strange days indeed

I have been out of paid work for over four years now. I say out of paid work because, while I no longer lodge a tax return, I am still working. A bit like a 1950’s housewife I am taking care of the business of running the house and caring for the child while Mr B Badger heads off to work. So up until 2013ish I had never been out of work since I rocked up to Quigleys Deli at Killarney Vale as an over-confident 12 year old who wanted to earn some cash. That’s almost 30 years of paid work. So I have been hanging at home with my mini me and we have had amazing times that no amount of money or promising career could ever compare….if I had the chance there are many events throughout my life that I would change or do differently – the last four plus years being the exception.

Hang on maybe that time when I was throwing the ball to MrRooben and instead hit Little Boss as she was laying in her pram….or when I accidentally cut the end of her finger off while trying to trim her nails – it wasn’t that bad so don’t call the authority on me. Ok so I’ve had a few parenting fails along the way, it hasn’t all been huggy bears and unicorns.

Anyhoo Little Boss started Prep this year and will start full-time school next year so I decided to start the dreaded job search. I started by only applying for roles where my skills met the selection criteria – I don’t like having my time wasted so I figured I wouldn’t waste the recruiters time by applying for something I “might” be able to do. Now we are five weeks into the school year and I am applying for anything and everything I am remotely qualified for, hoping that somebody out there looks at my CV or cover letter and says “this looks good, let’s get her in for a chat”. Last night I got an alert from my local Bunnings warehouse to tell me they were hiring so this morning after the school drop off I got busy on my cover letter and then got online to apply only to find that the job had disappeared…nooooo I love Bunnings. I would totally rock as a Bunnings employee. So I emailed them to see what was happening and they called me – this is why I love Bunnings, it’s their culture – so the lovely lady was calling to say they had to take the ad down due to the overwhelming response .

I will persist – persistence, resilience and perseverance are pretty awesome employability skills BTW and I’ve got ’em in spades. But I had to write this post just to get it off my chest because it does get me down – I can’t lie. Mr B Badger was out of work for four months when we moved and we applied for just over 70 jobs and received a reply from only 10% of those. I know something will come up and this too, shall pass…I just need to be patient – which is a skill that I don’t seem to have much of…

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chchchchchanges…

twelves very short months ago I started my parental leave. I had no idea what to expect – I hadn’t read the book – so decided to start a blog to record my journey. when I look at the changes that have taken place in our lives over the past year I am so proud of myself for getting through it all with only some mild anxiety…Mr B Badger.com might disagree but hey he is so chilled out it’s like he has a private stash of beta blockers hidden around the house. anyhoo up until very recently I was hoping to return to work a couple of days a week and then we went retro. I have resigned from my place of employment and accepted the position of stay at home mum while Mr B Badger.com has accepted his role of sole provider for our family. it’s a shift in the dynamic that will be interesting, for want of a better word…why are we doing this? why wouldn’t I just go back to work two days a week? well I tell you why….I expect to be still working until I am about 75 so there will be plenty of days to work ahead of me, little boss will head off to school in a few very short years and this time in my life will never happen again so I am going to enjoy every minute of it…I may be skint, but I will be the happiest poor person you will meet. so there will be some changes at barrybadger.com, I will be changing the look, the intent and updating more regularly and I am welcoming more followers and more comments….thanks for sticking with me to this point, I look forward to this next chapter in our lives….

things that go honk in the night…

in my youth I watched far too many films from the horror and thriller genres and it seems the memories of these are coming back to haunt me. a few weeks ago we put little boss into her own room….yes, I know, it only took us the duration of the pregnancy and nine months of her life to paint four walls and move some furniture around, anyhoo now that she is in her room which is at the opposite end of the house to ours I sleep with the baby monitor on my bedside table. not sure how long this will continue as the monitor lights up our bedroom like Blackpool Illuminations and I can’t see the point of feeding her organic food only to have her sleeping under the toxic gaze of an infrared camera all night….seems to be taking me longer than normal to get to the point here. so not last night but the night before, as we all slept soundly the forces of battery operated play equipment worked against us. at approximately 1am I was woken from my much longed for slumber by the “honk honk” of the horn on little boss’ walker…I lay in bed for a few minutes thinking I was having a weird dream about her toys when “honk honk” rang through the house again, this time waking little boss. now the logical part of my brain said it’s just a toy that is controlled by batteries and operates via a couple of micro switches – one of which is obviously faulty…so I wandered down to little boss’ room to pat her back to sleep and as I returned to our room, passing the walker, I felt a sudden chill in the air and that’s when the memories came flooding back. clowns coming to life and scary looking dollies, psycho, the postman always rings twice, freddy kruger, texas chainsaw massacre – the original one, the shining, christine, carrie, cujo…seriously anything stephen king is involved in they are all still hanging out in my grey matter just waiting to freak me out when something goes honk in the night. that was basically the end of my sleep for that night. little boss woke every half hour and by 2.45am I had done enough passes of the offending walker so got her out of bed to sit with me on our $60 couch in the hope that we could both doze off…one of us did. I sat on the couch listening to what can only be described as a small creature trying to wriggle through an even smaller space. once the wriggling stopped I had the pleasure of watching our very own, ikea supplied, stuart little do a lap of the games room and disappear from view. this new addition to our home is one of the few items purchased from ikea that does not require assembly, unlike the rest of the contents of the box it came in.  oh the excitement of the night…

so last night the honking started before we had even attempted to put little boss to bed so Mr B Badger.com dismantled it and removed the batteries…I let him know that if it went off during the night that I would be on him like white on rice – he laughed that “you’re losing your marbles” laugh but he is too young to remember little carol-ann’s voice coming through the tv static…

do blondes have more fun….

today I took the plunge and visited the hairdresser….after what seemed like an eternity but was actually 2 1/2 hours I emerged with substantially less hair and what is left is blonde. it’s a dramatic change and caused quite the reaction from little boss who spent a good 15 minutes looking from my face to my hair to my mother and back again….poor love was a little confused and I don’t blame her…it’s definitely a departure from the mousey brown I left the house with. I look forward to more shocked/mixed reactions from others. I haven’t coloured my hair since I shaved it off for the worlds greatest shave in 2011…prior to the big shave I was a serial colour changer. I would basically let the expert do whatever they want and then four hours later I would part with 50% of my weekly income for the privilege. post shave I grew to love my natural colour, which was last seen in 1986, deciding that it would be a good thing for me to give my hair and scalp a rest from the chemical exposure for a while. that was until today when I floated a couple of different options to the hair dresser and walked out with a new commitment to visit the salon every six weeks until I am over the blonde…..

I was hoping that the old blondes have more fun gig would apply immediately but maybe it takes a while to kick in cause my afternoon with little boss was not so great, not much fun going on at the haus of halford this afternoon. I just wish this tooth that is causing her a lot of grief at the moment would hurry up and break through to give her a break and help me to stop being such a miserable biartch. then we can get back the regular challenges of a 9 month old who wants what she wants and lets you know exactly how she feels when her wants aren’t met. this weeks new frustration in kenzi land is the squirty bath toys…up until this week it was a complete riot at bath time for me to squirt her with the toy and then hand it to her to chew on – happy days – now she wants control of the squirty toys and wants to squirt the water in her mouth….mmmmm yummy bath water, I don’t think so. so tonight after our sensational afternoon of fun and games we go through the same thing at bath time only now she is trying to fill up the squirty toys herself and when it doesn’t go to plan….look out neighbours the banshee is loose. times are a changing – again.

damn you joan armatrading…

so good ol’ joan armatrading sang “show some emotion, put expression in your eyes, light up if you’re feeling happy, but if it’s sad then let those tears roll down” thank you joan. I had the first of many acupuncture treatments on saturday and, fingers crossed, I can start showing a little less emotion. I don’t want to end up like hymie from get smart but somewhere in the middle would make a refreshing change. ahhh hormones don’t you just love the highs and lows that they bring. I have been waiting for things to improve and have been pulling out all the tricks I know to bring on the happy hormones and banish the sad. heaps of exercise, good food, no alcohol – some would argue this may be the problem – and generally looking after myself. so why then do I still feel everything – and I mean really feel? I had some blood tests that reveal elevated liver enzymes which comes as no surprise to me…and would explain a lot when you look at how traditional chinese medicine practitioners look at liver disharmony. so I am under the treatment of the good dr.pete once again and if this fails I may have to take on some sensitivity training terry tate style – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jplpjCaec –

strange days indeed…

writing posts on barrybadger.com has been an enjoyable experience for me and has provided some distraction from whatever else is going on in my world. unfortunately my world has become a whole lot busier since little boss decided to take off on all fours and I have not been able to dedicate much time to my own pursuits. things probably wouldn’t be as hectic if we didn’t have MrRooben to consider. see now that little boss has become the cathy freeman of crawling she has MrRooben locked in her sights and wherever he goes she follows…sometimes this is ok, other times not so cool. so instead of cleaning the kitchen, doing the washing, folding the laundry or even having a brew I am spending most of little boss’ waking hours following her around and running interference between her and MrRooben. yes I could put him outside or I could barricade areas of the house where he or she can go but neither of these are long-term solutions and MrRooben is part of our family so I will persevere and save all my jobs until the weekends when Mr B Badger.com is home. I guess it’s really only just hit me that I am a mum…of course I know I have been a mum since little boss was born but I am talking about the real deal when it comes to being a mum…putting the needs and wants of your child before yours. see I really just wanted one cup of yorkshire tea yesterday…just one, not too much to ask. well I made four and it wasn’t until Mr B Badger.com got home that I finally got to take a first mouthful – I didn’t finish it, she started crying and would only settle for me even though I tried to make myself invisible so she would be happy with her dad. I feel a bit ridiculous that I can’t even get basic stuff done around the house. yesterday I decided to attack the pile of laundry that has completely obscured to guest bed…I folded three towels before giving up. none of this was in the brochure. see my besty has three kids and a clean house, my cousin has three kids – all grown now – but she had such a clean house that you could walk around barefoot, unheard of at my place. anyhoo…I had planned to write more on this post but I have just noticed that the baby has disappeared from view on the baby monitor so that was a good 20min power nap….

 

the new awesome….

so yesterday little boss cut her first tooth. she has been operating the drool factory almost non stop for the past four months and I have been amazed at its staining power….if only I had shares in sards wonder soaker. the past few weeks have just been full of new experiences for little boss and it has been so cool just watching her try to figure stuff out. when she first figured out how to move she could only go backwards and quickly learned that in order to change direction she would need to roll around until her feet were pointing at the desired location. now she is crawling properly – and forwards – getting into a sitting position and pulling herself up on any available stationary object or human. she will play peek – a – boo behind almost anything even if it doesn’t cover her face and has figured out how to roll Mr Roobens ball across the floor to him. her language skills are improving as she learns how to use her tongue to make new sounds. so it might read like I am the parent of the only child on the planet that does these things – I hope not because I know these are all just regular things that babies do. the reason I am writing all this is because I am in awe. I can’t believe how much these small packages can learn in such a short period of time. it is staggering that only a few months ago little boss struggled to hold an object and the speed at which that went from passing an object from hand to hand to now picking up one individual dog hair off her rug and inspecting it with such concentration. I cant help but think that if we learn so quickly as babies and children why is it that it takes so long to learn new skills as we get older? I went on a skiing holiday years ago and after the mandatory lessons my besty and I hit the slopes…I did a cart-wheel and lost one of my skies, she skied all the way to the bottom but couldn’t stop and took out a fellow beginner who had spent most of my besties decent trying to get back on her feet only to be wiped out by a 30 something woman who should have opted for the whitsunday cruise. the shame of it was that while we were failing miserably – and I mean we were miserable in our failure –         over-achieving 4 year olds went flying by. we spent the rest of our seven-day lift pass in the bar.

honestly the development of babies was never really the hot topic for me…I thought all babies were about dirty nappies, crying and major lifestyle adjustments. I guess Mr B Badger.com and I never got the chance to really think about the nitty-gritty of raising a child so now we are just spending our time figuring it out as we go and I tell you it’s been pretty cool so far. yesterday I just sat and watched little boss while she picked through her toys. she considered each one before giving it some time or kicking it to the curb and she got fascinated with a hand puppet her uncles gave her for christmas. she was handling it like it was made of the finest crystal and I was having the best time watching her just explore….who would have thought??

I can totally understand why she isn’t sleeping so well and why she gets grumpy and clingy. it’s an ever-changing world and she is dealing with challenges on a more than daily basis. considering we have all been through these same early days it’s a shame even the most minute change can throw an adult into a state beyond repair. so I am going to try to be more like little boss…deal with change, learn something new everyday and laugh as often as possible…seems like a good plan to me and it is working for little boss so who am I to argue?

now if only she can learn to throw the ball for Mr Rooben she will have a dedicated friend for life…

safety starts at home….maybe…

so today I was on my way to hang out with my mother in law and had to drive through a local school zone….so down the speed goes until I reach the 40kph I am allowed to do. there was a dude in front of me doing his 40kph as well so all was going according to plan when for some bizarre reason he just turned right, without warning or indication, and mounted the kerb. I thought this was a bit of a random act considering that directly in front of him were some kiddies on their way to school and even they stopped to see what he was up to. turns out he was just parking his car…on the sidewalk. now I work in an extremely safety conscious industry so when I see people doing crazy stuff like this I really want to harm them. not literally of course. this kind of behaviour outside schools has not bothered me in the past but now that we have little boss I am starting to see a whole range of issues that do blow my hair back. parking on the kerb really gets me going…especially when I have to wheel little boss onto the road to get around a car. people blocking our driveway…that gets my goat to. I guess having all this time off has given me cause to think about a few things – pondering what sort of behaviours I want to instill into little boss. Mr B Badger.com would say what I need to do is stop belching like a truckie….and he’s right, of course. unless I get offered a part in a hangover style movie there is really no need for me to let it rip like I am burping for australia. what I am thinking about is more like the park on the kerb type of stuff…thinking about how my actions might impact on another human being. maybe I am just getting soft – the amount of crying at random stuff would definitely indicate this is the case – or maybe I am just hoping that in some karmic way that by altering my behaviours it will have an impact on the things that affect me….for example if I stop burping like a bum crack exposing tradie maybe Mr B Badger.com will start saying three, throw and through instead of free, frow and frough….he wont be happy to read that but seriously what sort of english do they teach in england??  my theory on giving compliments rather than complaints seems to be working….now whenever I visit my local coffee shop they already know what I want and have started preparing before I order so I don’t have to wait and the service is always friendly so lets see if I can get the wheels in motion to change some other stuff…

off the curve….

so little boss is eight months old…I was unbelievably naive to think that staying at home and looking after a baby would make time slow down. if anything the past eight months have flown by quick as a jiffy – well maybe not that quick but you get my drift. we had her check up with the health nurse this week and answered the endless round of questions before little boss got her gear off to get weighed and measured. everything was going well with both weight and length following the curve…then we get to the head circumference. so old pam puts the tape around little boss’ noggin and then marks the measurement in her record book…she looks at the dot on the page and declares that she must have read the tape wrong because that can’t be right….so she measures again, this time with more care, and shut the front gate it’s the same measurement…and its off the curve – by a mile. now the problem with diagnostic tools is that when something is presented that doesn’t fit into the norm then it means there is something wrong. there must be a reason for this outlier in the stats….and there is. we are a family of big heads. I don’t mean ego, I mean literally huge heads. my grandmother, father, brother, nephew, myself and now little boss – all dealt the challenge of finding a hat that fits. for some of us we also have ears that stick out either side of our big heads and at eight months it’s very cute but later on when people are calling you wing nut it aint so much fun. of course you grow into your head and to look at us you wouldn’t say that we are out of proportion but at six months little boss was wearing hats to fit 12-18 months poor love….even getting her bonds singlet over her head brings tears to her eyes if I havent ruined it by stretching the neck.

anyhoo so the health nurse says to me “keep an eye on it”….ahhhh what for? yes I am fully aware that her measurements are all meant to follow the same curve and clearly she has gone off the chart on her head circumference but surely genetics play a part and common sense should prevail. my mum found my baby book in their latest move and to say things have changed in the last 40 odd years is an understatement. todays health record comes in a folder and must go with you at every doctors visit. it contains all immunisation info, measurements, doctors visits, health questionnaires and assessments and a whole heap of other stuff I havent bothered to read. mine is a small book of about 20 pages, several of which are blank and most of the information relates to milestones rather than health topics. the one page that did interest me was titled immunization and it says….

The Department of Health recommends that immunization against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping-cough should start when your baby is three months old and three injections should be given at monthly intervals.

When baby is 15-18 months old he will require the first booster injection and at school entry he will require another booster injection if he is to be fully protected.

The immunization against poliomyelitis should also start when your baby is three months old and three doses of Sabin vaccine are given at two monthly intervals followed by a booster dose when baby is 15-18 months old and a further booster when he enters school. 

just a little different to the program we have now…and lucky for my mum that they didn’t measure head circumference back then or she would have been freaking out with the size on my brothers melon…

 

finding some quiet time…

so I just bought a magazine rack for my toilet wall. I am sick of leaving the magazines on the floor so on my most recent trip to ikea I spotted the rack and thought what a brilliant idea. but now I am thinking…is reading in the toilet a taboo? is it something that people do but they don’t talk about and therefore they don’t put a magazine rack in the actual toilet to advertise the fact that its okay to read here. take your time enjoy the hospitality and flick through the latest better homes and gardens. seriously it’s not really the most comfortable seat in the house and depending on your habits it can get a little aromatic to say the least but there is something about going to the toilet that just says leave me the hell alone. it’s probably the one place where no one – in their right mind – would disturb you. if reading on the toilet is such a gross habit then why is it that companies use the back of toilet doors to place their adverts? or people waste perfectly good lip liner writing drunken crap on the toilet door for others to read? or better still why are companies that manufacture women’s pads now printing trivia snippets on the adhesive backing paper for you to read while visiting the toilet during our menstrual cycle…we women are multi taskers aren’t we? anyhoo feel free to judge me if it so pleases you but if you do read while sitting on the throne and, like me, you are not happy with the old magazine on the floor trick head on down to ikea and for a mere $19.95 you can have wall mounted reading material available for those times when you need to escape your loved ones…