My daughter was 9 months old last Saturday. My dad, her 5th grandparent, was over here from interstate, meeting her for the first time. She's so shy with strangers (definitely an NJ trait), it was interesting to see how she warms up to someone after a given amount of time. She seems to settle a lot easier with women though, I don't know if that's a normal baby thing, a normal little girl thing, or if my Aubrey is already showing her preference for the fairer, curvier sex. Whatever it is, I'm not fussed at all - She's still equally thrilled with her Dad & me.
She's got three teeth now, which is epic in her little pouty mouth. She's super chatty - Lots of "ya ya ya ya ya" and "la la ya ba ba". It's a bit lovely.
She loves getting up on all fours and moving around. That is slightly petrifying for me - We're allllmost at the point of baby-proofing the house. Note to self: Order three baby gates. Yes, three.
People keep telling me I'm a good mother. I'm not 100% sure that's accurate, and I'm not being modest - Truly, I'm just plodding along. I make sure she's fed, bathed, not crying. I behave like a fucking moron in order to get her to laugh. I put her in robot onesies and leggings and I teach her how to high five. If that's a "good mother", I think the bar is set pretty low. I mean, I do Super Mother stuff as well, like reading to her and teaching her shapes and shit, but honestly, my strength is making her laugh and making her not cry. Most of that doesn't involve the Super Mother stuff. My time to shine will be when she's in school. I think. I hope.
I don't know what else to tell you, really. I'm tired, but that's a shock to no one. In saying that, Aubrey sleeps through the night, so it's not like I'm a walking zombie - Babies just use up a lot of your energy is all, even if they're happy and carefree like my kid is 80% of the time. My eyebrows need plucking and I usually go about three weeks between leg shaves because I just don't have time.
We're going to my sister-in-law's wedding in northern New South Wales in about two weeks, and we're not taking Miss A. We'll be gone five days. She can fend for herself, right...? But surriously, my Ma will be looking after her for the time we're gone, and I'm nervous about the whole deal. Will she miss us? Will she fall out of her honed, perfect routine? Will she scream and bitch and cause issue for my Ma the whole time? I guess I can't worry too much about it, it'll certainly be better for her than if she were to come with us.
Anyway, I'm a bit ill and I want to set my stomach on fire and just end it's life, so I'm going to go wallow in my horridness and think about naked people (because I always think about naked people).
I haven’t posted in forever, and I could blame being too busy with a tiny human, but honestly, I haven’t known what to say. It’s weird to talk about a situation that you never wanted, that you’re now in. Do you throw your initial feelings out the window? “OMG, I was so wrong, this is awesome!”… I don’t know if I can say that, in all honesty.
I love my kid. I mean, she is epic in her awesomeness, and imaging a day without her now actually hurts my chest. She is so beautiful and funny and bright. When she smiles, she smiles with her whole body – Her eyes twinkle, her mouth opens wide, her cheekbones sneak up high, her hands open and close like she’s trying to grab the happy moment and hold on to it. She grabs for me when I pick her up in the morning, and she nuzzles into my neck when she’s not feeling well. All that is magic.
But there’s a stunted feeling to this entire experience. It’s pretty claustrophobic, maybe because I let her dictate my day, rather than me dictating hers. I mean, she’s a tiny baby, I don’t want to pull her out of her nap just so I can get out of the house. I know other people subscribe to a different way of parenting, but that’s not for me. Like yesterday, we went to the in-laws in the afternoon, and it completely fucked up her afternoon nap, and was grumpy all afternoon and night. And whilst I don’t begrudge going or anything like that, it seems really unfair to that poor little kid that she should have to suffer through being over-tired and in a bad mood.
Sometimes I just want to be alone. I feel like I never get actual alone time. Even if I’m on my own technically, it’s only when she’s asleep, and I’m still in charge of her. And if I go out without her and the mister, I’m still surrounded by people. I’m someone who really values spending time alone. Is that terrible? I mean, it probably is. And B’Fo knows I’d never let my kid feel unwanted, because I always want her. She’s delightful. I just remember when I could sit alone and write, or just meditate, or think, and block everything else out. I can’t do that now.
This has come off really depressing. It wasn’t supposed to be. I love my tiny family, more that I ever thought possible. But do I wish she was a baby genius, like that horrible movie, so we could hang out and talk and sass, and she could tell me when she wants to go out, and we could share more stuff. I know it’s all coming.
I worry about her rate of development a little. She’s 7.5 months and she’s not sitting up yet. She’s doing other stuff fine, and I’m trying my best to encourage her, but she’s just not a fan of it, despite insisting on being propped up when you hold her. I know mums worry about stuff, that’s kind of in our DNA, but it’s fucking annoying. I just wish there was a manual that came with babies, and when you ask someone a question, the answer isn’t always “It differs for every kid”. Fuck you, gimmie something to go on!
People keep telling us horror stories, though. Oh, that stuff people will share with you. “Oh man, your kid will ruin your DVDs and keep you up all night!”. Actually, my daughter is always under my supervision and sleeps through the night. “Well, you’re lucky there, but she’ll always scream and shit herself non-stop!”. No, my daughter doesn’t do that either. I don’t know if it’s because we’re so chilled out, because we fit her into our routine and then let her decide how that’ll work for her, or if it’s just because she’s pre-determined to be delightful, but that stuff just doesn’t happen to us. I’m sick of hearing it. Don’t set my expectations at a level where I assume my kid will be hard to handle. Just let me experience her and go with the flow. It’s exhausting, this entire business of parents wanting to belittle your experience with their own insanity.
This has become ranty now, hasn’t it?
I shall end this wankery with something quite lovely, and that is the shining beacon in all of this. This is Aubrey Lorelai, as her shiny happy self, with a smile and a giggle just for her mama.
My kid does awesome things. I shall discuss them at some kind of length.
She squeals. Pretty much only dogs can hear her when this happens, but it's boss and her face is priceless, as if she's unsure if that sound actually came from her. This tends to happen most often when she's on her space mat, and it is a glorious, wonderous sound, even if it has the possibility of bursting one's ear drums.
She reaches for toys. She's a big fan of the rocket and the Saturn on her space mat (known affectionally as Reggie and Jorge), and also her monkey rattle. And my mum's hair/earrings (this is why I cut my hair dykey short, mother). She tries to eat every toy she touches, and I boldly assume this is because she thinks she's Godzilla. I only hope to further this image she has of herself. If my kid thinks she's Godzilla, then fuck you, she's Godzilla god damnit.
She loves Yo Gabba Gabba, and thank god for that. I dislike most modern children's programming, to the point where I'd rather shoot myself in the face that watch almost anything on ABC3 (what the fuck is an Iggle Piggle anyway? Aren't they just 2012-friendly Teletubbies? Which is the gay one, then?). But YGG is glorious. Skateboards and Weezer and funny hats and drawing, oh my! I'm so very glad this is the show she's drawn to, I cannot tell you. She also seems to like what little of the 80s/90s episodes of Sooty I've shown her.
She makes this odd squeal/belch noise when she poops. I have no idea if any other kids do this, and I do not care if it is normal, because it is awesome. It's like a Shit Alarm. I don't need to smell something foul wafting through my house before I realise what has happened, she makes this noise and it is go time. It's brilliant. Though she's happy to sit in her own defecation (I don't know if that's normal either, but far be it from me to tell her off for being placid and filthy), I don't think she's ever had a dirty diaper on for more than 5 minutes, thanks to her Shit Alarm. Nice one, Aubrey Lorelai.
She sleeps through the night. The awesomeness of this is obvious.
She still loves her bath, and no longer screams like a banshee when she's getting dry, despite the weather now officially being quite cool at night. She also seems to have worked out that when she kicks in the bath, she splashes me, and this pleases her. Whilst it means I can never wear my PJs or something clean when I bath her, and is a bit freakin' annoying, the sheer fact that she seems to find my misfortune so brilliant is a clear indicator that she's my kid. Believe me, if I could do the same thing to my mother now, I absolutely would.
Aubrey Lorelai is two-weeks away from being five months old, and that shit is crazy. Because on one hand, it seems like it was only yesterday that I was still knocked up, eating Red Rooster hot chips and throwing up a lot. But on the other, it feels like she's been with me forever. What a trip.
I’m not sure why they hate you. You didn’t do anything to them. You don your princess crown, take up your sword, and pretend at Pokemon. You read your books and you learn how to draw comics and dragons and you play piano and practice kung fu. You delight in pretty dresses and weaponry. You love me when I nurture you as a mom, train with you as a warrior, and play video games and card games with you.
This is a must-read letter, from Mur Lafferty to her daugther. It is brilliant and true and funny and sad.
In Aubrey's baby book, at the very beginning, it asks what the mother's "thoughts and feelings" were/are upon finding out you're pregnant. When I bought the book, I didn't know what to write, because I was worried that if I told the truth, I'd horrify Aubrey when she was old enough to realise what my words meant. But I decided that honesty, above all, is the most important lesson I can teach my kid. And so last night, I wrote my "thoughts and feelings", and thought I'd share them.
The best and worst thing about finding out you’re pregnant is that it scares the living hell out of you. Because I didn’t want to freak your Dad out, I took the pregnancy test on my own, and other than me, only your Aunty Jenni knew that your existence might be possible.
When the test came back positive, I was really scared. Not because I didn’t want you or because I thought I might suck as a mother, but because it meant I had to really be a grown up now. Spending money on albums, t-shirts and dresses, quitting a job whenever I felt like it, taking ages to finish uni… That all had to stop, basically. I didn’t see it like my life was ending or anything, but it did make me wonder and worry that maybe I couldn’t be myself anymore. Now that you’re three months old, and your Dad and I are as silly and funny and crazy as ever, I know that fear and worry was unfounded.
I worried about normal stuff too, of course. How your Dad would react when I told him (he was perfect… shocked and potty mouthed, but perfect), how we’d afford to pay for things, where we were going to live, if you were going to be healthy and happy, if you were going to be ugly… I wish I was kidding about that last one, sugarbee. But it all didn’t matter after a little while. You were in my tummy, you had made it your home, and it was all good.
Your Dad and I made a conscious choice to have you. We could have decided not to have a baby, and that would have been okay. But I’m so, so glad you’re here, and our decision is the best one we ever made. We love you so much, Miss Aubrey. We hope you love us too. We’ll always do our best to take care of you, and show you all the awesome, fun, silly, pretty and special things that are in this world. All we ask in return is that you listen, joke, smile and sing. And that you stay happy.
So, I wanted to talk about some things that I thought would happen/would work before I had Aubrey, and what is happening/working now that she's three months old. Isn't that interesting...?!
So, you'll recall I went on and on about wanting to use cloth diapers, as an alternative to disposables. The reasons were primarily cost and environmental concerns, though I was unsure as to what would be cheaper in the long run. Well, it doesn't matter anyhow, because Aubrey HATES cloth diapers. Like, truly hates them. We have about 6 or 7 that were gifted to us, and each time I've tried them on her, she's squirmed and cried and kicked her little legs until I took it off and replaced it with a disposable. So, that's that. I mean, I'm sure I could force them on her and deal with the complaining until she got used to them, but... Well, I don't want to. If nothing else, I have a very bright little girl, who is very in tune with what she wants. She only cries when there is a problem, she forcibly pushes her bottle out of her mouth with her tongue when she is done eating, she lets you know very clearly when she's tired... Why bother her when she knows what she wants? So we're using biodegradable disposables, and she's a much happier tiny human.
I generally assumed/hoped that Aubrey would be a good sleeper. AND SHE IS... so far. She went through a short period of restlessness and sleeplessness, but at 3 months, she is already sleeping straight through the night, and having 2 - 3 day naps. We generally try to make her get her quota of 15 hours a day, and she doesn't always make that, but she's happy when she's awake, so that's good. I'm not going to leave her bored and upset in her bed, simply to try and make her sleep more, if she can be up and happy and chatty with me. So that's nice. A full night's sleep is easily the best thing in the universe.
I really didn't want to force my kid into pink clothes. But the Baby Industry Machine makes that pretty difficult. I've discovered that if you have a lot of money, you can clothe you kid in basically anything you want. There are robot onsies, and alien shirts, and skinny jeans. But if you're on a budget, you basically have to make the best out of a lot of pink stuff. I've found a lot of purple and grey things, which is nice, and as we head into winter, there seems to be a lot more colour choice. Over summer, I rocked her out in some yellow. But pink has been the main colour I've had to deal with, and I've had to make peace with that. It happens. Before I know it, she'll be five, and she can wear Spider-man t-shirts and skinny jeans and really look like our kid. Until then, we do the best with what we can afford. Though I've just bought her a tartan skirt that is pretty boss.
Now, for your enjoyment, another picture of my not-ugly kid:
Hooray for everything. Soon I'll be back posting frequently, with a different design and shit.
Until then, go to Google Image Search and type in "Milo Ventimiglia". You're welcome.
So, I'm going to move MyParasite.net over to a different server over the next few days.
You'll notice some down time. Ignore it.
I'll be back soon and things.
So, I haven’t updated this in a while. I think that might be because I’ve been busy raising a parasite. A parasite that is no longer based in my stomach.
My daughter is pretty brilliant. She’s placid, smiley and generally happy. But there have been some bumps in our otherwise rather smooth road…
- Aubrey Lorelai is often frustrated with her own rate of development. This means we have to help her sit up pretty much all the time, so she can feel included in the conversation/goings on of the day. That can be pretty tiring on your arm, but it’s better than her getting pissy because she’s stuck on her back.
- She went through a pretty heavy colicky period, and that sucked, but at least we knew what it was. Like a lot of little girls, she gets wind by freakin’ LOOKING at her bottle, let alone drinking it, so that early period was frequently loud.
- I unfortunately sucked at the breastfeeding thing, in that boob milk was non-existant. Which happens, but whatever, I was pretty disappointed, especially because I felt like everyone was super pissed off/judgemental about it. It was frustrating and upsetting, but fuck everyone, ‘cause I KNEW my kid wasn’t getting enough to eat, and now she’s happily chugging away on formula like a champ. We’re using an organic formula that seems super kind to her tummy, which is all kinds of win.
- She’s finally growing in to her 000-size clothes. For ages, she would only fit into 00000, and we just didn’t have clothes to fit her. Now, she has tons of 000 stuff, but it’s all summery, and we’re starting to get into the colder months down here in Oztrayla. So despite the kindness/”here, let me get rid of my junk”-ness from strangers and friends, we’ll probably have to buy her a bit on a winter wardrobe. Eh, it happens. At least I can choose her clothes now, and not sit and smile while people force worn-clothes on to me, and I have to take them because I’m not rude and I can’t justify buying tons of clothes when I’m being given them. Soon, though, she’ll fit into her skinny jeans, and all will be right with the world.
- She has a bit of a reaction to her immunisations, in that she was cranky for a few days for no apparent reason. But beyond that, she took those jabs like a champ. My daughter, the boxer.
Other than that… Stuff is pretty good over here at Chè Harper-Uldum. Aubrey sleeps through the night most nights, which is a fucking god-send. She’s smiley, she “talks” frequently, and basically lights up when her Dad gets home. She loves a cuddle, loves her grandparents, and is getting to a stage where she’s enjoying cartoons, which is weirdly cool. I don’t want to just sit her in front of the TV for hours, but having 20 quiet minutes to do the dishes and put the washing on and go to the bathroom while she watches Ben 10 (yes, that’s her favourite) is pretty lovely.
Here is a picture of her, taken yesterday:
She is the light of my pathetic existence, and I am not worthy.
But god, she STINKS sometimes. Fucking hell child, are you baking the son of satan in your bunghole?
And on that note…
Well, we're four weeks into this thrillride.
Aubrey is growing like crazy, though she's still only just fitting in 0000 and 000 stuff (and her 00000 jumpsuit, that she wore home from the hospital, still fits). So she's still a small lil' lady, but we like her like that.
It's all pretty mental. Like, she knows my voice and Ben's voice, but she doesn't 100% know our faces yet, because her vision is still shoddy (apparently it doesn't amp up to 20/20 until 8 months, sheesh). So she'll look at you and be all "huh?". But then you speak, and she gets it. It's a bit rad.
Sleep has become the most valuable commodity in this house. So valuable that Ben and I trade it. "You take these hours, and I'll take these hours, deal?". My ma comes about once a week to crash the night and let us have one good, full night's sleep, which is amazing and super appreciated. I feel genuinely sorry for anyone who doesn't have help like that, because it's a life saver for us. She'll get into a sleep routine, but that'll last maybe 5 days, and then she'll transition into something else. But that's cool. She's so easy going in basically every other way. We took her to my best friend's house for dinner on Thursday night, and she was placid and happy and sleepy the whole time.
Things I have come to care greatly about:
- Sleep, obviously.
- Showers. Showers are golden. I generally have to wait until Ben gets home to have one, and it's a shining beacon of wonder and cleanliness and and awesome when I step under that stream of water.
- Food. Yes, it's possible for Tubby McLard over here to care more about food. We usually have to eat dinner in shifts, and I seem to be missing lunch a lot while I manage Aubrey and get normal household stuff done. I actually got to sit down with some pasta and watch an episode of Glee with lunch this week, and it was amazeballs.
- My hair. God, it's hideous. I look like George Harrison, only with really bad layers, and brown fading and grey regrowth. I have a hair cut booked on the 21st of Feb, but this may be the year of the great head shave because keeping up with my cut is going to be one hell of a challenge. Starting fresh might be fun.
Beyond all of that normal, boring shit... It's pretty great, actually. When she smiles, the world stops. Her eyes are magnificent. Her skin is gorgeous, her nose is like a tulip, and her love of music is already apparent. She is possibly the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, and I've seen Rooney Mara naked, so that's saying something.
I'm looking forward to the bigger stuff. The laughing, the sitting up, the playing. She's still in that "eat, sleep, poop, repeat" stage, and while that's time consuming enough as it is, to be rewarded with a giggle or something will be pretty awesome.
So, I don't suck at this. I'm as shocked as you are.