Priorities. That is what I have to say to you this month. Priorities. Such as what would you rather do? Save a couple of bucks this month buying something that we are not going to get any real use out of over the next couple of months or eat. I know that this can sometimes be a really difficult question but if you think about it really hard then I am quietly confident that you and I might come to the same opinion. The answer is eat by the way. Just in case you were wondering.
I know you don’t have a lot of visibility over the finances so it is perhaps a little hard to have a firm understanding of what is there and what isn’t but on the other hand, its not rocket science. We are both unemployed. Pretty much anything that you want to do this week that we didn’t do last week is not in the budget. Odds on, a number of things that we did last week weren’t in the budget either.
Now I am happy to eat into the savings a little so we can do things as a family. I’m not about to ban going out for coffee or driving further than the other side of town. My family live over 45 minutes away so we’d hardly ever see them if that was the case (although that’d be more my issue than yours). Still, I am happy to spend money for you to study or sometimes for us to be entertained but I do think some of the accessories are somewhat unnecessary…
You wanted to buy a chariot the other day. A device that can be attached to a bike (like the trailer that we already own and not like the bike seat which we also already own) and used as a pram (you know, like the four prams that we already own) or a sort of cargo space (like, I don’t know, either of the wagons we already own). It did have the fortune of being able to fulfil a couple of different (multi)functions in and of itself but the misfortune not to provide any functionality not already covered by our other possessions. I therefore struggled to see the benefit…
And this consideration of priorities is not reserved for just things either. Take the other day for example. You were desperate to get out of the house on time. You wanted to get out early in fact as there was somewhere you wanted to be. There were constant reminders once we got up that we had to get a move on so we could leave the house. Was I prepared? Were the nappy / kids bags good to go? Are we ready to walk out the door and put the dog in the run?
You stressed the importance, a number of times, of us being able to get out of the house earlier than usual. You were pushing for everyone to be quick about whatever they were doing. It was at this point that you decided to cut the childrens’ fingernails and toenails. I’m sorry, what!?! I fail to see why this is so important that it has to be done before we go out. Surely their lives and the lives of those around us are not going to be severely affected if our daughter’s fingernails are slightly longer than practical for an active kid? And why is it that I get admonished for taking too long to dress but you can decide at the last minute to do something that is blatantly ridiculous? I’m sure that you didn’t find it blatantly ridiculous but I’ll bet you $100 that had I been the one to start doing it, you would have had a huge problem with my “wasting time”.
So yeah, sometimes I think that your priorities could do with a little adjustment. Either that or how much you chew me out for interfering with what you consider to be your schedule. I’m just ranting.
Your Loving Wife
You seem to stretch out a little more each day. You are no more the compact little ball that we brought home from the hospital. You push your feet out and wave your arms about as you learn what your body is capable of. You grow too, looking a little bit bigger on my lap every time I lay you there. You used to fit there, just so. Now I am starting to need your feet against my belly.
I am not sure that we actually have a routine. You eat when you are hungry and you sleep when you are tired. You have a fairly predictable witching hour just before you go down for the evening. Its like the gas just builds up over the day and hits you at the end making you incredibly uncomfortable. I can’t say as I know what the bored cry sounds like or the hungry cry per se but I know the I’m hurting cry…
Its actually surprising that I don’t hear it more through the day seeing as you seem to constantly take in air as you feed. You are very noisy! Someone suggested I ask the doctor to check if you had a tongue tie preventing you from latching properly but I don’t think you do. You poked your tongue out at me the other day and you seemed to have no problems getting it out of your mouth. Maybe you’re just a little lazy or maybe you just get flooded. I feel like I have a much stronger let-down this time. When I am feeding you and when I’m not. I might be walking through a store minding my own business when, wham! Lactating! And while I am at it, ouch! But yes, perhaps you can’t keep up at first and its like I’m drowning you…
You get rid of everything you don’t need though. Like clockwork. In the middle of every feed. The one routine we do seem to have is you follow the pattern feed, poop, feed, sleep. It works out though because you also like to drowse off in the middle of your feeds. I therefore use a nappy change to wake you up after you do your business so I can feed you the other half. Otherwise you’d just wake up sooner because you were still hungry!
But overall you are a joy. I’m not sure if you are lulling me into a false sense of security so you can surprise me later with strings of sleepless nights but for now, we’re a doing really well. You settle quickly after you wake for night feeds and you sleep for decent stretches in the day. You are starting to be more alert and awake between feeds but you are still my little baby.
This month was definitely not better for you and for that I’m sorry. I know that you really love your brother. I know you want to be close to him and cuddle him and kiss him. I know that whilst your three-year-old self is slightly rougher with him than we would ideally like, you are gentle and loving and careful. Mostly.
Despite this, your month has been filled with stop touching him, don’t climb on me, quit hovering over him and a whole lot of NO. It is hard to make you understand that your brother is fragile and spends a lot of time sleeping. Also that we would like to keep him as calm and contented as possible, as much as possible. We would prefer that you didn’t wake him up or stop him drifting off to sleep. We would like to make sure that you don’t inadvertently injure him by falling on him or bruising him. We would also like to keep him healthy which requires you to be clean and not in his face.
For myself, whilst I feel a billion times better now that I am no longer pregnant, when I have your baby brother in my arms, I could really do without you stepping on my feet, knocking my arms if he is latched on my breast and being in my way when I need to move him somewhere. I love your cuddles and your kisses and I’d hate for you to get out of the habit of physically showing me that you love me but I have struggled this month. Trying to balance the needs of two children that both need me physically and emotionally has taken its toll. I have also struggled with the need to balance my needs as a person with my responsibilities as a mother. I’m not sure I succeeded on either count. I don’t think I achieved the status of epic fail this month but I am pretty sure my report card would read “needs improvement”.
For your part though, you have accepted your brother into the family as though he has always been a part of it. You have acknowledged his needs and begrudged him nothing. Well ok, you may have gotten a little tired of the fact that he does take a lot of my time. You have told me on a couple of occasions this month, mummy, I’d like you to stop feeding Elliot now. But I know that this stems from your need for more quality time with me and not from wishing that Elliot does not get to have me. Sometimes you become a recalcitrant child and misbehave because you are tired and cannot communicate what you want. However, sometimes you are quite clear in your desires. You still announce in an upbeat and perky voice I didn’t have any tv today mum in the expectation that I will immediately offer you that particular privilege. You still haven’t figured out that I am just as likely to turn around and say yes, I know as I am to allow you some more screen time. Bummer, huh?
In your attempts to be subtle you have also developed a new tactic you believe will trick us into reading you stories. You will now get out a story book and announce that you are going to read me a story. When you open a page with text on it though which we both know full well that you cannot actually read, you will inevitably turn and ask me what do we say now? Either that or you will turn to a page, point to some words and ask do you know what this says? Which is incidentally how you find out other things that you think you should know. We might ask you to put your drink bottle on the bench and you will reply with do you know which is the bench? Did I forget to say that you end up asking us a lot of silly questions? We are still very much in the midst of the single word question of why phase but we also get a lot of questions, the like of which I already know that you already know the answer.
There are some topics on which are an expert though. You told me in no uncertain terms the other day that the dancing you do at your ballet lessons is not really ballet. Its just pretend ballet. I am inclined to agree with you although I’m pretty sure we still have different definitions of what does actually constitute real ballet. I’m just saying.