Month Fifty

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Dear Husband,

I think I am going to have start calling you Nosy Nora.

You know those busy bodies that always seem to know what is going on in their street? Those stereotypical old biddies who sit by their window and spy on the comings and goings of their neighbours? Those terribly conscientious individuals who are the first to call the police at the slightest infraction to cross not their path (it wouldn’t even need to be that close!) but their broader awareness? Well, I never thought that I would be married to one.

I swear, sometimes you seem to have your nose glued to the window pane as you stick your head behind the curtains to sticky beak at whatever is going on in the street. Granted, your attention is usually centered towards one particular house rather than the whole lot of them but at the slightest noise, you are right there, checking it out. I just hope we have not ended up with the reputation of being those busy body neighbours!

But when I am not calling you Nosy Nora, I think I will have to start calling you Feeble Phoebe.

It feels like you have been sick for ages. On and off from one week to the next, there always seems to be a couple of days when something is wrong. Your digestion system doesn’t seem up to the task, you are too lethargic and exhausted, you have too much tension or maybe another splitting headache. Sometimes several different symptoms at the same time! I should be more sympathetic, I know, but…well…for a while this month, you were even convinced that you had diabetes. So you went to the doctors, had a whole barrage of tests done and guess what? You were perfectly healthy!

And I mean perfectly healthy. All your levels were completely normal. Nothing spiked or dipped even slightly. Nothing was positive or negative when it should be the opposite. Despite the abuse that you have put your body through previously in your life, everything is working just as it should. You would think that this would make you happy. You were however somewhat disappointed to find out that nothing was “wrong”. Kind of seems counter intuitive, doesn’t it? I suppose you still feel bad but since apparently you are healthy, maybe you can fake it till you make it?

So to take your mind of your physical ailments, I can call you my Agony Aunt.

I have been venting to you about my job this month. My role and apparent job security suddenly became quite unclear. I felt like I was getting a few mixed messages and a number of vague ones which made me both frustrated and confused.  I was told my revised job share role wasn’t working out and that they were dispensing with it. Which would have been fine but for the fact that the person who was job sharing with me then began to perform the role on an almost full time basis.

Did they just not like me? That seemed unlikely as they appeared to want me to continue working for the company. Did they think I had done a bad job? If so, why didn’t they say anything? When faced with so many questions and the only firm answer to do I still have a job is yes for now but I can’t promise you will at Christmas, you were called upon to offer advice and support. A task that you undertook admirably.

Which is one of the reasons I am happy to call you My Husband.

Ever yours,

Your Loving Wife

* Photo taken during this year’s Vivid festival

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Week 43

week 43-4Dear Genevieve,

Despite the fact that September is the first month of Spring, it seems that Summer has arrived. We had some really hot days this week and this meant that we got to put you in some cute summer clothes. Your dad has been getting a little carried away with the shopping recently though so you have a number of new outfits in addition to the ones that I have just pulled out of storage. You have just about outgrown all your “00” clothes and have now moved up to “0”. I love that you’re getting more personality and new skills but at the same time, it’s a little sad to see more of the things that made you a little baby disappear.

week 43-3

The fact that you are still changing so much is brought home all the more when you see your grandparents who are quick to comment. And without planning, this weekend, you saw all of them. We knew that Gigi and Grumps were traveling up to Sydney but quite on the spur of the moment, both Bepi and your Grandad ended up seeing you as well. If I had been a bit more organised (and awake), I probably would have made sure we had more photos but the week was kind of long.

week 43-2

You seemed to develop another ear irritation at the end of the week. It was in both ears this time though, so the doctors couldn’t categorically say whether it was viral or bacterial. It made you very grumpy and clingy however. Not your normal happy and gregarious self. You also had a number of late nights this week. We did know about the 60th birthday evening in advance but the others were unplanned and didn’t really help. Then of course there was the morning that you woke at 5am and wouldn’t go back down! That wasn’t fun either. On the whole though, you still slept for solid blocks of time (3hrs +) which is more than some parents get so I shouldn’t complain. But I still sometimes think wouldn’t it be nice if you only had one feed overnight…

week 43

As for everything else, well you are still very chatty and still quite mobile. You have the “worm” movement down to a fine art. You can traverse large areas of space in very little time which my Aunt assures me is the only way you can keep up with the other crawling babies at Kindy. Your dad apparently makes you practice a lot too by refusing to pick you up when he comes to take you home. He has told me he occasionally gets you to travel down the entire length of the corridor under your own steam. The corridor down which your voice can carry from the Tadpole room. Your dad also told me that as soon as he opened the front door one afternoon this week, he immediately heard some baby babble that he recognised. He had to admit yep, that one is mine. You were just chatting away to yourself and anyone who would listen. The apple apparently doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Week 42

week 42-2Dear Genevieve,

This week, we took you to the zoo. It has been a while since we last went and we thought you might like to see the animals. The ones you could see up close in the farmyard I think did amuse you but the rest of the exotic creatures didn’t really make much of an impact on you one way or the other. Hopefully they will eventually because I love the zoo but right now, you are far more interested in things that you can reach out and touch. Like Reuben.

week 42-4

You have been aware of the dog for a while but you are starting to get more adventurous as you attempt to pet him and be up close and personal. Reuben seems willing to put up with you although I’m not sure how impressed he will be as you gain more and more mobility – and most likely less and less fear in terms of crawling all over him as you do us. Actually, you probably don’t even have that fear now, we just make sure that you are both supervised when together because you are strong and determined and Reuben is somewhat gangly and awkward when he is trying to escape in a hurry.

Although, if we keep you strapped into various contraptions, you can just run over Reuben if he gets in the way. Your dad bought you a trike this week. Complete with a seatbelt and a steering stick for mum and dad. As you grow older, this can become a normal tricycle for you but for now, it could be an entertaining alternative to a pram for short trips out. Not for running though. For that, your dad puts you into the running stroller. And I must say, he has been getting good use out of it lately. When we bought it you dad wasn’t quite convinced that it wouldn’t turn into a white elephant but pleasingly, he has been taking you and Reuben out quite regularly.

week 42

Another thing you have taken to doing at every opportunity is waving goodbye to people at the window. Since we have an ottoman under the window to the side of the front door, you happily stand up with at least one hand braced against the pane of glass so you can wave or point and whomever is coming or going. And from the other side, we can see your little eyes light up and a smile a mile wide which is very cute. It certainly makes the goodbye in the mornings a little longer as I keep turning to wave at you while I walk down the path.

week 42-3

The other thing we did this week was dinner at Bepi’s which was notable only because she has a slightly different schedule for encouraging you to feed yourself. Yet again, you were encouraged to have ai it. Maybe it’s selfish but you have been such a good eater and such a neat and tidy eater that I am somewhat loathe to give up the effective meal times in favour of you learning and experimenting and taking a much longer time and a creating a much bigger mess…oh well, I guess I can’t hold you back forever. And you do so like to help.

Allex Liebe,

Lexelah

Week 41

week 41-3

Dear Genevieve,

Guess what? You have now been “out” for as many weeks as you had been “in”. Officially. Unofficially, there was no way that I was even pregnant in week 1 but as far as the medical profession is concerned, you were born at 41 weeks gestation and now here you are. Over the last couple of months I have been considering how long I could keep up weekly letters to you and at one point, I though I might stop here. It seemed poetic in a way, and lets face it, I can be quite lazy but you are still changing so rapidly that there is too much to say. Each week is different from the last.

This week, we traumatised you a little. We took you to the beach. But it wasn’t the great big ocean or the breaking waves that were the problem. It wasn’t the sand that shifted under your feet. No. You were perfectly happy on the beach itself, gazing out towards the water. What you were not so happy about was your father insisting on taking you into the freezing cold ocean when it was overcast, breezy and practically spitting.

week 41-6

Your father, in his eminent wisdom, thought that you should be exposed to being in the sea and that you would no doubt feel happier and more secure if he went in with you (rather than just dangling you bodily in there while only his legs were subjected to the icy temperature). So in you both went. I on the other hand knew it was going to be bloody cold and I didn’t even bring my swimmers to the beach. I wasn’t intending to make you suffer but I was overruled. You can complain to your father when you are older.

That wasn’t the only traumatising event you were subjected to this week though. The other one was however, slightly my fault. On a day that was as hot as the beach day was cold, that is to say, quite, I took you out to Featherdale Wildlife Park. We went with Neighbourette and her children and I think you were quite enjoying seeing all the animals. Right up until one got a little friendly and jumped onto your lap in the stroller. We were in the farmyard section and there were a whole bunch of kids (the baby goat kind) who were VERY tame. They started licking your feet and trying to chew straps hanging off the pram. After a few minutes though, one of them decided that it wanted to be IN the pram. And then I had that moment where I had to decide. Do I rescue the baby immediately or take a photo first…? I took the photo and the Neighbourette rescued you instead.

week 41

So also this week, one of your grandmothers decided to show you how much fun it could be to feed yourself. She gave you a spoon and the food and let you have at it. I’m not sure if this is a good development or a bad one. I’m all for not spoon feeding you when you are six years old but I’m not sure yet that I have resigned myself to the mess and the additional time that the learning process is going to require…although there are some things that you can manage just fine on your own. Like rusks. Which you devour. Completely. Or physically attack, whichever is more fun at the time.

week 41-4

Other things you are eminently able to do include pressing buttons. The figurative ones and the literal ones I might add. In regards to the physical ones though, the ones that make noises or produce lights or offer some sort of reward on your toys, you point your finger and head right in there. There is no hesitation. I didn’t think anything of it until someone at mother’s group commented on your ability because a lot of the other kids were still bashing with palms and open hands. You seem to revel in the tactile sensations too. You have some touchy-feely books that up until now, you have had no interest in doing anything with more than looking. You have seen me touch them and encourage you but now you are starting to reach out and see for yourself. There is a whole big new world to explore out there, baby.

The other things I noticed this week were because of or with your dad. He loves to play with you and buy you presents at the drop of a hat which I am sure you will milk when you are older. This week, he bought you a play tunnel. Which he made you crawl through from me to him and back again. You didn’t seem that impressed with the tunnel though and twice you became discouraged half way through and so turned around. On your tummy. Which involved bending somewhat like a pretzel and if you get any taller, I don’t think it would actually be possible.

week 41-5

You also weren’t that sure when your dad kept tossing you almost a meter in the air. He roughhouses with you a lot and he swears that you love this. To be honest, you do have a big smile on your face – half the time. I think when it’s like a new game, it’s all fun but it quickly becomes too much as your dad needs to grab you quite firmly to make sure you don’t fall. Apparently, when your dad does this in public he attracts a lot of attention. Some is positive as in ah, look at that daddy with his baby but there are also those who feel that it’s not the safest thing in the world. I think I sit in the middle. I don’t mind in general but I really wish you dad wouldn’t do it over concrete!

week 41-2

Something that is far safer is guitar. Your dad has been continuing your introduction to the guitar and the ukulele this week and he was a very proud papa when you looked like a natural. Just promise me that you won’t take up electric guitar as your first instrument.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Week 40

Week 40

Dear Genevieve,

Your dad seems to be on a mission to teach you as many socially unacceptable behaviours as possible. The latest one is the head butt. It’s a good thing you have a hard head. Some kids start to wail at the slightest tap. Some others take a quick look around to see if there is anyone available to offer comfort and sympathy before dissolving into racking sobs (but if there is not, they just go along on their merry way). You on the other hand, start to giggle. Head butting your dad is now the funniest thing ever. And they’re not insignificant knocks either. I’ve heard your dad come away for them saying ouuuuch! and he has got a hard head too! Once upon a time he actually knocked someone out (I will probably get in trouble for telling you that) so he is no sissy.

Week 40-4

So I can potentially see calls from a headmaster in my future that start out we have had an incident with your daughter…she has head butted another student…which, by the way, is not appropriate behaviour. It is entirely possible that your dad would secretly be a mite proud, especially if the reason you give someone a Liverpool Kiss is because some boy has tried to give you an actual one but I am hoping you learn a little more self control should you find yourself with the urge. There are other ways to communicate with people.

And speaking of communication, you now have waving down pat. You wave hello and goodbye and sometimes you just wave it’s nice to see you. You do it on your terms though. You are apparently not a performing seal so just because we ask you to wave goodbye, you don’t jump at the opportunity and do it immediately. Likewise, if we have a long goodbye with someone and you wave when we initially say we are going, you don’t always wave when we finally depart. Apparently, you snooze, you lose.

Week 40-3

You have so many other important things to do…Like learn to get around. You are definitely mobile now. You are not really crawling yet though. It’s still more of the worm type movement. You seem to eschew being up on your knees for being on your toes. You are excellent at baby yoga having pretty much mastered downward dog. Your core muscles are strong enough to keep you right up there on your toes. When you want to propel yourself forward however, you sometimes lower yourself till you’re on your knees and then you push out till your tummy is flat on the floor. If you have to move any distance, you bring one knee up as if starting a commando crawl but then bring your opposite knee level so you can push off and then repeat. The opposite arm to leg movement eludes you at the moment.

Week 40-2

The other thing I noticed this week is that you like to keep your hands warm when you sleep. I will often come in to find you on your stomach with your bum slightly in the air because both arms are partially under your torso. I realised the other day that this was your way of avoiding cold hands. I contemplated trying to find you some sort of mittens but I figured they would be more of a hindrance than a help and you seem just fine at the moment so I won’t mess with the program.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Week 39

Week 39-3

Dear Genevieve,

Your new favorite habit is shaking your head. I do not think however that you are doing it to communicate negation. I just think you like the movement. Probably because it feels a little funny and it precipitates similar behaviour from us. It is very hard not to parrot actions that we think are cute. And this particular action also consistently produces a loud exclamation of No!?! What do you mean No!?! when we pick you up to take you out of your exersaucer, when we put you in your high chair, when we go to give you a cuddle…There were many times this week that I was at the other end of the house and I would suddenly hear your dad say loudly No?!? What do you mean, No!?!

So it seems we may have another habit to break you of shortly when our amusement finally wears off. This may yet be like the head wobble that you used to have which your father found endearing until he realised that you did it in front of the Indian lady at kindy when she fed you and he thought it might be seen as culturally insensitive. I still think that is kind of funny because you could hardly argue that you had any intention behind it but there you go. So whether you meant to or not, you have been saying a whole lot of “no” this week.

Week 39-2

Which oddly enough was more subtle than your actions when you have had enough of the food we are trying to feed you. Whether you don’t like the food in question or whether you have simply had enough of it, you have started to just push it back out with your tongue. And blow raspberries. You don’t avert your head and there doesn’t seem to be any warning system of sorts. You just decide all of a sudden that you have had enough and hit return to sender so out it comes. It’s very messy. And annoying. Which means it probably amuses you…

Week 39car

And speaking of amusing, since you are still rear facing in your car seat, we got you a mirror so that you could see us. We never bothered before because we weren’t concerned that we couldn’t see you when you were born and you weren’t seeing much of anything. After that, you developed so gradually that we didn’t feel the need to change the status quo. But oh my goodness, this mirror was one of the best investments we have made so far and we should have done it sooner! You are all smiles in the car now that you can see yourself and also us making faces at you when we turn around. It helps you to amuse yourself no end. It also helps us know when you have actually fallen asleep. Gold!

Week 39-4

So also this week, it was very much a week with Daddy. For starters, he actually got in the pool with you for your swimming lesson. You seemed to have fun, even if he did hold you under the water a little longer than I usually do. I got in trouble for that although I’m not really sure how it’s my fault. You were fine though and when you were on the big foam mat, you even had a go at crawling across it. It was a little more of a shuffle than a crawl but you looked so pleased with yourself when you actually got up on your knees. Then at the end of the week, it was Fathers day. Your first and his first. It was a long day out for everyone but it was good to be together.

Week 39

Now I know it has been somewhat of a recurring theme and it seems that each week, I mention that you have a bad cough. This week though, I am pleased to report that your cough is much better. It’s not gone but it’s not that bad either. On the other hand, you do have a middle ear infection and are on antibiotics. You can’t win, can you? You are getting bigger and stronger by the day. You are actually starting to sit unassisted now for significant periods of time. You just can’t seem to shake these infections. But don’t worry, you’ll get there.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah