Sunday, 30 May 2010
There were a LOT of teething problems at first, mostly on my part. Tim is an eager to please, amazingly high-spirited, wonderful giving guy.
He can also be a massive pain in the arse.
I've gotten used to him inhaling all of the food in the pantry .... leaving his workbag dumped on the ground after he gets home every day .... using my car as a garbage bin ....taking the home phone upstairs every night. I've learnt to choose my battles wisely, and I let him get away with a lot because he does a lot. His brothers adore him. He works for Dave, is in his third year apprenticeship soon, and I'm so proud that he is such a hard worker.
But the laundry situation makes me want to stab myself in the face.
With alarming regularity, he senses the EXACT time I have finished all the laundry in the house. Then he brings down his dirty washing, dumping it so that all the bits of grass and dirt from his soccer boots are all over the floor. Then he puts a load of his washing on.
And leaves it sitting in the washing machine. Wet. Forever.
I used to finish it off for him, until he started expecting me to. It's become a battle. Because I don't want to walk past the laundry and see all of his piles of dirty stuff, day after day.
I asked Dave to have a word with him, but he just said it should "come from me." I told him it already had come from me, 1,417 times in the past year.
Yesterday morning was D-Day. If I was to do washing, I'd have to get all the wet, almost mouldy stuff out of the washing machine, sidestepping all of his other mounds of week-old dirty clothes.
This is probably almost as boring writing it out as it is for you reading it, I'm sure. I'm sorry. I just needed to get to this next part - the one where I asked Tim to please stop doing this, he instantly gets angry at *me*, and I was in no mood. So I got angry back, saying to him I need to be able to tell him things like this.
And then our Lord and Master Dave, who was upstairs sitting on his throne overseeing his Kingdom while taking a dump, shouts out to ME to lay off.
I suddenly sprouted purple and black horns. It's such a shame - I haven't lost my cool like that in a long, long time. I don't think Rocco has ever seen me so cross - for the first time ever he was a little scared of me. And perhaps in awe.
I shouted the whole house down and kept shouting, until the roof and walls collapsed and Dave and his precious toilet came crashing and he sat there, blinking in the rubble.
Not really. But I did say terrible, mean spiteful things. Because as Dave kept yelling at me to shut up, I was yelling at Dave to stay out of it, stop being so defensive, I'm allowed to be angry at Tim, Tim was calmly telling me REALLY nasty things, out of Daves earshot. Tim happened to be holding Rocco at this point, and Max was sitting right next to us, listening to everybody. The only thing missing was Jerry Springer.
I was taught from an early age how to perfect the art of a vicious verbal attack on somebody, and I'm not proud of it. By the end, everybody was crying (except his Lordship upstairs, of course.) I felt so bad.
I took Max and Rocco to a huge playcentre, bought them McDominos for lunch, then some toys. Dreading coming home, I drove up to our house, absently thinking, "If Dave has snapped my laptop I will bash his Valiant with a golf club."
Which really surprised me, because we don't even have any golf clubs.
They had gone, away to Dave's mothers house for the night. Dave left me a nice note with kisses and hugs, hoping I can have a nice "relax." I replied by text, calling him an arsehole. Because he is and I'm still cranky.
I'm an ugly, cranky cow. And as soon as Tim comes home I will sit down with him and apologise. (I HATE when I have to apologise.)
And we'll hopefully talk calmly with each other about what happened, each stating our case.
It's hard, step-parenting. I often get no say in anything Tim does. It's hard when Dave feels so protective that he needs to step in, right at that pivotal moment when I'm cranky at Tim. I'm allowed to be cranky at Tim! I yelled out yesterday. But then things descended into yucky, I start screaming and crying, and as soon as I do that my whole credibility goes out the window and I become The Crazy Lady.
I hate being her.
So. They are due home soon. Rocco, Max and I ended up having a wonderful time together. (After I'd done three hours housecleaning and the weeks grocery shopping and dissassembling the expensive clothes hanger I've broken in my fit of rage.)
The scary part is ... Max has recently displayed signs of pre-teen attitudeness. And Rocco has been a petulant rebel since his cells started dividing.
How was your weekend?
Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Monday, 24 May 2010
And I had opera in my head
Your love was a light bulb
Hanging over my bed
- U2 "Ultraviolet"
I do have one or two "good" habits. I always light a candle when I wake up in the mornings. Among all the crumbs from dinner from the night before; the overflowing sink; Rocco destroying something; Tim and Dave getting ready for work and Max putting his school face on .... the candle is burning.
I light the candle with purpose in my heart, sending out a signal to the Universe, inviting Spirit into the room with us.
Does that sound wanky? Probably. But if I don't live with some kind of acknowledgement that I am not controlling my life, that there are forces unseen that want the best for me and my family - well, I don't travel too good.
Whenever I walk past the candle, it centres me. Especially when I forget it's there, so that when I see it I get reminded all over again.
The past few weeks have been pretty rough, but it's ok. Rocco turned two and I freaked out. Tim and Max leaving their stuff all around the house that I just cried in frustration at them.
The work I do at home is not financially valued - if I had a dollar every time I picked something up, I could buy a LOT of the candles I need to keep reminding myself to stop sweating the small stuff. I'm not in control. Get out of my own way. Just do what's in front of me.
Even last week, when Dave had such bad stomach pains he was up all night. I don't care what he says, I'm coming with him to his next oncology appointment. Rocco can come too. Tear the place apart, make the other patients laugh. No matter how many times we go into that cancer clinic, I never ever feel like we belong there.
The truth is, nobody belongs there.
This morning I realised that I am so pre-menstrual, it's a wonder anybody in this house is still alive. The sound of the boys all chewing their food at the same time made me want to punch them.
But I didn't! I am *so* Spiritual!
I think finally, finally I am learning what makes me tick. When I get old and on my deathbed, I'll have a Eureka! moment and understand how to live my life.
And then I'll die.
Next life I'd like to come back as someone more ... together. Because I have no clue what that feels like. But I know what watching your boys eat leftovers in front of the fire feels like:
The bunny fingers, the Scooby shirt ... I love these pics.
(Even with the stupid clothes hangers that will remain there for the whole of winter.)
(If we make it through winter.)
(Because a helicopter may come crashing through that window at ANY TIME.)
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Last night, after a long day of hovering on the edge of anxiety attacks, I held Rocco close to me before I put him in his cot. He snuggled up, pressed himself closely to my body. I asked him:
"Rocco ..... are you a baby, or a big boy?"
It was his last day of being one. He looked straight up at me, paused for a second, then answered:
And went back to his cuddle.
(Swear to God that is exactly what happened. I was shaking with laughter).
Last night I was icing his cake, wrapping his presents .... so grateful and amazed that we have all made it through. Together.
Two years, man. A lot can happen, in two years. Rocco has had a gazillion presents and ran around and had a mini-party at his daycare. A bath with dad, his favourite meal for dinner (beef stroganoff) .... and extra dessert afterwards. He has four pairs of new shoes, remote control car, a Buzz Likeyou, and his most favourite present of all ..... a garbage truck. With a realistic BEEP BEEP that sounds when the bin is being lifted up.
And throughout it all I went inside myself, today. Annoyed the crap out of myself in fact.
Rocco said his first sentence: "I see you, daddy" ... at the dinner table. I nearly burst into tears.
My tearaway, my dictator. My patience-teacher.
I'm still learning all the gifts he gave me, this strong, stubborn, tough, eccentric, beautiful and brash little boy.
Two years ago I was shaking really badly from the shock of the pain of the c-section .... they hadn't given me enough painkillers afterwards and I was too embarrassed to ask for more. Until this one kick-arse nurse came on duty and demanded heavy drugs for me pronto. Two days later she took Rocco for me in the middle of the night. I bayed at the moon like a wolf, in that hospital bed. Thinking of Dave in his hospital bed, wondering if I would ever see him again.
But I did and we're here and it's cool.
Rocco sweet I'm sorry that your arrival into this world was clouded with such heaviness. Don't take it personally, mate. It had nothing to do with you. It's important for you to know, that some things in life have no ryhme or reason. At all.
In fact, I believe that you are the one who saved us all.
Monday, 17 May 2010
Speaking of tracksuit pants, Dave and the boys bought me a black Adidas trakkie for mothers day. Which I've worn every day since. I finally washed it today. I give it about three months before my armpit man-glands ruin it forever -
After destroying said clean room, Rocco gave birth to an 8-year old boy -
We daringly took the boys out for brekkie on the weekend. On the way there we stopped at a garage sale and bought this wooden toy for $2 which kept Rocco amused until our eggs arrived. Score! -
Mysteriously, all the milk was gone when I went to make a coffee the next morning.
Q) How do you piss mummy off so badly that steam comes out of her ears before 6.30am?
A) Put her skim milk container back in the fridge. With no skim milk in it.
Thursday, 13 May 2010
I've been blogging for three years. It's a hobby. An obsession - one of my favourite things in the world. It's equal parts narcissism and reflection. It's so damn FUN .... looking back, looking forward, and the best kind of blogging .... looking within.
Lately I have been telling more and more people that I have a blog. Only because they ask me what I "do", my goodness I hate that question. I was in a really bad place a few years ago and Dave dragged me out to a party. The guy next to me turned to me and said, "So, Eden. What is it that you DO?"
My reply, verbatim -
"Ohhhh, I dunno. Stuff. Eat. Shit. Things like that."
Nobody except for him heard me, thank goodness. I never told Dave what I said - that guy must see me in town and think "FREAK."
So I have started to tell people that I blog, because it gets me off the hook when they ask me how my writing is going. (My writing isn't going anywhere in a hurry.)
My motivation of starting a blog in April 2007 was to document my IVF process. And I ended up meeting all these really cool women, online.
Something has happened in me, since then. And I am about to sound like the biggest wanker in the world right now - but I found my voice. What is it about this medium that so enchants me? Maybe, it's that I can say whatever, do whatever. The options of what you can do in your blog are only limited by your imagination. It's so fucking creatively cool.
Personal blogging is not that big in Australia, yet. I tell people sometimes and they laugh, before mocking me. True. But I don't care ..... I have found life on planet earth to be extraordinarily cruel and hard, for a lot of the time. So anything that feels good and does not harm myself or others, is fine by me. I love blogging so much that I soon have to write up wills for both Dave and I, in case we die in a plane crash on our way over to BlogHer in New York in August.
Blogging through some of the worst times of my life has given me some of the best friendships in my life. I will always blog, hopefully even when my hands are gnarled and wrinkled like layers of cling wrap.
When Max was born, over eight years ago, I had to write my occupation on his birth certificate application form. Ummmm, loser? I wrote "writer." I knew I was an absolute fraud, and when we got his certificate in the mail, Dave scoffed. "What do you write hon?"
My secret is that ever since I was little, I have wanted to be a writer. My grandmother really encouraged me, always told me how well I wrote. At any school I ever went to, all of them - I kicked ARSE in creative writing, but failed everything else miserably. In my early twenties, it was the one thing in my life that gave me hope. I would think, "What if nan was right? What if I make it through this all, and then I can write?"
I get embarrassed when I get complimented on my writing. You know my theory on being a writer? Two things:
1) You must be a good noticer, and
2) You must be a good describer.
That's all. Just pick up the pen (keyboard) ... and write. It's that painfully simple.
These days, when I go to parties and get asked what I "do" ... I say I'm a writer. And I am. And there it is.
I recently decided to delete my old blog, forever. I hadn't poked my head in there for many moons, so I did before I bid it goodbye.
Oh the words. And stories, and all who I met.
I can't bid it goodbye! So I read through every single post - backwards. And edited it. Wow - do you know how many times you use the word "cocksucker" when you are blogging anonymously? A LOT.
I only had to take down a few posts, ones that, you know - people could sue me for. So here it is ...... Indisputable Topcat. It's like, a museum now instead of a lonely ghost town. I've disabled comments on it, mostly to eliminate the spam.
My early posts are cringeworthy - like a fricken Dear Diary. Poorly written and stilted, and all my dark past and early childhood dysfunction accidentally came out. But, I own it. One of the biggest and best things that blogging continues to teach me is that we all have stories. And fucked-upness. And very, very hard times. And love and hope and stinky armpits.
Saturday, 8 May 2010
Thursday, 6 May 2010
"Lord, I have a problem."
"What's the problem, Eve?"
"I know that you created me and provided this beautiful garden and all of these wonderful animals, as well as that hilarious comedic snake, but I'm just not happy."
"And why is that, Eve?"
"Lord, I am lonely. And I'm sick to death of apples."
"Well, in that case, I have a solution, Eve. I shall create a man for you."
"A man? What is that, Lord?"
"A flawed creature, with many bad traits. He'll lie, cheat and be vain. He'll be bigger, faster and will like to hunt and kill things; all in all, he'll give you a hard time. But I'll create him in such a way that he will satisfy your physical needs. He will be witless and will revel in childish things, like fighting and kicking a ball about. He won't be as smart as you, so he will need your advice to think properly."
"Sounds great, but... what's the catch, Lord?"
"Well, you can only have him on one condition."
"Oh. What would that be?"
"As I said, he'll be proud, arrogant and self-admiring - so you'll have to let him believe that I made him first. And it will have to be our little secret . . . you know, woman to woman."
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
I didn't understand what she meant, but I just said yes. Because it was the Truth. I probably shouldn't blog about such things but I can't help it. I'm learning to not be so scared of the Truth. Something happened to me when Dave got cancer. I truly know what it feels like to really live each day. You know how, when something bad happens, everything else falls away and only the important things remain? And it's so simple? Life is so fragile, man. You never ever know what's around the corner.
In conclusion: The Truth isn't scary. Taking care of others takes the focus off yourself. And if you're an ex-junkie and your toddler wakes you up with a syringe in his hands ... you think really strange thoughts all day long.
Monday, 3 May 2010
He sees me snapping photos of his kitchen-garage, walks up to smile at me. I see what he is thinking. These are mine! Look what I did! You can't touch these mummy!!
Driving cars is thirsty work, you know.
Later that day, he walks up the street. Straight up to a bearded, tattooed guy drinking coffee. He tries to crawl into his lap. The guy laughs ... "Well well! You're not scared, are ya mate!" I laugh and say no, he's not scared of anything.
I ask the man can I take a photo, he agrees.
If Rocco had a wallet, this is what it would look like -