This is going to be a long one but I promise I’ll pepper it with lots of photos.
First of all,
Happy Birthday Lily! 9 today! I can barely believe that my ‘bubba’ is nine.
Where do I start to tell you everything that we have been up to in the last week? To some it might not seem like alot. There have been no late night outings for couples, no romantic dinners for two, no weekend getaways but for some reason our days have all run into each other…a ball of activities, some so small but they all add to make up the chaos of the week just gone. I feel as though I have hardly seen David with his constant comings and goings into the early morning crispness and the dark Wintery nights. I have felt largely as though I was operating as a single parent (with a lodger) for most of the week but such is life when your husband works in Sydney and you live in the boonies.
We went to see our ECHN Dierdre. She is lovely and calming and grandmotherly and everything you want in a support person.
Ivy and Noah were evil. Just evil. They found the stand-on scales and proceeded to stand on them, sit on them, jump on them and wobble them back and forth until the constant clunk clunk clunk became too much for the caregiver and the mother. They thought it was funny. I did not. They pulled out every toy, whinged, ate every bit of food that I had in the baby bag, whinged some more, drank both drinks, banged at the door for release from the room and when it was not instant, they whinged and cried and wailed! I was never so pleased to leave a place. I felt clostrophobic and ashamed that my babies had essentially turned into monsters! Deirdre was sympathetic, allowed me my time and left me with assurances that there WAS help out there for Ivy’s sleep (or lack there of) issues. She listened to my doctor troubles, weighed and measured my now huge babies and asked all the right questions for an 18 month check up and yet I walked away tense and upset.
I am at a loss as to what is wrong with me. I look at them and feel happy and sad that they are growing up. The last 18 months haven’t been easy but at the same time, perhaps they were easier then than now. Toddlerhood does not suit Ivy and Noah well. They are full on ALL of the time. They move constantly and demolish all that is around them. Because there is such a huge gap between babies, perhaps I have forgotten what toddlers are like, perhaps I was not prepared this time.
The evening saw the three big kids home from their trip! Oh what excitement when they arrived, tired from their long bus trip home but buzzing with all the news of what they had seen. Ivy had not slept the night before and the day (see above) had been busy and messy. As we drove up to the school, looking for a place to park, I noticed a space…"Park there", I said to David, spying the bus zone, "it’s night time. It’s not as though there are going to be any buses coming through". David just looked at me. He had a bizarre look emerging from his face. A cross of the incredulous and ridiculous. "Poor Tiggy"! he exclaimed, "you must be tired". It took me a few seconds to work out why he was laughing at me. Of course there would be buses coming through. In fact two, with seventy something children aboard! I’m not blonde. Truly but I could have been on Friday night, with a ditzy comment like that ejecting itself from my mouth before my brain had time to retract it. Oh dear. My excuse was being so absolutely tired that I couldn’t think straight. I’m sticking to it!
And so we travelled home, our bus and house full again. It was nice. I felt contented. Until morning… when camp re - entry began. (insert twighlight zone music here)
It seems over the four days of travelling with peers that the children had forgotten how to do their chores. AJ heaved himself out of bed to go to soccer without lifting a finger to take out the garbage. Lily and Mal went to watch. Ivy and Noah and Imogen and Madeline and I made our way into town to pick up a few things. Everything was annoying me, from the way they were speaking (or should I say speakin’) to the way they walked. Slouched, hands in pockets, head down, feet shuffling…need I say more? Everything I asked of them seemed to be some form of torment, with eyes rolling and shoulders slumping. When we arrived home, I got more of the same from AJ. by Saturday night I was over it. My washing pile had gone from a healthy four baskets to a heart stopping ten, after they unpacked their bags! There was mess from one end of the house to the other and NOBODY was lifting a finger to correct the damage.
Unfortunately there was more of the same on the Sunday morning. Lily’s friend came over to go ice skating and that one little thing gave me the leverage I needed to bring things into order. If the rooms were not clean, there would be no outing. If the attitude didn’t stop, there would be no skating. Miraculously things started to get done. Amazingly we were out the door by 10:30 and even better was that all of us ended up having a great time. Noah and Ivy discovered hot chocolate and also that it tastes even better if it is someone else’s. Noah found a ride in aeroplane. You know the rides that you insert $2 and you get a minute of jiggling movement before it dies. At least this one was already out of order so the babies were left to do the jiggling themselves. They had a ball while the others skated around the rink. Mal (who couldn’t even stand in his skates) found a plastic chair and firmly planted his bottom on it. They use them on the ice for the younger children to find their balance, a bit like an old person’s walker. Maddy then pushed him around the ice. Their smiles were infectious. We went home and had the first of many cakes to celebrate Lily’s birthday.
Come Monday morning, I thought we would be back to normal and in the swing of things. How wrong I was!
While David made an early exit from the homefront, Noah was just waking up (very early for him). I asked the kids to get cracking as I wanted to be out of the house by 9:30 - 10am at the latest. Easy, right? No not easy when the children don’t want to get dressed, when they don’t want to do anything. When Noah decides at 9am that he wants to ‘go - carcar!’ right then and there and when I make a turn towards the bathroom (for a much deserved AND needed shower) has a complete meltdown. Banging on the door, wailing ‘carcar carcar carcar!’ When Ivy joins in because she feels miserable and boys wrestle and yell at the top of their lungs. When Malachy has a severe case of Mondayitis (think shirt on backwards and shorts in 14 degree weatther. Think changing into ANOTHER pair of shorts when he is asked to put long pants on. Think shoes on the wrong feet and then crocs with socks on because he can’t be stuffed doing his shoelaces up himself). By the time we actually reached the car, it was a wonder I had any hair left!
Noah, who by that time had worked himself into a lather of baby sweat over getting in the blasted car, was in a horrible mood. He pulled Ivy’s hair and pulled at her jumper, so she was upset too. I was at my wits end by the time we reached the end of the street and also in a dither. I turned to the distraght Noah and used my assertive mummy voice…’Noah, that’s enough! Settle yourself down!’ and with that said Noah turned his head and fell asleep! Just like that. The rest of the trip to Sydney was blissfully quiet.
The reason for our trip was for Imogen, who had her first appointment at Westmead hospital with the orthodontist.
For those who don’t know, Imogen and David have a genetic condition called ectodermal dysplasia. It is something that effects the skin, teeth and the nails and the hair. When Immy was diagnosed it gave us an answer to many things but it also gave her dental care under the medicare scheme. Our last check up was well over a year ago and we were told then that because Immy’s case was mild that we may not make it to the top of the list for orthodontic care. We were very surprised when the letter came. The orthodontist, Peter was very nice. He spoke directly to Imogen and then to me. He described in detail what would happen for Immy over the next nine months. Braces first and building up of teeth. This will take a few years to complete but the end result, he felt, would be wonderful. I have to say I walked away from there very happy.
We had dinner with David’s parents and then made our way back home.