True love

I had an Aunt.

Her name was Barb.

And she had what was called an “ironing room”.

As a child I assumed the room was full of ironing boards and irons, ready and waiting for any ironing to come their way. For all I knew, there were people in there, ironing for Aunty Barb. Around the clock.

We were never allowed in the ironing room. So I decided Aunty Barb had a kindly ironing woman or two locked away in the ironing room. Ironing.

The year I had the twins, she confessed to me that the ironing room was, in fact, a room full of baskets of clothes she couldn’t be bothered ironing until she absolutely needed them.

She told me she highly recommended one should have an ironing room. Full of unironed, unfolded baskets of washing.

Aunty Barb insisted we call her Aunty. Because she was our Aunty and that was that.

She chastised me profusely when we announced we were calling our daughter “Rory”.

“You do realise I will never be able to say her name properly!?” she joked – but meant entirely.

Aunty Barb’s r’s came out as w’s.

But she loved Waw-wee. And she loved me for having her and naming her Waw-wee.

She loved that I didn’t pretend to be perfect.

She loved me for not being perfect.

And really, in this life, how many of us can say we have people who love us not despite our flaws, but because of them?

Who love us not for who they think we are, nor who they want us to be?

Who don’t love us because we meet their expectations, but because we throw anyone’s expectations in their faces. Because seriously, who is anyone to expect another person to be anything more or less than they truly are?

If you say you have more than a handful of those people, you are a liar.

Which is a complete and utter fucking shame.

Because we should all have more than a handful of people who love us.

Because of our ironing rooms. And our filthy floors. And our inability to pronounce letters and words correctly.

Our addictions to crosswords. Our webbed toes. Our too-loud laugh.

Our over-enthusiasm. For everything. All the time. Which can often lead to the overuse of punctuation!!!!

Aunty Barb loved me because I am too loud. Because my floors are dirty. Because my kids are wild.

Aunty Barb loved me because I refuse to accept anything less than what I feel we (the all-encompassing we of humankind) are due in life.

Respect. Honesty. Love.

Aunty Barb loved me because when she rang, she would ask if I were busy, or if it was a bad time with the children and I would honestly tell her:

“Yes, but if you wait for a good time we’ll never get to talk.”

Or the children would be screaming, and she would ask me: “Do you need to go?”

And I would say: “No, I’ll just lock myself in another room so we don’t have to listen to them!”

She loved me for all those things because they are all a part of me.

And I will always love her because she taught me what a beautiful thing that kind of love can be.

Needles and pins

On Thursday, we went into the medical center to have the Two’s four year health check and vaccinations done.

I was reminded again how awesome and amazing my men are.

It’s so nice to watch them meet new people.

To see them cope with a new and strange situation.

To know they are growing into socially functioning human beings.

They also have really nice teeth.

We found out that after four years, Oscar is now on ALL of the growth chart scales. Only just.

We know those charts don’t mean much in day to day life, but when your kid has thus far had his own scale drawn up by the pediatrician, it’s somewhat of an achievement when he finally breaks into the 3rd percentile.

We found out that Fraser is just as lovely, and amazing, and average as we thought he was.

We walked out with only one child vaccinated.

Osky was pulling a temp of 37.5°C. Which sounds like not much. And isn’t much,

Unless you’re a kid with a history of febrile convulsions.

Temp + Vac = higher temp.

Vaccination = No Go.

Cue major tantrum from Oscar because no one was jabbing him with needles. He’s awesome like that.

It took me a little while to figure out that it’s because he’d been promised jelly beans and stickers afterwards.

Thank goodness for understanding nurses and their stacks of sticker sheets and jars of jelly beans.

Keeping un-vaccinated four year olds calm since, well, now.

I’m always pleased, if not a little frustrated, when medical professionals take the safer-than-sorry route with Oscar.

On one hand – Yay! Taking note of his medical history and conditions is awesome. Medically treating him accordingly? Even better.

On the other hand – Far OUT! This kid can’t even get his vaccing done on schedule!

But here we are on Friday night, 24 hours after Frizz was jabbed and Osky was not.

And Frizz is running a temp of 39°C and rather unhappy with life in general.

Those nurses know their bizzo, I reckon.

Living on the edge…

This week I’ve been pushed to the edge.

The edge of reason. The edge of happiness. The edge of anger.

All at the edge.

At some points, I might have made a running leap at the edge.

If not those who pushed me to the edge, held me close when we got there.

So much amazement, and happiness. So much quiet, so much noise.

So much sadness, so much anger.

I wonder, sometimes, if I am not in a tornado. Around and around, up and down. Buffeted this way and that.

My life, right now, is enjoyable. Happy. Simple.

Yet the pressures and obligation to family are at an all time high.

I did something I was sure I would never do this week.

I refused someone access to my children. Access to me.

At what point is enough a enough? Enough bullying? Enough frustration? Enough of being told I am not good enough?

I know I am good enough. I am brilliant. My children are brilliant.

Thriving. Inspiring. Amazing little creatures.

Surviving against the odds.

Blooming into beautiful people.

Giving and receiving love in bulk.

And I like to think that they are all these things, in part, because of the parents Pal and I are.

And because I am good enough, I said no more.

It was devastating and liberating and amazing and sad.

And I am sure it won’t last. But for now, it’s what I needed.

It’s what we needed.

Why my brain is like an empty bath, and other stories…

Frizz is taking the term fournager to a whole new level.

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If he doesn’t like what you say, he screams.

If he doesn’t like what you do, he screams.

If he doesn’t like the way you look – at him, or just in general – he screams.

There have been slammed doors and thrown food more times than I can count this week.

I know these moments are short lived. I know he’s a lovely boy. I know that most of the time, he is kind and loving. If there’s a random cuddle-fest underway, you can bet your bottom dollar he was the instigator.

He takes care of his siblings more than I’ve ever seen a child do before.

But the juxtaposition of Dr Frizzle and Mr Hide-Your-Facial-Expressions-Lest-They-Offend is so draining.

Like someone has pulled my plug and all my patience has leaked out. And all that’s left is an empty bath with soap scum and Octonaut toys strewn across the base.

The soap scum is the remnants of my sanity. Sticking there, waiting for a child to come along with some bleach and a scourer to really work on removing all semblance of the stain that is my peace of mind.

The Octonauts are the thoughts I have rattling around. My mission as you will.

Explore. Rescue. Protect.

Explore the possibility of full time daycare? Perhaps.

Explore the Maccas playground while I sip on coffee? More like it.

Rescue the children from imminent death multiple times, daily.

Rescue my sacred belongings – only after they are at least in part, but not quite wholly destroyed.

Protect myself. By locking the children outside for five minutes peace.

Protect my children. From dying of exposure because I have locked them outside for five minutes peace. And that five minutes lasted closer to an hour.

I know it’s all normal, and hilarious, and possibly this is the time in my life I will look back on most fondly.

Small children, sleepy snuggles, poo jokes.

But byjeebus, I hope they leave some soap scum behind. Otherwise, no one will be able to tell when I show signs of dementia in old age…

Because I’ll have been exhibiting them since my early thirties.

Anyway.

We’re done with this mission.

Octonauts and me, until the next adventure.