Friday, September 30, 2011

Just a little bit

Tonight at the dinner table, with a full plate of untouched food in front of her, Phoebe requested a treat.

"No, Phoebe," I told her. "You only get treats when you're really really good. And even then not necessarily every time. And certainly not when you haven't finished your dinner. Haven't even touched it."

Phoebe: No chocolate tonight, Mammy.
Me: No. Not tonight.
Phoebe: No chocolate....[pause]... Just Fudge.
Me: No Phoebe. Fudge is classed as chocolate. [We're talking Cadbury's Fudge here.]
Phoebe: Just a little bit, Mammy. Just a little bit. Please.
Me: No, Phoebe.
Phoebe. Please, Mammy. Just a little bit. PLEASE!
Me: No.
Phoebe: Please.
Me: No
[This continues for quite some time.]
Me: It doesn't matter how many times you ask me, or how loudly, the answer is still No.
Phoebe: PURLEASE!!!
Ash: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! [Loosely translated as "What the crap was that? Man, it was loud. And I really didn't like it. Make it stop. Oh my god. I'm so hungry. I'm being ignored. Where's my bath? I want my bath. I want my bath, boob and bed. And I'm not going to shut up until I get it.]
Exit Me and Ash side stage.

Later, whilst I'm finishing Ash's bath I overhear a conversation between Phoebe and Toby. As he's leaving the room I hear Toby saying, " ... and if you eat all of your cottage cheese on toast then maybe you can have just a little bit of fudge."

So, let me get this straight. She decides she doesn't like her dinner so she gets something else AND a treat?

I say in passing, "I still think No."

Phoebe hears me but Toby doesn't.

Phoebe: Mammy says no.
Toby: What's that, honey?
Phoebe, in her best sad voice: Mammy says no. No chocolate tonight.
Toby: Oh! But you can have a little bit of fudge. [Fudge IS chocolate. Why can't anyone see that?] If you eat your toast quickly and don't mess about then Phoebe and Daddy can share a little bit of fudge.

Hang on! So I'm the only one who doesn't get fudge? Hmmm... this doesn't seem fair. Try and instill a little bit of discipline and you become the bad guy and then you're punished by not getting fudge. And I ate all my dinner!

Me: But she didn't eat her dinner.
Toby: She's eating her cottage cheese. And she's being a good girl.
Me: She is now.

Now that she knows she's getting fudge. I surrender graciously.

But now there's a half eaten Cadbury's Fudge on the bench and I really want to have a nibble. That's English Cadbury's by the way. I'm so tormented.

UPDATE: There's a showdown going on between Toby and Phoebe. Not sure what's happening but he just shut her bedroom door which is generally what we do when she won't go to sleep, and she's in there crying "No. No," and screaming.

Kind of why I didn't want to give her Fudge.

But I won't say I told you so. I'll just think it.

And smugly publish it in this post.

The Logic of a Toddler

If I want something, no matter what it is, even if it's just a construct of my overactive imagination, I just have to say PLEASE over again and increasingly loudly and it will appear. And if it doesn't it's because the world is a cruel place and some big person has it in for me. At this point I will totally lose emotional control and said thing might find its way to me anyway.
And if it doesn't I will die.
And it'll be all your fault.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I love you too

Today when I was leaving Phoebe's room after putting her to bed for her nap she called out,
"I love you, Mammy."
"I love you too, darling," I told her.
"I love you too, darling," she said.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Barbie and Tinkerbell Take A Bath Together

It was like a scene from Toy Story: Uncut, which is X rated due to nudity. The two girls were in the tub together, and Tinkerbell was being a bit of a pain. A total whinge if I'm honest. Barbie just lost it with her.

Tink [in a really whiney voice]: I want to come tooooooooo. I want to come. I want to come tooooo.
Barbie [snappish]: That's it. That's it, Tinkerbell. I'm going under the water. No chances, no chances, Tinkerbell.

Barbie submerged herself in the tub.

Tink: I want to come too. Let me come under water.

I just love watching Phoebe role play with her dolls.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Busier than a bee (with a little boy)

This is ridiculous. I've lost count of the number of blog posts I've composed in my head since May 29. I mean, really, May 29!! That's over three months ago. But that's as far as I got; mental composure. Which is more than I can say for certain members of this household at certain times.

My Newest Rather Lush Baby

So I now have a 13 week old baby. A boy. Yes, I am rather pleased with myself, thank you very much. One of each, clever me. And he came remarkably quickly. I mean anything would seem quick after the 17 hour labour I endured with Miss Chief, 8 of those pain relief free, I hasten to add. Another feat of which I am rather proud. I didn't get around to writing up my birth story, although it's still a project on my to-do list, but for those not in the know, my little princess turned into a posterior position AFTER her due date (typical - has to do everything her way) and so I eventually chose to have an epidural. Then, when the doctor came back to switch off the anaesthetic and deliver the baby, after spending the afternoon at the local shopping centre buying a phone or a notebook computer - I forget which - he announced that the baby was still backwards. A characteristic she has not hung onto, I am happy to say. So he called for a pediatrician and told me he would have to turn her on exit, so to speak, with the forceps. The baby doctor arrived 15 minutes later and what would you know? Miss Chief had turned around. Leaving everything to the last minute and submitting only to unpleasant threats is, unfortunately, a trait she has carried into toddlerhood.

So after all that I was convinced I could handle an average 8 hour birth, confident that I could manage a completely natural, drug-free labour. Then the doctor gave me even more hope by predicting a 6 hour-ish labour.

So, armed with my TENS machine and hypno-birthing MP3s I headed off to hospital to be induced three days after the due date. I chose to do this for a number of reasons. Mainly because I didn't want Tike No. 2 to do some crazy somersault maneuver like No. 1 did. But also because it was convenient and unfortunately the second baby just has to fit in with the rest of the family. It was a daycare day, and Toby's mum had just arrived for a short stay with my brother-in-law. It would save her going home then coming back again.

As it turned out it was a good decision. I had my waters broken (although they prefer to say "membranes ruptured", which I think sounds awful) at 8.45am. Then the midwife sent me off for a walk so we went to the car to get our pillows. I had to up the TENS machine when we were down there and decided I didn't really want to do anything like walk or talk during a contraction so we went back to the birthing suite for a lie-down. I really just wanted to, well, you know, hypnobirth. Seeing me having a rest the midwife quizzed me on my contractions.They were intense and frequent but a little irregular. So she sent me for another walk. This may seem mean but she was trying to avoid me being put on a syntocinon drip. Syntocinon being an artificial form of oxytocin, the hormone that makes your uterus contract. It also happens to be the hormone produced after birth, during breastfeeding, and after an orgasm, dubbing it the "love" hormone.

So off we set and we got to the other side of the ward when I just started to feel awful. Dizzy. Hot. Weak. Queasy. I just wanted to take my top off and lie down and rest. So we went back again and I tried to hypnobirth. The midwife kept offering advice between contractions, one nugget being "don't hold your breath" which is excellent advice but a bit like stating the bloody obvious. Hypnobirthing involves entering a state of deep relaxation and breathing slowly and deeply through a contraction. It's quite a silent way of birthing so I think it can be deceiving if you've never seen it. Nevertheless, the constant chit-chat made getting into the hpyno-zone a tad difficult.

Anyway, she went off for a break and a few minutes later I went to the loo. I noticed some spotting and told Toby he should let her know, just in case. By the time she got back I was on my hands and knees and really not very far off giving birth. Asher was born on the bathroom floor at 11.50am, three hours after my waters had been broken. I think the midwife was a bit thrown by the whole thing.

It sounds like the perfect birth, just me, my TENS machine and some deep breathing. The doctor didn't even make it in time. And in hindsight it was wonderful. It couldn't have been more different from the first; the same midwife through the whole labour, whereas I think we went through about three shifts with Phoebe. But at the time it felt like the worst, and yet most amazing experience of my life. It was so intense. With every other contraction I was increasing the output of the TENS machine and, expecting a 6 hour labour, I worried that I would get to a point when I couldn't increase it any further still needing more pain relief. I totally doubted my ability to birth the baby, thinking "I don't remember it being this hard with Phoebe". Looking back, I realise I was in the transition phase of labour, where the contractions change from opening the cervix to pushing the baby down the birth canal. Hormones change at this time from the relaxing zoning-out endorphins and oxytocin to the more active adrenalin, preparing you to push the baby out. Self-doubt, confusion, feeling like you can't go on are all classic symptoms of transition and when I had Phoebe I realised what was happening and it gave me hope that I was getting to the end (but of course I wasn't because of complications). But I wasn't expecting it to happen so quickly so it didn't even enter my head that this was the beginning of the end. If someone had told me the baby would be born in an hour then I would have coped a lot better mentally. And afterwards my body went into shock and I was cold and shaking. But the birth itself was pretty cool. A midwife caught Ash and handed him to me and I was the first to hold him and see what flavour he was. Boy flavour. Pretty yummy.

So the last 13 weeks have been a matter of adjusting to life as a family, as opposed to a couple with a kid. And there's a world of difference. Talk about hectic. The poor new one just gets dragged around wherever everyone else needs to go. There's no gymbaroo, barely time for tummy time and forget about sleep training. Ash just sleeps when he can't stay awake any longer, poor thing.

We've had a hectic time. Phoebe has a sore foot so we've had loads of tests for that - worthy of blog posts in themselves really, especially the blood test; oh please let me never have to go through anything like that again. She's had x-rays, bone scans, blood tests, ultrasounds and an MRI. Next step is to get her an inner arch support and see if that helps. This all went on when Ash was aged 2-6 weeks. Crazy time.

Then my parents visited, which was lovely, but hectic. Phoebe was mental the whole time. What a lot for a 2 1/2 year old to go through: new brother, umpteen medical tests, grandparents visiting from overseas. She was like a crazy whirlwind of cute hell.

Things are slowly settling down. I'm starting to get into a bit more of a routine and trying to get fit, which means doing lots of walking. Phoebe continues to amaze us, make us laugh and drive us crazy. I noticed the other day that I often describe her as being "funny and bright" and Asher as "beautiful and happy", which is apt because Phoebe means "bright" and Asher means "happy". Ash really is a beautiful baby. He seemed to smile, giggle and chatter quite a lot for his age. His first smile was around the same age as Phoebe's, around 5 or 6 weeks, but he does a lot more of it than she did at his age. He started giggling around 9 or 10 weeks, which was beautiful timing as my parents were still here. And he was cooing excessively a week or two after that. He has such a lovely nature and is very social. He has always been physically strong, like Phoebe was, although perhaps not as strong as her. Much of that could be due to lack of encouragement from us though. A few times now he has held his own body weight in a sitting position for a few seconds - already! Phoebe sat at 4 months and I think Ash will be about the same.

Phoebe is settling down a bit now too and slowly getting better at being around Ash. She can be a bit boisterous around him and often makes him cry, sometimes just because she's so loud or too in his face. But the other day I witnessed a beautiful interaction between them. He was lying on the floor and she went and sat next to him. She was very gentle, kept her distance and just talked to him. He rewarded her with a lovely big smile. She was so chuffed. She laughed and said, "mammy, he's smiling at me."

So that's an update. But the problem is I still have a load of little stories floating around in my head which I really want to post. There's the one about Feeding The Baby Catfood. And the one about The Sewing Needle In The Finger (that's a good one). Then there's The Day Miss Chief Picked Up 2 Week Old Asher. And a whole heap of funny little Phoebeisms which have slipped my tired mind.

So, watch this space....