What was I writing again???

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Of all the things I have lovingly sacrificed to become a mother the thing I miss the most is my memory. Post-partum of nine months and my memory loss is extreme, ” I forgot” is used liberally during each day, I am hoping that my memory returns soon, otherwise the day may come where I accidently leave one of the kids somewhere, or worse I forget to buy wine on the way home.

Let me begin by saying I have never had a great memory, I was often called a ‘goldfish’ and quite rightly there was a reason for this. I remember pre-child days that our house would slowly be enveloped in darkness due to forgetting to buy and replace blown light globes, I recall the laundry in darkness for months until I kicked the washing machine and broke my big toe, although successful I wouldn’t advise this extreme recollection method !

After having my first child I did suffer minor memory loss, but I don’t recall it ever being this bad. The obviousness of my bad memory is compounded by my husband pointing things out to me that I have forgotten. It’s not just my short term memory, it is also the inability to remember the English language or being able to string together a half intellectual sentence, the one thing I have used extensively every day of my life is slowly disappearing. This is the most frustrating thing when in mid ‘spousal’ disagreement the words I need completely leave me, how am I meant to keep up the standard that I am always right, when I can’t communicate effectively!.

In my defence I have had nine months of limited sleep, and am probably suffering from parental exhaustion. On average a six year old can ask up to 288 questions a day, so I guess between trying to explain ‘why rainbow socks aren’t part of the school uniform’, ‘why the cat can lick itself to have a bath and she can’t’ and ‘why my stomach is still big even though the baby is out ( with an innocent little finger poke at it for good measure) things do slip by. I can successfully say that so far I have not forgotten to feed, bath, or clean anything or anyone important, but I do forget about events, items, and turning things off or on.

One example that I am sure my husband loves reminding me of is an invite to a birthday party we recently received . We went to catch up with a friend over from Melbourne, and were mid visit when another friend popped in all nicely dressed and casually mentioned they were off to a kids birthday, after a slight mental delay sudden realisation set in it that this was where we were actually meant to be, we all piled into the car with none of us dressed for the occasion. After receiving the ” Are you serious ” speech in the car, I’m happy to say we were only an hour and ten minutes late, and made it before the cake!.

So I battle daily in the home environment with my current memory loss situation, however in a couple of weeks I return to work, and it may have only been nine months of maternity leave but I can’t remember anything Nurse related. All the tireless study I completed has completely vanished. I have told my nearest and dearest the dates of my first roster so they don’t present. I am hoping it’s one of those situations where you just get back on shift and it all comes back to you. Sadly my one saviour at the moment is a British based children’s medical show that our six year old watches religiously every day, It’s taught me so much. I have also considered on several mad fuelled fleeting moments of re-reading my complete anatomy and physiology book, but I really don’t like reading non-fiction books, and I have forgotten where I put it!

I have succumbed to the realisation that I will probably never fully regain my pre-child brain, and list making is my official new hobby . It has always amazed me how I can forget to buy bread, but I hear a song that I haven’t heard for a long time and can sing it word for word, or I smell a scent that takes me back to a time and place as vivid as if it was yesterday. I wish I could somehow tap into this obviously amazing part of our brain and use it for everyday use, because currently the limbic system, or memory system ( yes, I just had to Google this) in my brain is literally out of order until further notice!

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Messy Wonders

 

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As I walked through the house the other day picking up stray discarded shoes, toys, and a variety of other unrelated items, I started to wonder how on earth people’s houses stay tidy and organised with a family. I often look admiringly at all the amazing photo spreads in glossy home magazines with the unrealistic hope my home may resemble something similar. However what I consider mess is actually the foundations of hopefully amazing childhood memories, I just wish their memories had ‘homing devices’ on them so they would return to the shelf or cupboard they came from.

It’s time to confess that I as a child suffered the effects of ‘MKS’ or Messy Kid Syndrome as it is scientifically known. When I think back to what my poor mum had to endure while I explored every artistic and creative avenue I could find I understand how frustrated she must have felt. From sewing and painting to stamping and even a brief period of quillling, with this amazing desire to explore all these avenues came the constant mess. I have vivid memories of having to carefully step through all my precious items that covered the carpet to change the TV channel (pre-remote days, yes I am that old) no other family member had the delicate coordination required to dodge through the mess, missing any unexploded items that may have been hidden under the piles of paper.

I also loved Lego and our large collection was often gloriously spread out across the lounge room, to this day there is no other facial expression on earth that compares to people stepping on a stray piece of Lego it’s like a silent form of  torture just waiting for a victim.My bedroom was the same, I would often have to jump from the door onto my bed . I shared a room with my sister for many years, and still recall one fateful night she stepped on my beautifully constructed cardboard dolls house and the plastic fork I had carefully transformed into the resident. I don’t know why I was like this my wonderful mum always kept the ‘monster of a house’ we lived in clean and organised, and I am starting to understand why her constant threat that my firstborn would be given paper, glue and scissors eventually came into fruition, I really don’t blame her!

So I was a recovering ‘MKS’ sufferer until I left home, then things changed dramatically it was easy ‘pre-children’, however unfortunately I have passed this hellish syndrome on to Miss 6. It is literally like bombs explode behind her after she walks through the house.
I set aside two hours last Friday to clean up her playroom which wasn’t really looking that bad, after two hours of not scratching the surface I realised I needed at least eight hours ,and what looked relatively organised turned into the realisation that Miss 6 is currently completing an  apprenticeship in becoming  a future bag lady! I discovered backpacks and reusable shopping bags stuffed full of items that had no relationship to each other, but had been shoved in there as a previous form of ‘ cleaning up’. I have no idea how this cleaning process eventuated but bags are now banned in her room or playroom. Four full garbage bags later (discretely hidden in the back of the car to dispose of before anything is missed) and her bedroom and playroom where in an organised state, for approximately twenty-seven hours and fifteen minutes!

There are two other items that I regard as a form of contraband in our household and forbidden, the first is sticky tape. Sticky tape is like invisible confetti, Miss 6 loves it and it ends up everywhere, I am constantly hooking it out of Master 9 months mouth, finding it on and wrapped around things, and removing pieces off my feet, socks and clothing at the end of each day. I find it everywhere daily, until I actually need it, then all rolls seem  to teleport themselves to other dimensions, and I have to resort to using duct tape to wrap a child’s birthday present, It definitely keeps the recipient in suspense for a bit longer, similar to’ pass the parcel’ but with only one layer!

Glitter is the other banned item, glitter was excluded very early in Miss 6’s creative life, glitter is like a child’s karma to their parents it ends up everywhere, you can find it on your body for weeks after the initial contact and is completely resilient to shampoo and conditioner. When a child makes a glittery creation you have glitter on you before you even set sights on their artistic piece. The more carefully you attempt to open a container of it the further it explodes. Glitter is like fleas to the creative world, it just never leaves!

While I’m on the subject, recently I saw an interview with a lovely lady who has made millions of dollars from marketing kids slime- what did I ever do to her! I have endured Miss 6’s several attempts to make slime, it is so messy, sticks to everything like brightly coloured ‘boogers’, and slowly ferments in the fridge long forgotten by its creator!, I hope she enjoys her millions!

Don’t get me wrong I love anything artistic, and I love children expressing themselves through creative and artistic avenues ,this may be the reason I am a strong advocate for childcare. They can go nuts with paint, glue, glitter, paper and any other undesirable crafting item , with the added bonus that I don’t have to clean up after their creative explosion . It’s a ‘win-win’ situation for all involved, except for the ever amazing glitter, paint, glue covered Carers, that greet you with a smile at pick-up time.

Thinking back to those  photo spreads in glossy magazines, I’m struggling to find them realistic options, where are the hand prints on the windows, fridges and any possible shiny surface. Where do they hide all the toys that are given to the kids that don’t fold down, and take up a large portion of the lounge room. Where do the endless supply of stuffed toys go, what about safety items, where are the baby gates, and cupboard locks, and where are all the books , hundreds of cherished dog-eared books that are commonly strewn across the bedroom floor .Most importantly where is all the disorganised chaos that makes a house a home?

I will always love beautifully designed  houses, but for the immediate future the amazingly decorated and organised rooms can stay in the magazines, I am happy for my kids to ‘make memories’, one day they may even use the wonderful storage options we have given them. Tripping over discarded toys is almost like a daily fitness regime for me, and part of me may even miss it one day , however I just need to remind myself of this fact every now and then after I pull every groin and leg muscle I own doing the splits in the most undignified way slipping  on a  discarded book not even in the same room as the damn bookcase!

‘I Dream of Jeannie’

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I have never had the unwavering desire to possess a superhuman power, I have never wanted to be able to fly, or have x-ray vision (regaining normal vision would be suffice), however lately teleportation seems like an appealing option. If I could just do the ‘ I Dream of Jeannie’ blink and be instantly transported to anywhere in the world it would be miraculous. This would also be the ultimate test for the three individuals left at home, would they cope, or would it be a form of ‘survival of the fittest’ in my absence. I may possibly give this notion a second thought while I happily sipped rainbow cocktails on a private beach!

I was never made aware that putting pen to a marriage or birth certificate instantly made me some form of international tracking device for everybody’s lost crap! Apparently at all times I am meant to know the whereabouts in the house of every piece of clothing, books, toys, infants and personal hygiene items.

The daily unmistakable bellowing of “muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum I can’t find ” can easily be answered from two rooms away simply and with no additional thought to my answer of ” look beside ,or behind you”, with a successful result usually achieved. I silently screamed yesterday when the lost toothbrush that I eventually had to go and look for was on the ground by Miss 6’s foot. I am starting to think there is a secret device in the front door jamb that causes my family to lose the primal ability to look for their own stuff when they pass through it. The realisation that I don’t care that you can’t find your cricket pants has never really been taken seriously, I sure as hell don’t wear them, if they weren’t brought back into the house I can guarantee they are not washed, and can safely say they are not folded up in the draw. Also I don’t care where sunglasses are, I haven’t seen them, I haven’t moved them and for the safety of everyone around me the only glasses they should care about are the ones hopefully on my head that legally enable me to see!

Don’t get me wrong I lose items on a regular basis, but the problem is I have no higher authority to go to, I have to use my own initiative to find my stuff, but I don’t understand why this ‘virtual tracking device’ seems to shut down when I’m looking for my own items!

Then my thoughts turn to the food and nutrition options that may happen in my absence, possibly they would consume the left-over lasagne in the fridge, that I probably should have thrown out a week ago, and all die of food poisoning. Miss 6 would convince her Dad that instant noodles contain all five food groups, and are perfectly acceptable to eat each day of the week, and Master 9 months would attempt to consume the chips and T-bone placed in front of him as a suitable meal alternative, he would definitely give those four teeth that have given us all such grief in the past few months the work out of their short lifetime. However I am not at all concerned for Master 9 months possible malnutrition status for the time I am away, he has this amazing ability to find any food scrap that may have been missed on the floor or under furniture, and consume it before I can check if is food or insect in nature.

I wonder in my absence if they would realise that the constant supply of milk in the fridge doesn’t magically refill itself, and a regular grocery shop is required to ensure there is food in the pantry, opening and shutting the pantry door on a regular basis just to check if a packet of chips will ‘magically’ appear does not actually achieve anything, other than wear out the hinges. The inventory on toilet paper is another priority that may be missed, and there wouldn’t be anyone to answer the distress call to open the door ajar just enough to squeeze a new roll through mid visit!

Being on a “beck and call” shift 24 hours a day 7 days a week is tiresome, and with any form of employment a person’s availability can eventually be taken for granted. Currently being a SAHM I work every public holiday and have no annual or sick leave. I am not compensated for my efforts , and sacrifice my own needs before others, however the power of appreciation and gratitude is the compensation I value. I consider ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ two of the most powerful words in the English language, they should be taught early on in life and should be used on a daily basis, it’s amazing how far they will go to creating a harmonious household.

In conclusion I do feel my three individuals would survive, It would definitely be an interesting ‘fly on the wall’ situation, but they are programmed with the same survival skills as the next person. Miss 6 may go to school with different coloured shoes on for a few days, the cat would be dragging it’s dinner bowl through the house in search of my whereabouts and I’m pretty sure I would be missed once they ran out of clean socks, however regardless of these facts it makes me realise that I am important, I am needed and I am honoured to have such a special purpose in the lives of these three beautiful souls.

However if they could just make an attempt to look for their own crap, it would be greatly appreciated!

 

The Potato Theory

potatoes-vegetables-field-eat-51157.jpegWhen I woke up this morning, I woke up tired, and there really was no reason for it, Miss six has always been an awesome sleeper, and master 9 months had a good night. but today was a day that I would refer to like a ‘mash’ day. This makes no sense to anyone’s brain but mine, but for some weird reason I have began to compare my days to the versatility of a potato. My days can be mashed, baked, fried, and sometimes crispy. I know people will probably think it weird to compare myself to a farinaceous good, but this is my current situation of being a full-time stay at home mum (SAHM).
So today was a ‘mashed’ day, these are the days I wake up feeling completely drained, and it was looking to be a monotonous day of routine. Please don’t get me wrong I love being a mum and wife but today is just one of those days that you do what you have to do to keep everyone happy, fed and alive. These are also days of reflection of where I was going in life, what would I be doing if I wasn’t here theories and general over thought on all subjects. So mash days are pretty average but they do come around every now and then, and with the assistance of chocolate and a sneaky wine they go as fast as they arrive.
Now waking up to a ‘baked’ day is much more appealing, and it has nothing at all to do with any illegal substance. These days are much more productive, these days are the days that I wash the sheets, towels, and anything not nailed down. these are the days I attempt to fold a fitted sheet and bake a three-tiered sponge cake, and prepare a three course meal and healthy food options for the baby. On ‘baked’ days the floor may get a good mop, and the windows a clean. These days are the days that I strive to be the super mum’s I have seen portrayed in books holding up the sponge cake in my blue pin tucked apron and smiling like a crazed idiot. However I refer to these days as ‘baked’ days for a reason, and that is at the end of the day I am spent, and it could possibly take up to three days to recover just from one ‘baked’ day. After a good ‘baked’ day I go to bed satisfied with my days achievements but I can confidently say these days may only happen once a week.
Fried days are just like they sound, they are the days that I get nothing accomplished, these are the days that Miss six is still eating toast on the way to the school bus stop, Master nine months eats food out of brought pouches or bread and Vegemite. Tea could be a frozen pizza or something chiseled out of the freezer at the last-minute, that I am never fully sure what it is until it is fully defrosted ( surprise). The house work is put on the back burner, and the bed may get pulled up if it’s lucky. Fried days are the pits, they are my most unproductive days, but the upside is on these days I seem to have quality one on one time with the baby, and maybe get a snooze to help build up the ‘sleep bank’ a little bit, just so I can function as a human being for the next few days. Several years ago I heard a lady on the radio ring up and tell the story of how she went shopping unaware she had a fork with noodles wound around it in the back of her pony tail that her darling daughter had stuck in there, at that time I thought it was hilarious, and how on earth would she not know, now I think back to that story and realise it was definitely a ‘fried’ day, and I sympathise whole heartedly with her.
I can confidently say that any red-blooded women has a ‘crispy’ day every now and then. I instantly know it’s going to be a ‘crispy’ day when I wake up and everything is wrong, my husband is still asleep while I am awake and he’s breathing really loud (or is it the fact he’s breathing it takes a while for me to decide). Now you can understand about ‘crispy’ days, the whole family suffers through a ‘crispy’ day, but these days can’t be helped. these are the days that the cat will vomit for no apparent reason on the floor, Master nine months nappy doesn’t hold the direct assault he has given it, Miss six remembers at breakfast that they are having a pooled morning tea and needs a cake, the Husband gets a flat tyre out in a paddock in the far right end, close to the left side of the park, through a wire gate, past the fallen tree, down a small dirt track turn 45 degrees heading straight, where the sheep were that I helped moved last November, count 15 rabbit burrows and three kangaroos and he is about six kilometers away, also can I bring a drink and something to eat when I pick him up . These are the days you go to cook tea, and realise you’re missing the key ingredient, or you discover you ran out of washing powder, and what you thought was the extra box is the box of soap flakes you brought seven years ago in the environmental friendly phase, that you have and never will use, but forget they are in there. Crispy days are the days that family communication is limited because they all avoid me like the plague, but showers and bedtime are done with little or no persuasion from any parties involved.
In-between all these different potato cooking styles are the days that I am just a potato, a good average versatile ‘spud’, that goes through life being a stay at home mum, providing for the family, loving my life, kids, Husband and friends.
Being a stay at home mum was never on my radar, and I respect and admire all the amazing women out there who have decided to be SAHM, it’s hard, it’s a 24 hour job, there is no clocking on or off function, and your job description is long and vast, you are a Partner, Mother, Home duties co-ordinator, Chef, Finance Officer, Inventory manager, Executive assistant, Doctor ,Nurse, Psychologist, Educator, Work health and safety officer, Administration officer, Communications officer, Mechanic, Vet, Disciplinary Officer and prolific in conflict resolution . A stay at home mum’s resume reads better than any high-profile position available, you are experienced in everything and a master of all. You are thrown into the position with little or no training, and your subjects don’t get delivered with a training manual.
I know how lucky I am to have a partner in crime and assistance in bringing up a family to the best of our abilities, but I often think of how hard it would be for single parents, they have my utmost respect, I personally feel like I would lose my mind if I was unable to offload a child on my Husband every now and then. Parents of multiple births I can’t comprehend how they do it, they must have the most amazing super human powers available they also have my utmost respect.
Parents are exceptional people and they are all doing amazing jobs, it’s so important they know this. In my case I am a strong advocate of the ‘potato theory’ and will happily work my way through every form of cooking a potato if it helps me to succeed in raising a happy healthy family, and be happy and content in myself! this theory may sound a little crazy to all the sane individuals out there and could potentially be blamed partially on sleep deprivation and a few ‘fried’ days!