomorrow. Which, there isn't, from a cupboard rummaging perspective.
One of us should be responsible for picking the numbers for any lottery ticket we invest in, and the other should follow along meekly saying things like "whatever you say, Oh Mighty One", the only question is who.
Oh, and yeah, in re the baby proofing. One, Daniel will be mighty pissed when he comes home from childcare today, and two, we'll be eating off paper plates and drinking out of jam jars until Saturday morning when the handy man (who is indeed, very handy) comes back and opens the two relevant cupboards because jesus h, until then, I sure as shit can't.
In other news, I've been selling shit on ebay, which is something you could do quite literally, I'm sure, given enough enthusiasm for your product. It takes time to list an item because I'm anal retentive I can't just write down "for sale, one blue jumper" and be done with it. I've got to sell that motherfucker, so tappity tappity tap, bla bla ba bla BLA! Presto chango! Suddenly I'm a marketing executive and suddenly I'm living in warehouse of saleable product that needs to be sold. I'm doing okay too. Well even, and plan on selling my entire wardrobe, item by item, because I hate it and have nothing to wear and if you call me up and invite me for coffee, I'll decline, citing naptime or diaper rash or some other such, when what I really mean is that I can't make it because I've got nothing to wear. Then I'll take the money I make and buy more shit to wear once before deciding I hate it so I can rekindle my now defunct ebay career and make some more money and so continue the cycle of deluding myself that I'm actually making a profit.
Does anyone have an opinion on those "baby on board" signs for your car? Frankly, I think they're the next best thing to a glaring neon sign flashing the words "I can't drive for shit".
And that's all I have to say about that.
Next, my face. It's settling down. I'm still swollen, more so on the left side, and I can't feel my chin, cheeks, and portions of my mouth.
Before, during, after. Le yawn. I forgot to take any after the second operation, but imagine the one in the middle, take away some of the lopsideness and add in a bit of swelling under and across the bridge of my nose. Got it? The one you see there was taken only five days apres the first surgery. Lot's of black eyes going on but the swelling is already going down (porny!) The shot I'd love to show you is the one I took while in ICU and still under the influence of hard core theatre drug. Hooey, face meet 4x2 much, my god. That one's in my phone though, where it will remain forever unless someone tells me where I can find software to transfer it to my mac. The after? Meh. Not much difference from that angle. Look closely though, and my face is wider across my cheekbones, my chin is shorter despite still being swollen out and down to here, and my nose, oh my poor nose. Hopefully that's just swelling because jayzuz, bozo much? Honk.
Check. This. Out.
My jaw is still swollen so please be ignoring that little double chin action, but seriously. The angle of my nose is different and is no longer migrating toward my slowly advancing chin, prompting the comment yesterday that I look more feminine. Also, younger! Which, thank you swelling for the five or so years currently missing from my face.
So there you have it, partway through the project, and considering the after shots were taken maybe two weeks after the second surgery, so far, so good.
I'm not dead, I'm merely utilising my literary genius elsewhere , and seeings as how I don't have that much of it, I'm saving it for places that offer financial gain for my keyboardial efforts and mountanous piles of offloaded, unwanted crap.
Also, brain cramps. Or writer's block or whatever. Creative ideas come to my head to die, much like elephants to with that mythical (or not? *raises eyebrow*) graveyard.
Does general anesthesia kill off brain cells? Because if that's a valid excuse, I'm going with it.
In other news, Daniel pitched his most formidable shit fit ever the other day. We were out (of course) and while I denied maternity (Who? Him? No) and my friend denied any knowledge (What?), the other patrons scribbled scores on the backs of their menus, and for what it's worth, what he lost on his choreography, he made up for in his artistic interpretation vacillated between thanking fuck it wasn't happening to them and wanting to shove a balled up napkin down his scream hole. Meanwhile, as Daniel was alientating the entire planet, my friend's seventeen month old was endearing the same people to her by reaching over and patting him on the back of his (rapidly turning purple) head with her itty bitty hand. "Deh, deh" she said. Aw.