Friday, July 24, 2015

Dear Olive,
Goodness me this boy of ours is trouble. I don't know if it's a boy/girl thing, or just an individual kid thing, but he is so very different to you at the same age. He's physical and energetic (and so were you, but this is next level, and served with a side of aggressive destruction). He yells and hits and screams the house down at a simple nappy change, and then in the same breath smothers us with kisses and cuddles. Sometimes we can't physically get him in the car seat, so we just have to just wait it out, until he's decided he's ready. Same goes for the pram, and the sling. And sometimes shoes. He's obsessed with balls and he'll throw anything that's not tied down, anywhere in the house. Down the toilet, out the window, into the bin, at kids in the park. We're all hit in the head daily with balls/books/shampoo bottles. A few nights ago he started a fire in our kitchen when he threw something up onto the stove top. I was in the bedroom reading you a book and he came in and asked me to help him with his specialised language made up of grunting and nods. (Possibly not alerting me to the fire, but because he wanted his toy back.)  He is e.x.h.a.u.s.t.i.n.g. and by the end of each day I'm weary and battered. 
But, you know what, it's ok. It won't be like this forever. And because this grand, grand love he's brought into our lives makes all our hearts sing.


happy birthday

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dear Olive,
Happy birthday to our team captain.


a week at dads

Dear Olive,
We went up to my Dads for the first week of your school holidays - you, Clancy and I. It was such a lovely week, hanging with my family and making the most of the warm weather and all the space at Dads. Clancy was really hard work (wouldn't let me out of his sight to go to the toilet kind of hard work) and by the end I was utterly exhausted. Thankfully he returned to his normal slightly more independent self when we returned home (and I suspect a lethal combination of the old teething/developmental age/being away from home was to blame).
On a coastal walk we did one day, we saw what could have been twenty whales breaching and slapping fins and seemingly just enjoying being alive. It was a privilege to behold.


in the mountains

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dear Olive,
Shane had a week off in between jobs last week. So in between a day of work for me and a show at the Opera House*, we squeezed in a few days away at the blue mountains. It was unbelievably refreshing to change our everyday routine, even just for a few days**. (And so important to do, I think.) We rented a house which sat right on the escarpment in Leura, and we did a little bush exploring and sight seeing, but mostly we just hung out and soaked up the incredible view. The sense of space - both inside the house, which was enormous, and outside, with the view extending to endless mountains - was so calming. (Actually, it gave me an insight into what life could be like if we lived in a big place with lots of space - at the moment, we get out of the house to take Clancy to the park in the morning, race him home for a sleep, and then bust out to give him another run after he wakes up in the afternoon. It's designed to wear him out, and frankly it's exhausting for us all!)

Last night you recounted to my friend (having heard it from your friends brother, no less) the dreamtime story of the three sisters; I'd never heard it before and the way you told it was so poignant. What a shame if it was made up - read about it here.

* TV on the Radio, in the concert hall of the opera house; truly, truly amazing.
** Although sadly, it feels as though we've stepped right back in to the same old shit once we got home.


from the long weekend

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Dear Olive,
If long weekends are for sleeping in, eating good food, enjoying the sunshine with friends, kids parties, and going out to adult parties and drinking champagne; then the one we just had was a cracker.


heart on the bed

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dear Olive,
Lately, after he's asleep, you've been asking to get into bed with Clancy. Which means that when Shane and I go to bed, we have the heart bursting privilege of finding this.


'tis the season

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Dear Olive,
Clancy came down with his first cold last week. It was, of course, inevitable. But what was surprising was that I'd forgotten just how miserable a baby can get when they're sick. He was clingy and generally wretched, which was terribly sad (and terribly exhausting). I tried him on a new to us brand of kids herbal range (KiwiHerb for those interested) and upped his daily dose of cod liver oil. (The naturopath in the health food store laughed when I told her that Clancy drops whatever he's doing and comes pelting into the kitchen whenever I call out "who wants cod liver oil!".) I gave him my bone broth, which he loves having straight up in a cup. And I'm always happy to breastfeed him as much as he wants. One of the most brilliant things about breastmilk is being able to have a little control over what goes in it - because what goes in me, goes in him, so I make sure I'm having lots of things that will help his still-developing immune system fight - nutrient dense meals with plenty of garlic and onion, topped up with immune boosting supplements, and lots of ginger and turmeric and lemon tea. And it probably goes without saying; endless cuddles. But life goes on around his poorly self, and thank goodness for slings so it can!

PS Did you know Australians are prescribed 25% more antibiotics than the OECD?


mental health days

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Dear Olive,
We had one of *those mornings* this morning. It all started when you couldn't decide what to wear for mufti day. Against my and Shane's advice, you decided upon your Elsa dress*. But you were in hysterics when you realised it was torn. So you changed into regular clothes and eventually calmed down when I suggested we pin the Elsa badge from the Elsa dress onto your school bag. You know, so you could still feel a little Elsa-ery, even in your non-Elsa-ery clothes. The badge broke as I was pinning it on. THE DAMN BADGE BROKE. So there was more crying. Then, out of nowhere, your ear started hurting. So there was even more crying. We got out the door, you holding my hand, crying. I was already beginning to doubt my resolve - did I really want to drag you to school kicking and screaming. But I started to get a sinking feeling creeping in when I saw a few other kids walking to school; they were all dressed in their school uniforms. It seems I'd made the rookie mistake in following my memory, and not the school newsletter. Mufti day wasn't for another week. You then started crying about being out of uniform. It was at this point that I gave up on you going to school altogether and we walked back home. The crying stopped (and, coincidentally, so did the hurting ear).

And, of course; all this on the one day Shane started work late and was excited to walk with you to school.

I'm acutely aware that having to comply with the rules and regimen and listening and following of school is a profound change for you. (For any kid starting school.) And I know the way you recharge yourself is through creative play. Creative play where the only rules are your own. I'm more than happy to give you time off, to do just that, whenever I think you really need it. So we're now on our second mental health day in as many weeks. There was a bit of a discussion on my instagram last week on mental health days for kids. And I'm interested to know - do you give them to your kids? And are they allowed one per term? Or taken on an as-required basis? 

(And doesn't all this just beg the question ... where are my mental health days?)

*shakes fist at Aunty Bry! I HATE THE ELSA DRESS.


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