All good things come to an end, even holidays with the family in Newcastle. I got to see my first movie since Tricky was born (unfortunately it was the loathsome Happy Feet), I got to picnic with old friends, I got to spend New Years Eve at a little house on Lake Macquarie and I got to eat out for the first time, sans bubba, at the posh harbourside restaurant my stepbrother P is a part owner in.
And so we’re back, back in the Big House, back at the laptop and back to the deadlines which seem to have created a permanent place for themselves somewhere between my brain cells and the corkboard on the wall in front of my desk.
I am in book mode which is exciting on one level and terrifying on most others, even though the editor gave me a little pep talk the other day.
C and I are currently doing a roster system, I have the baby in the morning and he takes him in the afternoon and hopefully we both get our work done. I have always aspired to being one of those organised regular writers. Sadly, judging by my performance throughout my entire conscious writing life, that’s never going to happen. I am always going to be the chick standing at the essay box scribbling in the bibliography at five minutes to five as the lecturer walks purposefully towards me down the corridor swinging the key. I like to think that, like olives, I perform best under pressure.
Tricky is getting bigger, at least we think he is, he seems to be heavier and he’s certainly outgrown a lot of his suits (including, sadly, a beautiful and extremely expensive one that C bought him a few months ago and I said had to be ‘put away for Christmas’). We won’t know for sure until we actually get him weighed and with our record that could be anytime up to his tenth birthday.
He has taken to rolling in a big way which is all very well until he rolls onto his tummy in the dead of night and wakes up, crying. Which brings me to last night and the night before which have been their own special little brands of hell. Having slept from 7.30 pm to 5am night after night he has now taken to waking two or three hourly and demanding food. And of course, since we share a room with him, those cries can be very persuasive. Yesterday I discussed “settling techniques” with my friend LL (her baby Toby was due a day after Tricky: Tricky came three weeks early and Toby came two weeks late so there’s now five weeks between them). We talked about the way some techniques seem to work and make you feel like a complete fucking genius and then suddenly nothing works and you have to start all over again.
Last night, the only thing that seemed to work was me dragging my boobs out and plugging him in.
I am officially tittywhipped.
Since he is almost six months (really? Six months? Good God.) we have tentatively started with solids which really means two small teaspoons of goop a day. For the first three days he had yoghurt which he seemed to love and then pumpkin which he seemed to hate and today banana which fell somewhere between the two.
Maybe it’s playing havoc with his system and keeping him up at night. Maybe solids is activating his testosterone levels and he’s practicing his bullying skills. Maybe I need to swaddle again, maybe he’s too hot, or too cold, or bitten by mosquitoes… Or maybe it’s just how it is this week and next week will be different and the week after that and the week after that…
If there is one thing I have learned, writing this blog, documenting this journey, it’s that things change, even when you think you’ve got a situation sussed. Whatever, all this lack of sleep is hard on the brain cells.
Sitting back in P’s restaurant, sipping wine and enjoying the whole sense of harbourside, red velvet, dry martini buzz of the place I suddenly spotted 80’s icon Lindy Chamberlain sitting at a table outside. Here was a mother once accused of killing her child in one of the most sensational cases of trial by media, many years later, enjoying a meal with friends.
My stepbrother P stopped by to see how the martinis were going down.
I saw Lindy Chamberlain, I told him surreptitiously.
Did you? he said. And what about Silverchair? They were sitting just over there.
I think it says something, that I could pick Lindy out of the crowd but totally failed to notice Newcastle’s most famous export.
Something about getting old, or priorities changing, or motherly mushbrain. I’d like to muse more on this but I’ve got deadlines you know and there’s only so many brain cells I can spare.