Month Fifty-Nine

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Dear Husband,

I can’t believe you got hit by a car again this month! Well actually, I can, because you seem to have a talent for attracting trouble sometimes. It wasn’t really a positive event though. However, on the plus side, it wasn’t your fault. It also wasn’t a serious accident and no one was hurt. You even had the added advantage that you were on the inside of the car this time (fortunately after you’d dropped Genevieve at kindy). You had only just left the lights and were therefore not traveling at speed so it was really more of a bump than a hit. It still meant that the car had to be repaired though. And I think you were just a little bit pleased that this particular repair got rid of a dent that you had put in the bumper previously…

So that was a new thing this month. As was our deal. You knew that I wanted to start being more active but have struggled to find the motivation when I feel tired at the end of the day. You therefore came up with the suggestion that if I took the dog for a walk in the evening, you would do the washing up. At the time we struck this bargain I did volunteer that I would be happy if you just did more washing up as opposed to the washing up on these occasions but you assured me no, I do a lot of work around the house already. This was the least you could do to help out. As it turned out though, it wasn’t. Because you totally ended up doing less!

Due to our “ant issue”, I have endured being constantly harangued over the fact that dirty dishes simply cannot be left in the sink overnight. You have been adamant that the washing up needs to be done at the end of each day or at least sufficient amounts of it so that the remainder can be left in the sink with a moat of water around it. This practice turned out to be somewhat less important when it was your responsibility. Which I must say, somewhat annoyed me. And then, when there was a build-up of washing up from a night that I did walk Reuben still in the sink on a night when I didn’t walk Reuben…well, that didn’t go down so well with me either.

In hindsight, I got in the end what I said would be happy with in the beginning. Having you insist on offering what you weren’t really prepared to deliver kind of felt a little unfair though. Which I say now because I have been reading over the notes I made throughout this month regarding what I would put in this letter. There is one line between “our deal” and a comment on our propensity to cave towards Genevieve. This line reads “I am not that high maintenance”. I haven’t got a clue why I wrote that now. And after our deal did not completely work out and I got stroppy at you regarding who was responsible for the washing up, I am not sure how seriously I can take that statement. Oh well. We both have our quirks.

One of these quirks seems at times to be that we can look at the same desire entirely differently. Like sleep. We like sleep. Genevieve not so much sometimes. In the wee small hours this month though when she was decidedly not asleep, my philosophy was to wait out the storm in the nursery. She is not exactly something you can sleep through when she gets going but she is quieter behind walls. If you were the one “on duty”, your approach was to share the pain since I wasn’t asleep anyway. You would try to settle her in her room first but on more than one occasion ended up storming down the hall and depositing her with me or bringing her into our bed.

You made the comment to me earlier this month that I frequently cave on food. In my quest to make sure she has a full belly and sleeps as long as possible, I let her get away with picking and choosing how she will satisfy her appetite. I won’t put her down with no lunch if she has been fussy and am sometimes too quick to offer her a more palatable alternative. I can see your point but I have to say, if I cave on food then you totally cave on bed! You once told me that you had the ability to be that calm, voice-of-reason parent that could make her comfortable enough to return to slumber. That may have been true when she was six months old. Now, not so much.

And speaking of things I don’t understand, which I wasn’t but I am now, I have to ask – can you please explain?? There are a couple of things I would like to be clear on such as what is the problem with me reading in bed? A couple of times when you have said goodnight as you were heading off to bed, I have expressed the intention of joining you to read a little before I actually went to sleep. This has not gone down well. Like do I have to? What is it that you are worried might happen? It can’t be having a light on because when I go to bed first and leave a lamp on for you, sometimes you don’t even bother to turn it off when you come to bed! Do I breath differently when I read? Is the pad of my thumb insanely loud as it touches the screen to “turn the page”? Can you feel my brain whirring as I concentrate on reading words? What is it because I have no idea how it is any different to you than when I come to bed and go straight to sleep.

The other thing that gets my goolies so to speak is when you have criticised the fact that I have not yet done anything with my inherited kitchenware. My sister recently upgraded her stove and decided that an induction cooktop was the way to go. Unfortunately, none of her current cookware was suitable for such a device so she passed it on to me. And it has sat in a box on our dining room floor ever since. Now, if we lived in a tidy house or you made a point of putting things away most of the time then I might figure you had a right to comment but I have endured years of your drills and drill bits on the living room bookshelf, I have moved around your bike both in the entry and the dining room and have coped with tents and computers and all sorts of things not where they should be so I don’t particularly feel that you have a right to say anything at all.

But that is what happens when we are both exhausted and nit-picky and just trying to get from one day to the next. The little things become so much bigger. It sometimes feels like we are in a competition for who is more tired and that is not a good place to be. On the upside though, I had my annual review for work at the end of the month and it went really well. If you excuse the fact that they had to mark me as below meeting expectations because there were ten months out of the twelve that were apparently significantly sub-par before they bothered to say anything at which point, hey, I did just what they asked when they actually asked it! I am still slightly sore on the shithouse communication obviously but am relieved that when I made a conscious effort to address their concerns, it was actually recognised. Now I have to go on as I have been and wait and see if they do in fact “look after” me at the end of the year. Fingers crossed.

In hopefulness and yours,

Your Loving Wife

* Photo was from a trip to Floriade we did years ago.

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Week 78

May-5

Dear Genevieve,

You have turned into quite the cheeky little minx. We have become used to “more” and “again” but you have been stepping up your methods of demand and some of the results are terribly amusing. Like most kids, you seem to want more of some things when you already have them. Like bits of food. Now that you understand when we tell you that you have to finish what you have in front of you first, you shove it all in your mouth and immediately look up at us expectantly – well it’s all gone from the plate, isn’t it?

May-6

You have also learned to use your eyebrows much to your father’s amusement and dismay. You share my ability to raise one eyebrow as if to say “oh really?” but you also have the ability to lower one eyebrow when you are most displeased. You tried this on your dad the other night but he didn’t acquiesce to your unspoken demand and merely stared back. So you thought for a second and raised both eyebrows in a look of doe-eyed innocence because who can say no to that? Your father apparently because he still did not bend. After which point you fired your closing salvo of wiggling both eyebrows up and down suggestively which pretty much just had the effect of making him laugh. We give you props for trying though.

May

You have actually been trying a lot of things this last month. You now like to be involved and help out in the kitchen. We made you a kitchen helper to raise you up to the bench height so you are able to help dad cook dinner. You also like to watch when I do the washing up. You don’t exactly help as you generally put the clean items that I have already washed back in the sink again but that’s ok. I love that you try.

May-3

You are also getting more words as well. You have taken to calling the dog Roo Roo like the Neighbourette’s kids did before they could pronounce Reuben. You  obviously love him to bits and you like to join in when we ask him to sit, stay or wait. Sometimes I marvel at the connections in your head though because the first time you copied several of the commands, we then told you to say “good boy”, at which point you clapped your hands instead and smiled. You knew it kind of meant the same thing. It was very cute.

May-2

What is also cute is your reactions to songs. You love it when we sing to you (this is pretty much the only way you tolerate having your teeth brushed) and you especially love it when songs have actions. The Dingle-Dangle Scarecrow is always followed by numerous cries of AGAIN! You know just when to jump up and you giggle when we shake your hands and feet. Galumph (or der-glumph) Went The Little Green Frog is a favourite as is Incy Wincy and Row Row Row Your Boat. We have possibly set ourselves up for some issues in the future as we frequently sing the alternate version of that song rather than the original (the if you see a crocodile, don’t forget to scream version) but it is fun.

May-7

You don’t attempt to sing yourself at all yet but you do like people to sing to you. Which is probably why Play School is still such a big hit and why you have fallen in love with the Auslan Nursery Rhyme app on the iPhone. I will often hear either Twinkle Twinkle or Old MacDonald when I hand over the phone because I am a slack parent and I like to be asleep at 5am. I really shouldn’t complain too much though because you are a much better sleeper than some other babies I know.

May-4

Other than the Nursery Rhymes, we have been amusing you this month with Baby II. We bought you a new baby at a kids market for $1 to distract you and you have taken to carting her around the place. Your dad is a sucker and he went and bought you a toy bed for her and while he was at Ikea, he obtained some boxes so we have had a giant cardboard cubby in the living room for weeks. It is a perfect Genevieve size and just big enough to fit you and a parent or your couch and the new baby bed. It’s fun to play with but I must admit that I was hoping to get my floor back before now…

May8

So, my little munchkin. The cheeky little monkey who loves to look at animals and who has taken to eating food from the top down, which is fine for a banana but not such a good idea for pizza, you delight us as always even though you grow up so fast.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah