HELL YES, it’s International Champagne Day and in keeping with the bubbly “theme” you’re getting my FAVE Champagne Cocktail, the original and in my opinion, the best EVER.
Glass of Champagne
4-5 drops of Angostura Bitters
Put Sugar Cube in champagne glass, drench it with the Bitters, then pour fresh champagne over the top (ha! like you’re going to pour STALE champagne. Amatuers).
It’s dead easy and f*cking YUM.
Today Inky had her 2 year maternal health nurse checkup.
The nurse is a bit ditzy, but as a second-time mum, I don’t really care – I go through the motions of having my child weighed and measured and dutifully watch the nurse tick all those little milestone boxes. I’m here on the chair responding (Does she feed herself with a spoon) “Yes”, (Does she have a pincer grasp”) “Yes”. I’m droning “Yes”, “Yes”, “Yes” on and on. And then she gets to the pearler, delivered as a statement, rather than a question.
“And she sleeps through the night.” As she goes to tick her little box, I say,
“Oh, GOD no.”
I wish I had a camera to capture the look on her face. I’m not kidding, she looked in shock. Horrified, even. As if there actually EXISTED a 2 YEAR OLD no less, who did not. sleep. through. the. night. Imagine.
“How many times does she wake? Just once, yes?”
“Oh, I don’t know, it depends. She used to sleep through occasionally, but sometimes she wakes once, sometimes twice. Occasionally more than that if she’s having a bad night.”
Before she could go on, as I could tell she WANTED to go on, I continued;
“But LOOK at her, she’s gorgeous, she’s doing everything right, she’s clearly getting enough sleep.” (delivered in the delirious tone of a mother clearly NOT getting enough).
And there the subject was dropped. But I have to tell you I wanted to slap that Ditzy Nurse from here to Sunday (dad would be proud I managed to squeeze that old-time pearler into a post).
I know there are women out there who are not coping and genuinely need help with their child’s sleep – in some cases there is a very real problem. But there are also parents whose child(ren) might wake once or twice a night who are getting tied up in anxious knots because they are being told by well-meaning and old-school nurses (and neighbours, and friends and grandparents) that it ISN’T NORMAL that their child isn’t sleeping through. These parents wind themselves up in a spiral of self-critique and rabid questioning of both their own parenting skills and their bad luck in NOT having one of those perfect children that does what they’re “meant” to do all the time.
And reactions like the one Ditzy Nurse gave me do not help.
This nirvanic idea of the child who sleeps all night is a perpetuated myth that doesn’t exist in most cases. I can tell you, I’ve been in the trenches and I know that a child who sleeps all night every night is NOT the norm. The other issue is that “sleeping through the night” means different things to different people. For some, like me, it means putting your child to sleep at 8am and not seeing them for dust until 6am. For others it is a 5 hour stretch. For others, their child sleeps through the night ALL night, oh, except for the night feeds and the time they spend settling them afterwards. I know a lot of women whose guts churn when they hear the question “Does your child sleep through the night?” It’s like a milestone of motherhood having a child that does so.
Of course there are kids that do it, but Inky is going through a phase where she doesn’t – I figure she’ll get there eventually in her own time, it might be next week it might not be until she’s 4. It means we don’t “sleep through the night” either, but if it’s not a problem for us then THERE IS NO PROBLEM. That’s not to say that the night-time palaver doesn’t shit me enormously, particularly after being hit up for the 100th reprise of “Rock-a-baby” (sic) or having her SCREAM hysterically at 3am when she can’t find her Teddy, but I’m not going to be made to feel like a failure of a mother if she does so.
I hate that phrase. Sleeping through the night. It sends loaded shivers down my spine. Ditzy Nurse asked that question just like all the others in her little bag of checkbox tricks, but she should have taken it in her stride when I replied “No” and asked me if I needed help, not looked at me like Dracula had stolen her baby and was joyously chomping on it’s neck.
[Linking up with Diary of a SAHM for I Blog on Tuesdays]
Yep, I’m leaving the “children” with their “father” (sorry, no idea why I quotation marked that) for 3 freaking blissful DAYS of hobnobbing with other awesome BLOGGERS (like what I did there – other awesome bloggers) in SYDNEY (a place I haven’t visited for… ummm, a long time. A very long time). This will be a long wait, my friends. March 2013. A laborious wait.
I used to drink Bellinis all the time in Vancouver. My girlygirlfriend was an afficionado and nothing could separate her and a good Peach Bellini on a Friday afternoon in Summer. The authentic recipe calls for a skinned white fresh peach, but when you’re a mum with two kids constantly whining “Muuuuuuum. Can I [insert meaningless request]” I say fuck that, bring me the canned shit!
100ml sparkling dry wine
50ml peach puree. Canned. Fresh. Whatevs!
Mix into a champagne glass, bung on a fresh strawb (or not) and you are so done. Just as done as you’ll be after 7 of the little beauties.
… with one of the two most beautiful of creatures in the world. My little girl is 2 today. How the flipping jeheebaz did that happen? Oh yes, Time, you slippery sonofabitch.
Inky, you’ve changed. Two years ago you were a cranky baby who we thought was incapable of laughter, probably the after-effects of a traumatic birth. As sleep-deprived parents of a newborn, we got caught in the downward spiral of believing you might simply be an irascible, difficult little person. Looking back at that mum and dad, I just want to give them a motherflipping collective head-slap.
Some of the things that I most love about you:
- I need only to say the most mundane thing like, “Would you like a piece of toast?” and you pause for a second, your eyes light up and you cry out “Awwww, YEAAAAH!” Like it’s the BEST idea you’ve EVER heard.
- You insist on giving everyone two kisses (including your dolls and teddies) – one on each cheek. French style.
- The beautiful relationship you have with your big sister. I steeled myself for the fights, the jealousy, the irritating detritus of two girl siblings sharing the same room, but it simply hasn’t happened. You squabble occasionally, but you are both very similar – creative, easily entertained and you both love making people laugh. You follow Scout around like an attitude-ridden puppy dog, trying to look cool but following everything she does.
- When Scout showed you how to do proper somersaults, you did them all day and looked so proud when you did one well.
- How you see me from across your creche room and cry excitedly “Mummy hee-ya!” and run down any toddlers that get in your way in the pursuit of a “mummy-cubble”.
- How you sing back to me dodgy lullabies I’ve made up on the spot, but get some of the words slightly wrong.
- The way you do shifty eyes when you know you’ve done something naughty.
- How much you love Swedish House Mafia. I love watching you head banging the desk while watching “Don’t you Worry ,Child”. Can’t wait to start you on Eminem.
I am so thankful for you. You bring so much joy to us and everyone around you.
I can’t believe I was ever considering NOT having a second child, and had resigned myself to the fact that a hole in my heart that I didn’t even know existed, would remain unfilled. I had you (no, we don’t have to go back to where the newborn meets vagina, thank you very much) when I was 39, and still recovering from a major condition (no, not f*ckwittedness – don’t worry, I’ll never recover from that) and feeling profoundly tired, but your cherubic, loving and slightly daft ways have all lifted my ailing spirit more than you could ever imagine.
I love you so intensely, Inky. Happy Birthday beautiful girl.
Linking up with Trish at Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday!
Yesterday, Scout had set this up in the front garden:
Yes, that’s my slipper sock. No, that’s not a used cigarette to the left.
I thought she’d outgrown the fairies thing, and it melted my heart (see, it is possible). I believed in “fairies at the bottom of the garden” as a kid. I mean, it was the 70s – even grown men and women believed in fairies in the 70s. I reckon my dad saw a fairy at the bottom of his sherry glass every evening in the 70s. But I digress.
Then Husband tells me it may be a reaction to her idol in class (a rather scampish second grader) telling her that Santa Claus is “just her dad”, so we now think she’s experimenting with the fairies thing to see if they are real, too.
But in making the shrine, she’d used a tiny set of teacups/saucers that I’d had as a child. They are sentimental to me, so I’d told Scout she could use them, but that I trusted her to not to lose them. She did leave them for the fairies so they could drink tiny cups of… umm, fairy milk, but as they were in the front yard, someone could have nicked them. Not that anyone would, but we remonstrated her for leaving them in the front yard. She looked so despondent that she’d let us down and I just wanted to carry her away and take her somewhere where she could leave freaking teacups in the front yard and not worry about them being stolen. It’s the first time I genuinely wished we lived somewhere different because I basically love where we live.
Scout had also written them a little note…
…along with a pen for them to write her back.
Last night we started writing a note to her from a fairy, but then I thought it might be, I don’t know, cheating or something. Not that it’s any different from “being Santa”, but I want to give a little 7 year old imagination hope that things like fairies might exist, without actually writing a letter from a non-existent fairy. So instead Husband chopped up the card she left out for the fairy into little shapes and sprinkled them over her Fairy Shrine.
This morning we walked past the shrine and she was a bit flustered at first that the fairies would leave something for her, then she got a bit excited and started saying “I’m going to tell EVERYONE for Show and Tell that fairies are REAL. That they VISITED me.”
What have we DONE? I feel dreadful, like we’ve set her up to look like a pariah. A freaky fairy believer. What if she’s teased by her schoolmates because of it. All we wanted to do was inspire her gentle little imagination.
Parenting FAIL 101.