Month Seventy-Three

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Dear Husband,

Happy Anniversary for August. Six years! One year shy of the seven year itch and on the downhill side to a decade. Feels like forever and not very long at the same time. And the day kind of got lost with everything else that went on this month…

We had a portrait session again but since this is really an hour or so of us corralling a toddler and a dog do try and do that same thing at the same time, its hardly on my top ten list of enjoyable things to do. Then we went out to dinner but we have been eating out so often lately that one meal sort of blends into another. We have to stop that by the way. Won’t be able to afford it in the country.

And that was the massive thing this month that trumped everything else. Swapping the city for the country as a permanent residence. Despite the admonishment that we’d never get back into the property market we would be leaving and the common response to the move, why on earth are you going there, we upped and left our now cramped little three bedroom cottage with the ratty backyard across from some annoying neighbours and relocated to a spacious 4 bedroom house on over an acre of land with a much smaller mortgage to boot. Not so dumb as far as we were concerned.

You also went over and above organising and arranging everything. The sale, the purchase, the exchange, the settlement and the moving itself. I know how much work it was and how much stress you were under. I also know that I would not have handled it at all well with the pregnancy at the same time and was glad not to have been more involved. Which probably created the situation where I was unaware and insensitive to what you were going through and in an effort not to complain about what was probably the lesser of two evils, you didn’t understand what I was going through either. So we sniped at each other. A lot.

But now we are moved if not quite settled yet. Which brings with it certain other adjustments…

You know how you would sometimes come home after work on a Tuesday when I’d had the day off with Genibean and you’d utter something along the lines of:

  • Has she even had a nap today??
  • Did you try to put her down?
  • I don’t suppose you got to the washing or the washing up did you?
  • How much TV did you watch today!?!

Pot – kettle, my friend, pot – kettle.

So now I find myself feeling vindicated because its not so easy to get lots of stuff done in the day just because you’re home or to ensure that she is constantly engaged in educational / character building activities rather than staring at the sparkly babysitter or even to achieve what you want to achieve and make sure she has an adequate nap at a suitable time of the day. Is it? I’m sure there are superparents out there who can do all these things but I can admit that I am at times more selfish than selfless. I have my lazy days where she watches more than a single half hour of Play School.

However, I am also feeling slightly pissed that you went all judgy-judge-pants on me when you are no better. I don’t think you have unpacked a single box since we moved house. You have taken things out of a couple of them and relocated a few but unpacked a whole box by yourself? Forgive me if you have but I have not seen it. You had previously told me of all your lofty ambitions to play with the Genibean and have all these adventures with her when we moved because she watches “far too much TV” and yet you have spent hours watching TV together. And what makes it worse is that most of it is your TV and not hers! The news is full of death and destruction, your movies are full of bad language and violence and your TV series occasionally contain all of the above including creepy stuff. When Genibean and I watched TV together, we watched ABC2! I watched my TV when she had a nap.

Now I fully admit that you have taken her to a number of activities since you officially became a stay-at-home-dad. She has been to storytimes and playgroups and to visit friends. You have thrown yourself into town life to become part of the community. You have also whinged about how tired this has made you and gotten very irritated with your daughter who has been overtired on more than one occasion because she has had no nap at all. Lord help you when you are solely responsible for the next one during the day. Peanut better be a good pram sleeper because otherwise we are looking at one cranky household.

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But I appreciate the effort that you have put in this month to get us where we are and to get us connected, both literally and figuratively. Even if it took you days to hook up the washing machine all the while complaining over your lack of clean underwear (like what was I really supposed to do about it??). Despite your concerns over whether this move was the right one for us to make, I have never had any doubt that we could make it work and you will make a brilliant stay-at-home-dad. I hope this month becomes a blip in the year and the start of our next crazy chapter together. The one about the dog, the goat, the alpaca, the duck, the chickens, the little people and the big ones who prefer not to rest too firmly within the stereotypes.

Apparently slightly alexithymically yours,

You Loving Wife

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Day 119 (AC)

Dear Peanut,

We met with the new OB this week. And I just have to say that she is so unlike my previous OB so as to be chalk and cheese. Not that this makes a difference to you but I’m just saying. She concurs that you are a boy as well. So its really looking less and less likely that the ultrasound images of you are open to interpretation.

So fingers crossed, you will be brought into the world by a very nice lady doctor who already thinks your beautiful and that I do very well on questionnaires relating to family history. Fortunately for you I guess, I’m very boring. There is no history of anything. There are no allergies, illnesses, diseases, conditions or concerns for anything out of the ordinary. I am super ordinary. One of the few things I am super at probably but right now I’ll take it.

And theres nothing else to report really. I can obviously see that my body is making room for you but I am not really feeling much yet. Apparently your head is up the top to the right and your feet are down the bottom so that could be why I haven’t noticed much yet. I’m sure you’ll start playing footsie with me soon. Everything else is just going along as it should be I assume as I have yet to be told otherwise. Or unduly concerned by something I am not sure I should be feeling or seeing.

Therefore I guess, keep doing what you’re doing and I’ll keep trying to take care of things on my end. Although that probably means lay off trying to move heavy boxes…

Much love,
Mama

Day 112 (AC)

Dear Peanut,

I have nothing interesting to impart this week. I’m still pregnant, that hasn’t changed. You are apparently the size of an avocado. Your eyes are working so the websites tell me even though your eyes are still sealed and you can apparently hear my voice too. So I guess that means you’re getting talking and play school songs. That seems to be the main thing we listen to at the moment when we are going something in the car with your sister.

Your skin is transparent I understand and you don’t have any baby fat yet. Don’t worry though. I’m sure I’ve got loads. Or at least it feels that way sometimes. Now that the reflux has gone away and I am no longer eating all the time to keep it at bay, not to mention the fact that I no longer have the immediate access to $2 chips for lunch at Coles, I am probably not gaining at the moment. There is still padding though. But if you read some websites, one should “embrace your body’s new shape and think of every pound you put on as a sign of good health for you and your baby”. Ok. Lets go with that.

Much love,
Mama

Washing Woes

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Dear Husband,

Moving really does bring out the best in you doesn’t it? I mean last time we moved, a completely able-bodied woman was regarded incompetent in terms of moving furniture and taking due care of a 60 year old house. Albeit with brand spanking new polished floorboards. If I so much as walked on those floors with heels or threatened to lift (not drag) a piece of furniture without sufficient felt padding underneath, a torrent of admonition would rain down upon my head. Probably to scare me into never doing such an idiotic thing again.

Of course, fast forward a couple of years and we have a great dane with claws. A hound who liked to let us know that he would either like some attention…now…or he would really like to get on our bed by scratching said polished floorboards. I was the one that then tried to pad the area with bits of carpet and would get madder at him for destroying the finish.

Now however, we have carpet. So we have thankfully avoided a repeat of the original problem. Although having sad that, all of our furniture now has bits of felt on the bottom of it which tends to come off as it is moved across carpet…Anyway the new doubt in my ability seems to be in regards to the washing. A task for which I have had the responsibility throughout our marriage. Now, all of a sudden you are concerned that I am going to place a wooden spoon in the dishwasher. Nope, not me. I’m pretty sure I knew that was a dumb idea at 10. My mum is way better at scaring me into not doing something than you.

Also, after blithely chucking all your woollen jumpers into the washing machine (yourself for once!) the other day, you eventually turned to me and asked you’re not going to put them in the dryer when they’ve finished are you? Which you then followed up with I don’t know if you actually take care of my clothes and pay attention to what goes in the dryer and what doesn’t! If you are not careful my friend, I will never wash another item of your clothing again!

So a couple of things that are now going through my mind:

  1. For your information, I wouldn’t have shoved all those woollens in the washing machine in the first place. I would have put some inside of wash bags and others would have been hand-wash items…because I take care of our clothes.
  2. I never put anything woollen in the clothes dryer because I prefer not to shrink things.
  3. I actually refrain from putting clothes in the clothes dryer that can be put in there if I think that they are good / favourites as it prolongs their life…and some of them I might add are yours.
  4. Thank you so much for your apparent faith in my ability to perform the task I have been expected to take care of for years. Did you just never care before that I might have been surreptitiously (or inadvertently) ruining your wardrobe or has it just occurred to you now that I might be clueless when it comes to clothing care? Just wondering.

The domestic house goddess,

Your Loving Wife

Day 105 (AC)

Dear Peanut,

You make it very hard to unpack boxes. Firstly there is the moving around of heavy boxes. Which I’m probably not really supposed to be doing. But its sometimes necessary and I’m right there and your father is, well, not. So I shift boxes. I do try not to lift them if they are too heavy but I still push them around which may not be the smartest move either.

And then there is the bending down and straightening back up thing. Repeatedly. The top of the tea chest boxes aren’t so bad but once you get through the top third, I am down and up and down and up and feeling very much like I need to take a breather to recoup. I have better days than others and overall the afternoons are better for me but it was a bit disheartening the other morning when I woke up and got though half a box before needing to go and lie down because I felt light-headed. Firstly, I felt rather pathetic. Secondly, your father looked like he was torn between being concerned that I was ok and peeved that I was going to be useless for at least a little while and thirdly, I felt that at this rate I would still be unpacking boxes by the time I was 40! Which I know is a total exaggeration but still, I’d love to power through those boxes and I just can’t.

At least the reflux thing is starting to calm down a bit. Which is also convenient because the Mylanta was not one of the things that made it to the house on the first night and was living in Gigi’s fridge for a little bit.

Much love,
Mama

Allied Pickfords

Dear Allied Pickfords,

Man, is my husband pissed at you! But can you really blame him?

As a relationship, it started out so well. You sent someone out to quote and they arrived on time. A great beginning. We got several other quotes and some of the sales reps were tardy. Then we were happy to accept your quote. We arranged for your guys to come and pack our house on a Tuesday, pack your truck on a Wednesday and unpack at our new residence on a Thursday. Simples. Or it should have been.

The packers, I have to say, were awesome. I mean I was not quite prepared (washing was still out in baskets, washing up was not yet finished and well, our house was never actually going to be tidy, was it??). They also put up with the fact that AH Beard had to pull out a king mattress and bring another one into the house when it was being stacked high with boxes. I did get the feeling that they were a little peeved at me for that one but even so, they packed everything they said they would. They ran out of boxes part way though and had to get more but they packed what they said they would.

Then the next day, a new crew turned up. These guys were all set to “smash it” like the previous crew had the day before. In the end though, I think the only thing they got near to smashing was my husband’s self-control. Why the hell did it take you eleven hours to pack a three bedroom house and one car garage into a truck? Your guys arrived at 8am but you didn’t leave until after 7pm! And this was after the following:

  • you told us you couldn’t fit all our stuff in the truck and would need to get a second load to us over the next couple of weeks
  • you called the national sales manager back from sick leave to come and assess the situation
  • the national sales manager ordered the back of the truck be unpacked and re-packed a crap load tighter to try and fit everything in – which you still didn’t quite manage
  • you walked through the property with us to confirm what needed to be taken and you failed to include things you should have in your load

You’d think after that, the unload would have gone a little smoother wouldn’t you? After all, you had some disgruntled clients who just wanted their stuff. My husband even thought he was being generous by saying don’t bust a gut to get down here from Sydney by 9:00am. Take your time. He didn’t mean take the entire morning! It started with the phone calls…We’re just filling up the truck before we get there (apparently in Goulburn). Then you couldn’t find the property. Then you did and you opened the back and you stopped for smoko. Just a word to the wise, at 11:30am when your clients are cooling their heels in the driveway waiting to get a hold of their stuff that they can now see, sitting in your cab and eating McDonalds does not go down well.

Then it took you bloody forever to unload the damn thing. You put boxes on the gravel driveway and picked them up, complete with gravel underneath which you wheeled into my house and deposited on the floor. You managed somewhere along the way to break the beer fridge. You cracked some of the glass in my framed prints. You also managed to rip a canvas tent pole bag that has survived 30 years of repeated camping, to shreds. You were still unpacking the truck 7 hours after you started. I had to get you to move the truck out so that I could go and pick up my daughter for dinner because she had been left with my parents for over 10 hours. You guys advertise with the tagline: “The Careful Movers”. Careful my arse!

And to add insult to injury, when my husband complained, not unduly, you suggested that this situation was our fault. Like maybe your guys had to move more than was originally quoted. Because sure, we asked you to come out and look at our possessions and then went and bought more stuff. To be perfectly blunt, we actually got rid of more than we said we would and ended up having you pack slightly less than you originally quoted on relocating.

So all in all, it was not a positive experience. We will never be using your company again. We will not recommend you. We will actively discourage anyone we know from hiring you. We found you unprofessional, unhelpful and unable to deliver the service we were offered. I will concede that we were underquoted but to be perfectly honest, that is not our problem, its yours. You couldn’t deliver on what you did quote on and this is terribly unfortunate. I love that we made the move we did but you were far and away the worst part of the transition experience and that’s saying a lot.

Your regretful customer who will never be a repeat customer.

Added several months later…
PS. Dudes, we moved in August and immediately sought recompense for the fact that you couldn’t deliver the service you were supposed to. This issue was finally sorted in December! Talk about bad service…

Day 98 (AC)

Dear Peanut,

That whole reflux thing which is not actually killing me but is fast becoming the bane of my existence? I have had to seek intervention. As in I had to bite the bullet and get some Mylanta (or rather your father did because he was sick of me complaining – same thing really, I had to take it). It is so not getting any better right now and its really inconvenient.

But apart from that, everything is peachy. Or rather going along as it should be I suppose. My Ob in Sydney is happy. He also concurs that you are in fact, a boy. Everything is looking as it should and there is nothing more to say. We just move forwards and make plans for the next visit which will actually be with a new OB. Since we are moving, I need to find a new hospital and a new doctor to finish this little adventure with early next year. I must admit that I am a little sad that its really not convenient to have you at the same hospital and with the same doctor as delivered your sister but I am definitely not travelling 300ks whenever I need to have a checkup. That’s a little bit too far I think. I’m going to compromise with about 60ks. Much more reasonable.

Much love,
Mama