Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Little for now

A huge part of how I define myself is "mother". I practiced my parenting skills on my younger siblings with great success (they will almost certainly tell you differently), and couldn't wait to put my greatly developed skills to the test for real.

I'm sure much to my parents relief, I did wait. I waited until I found a wonderful husband who I knew would be a great father to my children. We discussed the matter of children and wanted a large family. We knew my spinal problems would mean C-sections, so four was going to be the limit. We were happy with this and so we put in our order for four perfect children.

Anthony's ideal was three boys and finally a baby girl. Looking down the track I felt sorry for that poor girl's potential boyfriends....but I think that was all part of Anthony's master plan.

Eleven months after our wedding, Tony was born. There was the same learning curve that comes for all first time parents, but despite the sleepless night, and moments of self doubt, we were thrilled. Tony was a delight and continues to amaze me.

Son #1 was here - all was going to plan.

Eighteen months down the track I was close to graduating university and we felt we were ready to handle another addition to our family.

Ten months later the whirlwind that is Carter entered our lives. He has such a big personality and the contrast between him and Tony added a new dimension to our family. Carter is a joy to watch as everything is an adventure to him.

Shortly after Carter's birth, back pain left me facing a second major surgery. After a bumpy road to surgery and rehabilitation, I was home with my family.

I was home with my family of four....and with the news we would not be able to have any more children of our own. The instability of my now fragile spine meant both pregnancy and carrying a small child around were far too risky.

I was okay with this when I first was told the news as I knew how hard it was for my little family to go through my surgery and two year rehabilitation, and I didn't want to put myself or them through it again.

I know that this is the right decision for us based on our circumstances. I know I have been incredibly blessed to have my beautiful boys, and to have been able to have them when we did as we had only a three year window of opportunity to have children.

But when I walk through the baby clothes isle and look at the little one piece suits, it makes me sad. When I pack away the clothes Carter has out grown, it hits me each time that he is my baby and is growing further and further from the little bundle who loved to sleep in our arms. When I see a newborn baby, I am thrilled for the parents, but a little envious that we had the decision of when our family was complete taken away from us.

I know we have options that we can look into in the future so we can add to our family. They are exciting to think about. But I love my two precious boys, and knowing how lucky we are to have them makes me want to savor these days more. It makes me want to be a little more patient, a little more fun, a little kinder, and to appreciate them for the beautiful little men they are.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Break Up - a lesson for all

One of my top ten movies is "The Break Up". I know it may seem like an odd choice to some, but I have my reasons, the main one being the awkwardness I feel watching the opening scene. It feels so authentic to me.

In the first 15 minute of the movie, the couple have a fight. It begins over lemons but evolves into an all out attack on one another.

There is a moment where both parties are hurt, but also know they are responsible for hurting the other. For a brief second, both are driven to let down their guard and apologize, but neither gives in to their pride.

I can pinpoint the spot where if either got up, walked over to the other, wrapped their arms around them and said they were sorry, all would have been smoothed over. Those barriers would have been broken down and that feeling of relief would have flooded in - you know that feeling, where all is right in your world again.

But why can it be so hard to apologize to a loved one? Why in the heat of the moment do we fight against that impulse to make things right?

A large chunk of it is pride I'm sure, or of course there are times we feel we are in the right. There is built up resentment from previous annoyances and bottled up emotions that all comes spewing out once that initial issue arises. We get our back up and get defensive. We get hurt and angry.

But behind any other feeling, the truth is we just want everything to be right again. We need that hug to break down the barrier and to both say and hear;

"I'm sorry"

I think Anthony and I are fairly good at this. We TRY to make sure we focus on the ACTUAL issue and not let things escalate. How do we do this? A hug.

If only Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn had just paused for a hug. I guess that would have made a pretty rubbish movie though.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

True or false

I sometimes forget that children struggle to distinguish between what is real and what is fiction. Often when we are watching a movie or TV show, Tony will ask us;

"Is this real of pretend?"

For a while I didn't get the question as when I said "no", he would say that they look like real people, not like cartoons. I think we are slowly clearing it up....kind of.

When Tony got home from school yesterday, he told me that a young girl in his class nearly got stuck in the thunderstorm on the weekend. I was actually unlucky enough to be outside when the rain started to gush from the sky! This young lady, however, had to run inside and, according to Tony, she narrowly missed being struck by lightning.

Tony was curious as to whether or not you can die by being struck by lightning. I told him you could. He pondered this for a bit then said;

"If there is lighting coming, you should go for a drive because then you can't die."

I of course raised an eyebrow in question to which he explained:

"If you get hit by lighting when you are driving you don't die, you just spin around and get dizzy......you know, like on MarioKart?"

Ah my Tony Bones! I wonder if he thinks you can also use mushrooms to get a boost of speed and throw banana peels in front of other drivers. I think I will be leaving Tony's driving lessons to Anthony.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dentist....need I say more

You know that saying:

"Life is a marathon, not a sprint"?

I feel as though I have run three marathons this week, but today's was the worst, and it's only 12:30pm!

Carter woke at 2am Wednesday morning with croup. He gets it quite severe and often ends up being admitted to hospital for a couple of days. We try to manage it at home but know there is a point where he needs to go to the Emergency Room.

This night, we managed to stay home. Aside from Tony, no one got any sleep, but we got to stay home.

Generally croup improves significantly come morning, but not with Carter. Come breakfast, it still was quite persistent. Later that day, we took him up to Gosford Hospital as we knew come night, he would spiral quickly and it's much easier to treat before it gets too severe.

About 7pm, he was able to go home with another few doses of medication to get him through the night.

Come Thursday, Mr. Tarts was too tired and cranky for pre-school. He has stayed this way since.

It seems that 24 hours of no sleep has left Carter VERY temperamental!

This morning Tony had a dentist appointment. I picked him up from school and we headed to the dentist. Once there, I was thrilled to see an empty waiting room. I think after the last few days I had had, Heavenly Father kindly cut me a break there.

All was well until we got called in. Tony sat in the dentist chair and Carter sat in the chair beside me....for about two minutes!

He was in fine form. Rubbing his eyes til they turned red whilst insisting he wasn't tired and DID NOT need a nap. Picking at mosquito bites that he CANNOT seem to leave alone so they now resemble cigarette burns. At one point he spent about sixty seconds telling me he wants a new, real mum. I agreed that sounded great.

It was NOT pretty. I was tempted to bribe him with a lollipop I had in my handbag pocket for emergencies (i.e. grocery shopping), but realized I was at the dentist and didn't want to look like an even worse parent.

So...I rode it out. When you hit rock bottom and all your pride has flown out the waiting room door, you have nothing to lose anyway.....or so I thought.

After the 25 minute appointment (which seriously felt like an hour), we were getting ready to leave. Tony was wonderful - a star patient. The kind dentist and her assistant said goodbye to Tony and said to Carter:

"You look exhausted Carter. I bet we know what Mummy is going to do with such a tired boy when she gets home. Straight to bed I bet."

To which my darling son replied;

"No, not bed. When we go home Mummy will kick my butt!"

I actually choked on my own saliva. I don't know where he gets these choice phrases from, but I know he certainly pulls them out at the perfect time for him, which coincidentally seems to be the most humiliating time for me.

It's a marathon. And I feel like I am running it stark naked.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Grown up lunchtime

Remember when you were young and if you had to sit still for longer than sixty seconds you were bored?

When we were driving to school this morning, Tony found it hard to believe the kids at the high school Anthony works at just sit around talking at lunch. It was bizarre to him that they don't want to go and play.

I remember having these same thoughts. Why would you want to just sit and chat when you could be playing chasie, or handball, or on the oval?

But come high school, every recess and lunch we sat in "our spot" and talked about who-knows-what day after day. Our spot was freezing in winter and sweltering in summer, but the idea if finding a new spot never crossed our mind.

As an adult, all I want to do is just sit. Lying down is even better, but I will take a comfy spot on the couch if that's all there is. I don't particularly NEED the TV, or a book, or anything really, I am happy just to sit and do nothing. It's not boring to me anymore.

I have decided that this is one of the true signs of an adult.