six years of sandwiches….

When will it end? Almost six years ago Little Boss entered our lives, in record time and not to the sound of David Bowie or Talking Heads as I had requested. Hey, I figured if I am not truly participating in the birth of my child I may as well enjoy some tunes – turned out that while Willy Wonka (my obstetrician for those that are new) and I shared the same number of years on the planet we did not share the same taste in tunes….anyhoo, I digress. So lives were changed and we have grown fond of each other over the last six years. Back in those early days – when Little Boss first started eating food as opposed to drinking it – I did everything I could to give her a balanced diet. A healthy mix of lean protein, good fats, whole grains and a rainbow of vegetables. I was nailing this mothering gig. Well I was nailing the food prep part – the consumption of my awesome food prep was not going so well as Little Boss would only eat orange food back then. Carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin were her top three. So I made sure she got the other stuff thrown in…..as long as it was all orange she didn’t care. That was when back before she got a mind of her own. Fast forward to 2018. Seriously I could make five different meals per meal time and they would all end up being rejected for a banana and honey sandwich or ‘just bread’….her diet has gone from orange to white. White bread, plain pasta, potato and occasionally chicken. I want to be able to say that Little Boss eats what we eat and loves it….but that is total bullshit. I try to put her up a plate of whatever we are eating and if it falls in line with her current dietary fad she will give it a crack. Otherwise she will return it to the kitchen and hold out for a butter sandwich. Old schoolers will say that if she is truly hungry she will eat whatever we put in front of her but I say – really? The reality is that if you feel like something so bad you will hold out until you get it – I know this to be true as I drunk texted Mr Badger last night (he was across the hotel room from me but we were trying to get Little Boss to sleep) asking him to get me Maccas and my last text said ‘seriously not joking…..go or die’ Actually glad he didn’t go cause auto-correct had me asking for Bug Macs…..

Anyways so it looks like we will be on this white bread, plain pasta, Hawaiian Pizza diet for a while longer. I am sooooo bored with being the sandwich lady though. I long for the day that she asked for a stir fry or a salad or even a vegetable other than carrot, corn or potato….it’s probably all my fault in the end. For six of the nine months I knew I was pregnant I think I ate mostly cobs of corn with butter and salt, toast with Vegemite and Fantales….take that developing foetus oh and here’s a few long blacks with hazelnut syrup to get you bouncing.

Thanks team – I think that through writing this post I have figured out that my frustrations with my child’s eating habits are my own fault…maybe I can blame it on those first 3 months where I had no idea I was with child….anyhoo I am off to prepare the culinary delight known as ‘cheese sandwich’ for tomorrows school lunch – you don’t get that in a cook book these days…..

Have a top week.

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Men are from Mars…..

 

Women are from….are you fucking serious? What do you mean “how do I clean the bathroom?”

Yep we are definitely wired differently. Why is it that we (women), and I am generalising here so be patient or chose another page, seem to know stuff about stuff  yet men are just chillin’ and occasionally wanting a  medal for doing some of the stuff? Now before Mr BarryBadger, my dad and the husbands of my friends and colleagues get all upset – I am generalising. I have to say though that I do hear more stories about dudes just doing their own thing while the one that doesn’t get the luxury of man-flu has to soldier on and do the rest. It’s a common theme.

The mental load.

This morning I heard it perfectly referred to as “having all these tabs open”

You hearing me sisters? You know those tabs – organise tomorrows lunches, organise tomorrows dinner, don’t forget the in-laws are coming, shit I have to get milk and bread, sew a costume for Little Boss’ Book Week, fuck I need to iron the school uniform – I hate those pleats, shit I need to iron my work clothes, pay that bill, make that call, change that appointment, get a pap smear – cause you thought you were due in 12 months but turns out you’ve been so fucking busy you are actually a year overdue, buy my kid some undies, do your kids homework, prepare amazing food for your kid, clean the house etc etc etc add your own tabs you get my drift.

Now the mental load is something we don’t share well. To be honest it’s the same as my boss telling me to “hand over” some of the work I am struggling to get to. It makes me anxious. Cause I will have to “train” the person I am handing over to. Now at work that is completely ok – purely because they are not expected to know my job AND theirs. BUT if you live and exist under the same roof as me I am going to go out on a limb and say you should probably know how shit works under that roof. So I think it could be a Mars vs WTF thing…cause for over 7 years I lived with a woman and while we weren`t intimate we are very close and have shared a bond that will not be broken but at no time did either of us have to ask how to clean the toilet, scrub the shower or put the groceries away.

Today one of my colleagues asked if I had though about meditation….ahhhh yeah I have. Usually while meditating I also think about my To Do list for the coming 24 hours while contemplating my fear of death, anxiety over living and what I am going to prepare for dinner tomorrow. Then she told me it’s best done at the start of the day rather than the end cause it actually takes quite a mental load to master….not sure if I am ready for that. To be fair in the morning I can do me getting ready, kids lunch, kids breakfast, kids getting ready for school – some days – my coffee and then off we go to work and school. I will see how I go tomorrow morning and if I can muster it I will attempt to clear my mind of all thought and do it like the Dalai Lama. Stay tuned….and don`t get shitty with me lads, take it on the chin – just like I did this afternoon when I had a bloke say to me `now that`s what I like to see, a woman doing the dishes`

 

The party’s over…

Four weeks ago I started work. From full-time mum to full-time employee and part-time mum. The decision to return to work was purely economical…apparently you can’t pay for things with old receipts and a Medicare Card – crazy world we live in. So I was offered a job and I took it. And I feel like ever since that day I have seen nothing but posts on facey and insty that are all about listening to your heart and doing what you love and life’s to short so follow your dream…I think those sentiments are all wonderful however they do not pay the bills. See if I truly was to choose a career path that would give me ultimate fulfillment and fill my heart with joy I would be a writer or a renovator. I write this blog and I really love it – I don’t make money from it and that’s ok. Would I like to be paid to write – ahhhh yes please! In the meantime I will continue to write and won’t give up my day job. As for renovating – if someone wants to donate about $400K to me in the hope that I flip a house for profit and can give them back some interest then please contact me now. Seriously though it is nice to think that we could all just chuck in our day jobs and follow our dreams but if we all do that then who does the jobs that people rarely dream about?  Since starting work I have had my world turned upside down. I am away from my little boss all day and only see her for a couple of hours at night. This makes her a bit of a terror – they say children crave attention and it doesn’t matter if it is good or bad as long as they get it they consider it a win. It also makes me exhausted and short on patience – which I am in fairly short supply of most days. The up shot of this is that we will be able to save some pennies and will be able to visit people we love and spend time with them. That makes it all worthwhile. So I guess in a sense we are following our dream and doing what we love in that we are going to stash some cash and then take a trip – make some memories, take lots of selfies – repeat. And if I can smuggle my laptop or tablet into our suitcase I might even be able to indulge my passion….and write about it.

Those pesky inbetweeners

Last week our little boss turned five…wow. It feels like only a few short months ago that I first started writing about the delights of visiting the obstetrician as an over 40 first timer and here we are five über fast years later. Many things have changed during this time and I have noticed that having to wait around for Little Boss to do whatever the hell she pleases has made me slow down a notch. There is no greater frustration than trying to get a child into a car or into a bath or out of a bath or dressed or undressed or into bed….you catch my drift….so you either get crazy mad or you just let it happen organically and either continually turn up late with crazy eyes or get out of bed wayyyyy earlier than usual just so all you have to worry about is motivating a fiver. I am working on just letting it happen and slowing down a bit and I like her to think she can go at her own pace. That is unless it’s pissing down and she’s taking “just one more” run around my folks lawn while I wait for her to get in the car – this will cause me to crack out the old “you’ve got five seconds….5….4….3….” we never usually get to 1 and I don’t know what is meant to happen if we do…

Anyways so last Sunday we were having the family round for a get together to celebrate her big five and I needed to get some hot-dog buns so I legged it to the shopping centre and grabbed enough rolls for a half day Bunnings Sausage Sizzle and began my fast strut back to the car….which came to a standstill when I hit the travelator and got stuck behind a lady with a trolley. See once you have positioned your trolley its locked in and doesn’t move til you get off at the end….so this lovely lady turned to me and said “sorry, I’ve blocked you in” not at all I assured her. Then while I was “blocked in” by her trolley I found out that she is 80 years old, loves living at the village across the road and feels that once you get past a certain age people – in general – are very nice to you. Which, she said, was lovely. I remarked to her that we seem to use up all our nice on the very young and the very old and had nothing left for those pesky in between years but wouldn’t it be so pleasant if kindness was commonly used in all age groups. I felt really uplifted by my encounter with this lady. We parted ways at the exit and I wished her a happy Sunday before strutting to the car to get the buns home. I have been thinking about our meeting on the travelator and have been trying to up my kindness quota…..don’t get me wrong, lots of things still push my buttons but I am working on it. I have a long way to go before I am Zen Master of my domain, for now though, if I can minimise the amount of times I mutter “for fuck sake” under my breath I will consider it a small win.

just like pi…

So Louann Brizendine from the University of California came up with some research that suggests that, on average, women speak three times the amount of words per day than men. Now I do love a bit of data and I am married to a man who would definitely reduce the amount of words spoken by man to about a quarter of what was found to be the magic number of 7000 words per man, per day. This leads me to wonder if the original data that Louann collected may have been skewed by mums. How many mums were in there? Sneakily pushing that average up with repeated phrases like…”have you flushed the toilet” “have you washed your hands” “are you listening to me” “eat your breakfast, lunch, dinner” or my most recent favourite “no, not just one more minute, get in the bathroom and brush your teeth” I may as well record that one and just keep pressing play.

I consider myself to be a fairly resilient person. I can usually weather the storm. I am also in complete awe and amazement at how this almost five-year old can persist in the face of adversity. We have entered a phase of the “just one mores” just one more chocolate, minute, TV show, game, drawing, book, thing to tell me – this one is almost always in the resistance period before bed. To be perfectly honest she doesn’t go to sleep til 8.30-9pm and is up again at 7am so I am all out of my just one mores and I am ready to disappear into a world of Netflix. Mr B Badger blames me – I am quite stubborn, headstrong and I will negotiate and influence to get my own way. My mother just laughs and says “oh yeah, I remember those days”  Me – well I just get sick of the sound of my own voice and will happily not talk at all once she goes to sleep. It’s not great socially but I feel that I have used up my 20000 words for the day by repeating myself ad nauseam in trying to negotiate with someone who has wayyyyy more staying power than me. Sometimes, if I am not up to the challenge, I just go with it. Ice cream for breakfast? Sure in a cup or a cone? Want your mattress on the floor cause the bed is too itchy? Move outta the way and let me make it happen. On these days my average word count would be quite manly….and then there are the pi days where I just go on and on and on repeating the same request/instruction/warning of pending injury all day long. At some point during the day I remember that I need to fight the battles worth fighting. I was recently reminded of this when, at bedtime, I was told she had “just one more thing” to tell me. OK just one more. “Mama, tomorrow, I want to have 10 hours where you just let me do what I want and you can’t say no to anything, okay?” so I said “okay, no go to sleep and get some rest. You’ve got a big day tomorrow” fortunately for me she has little concept of time.

Prepping for Prep…

Last week Little Boss started school. I naively thought that raising a child and being a stay at home mum would make the sands of time slip a little slower through the hourglass…man was I wrong. These have easily been the fastest five of my 45 years.

So we have the uniform ready to go, the bag packed and everything labelled. All I have left to do is get her ready and pack her lunch…how hard can it be?

We have one of those fancy Bento style lunch boxes that has multiple little areas for food and it looks super cool so I set about filling up those little areas with a wrap, carrot sticks raspberries, cheese, chicken and grapes. I don’t have an ice brick to keep it all cool but I did freeze a yogurt pouch so that should do the trick. I am winning at parenting. Off she goes. No tears, from either of us. Fast forward to pick up and I say “what did you get up to today?” and her first response above anything else is “my yogurt exploded in my lunch bag and it went EVERYWHERE!” I said that was no good and that we would get her an ice brick for next week so it didn’t happen again. The next comment about the day was “the teacher told me that I had to keep some of my fruit so I had something to eat at fruit break” Now the theory behind the Bento Box is small portions that provide variety and it turns out that this is not suitable for Prep. I feel just a teensy bit shit that the top of mind memories from my childs first day at school were about my rookie lunchbox fails. Not only did I fail at lunchboxing but I also didn’t put a braid in her hair OR a ribbon which was very disappointing for her. To be fair I am still waiting for her hair to thicken up and one hit of static has her looking like a dandelion seed so braids are just not going to happen.

This week I feel as though I have redeemed myself – the exploding yogurt and the subsequent smell are still fresh in my nose – we have a new lunch box and an ice brick. Today lunch is a sandwich, grapes, strawberries, popcorn and crackers. There is a plait in her hair and a ribbon that I don’t expect to see this afternoon. I congratulate myself even more by turning up early….which I will never do again. When I got home I was having a look at Facebook and as if by magic a post appeared about school lunch boxes. Some parent in South Australia has been put on notice for sending chocolate cake to school with their child…shut the front gate. As I read through the comments I spotted one that made me laugh out loud…one parent got a note home saying that a Vegemite sandwich was not a green light food as Vegemite contains too much salt. While I don’t expect to see a note in Little Boss’ lunch bag, if I did I am pretty sure I would not be outraged enough to post it on facebook. To be honest I know Vegemite is salty and not the best choice and I would love to be able to load up my kids lunch box with awesome healthy options BUT I have always believed that fed is best and if the only thing she will eat is a plain wrap with no filling or a Vegemite sanga then that’s what will be in her bag. These are things my parents never had to concern themselves with….I got Vegemite on white and it got squashed in my bag and I ate it alongside my pals who had either Vegemite or Peanut Butter or, if they were really fancy, Devon and tomato sauce.

Hopefully today I get to  hear about some friendships made, some books read and games played…the stars have aligned in the lunch and grooming galaxy so here’s hoping the rest of the days go well.

wee watch….

Okay so my threenager is heading towards her fourth birthday and, up until a couple of days ago, still wearing nappies. I have tried many times since she turned two to get her using the toilet or the potty without any success. I have had reward charts, incentive schemes, reading while sitting, turning on the tap, telling not asking, special seat on the toilet, three different types of potty (all chosen by her), multiple underwear options, modern cloth nappies blah blah blah. I’ve read books, blogs, forums and websites all offering up suggestions, opinions and judgement in healthy proportions. I consider myself to be a person capable of solving problems and developing alternative solutions yet here I am getting owned by a threenager. It finally hit me last week when she lay on the bathroom floor with a nappy containing a package only blueberries and grapes can deliver and told me we were “playing babies” oh dear.

Two days later little miss starts pre-school. So I take her along and inform the room leader that she is not toilet trained and I have supplied her pull ups in her bag. I feel fairly confident that a bit of peer input might help her to see that “playing babies” is actually for real babies or dolls.

So six hours later I pick her up and she is not wearing her nappy….and hadn’t done since about 10am. Her “teacher” asks if she wants to do a wee before she goes home to which she squeals “yes” and runs off to the bathroom. I am unusually lost for words. I knew that if she saw what the other kids were doing it would inspire her to do the same….unfortunately the other kids don’t come home with us so despite my supportive comments she was in the cupboard digging out a nappy for me to put her in about an hour later. I refused and reinforced the pre-school, big girl, you’re awesome message but after a solid hour of sobbing and snot exploding screaming – I relented. Yes I know….she owned me. But you know what – I’m tired. Sometimes I have the energy for the battle ahead and then other times I am just done….yep I’m human.

Now we’re on day two of no nappies since tomorrow is another pre-school day. So far our wee counts are one in the potty four in the pants on day one and today we have one in the potty and two in the pants so far….I have period pain that is so bad if it weren’t for the drugs I would be rocking in the foetal position so it will take all my power to persevere with wee watch today. Oh how I wish I had persevered back when she was two….she’s always been willful and independent but is definitely a tougher nut to crack as she heads closer to four. Wish me luck….this won’t be the only battle of wills that she and I will engage in – this is just the battle du jour. And I don’t think my mum has stopped rubbing her hands with glee since our little miss arrived….

 

 

 

swear jar stan…

Little Boss is three and a bit. Up until recently we have been able to talk in whatever manner we have wanted and have not had to worry about what we say or who we say it about. And then IT happened. I had my niece – technically she’s my second cousin but her mum is like my big sister so let’s just say niece – over to stay for a couple of days and she was helping little boss colour in some Hello Kitty. I was taking full advantage of the distraction by catching up on chores – yewwww! Anyhoo Mr B Badger yells out from the bathroom for a towel and in my moment of frustration I mutter “ohhh farken hell”. As I walk back to the bathroom with the towel I see my nieces face – eyes wide in shock/amazement and hands over mouth to prevent laughter. So I drop off the towel to the lord of the living room and I return to see what had happened…turns out that my multi-tasking little dynamo got my tone and the pronunciation spot on as she coloured Hello Kitty with one hand and held her forehead with the other while repeating after me. This seemed to spark an increase in the amount of phrase mimicry with “you’ve got to be joking” a new hit and when asked “would you like a ” the response is mostly “ahh maybe that’s a no” complete with eye rolling…not sure where that came from but I do know that I don’t like it, despite it being pretty funny the first time….

the inconvenient convenience….

in 42 very quick days our wee baby girl will turn three. and a whole lot of stuff has changed in that time but the one thing that still remains is….nappies. clearly it is bothering me more than anyone else because I am the changer of all nappies, the wiper of the bum, the person that has – on more than one occasion – put my finger in the back of a nappy to see if it’s mine with the offending odor only to find that it is also now my finger that smells as well. so I’ve read books and blogs and web sites and articles and spoken to other mums and the advice ranges from she’ll do it when she’s ready to just take away the nappies and she’ll have to use the toilet….or wee and poo on my mums bamboo flooring – not my preferred option. we tried last week – I had days of not much planned so we could stay at home and give it a red-hot go. we have the toilet all set up, she picked the pink seat for the toilet, we made a chart to show progress with stickers, she picked underpants and we had a chat about being a big girl and nappies vs toilet…so after many attempts and lots of wiping and flushing and washing of hands at approximately 3 pm she declared “I don’t think I am ready to use the toilet yet mummy, can I have my nappies for a bit longer please?” so while the experts may disagree I did what she requested and pulled on another nappy….but today she said she needed to go to the toilet – nothing happened, despite my initial excitement – but it’s a start, right?

I blame disposable nappies. their absorbency is ridiculous. I’m sure if you were on a tight budget you could get away with using less nappies simply due to their ability to stay drier for longer. I wanted to use the modern cloth nappies and after getting my mum to bring them home from the US for me we found that after a very short time our very hot-blooded bundle of joy was suffering from heat rash from wearing them….disappointed doesn’t explain how I felt. Mr B Badger was less upset as it was he who wore the mustard coloured goodness that leaked out of one of my earlier attempts at putting them on.

I’m certain that if the children of today had to walk around with half a wet bath towel between their legs held up by a pair of plastic pants they’d be trained a whole lot earlier than they seem to be. I can’t help but think that the nappy is her remaining tie to me and that in giving that up she won’t have that extra bit of one on one time that for her is probably still quite fun but for me can sometimes resemble mud wrestling gone horribly wrong.

anyhoo I will persevere and she’ll get there eventually – or I’ll just have to start buying the adult diapers once she gets too big for Huggies….

life with a threenager….

so up until recently I had thought the terrible twos would consume my days and nights for at least another couple of years….that was until one of my mummy friends mentioned the term “threenager” and it all fell into place. this is now my life….dealing with a toddler who behaves just like she is about to hit 13, not 3. when you hear your baby utter the words “I want the i view app” or “there’s no network connection” you are probably dealing with a threenager. I am struggling to find a comparison to what my threenager is experiencing and my own childhood…my mum has always told me that I was “good as gold” until my brother came along only two months after my second birthday when I decided to unleash hell on the household. so we’ve always put my tantrums, fierce independence and demand for attention down to my baby brother. turns out this may not truly have been the case….maybe I was just starting the transition from terrible two to threenager. either way I am missing my mum like crazy right now as she visits my baby brother and his gorgeous family in the US but I am also a little bit glad that she can’t see what’s occurring in my world as this might cause her to rub her hands with glee while watching me go through the same treatment she would have experienced – at my hands – some 40 plus years ago. if knowledge really is power then why do I feel like I am NOT the one holding that power?? we have so many avenues of information available to us that I think we’re just making it harder for ourselves – oh no my threenager’s not listening to me I better hit Dr Google and see if she could have a problem – how about she’s just ignoring me…or the options I am giving her haven’t yet reached her desired choice of beverage….or maybe she’s just that engrossed in the 24 piece jigsaw puzzle challenge I set for her that she can’t handle anything more right now. I know sometimes, after a day that has had more arguments than minutes, Mr B Badger will come home and observe the goings on and will remark “so you just let her do whatever she wants?” and the reality is that sometimes – within reason – yes, I do let her do whatever she wants…because sometimes I get sick of my own voice. so if you put on your tracky daks and one leg is quite noticeably longer than the other it could be due to the threenager swinging off them while singing ring-a-ring-a-rosy while I hung out the washing. or if my parents return from their vay-cay to find their vege patch decimated of all life it could be blamed on the parrots OR it could be the threenagers desire to do the “weeding”. either way these are fights I do not have the will to fight so I chuck another Ristretto pod in the coffee machine and watch while my very willful and independent child weeds and digs and identifies worms and bugs and generally just messes shit up….it’s okay, we have a couple of months before we have to do the work on getting it all back together before the parentals return home….or we could resort to having the threenager take them on a tour when they get back to show Poppy all the great gardening shes done….