Mother Fluker

A Migrant Mother's Musings

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Terms of Endearment...

H has suddenly started calling everybody "darling". Last night he air-kissed me and said "Night night darling!" before toddling off to bed. This morning we had "Hi darling!", "Okay, darling!", "Thank you darling!" and "Bye, darling!".

It's like living with the leading light of some Amateur Dramatics Society :-).

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Metal mouth

Via a recommendation, D and I now have the most gorgeous and sweet dental hygienist on the planet. Not only is Teya extremely beautiful and good at her job, but she has one of those sweetly charming personalities that make you feel all stroked and at one with the world. Not a bad achievement for someone who routinely administers a procedure that used to have me grinding my nails into my palms and counting the seconds.

I have decided that Teya needs to be added to my list of Humans Who Should Be Cloned. Then we could have Teyas working in all aspects of human life and public service. Have to ring one of those tedious 1800 numbers? Don't worry, it'll be Teya on the other end. She'll pick up after two rings, deal efficiently with your problem, dole out some funny joke or incisive comment, and send you smiling on your way. I would have Teyas in every bank, supermarket, hairdressers and Centrelink office.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Feet on the ground.

The advent of two-year-old-ness is never more apparent than in the incarnation of the Fearsome Tantrum, something that H is becoming impressively skilled at. Tantrums reduce me to a mental state somehow encompassing panic, annoyance, resignation and dread all at once, as I frantically try all the distraction techniques I can muster in the few seconds it takes for him to spiral into full-blown lost-it rage. It's not helped by remembering all the years that I stared disdainfully at other parents thinking "For God's sake! Why aren't they DOING something about that noise!" when their screaming brats were interrupting my thought processes in the supermarket. Now I catch other people casting the same glances in my red-faced direction. Karma.

Some of the biggest wobblies thrown by H are caused by the advent of something new and unexpected to wear. Cruel parental impositions such as long sleeves and long trousers after a summer of running around in t-shirts and shorts are greeted with outraged howling and disbelief, followed by shaking purple rage and floods of tears. Sometimes it's hard to know whether to laugh or cry myself, such are the Shakespearian proportions of the tragedy. Anyway, this tendency on H's part to lose the plot has made me plan ahead and use every manipulative strategy I can think of to avoid Tantrum Turmoil (while attempting to remain firm, consistent and kind, ha ha, I don't sit glued to Supernanny for nothing).

Although often still beautifully warm during the day, it's pretty chilly in the mornings and evenings. We have a tiled floor and H's feet are like little ice blocks as he runs around, so I decided to buy him some slippers. But I knew the chances of him agreeing to wear them spontaneously were zero. So I inveigled D to take part in the Selling The Slippers Challenge, a staged promotions act entered into under H's gaze as he ate his breakfast.

"Oh! Just look at these SLIPPERS Daddy!" I trilled, holding out the seven dollar KMart selection for admiration.

"Wow! Those SLIPPERS look AMAZING!" D sportingly agreed.

"Yes, they could be the most BEAUTIFUL SLIPPERS in Australia!"

"Or the whole WORLD!"

We both gazed longingly at the slippers in a concentrated haze of adulation. "I can honestly say I've never seen such fantastic slippers, EVER!"

"They are so soft and lovely!" cooed D, rubbing the slippers over his face. "I can't believe they are too small for ME! I wonder who they might fit?"

"Yes, just look at how the tops of the slippers are BLUE and the soles are RED! How cool is THAT?"

"If only I could put these slippers onto my chilly feet, I bet they would be so cosy and comfortable!"

We carried on this Oscar winning performance for a good few minutes while H watched us suspiciously, then I placed the items of desire on the floor and waited to see what would happen. Sure enough, H soon decided the slippers merited further inspection. I held my breath while he gingerly pointed his toe into one of them. A few minutes later he consented to me helping put both slippers on his feet. Then he ran around the room hopping from one foot to the other, with a delighted smile on his face while I proclaimed appropriately lavish praise and envy.

Ah, this must be one of highlights of motherhood, I thought. This parenting lark is EASY! All I have to do is mess with his head! What a genius mother I am! I briefly contemplated a career as a demonstrator on TVSN. Dammit, if I could sell those hideous nylon slippers to a two-year old footwearphobe, then what couldn't I do?

My elation lasted right until the point when I tried to take his slippers OFF at the end of the day. What, remove the magic slippers? You'd have thought I wanted to tweeze out his kidneys through his nostrils. Screams, fury, desperation ensued. He wanted to wear these slippers in the bath, to bed, for the rest of his life!

Turns out there is such a thing as over-selling. He's so fixated with the damn things now he'll probably require surgery to remove them before he starts school.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


We've had some idyllic weather here this month and I really find it hard to believe that this is the Northern Hemisphere equivalent of November. During the day the temperature has been up in the twenties, and it's blissfully pleasant to linger outside with a cappuccino enjoying the sunshine and the absence of flies. Perth is blessed with some wonderful open spaces and parks, and my favourite thing to do if I get the chance is to do down by the river on the south side of the city and stroll along the foreshore, where there is a spectacular view of the CBD and the water on a calm afternoon is like silk. There are black swans, pelicans, dolphins, wild parrots and's just gorgeous and I never get bored with it. Though I would dearly love to be able to cycle one of the loop trails again, or to walk more than a few hundred metres of it at the moment. Oh well, all in good time.

Yesterday I had my last day at work before stopping before the baby. I've been contracting, so of course there is no maternity 'leave', either paid or unpaid, but they have asked me to go back in due course which I might consider after a few months. I was sorry to finish the contract as I enjoyed what I was doing there (messing around with databases being a good tonic for parts of the brain which were definitely atrophying in the nappy bucket), but I was getting to the point of feeling so tired that something had to give. And I have only two weeks to go now, so I'd better make the most of the daytime nap potential while I can.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Conversation piece

The chat continues:

"I got a ball!"
"I got lego!"
"I got a Nanna!"
"I go in Daddy's CAR!"
"More weebix please delicious!"
"I'm a NUTTER!"

It would be hard to think of anything more succinct to sum up the main elements of H's life at the moment, other than the repeated "Sister! L'il GIRL!" insistence when prodding my belly. (Although five percent of the time he opts for "turtle!" or "cat!". Actually I'm beginning to suspect that it might indeed be a turtle as it sort of does feel like that...all hard bits and flippers. Think I'll make the front page of National Enquirer?)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Adjective explosion.

Suddenly, H has discovered the power of adjectives. We've gone from plenty of nouns and verbs, to pronouncements on everything from breakfast "dee-licious!", the weather "sunny!", kissing "nice!", impending events "soon!", and amusing books "funny!", amongst a pile of others. There are so many new words every day at the moment that I can't keep up. And at the weekend we had a whole sentence repeated several times - "I got a ball" - though I'm not sure whether that really counts as I was expecting him to use his own name first, not "I". He does use his own name occasionally in other contexts. I don't know enough about language development to be sure about what's happening.

The best bit is when he's in the car, when I get a running commentary from the back seat. "Bus! Freeway! Cars! Tunnel! City! Water! Bridge! Truck! Hill! Go-Home!" It's just great. I can't wait for him to talk more. I want to know what's in that little head. I want him to be able to explain what he's scared of, what he likes, and what he's curious about. Bring it on.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Second-baby guilt

Only 4 weeks to go now, and the time is whirling by in a mad rush of working and decorating. I'm getting progressively huger. Yesterday at work no fewer than four male colleagues spontaneously commented on how big I had become. I had to restrain myself from saying, yeah well, I'm pregnant, what's your excuse? - they could all have done with shedding a few kilos themselves.

Still, at my check-up this morning I discovered that I am a full 5.5 kilos lighter than I was at the same stage last time around, which just goes to prove that it's all relative.

My main concern at the moment is in trying to prepare H for the momentous change in his status that is about to occur,i.e., from sole proprietor of parental attention to Sibling. He has, I think, absolutely no concept of the idea of the baby, despite a combination of D, me and daycare helpers prattling on about it. If asked, he will point to my stomach and say "Sister!" and giggle for a bit (interesting as we do not know the sex and he is quite consistent in this), but I can't divine any real understanding. I feel so guilty that I will not be able to give him as much attention in the coming months as I have done to date, without being able to explain to him why that is.

And that whole nurturing/dolly thing is not in his play repertoire at all, despite encouragement. If it doesn't have wheels, you can't read it or build a tower with it, he's not fussed.

Poor little H. He's got such a shock in store.