Month Sixty-Four

November-2

Dear Husband,

You got the flu this month. Not the man-flu or a bit of a cold but the honest to God, influenza B, flu. You were feverish and sore and weak and feeling sufficiently crappy that you actually called up to get taken to hospital in an ambulance! You don’t do things by halves do you? Although it was a trifle anticlimactic in the end because there were no sirens and they walked you into the back rather than carting you in via stretcher. Oh well…

And then, you weren’t actually in there for very long, preferring to come home as soon as possible. They did pump you full of IV fluids while you were there though. And give you a number of drugs to make you feel better. And possibly to help correct some of the damage that you had inadvertently done to yourself. Because who wouldn’t think that drinking heaps of water and staying hydrated was one of the right things to do when you get sick? Apparently too much of a good thing is a bad thing though and all you really achieved was flushing out the vitamins and minerals that might have helped you fight the illness.

November

So you were in hospital for a couple of days which was great because Genevieve got to steal your custard dessert and absolutely terrible because we needed to leave you in the hospital to come home. It was also logistically inconvenient managing work, daycare and visits and not wanting to drive my head into a wall or rather curl up in a ball and hibernate for a while. I am glad you are feeling better now though and I’m glad you got expert care. I am also rethinking the level of our private health cover which calls for an excess. That plus the pharmacy bills stung a little.

What also had me taking a bit of umbrage this month was the fact that you are now getting suspicious when I am nice. Am I really that much of a curmudgeon or tyrant normally that any “nice” behaviour is to be questioned!?! Perhaps you shouldn’t answer that. But can I not genuinely want to do something really nice for you? I mean I have known that you really miss having a Bluetooth speaker since yours got busted. I know that you’d really like to buy one. It’s not the first thing on the shopping list when we go out however and I haven’t felt that a purchase such as this could really be justified recently. Enter some forgotten birthday money and a market research gig though and there were some discretionary funds – and I gave them to you. When cash in hand is essentially outside the budget, I have no problem being frivolous with it.

You thought I had some ulterior motive though. You thought I was trying to butter you up so I could drop something on you later that you would be obliged to put up with because I had been nice first. That is kinda wrong….Although I can also kinda see why you went there…I honestly did just want to do something nice for you though!

Nicely yours,

Your Loving Wife

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Week 104

November

Dear Genevieve,

You started singing to yourself this month and it was quite adorable. We heard constant renditions of the song Baa Baa Sheep. The colour was apparently irrelevant. There were a couple of different versions that seemed to feature frequently, or perhaps it was merely that you have no qualms about jumping into the middle of a song at random. Yes sir, yes sir is after all an easy line to begin. It’s the “ha hawa oo(l)” that is a little trickier to get your tongue around. Then of course there are those lines that are very similar and each begin with the same three words. Some might argue that the repetition could make them easier to learn but you seem to feel that the repetition is more of a placeholder or a suggestion really and its only worthwhile making an effort to articulate say master or lane.

November-5

But then again, it might be that the emphasis on those final words in a line makes them easier to differentiate because you love to join in when we read you rhyming stories as well. Two new favourites that we have added into our reading list this month are What’s in the Bathroom, affectionately known as “Farmer Palmer” and a book we picked up at a garage sale, Rudie Nudie. Which is just the cutest little Australian story about rudie nudies and bathtime. I enjoy reading that one. There are certain pages or words that you really like and once or twice you have also sat beside me and giggled to yourself whenever we said the word “dizzy”. And that’s ok. It’s a cool word.

November1

Your other acts of cuteness this month extended to a lot of dancing, usually done in your car seat or in front of the television. You are quite adept at swinging your legs and pumping your chest out as your head bops in time to music in the car. You know how to boogie in place when required. You also know how to do this funny jump-dance thing which somehow reminds me of your Aunty Ishy when your favourite theme music plays. At the moment, you can’t get enough of Timmy Time and Dinosaur Train which both have rather catchy theme tunes that top and tail each adventure. When you are not strapped into a highchair because we are trying to feed you in the mornings, you jump about, throwing your whole body from side to side as you alternately punch your right or left fist in the air, depending on which way your body is being hurled. You always land with your knees quite bent and your little bottom slightly out, just as in a skiers stance except with some high-5 motion going on…The grin on your face is also huge and never fails to make us smile.

November-6

What wasn’t so happy this month was the time we spent feeling sorry for ourselves as sickness ripped through the house. Your Dad was a bit of a show off and he went as far as being hospitalised with influenza B but about a week after he succumbed, you got the virus as well. Thankfully you were not deathly ill, you were just sick. But you weren’t happy. At least not all the time. You are never totally happy when you are not well. You did seem to be digging all the Mummy and Daddy time seeing as you had to miss about a week of Kindy though. And being left at Kindy is something else that doesn’t make you happy at the moment either.

November-3

You actually love Kindy. You have a great time playing with everyone and judging by your teachers’ apparent love for you, you are a favourite. What you don’t like at the moment is the drop-off. Your father gets this honour usually but when he was busy lying practically comatose in bed, we had to arrange ourselves so I could drop you off. Now I expected you to cry. I wasn’t worried about it. I knew you’d be over it 30 seconds after I’d walked out the door but I figured you would make a fuss because I was screwing with the routine. What I later learned from your father though was that he is getting the same thing. You are no longer racing off with barely a wave or a see ya but are hanging on for dear life as though we are selling you off into slavery. Sorry Kiddo. But Kindy is not indentured servitude. They just make you put away toys occasionally.

November-4

They can’t apparently make you play with the other children though. Rowdy, boisterous groups are clearly not your thing. We had a birthday party to go to this month for a girl that often plays with you at the centre. You were very excited about the party. You were definitely looking forward to seeing your friend. But then we got there and there were other people there. How inconsiderate! There were as many kids as there were adults and there was a ball pit and bubbles and…it was all a bit much. So you just found yourself a doll and started playing quietly on your own. Parties are therefore cool but a social butterfly you are not. You are great with one-on-one interaction but wide scale competing for attention is not your thing. You apparently take after your mother in that respect. So Genni was a little quiet that afternoon. As Genni is what you now call yourself.

November-2

When we named you Genevieve, I knew there would be a number of names that could be derived as nicknames. I was never partial to “Jen” or “Jenny” as I thought of them and thought you might become an “Evie” or a “Vivi”. Of course, I now call you Genibean every now than then which is not really any easier to say than Genevieve really and it seems that the decision on a preferred nickname has been largely taken out of my hands anyway. One of your friends from Kindy refers to you as Genni (as I am going to spell it) and you have adopted this for yourself. You love to look at photos of family members that we have strewn about the house. You point out Gigi and Grumps and Bepi and Aunty Tess but this month you also saw a photo of your younger self and announced that it was Baby Genni. So I am guessing that this is going to stick.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Work For A Living

Sculpture (1 of 1)Dear Job Applicant,

I got my first job when I was 16 years old and on the day that I started, my boss said something to me that I have never forgotten:

I am not here for your convenience, you are here for mine.

So ok, not the most inspiring of induction speeches. However, she did make a very valid point. And now, years later, I am absolutely dumbfounded at your collective behaviour. And at your assumptions. Really, I am. Because collectively, you are quite stupid.

Did you all have Lawnmower Parents that ploughed down everything in your path so that everything has come easy to you? Did they tell you that you were brilliant just as you are? Because I am sorry but that is a load of crap. You should be loved unconditionally, just as you are but this does not make you brilliant. It does not make you God’s gift to my firm and you are not above following some basic instructions. Do you even want the job?!?

When I put that job ad on Seek last week, the ad that (along with the general preamble about the job) asked for applications including a resume and cover letter to be sent to the office address, I used plain English. I wrote the address (inclusive of my name and job title for addressing purposes) in the format that you would write it on an envelope. By the nature of it appearing on a website, everything was typed so there could be no possible confusion from deciphering handwriting. I didn’t think it was a particularly complicated instruction…It turns out that it was akin to asking for the 12 labours of Hercules.

In the space of a week, I have had 21 applications delivered to the office. I have had 105 applications uploaded through Seek. Can’t you people read? You certainly can’t follow instructions. And then you ring me up to make sure that I have received your application (and you inevitably are one of the 105 idiots). Did it occur to you that I wanted to test if you actually took the time to read, understand and respond appropriately to the job ad? No, I guess not. You don’t think it could actually be considered to be a character strength if you are seen to pay attention and not go off half-cocked at a moment’s notice? No, why would you?

And then, within the 105 idiots, there are those of you that assume I was joking when I said that I wanted a cover letter addressing the criteria set out in the ad. My fingers just got a little happy as I was typing and put some extra words in there that I didn’t actually mean. It was an empty request apparently because one of those letters could never fulfil any real purpose. I mean your resume in and of itself should be sufficient, right? That alone should bowl me over with your brilliance…When I expressed that exceptional communication skills were mandatory for the job, why on earth would I want any visible evidence that you could in fact string a grammatically correct sentence together?

So if you’re not really interested in the job, if you think the cost of some paper, an envelope and a stamp is just too extravagant or if you think you are above responding to a potential employer in the manner requested, bully for you. But if you would honestly like to be considered for a new position in a great company, please don’t waste my time.

Yours sincerely,

The Person In Charge Of Putting Your Resume Forward

* Photo taken at Floriade this year

Counting Sheep

Koala (1 of 1)Dear Sleep,

If you were a person, you would be an asshole. You are like a dodgy car salesman who talks you into buying something that doesn’t really fit your purpose knowing full well that your purchase is going to crap out on you on the way home anyway. You are like the corrupt CEO that cuts corners in production and turns out an inferior product just to make a buck.

If you were my employee, you would be fired. You are like the PA that looks great on paper but turns up to the office and spends the majority of her day gasbagging on the phone to her friends, doing her nails and checking Facebook. You are like the phone carrier that doesn’t invest in infrastructure to adequately service its clients and ultimately leaves you disconnected.

If you were online, you would be defriended, delinked, delisted, deleted and otherwise removed from any connection that you might share with me. You are like a troll with nothing appropriate, considerate or valuable to say. You come with spam and malware that leave me exhausted and unable to operate at full capacity. Your degenerate cousin, Fitfulness, is not welcome in my house and those other louses you associate with, Nightmares and Lucid Dreams, can go and get stuffed.

Or do I have this ass backwards?!?

Do you sub-contract to Sickness and Health? Are you only allowed to operate with their permission? Are you like the poor cousin to Worry and Stress with the firm position of last in the pecking order, subject to their benevolence? Are you just trying to do the very best job that you possibly can under some recurring and ultimately restrictive circumstances??

When my toddler tosses and turns and cries out in pain is it because you are losing the tug-of-war with Illness? Are you trying to give her rest to repair herself? When my husband seemingly tries to run a marathon in what should be a restful state, is it because that cow, Angst, is throwing her weight around? Were you trying to give him peace? I only ask because I have been missing you this week…A lot.

Your number one girl, Blissful Slumber, who I thought was my friend has been notably absent. And in my resulting fatigued state, I am oscillating between what the hell did I ever do to you – I wish I could kick you to kingdom come and please, please come back, you are sorely missed – I will do just about anything. As I slowly drift further into Loopy, I am really hoping that a) you are not in fact a malevolent bastard, b) if you are currently on holidays, you will be back soon and the moron temporarily in charge will be sent to Siberia or c) you win lotto and can afford some heavy artillery to start whipping a few more butts…you know, tell all those undesirables to BACK OFF!

If its not too much to ask, everyone in my house could use a whole night’s sleep because it would make everything SO much easier. Don’t leave me hanging here…

Respectfully yours,

Someone Sleep Deprived

* Photo taken on a recent trip to the Zoo – at least some of God’s creatures get regular rest…

All in a dog’s work

Reuben (1 of 1)

Dear Reuben,

You are pretty damn brilliant at following the four paws on the floor rule of this house. So congratulations. I am never concerned that you are going to randomly jump up on any of the other inhabitants of this house or indeed any guests that you might deign to allow into the house. I think there are a few other points that we should have a little chat about though…

Number One
You are not now, nor have you ever been (or will be) a lap dog. I’m not quite sure how this apparent confusion has come about. You are not welcome to reverse into my lap and plonk 50kgs of Dane butt on me any time you choose. How would you like it if I did that to you?

Number Two
I am not a stool. I am not a seat. My shoulder is in fact not as strong as you seem to think it is. Do you see where I am going with this? I don’t take kindly to you just depositing yourself willy nilly on my person. You have ample beds around the place and you are also, you know, a DOG. You have four working legs and I am not a human easy chair assisting you to lower yourself to an appropriate place to rest.

Number Three
Doorways are not for standing in like a statue. They’re just not.

Number Four
If I am walking forwards, standing directly in my path will not endear you to me. When I change my path, moving so that you will still be standing directly in my path is not my idea of a fun game. You do not need to fulfil the position of Mobile Live Obstacle Course…

Number Five
When I am hanging washing on the line and my arms and hands are not able to swiftly shift to protect my vital organs at a moment’s notice, it is not playtime. Ramming a solid rubber chew toy into my torso will do you absolutely NO favours if you persist.

So I know that’s a lot to remember, and you probably feel as though you are not getting enough love at the moment but maybe if you work on even a couple of those points, we might be able to come to some sort of compromise. Yes?

Yours,

The Old Lady You Let Live In Your House

Week 100

october

Dear Genevieve,

Your vocabulary is ever growing as is your ability to use it. We are now getting two words together as you become more adept at communicating your ideas with us. The most common ones across the month being “Bepi sad” and “oh no, red!”.

The Bepi reference was after one of your grandmothers fell down and broke her arm. Your father took the afternoon off work and drove you up to the central coast to be close to her and make sure she was ok. However, what started out as an afternoon excursion turned into a very long day as you didn’t make it back to Sydney till about midnight. Whilst you were out though, I gather there must have been a lot of explanation about how Bepi was very sad because she had broken her arm and how the doctors at the hospital needed to take a special photo (X-ray). Ever since then, at random times, you put on a very serious face, nod your head sagely and say “Bepi sad”. When we ask you why Bepi is sad, you dutifully tell us “broken arm”.

october-7

Your other favourite expression also seems to have come from your dad as he is inevitably present for most of the time you happen to spend in the car. Now, every time we drive up to a traffic light signaling us to stop, you announce loudly with an attitude of sheer panic as though we are about to make a grave error “oh no, red!!”. You are terribly concerned when we are confronted by a stop light. Your eyes go as wide as saucers and there is an urgency to your voice that seems rather incongruous when we are already gliding gently to a stationary position. I’m not sure whether you are actually distressed that we might miss the instruction to halt somehow or you just enjoy making all your expressions as extreme as possible. In any case, my response is to calmly tell you “that’s ok, we will just stop and wait”. I’m kinda hoping you just grow out of it.

And speaking of the car, you have a new favourite song. The clapping song is still high on the list but it is now closely followed by Dolly Parton’s song 9 to 5 of all things. Whenever this song comes on, you are a mass of smiles and you often sit there bopping away in your seat. I’m not sure what it is about this song as we have played you things that we think are similar in aspects like beat and orchestration etc. You have shown no inclination at becoming attached to any other song though. There is apparently just something magic about this one.

october-6

So this month has been a busy one where we have filled our days with kindy and activities like the “trampoline place” or swimming (you have started lessons with your dad this term) and our weekends with activities far afield. Early this month, we drove out to Thirlmere and spent a day with Thomas. Which if your response was anything to go by, was absolutely awesome! We all got to ride on a real steam engine which your dad really enjoyed. I got a new lens as a present  that morning so I was able to play and take photos of everything. You were just happy to see a life-sized Thomas. Really happy. The day was hot and there was not much shade whilst we were out which was a bit of a shame. Being confined on the steam train eventually frustrated you as well. The day still made an impact on you though because the first word out of your mouth when you woke up the next morning was “Thomu!”.

october-3

That wasn’t the only major day out for us though. We also took you back to the zoo to see the Seal Show again and we took you to play with your friend Riley whilst the dads drove right across Sydney to get you more presents! They had the hard job of working in the sun whilst we got to play inside. And you did play. With each other. It might sound strange but I have never really seen you actively play with other kids. I have seen you play beside them, perhaps doing the same thing, perhaps not. I have not seen you working together to play a game with another toddler though. You two seemed to be having a blast and were giggling your heads off though. It was very cute.

october-4

And at the end of the day, you had a new cubby and a trampoline. They were free which was great. We don’t have anywhere to store them away either so we figured we would just “give” them to you. I do wonder though whether we are stopping you from truly appreciating gifts as things just keep on appearing for you. A kitchen here, a car there, now a cubby and a trampoline. Nothing will be special soon. You also get presents from your grandparents “just because”. Last time we were in Canberra, you got a new book which has fast become a favourite. Moo, Baa, La La La is the new go to book. Mostly because you like saying “La La La” with us I think. You are also very good at waving your finger at the same time as saying “no, no”, one of your other frequently used words.

We are still getting a lot of the single words sentences even though you are starting to string things together. Commands are also more impressive if they are simply expressed in the imperative. If your father or I climb back into bed after springing you from your cot to try and absorb that last waning slice of still and quiet before the day starts in earnest, it never seems to take you long to issue “come” and “out” till you get the desired response. You are a very cheeky little minx. You have even taken to calling me “Alex” on occasion whenever your father happens to inadvertently remind you that this is in fact my Christian name. I’m trying to nip that one in the bud. That is not the way a “young lady” behaves and to be such seems to be an idea with which you are quite taken. You like to remind us or perhaps reinforce the concept that you are in fact a “young lady”. Often.

october-5

Although I’d like to point out that in my opinion, young ladies don’t go about opening the front door at random as if to make a jail break. You haven’t actually gone walkabout yet but you have mastered flicking the lock over and opening the door to apparent freedom. We may have to start key locking you inside the house! Either that or watching you like a hawk and then there would be less “ipsey” when “(wh)oops” you do something that you didn’t mean to…which would be a shame because that is quite cute.

october-2

So my little one, continue to grow and learn. Test yourself and your surroundings constantly but please bear in mind that we are human and learning too. And when you wake up consistently at 5am, your parents have more difficulty processing everything!

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah