Monday, May 24, 2010

5 for me tonight

Today has mainly consisted of sitting on the sofa cradling a poorly Michael, hoping it's teething and nothing infectious.

My 5 are from the weekend and today..
1. The owner of the restaurant who served us on Saturday was called Siddhartha. Won't mean that much but it was the name of the Buddha before he became Buddha. In the flakiest possible way, the universe was saying "Good on yer" on Saturday. Yes the last six months or so have been extremely tough health and indeed everything wise, but as the Lama said, its absolutely the right teaching for me right now. And it is, even the stuff about death which I cannot comprehend but it is.

2. We went to a celebration of 20 years of Reading Buddhist Priory yesterday. Several people commented on my calm, positive parenting, even one of the monks. I didn't believe them, but had a good laugh with another parent who understood how possible it was to appear like this in front of an audience with the additional "pressure" of it being a Buddhist audience and yet not be like it quite a lot of the time also.

3. The thing that made a real and lasting difference and which will for quite some time to come was talking to another friend/parent who greeted me saying "motherhood suits you". What a wonderful thing to say. What I listened to at the time was when I said, "but you know I've been so awful, I've even slapped them" and she said, "well you just do sometimes don't you and you feel so awful afterwards". This mum is also a lay minister. In no way was she condoning her or my actions just acknowledging them and moving on. With the best will in the world, it Does just happen and that's something for my perfectionist nature to just let go of. Also, my goodness, this particular mum is one of the truly great mums I know (and I know a few) so to me, this was really inspiring that I might actually be an ok mum.
4. This am I was cranky and dizzy and sick and my back hurt with period pains that niggled like early contractions and I was exhausted. D was being determined to open a door and shut it, and I was worried as it's a heavy glass door and she could hurt herself easily on it. I didn't deal with it that well but not too badly either. She ended up in time out which was a little rubbish but gave us both breathing space so useful.
5. Held Michael for hours this afternoon. D was so kind, she pootled around and wasn't at all demanding and was quite, quite wonderful.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

39 today

and a truly lovely day. Not that we did anything special, just enough to keep the family ticking over but that was just absolutely as it should be. My birthday present this morning to myself was realising that I no longer feel scared of being a mother, sure it's a scary thing to be but that's more of a doing response, rather than a starting place which was how I construed it. Going into town the other day with D curled up on my lap, I had an overwhelming sense of this being exactly where I needed to be which is what the Lama did say to me in his recent letter. I am wondering if the anger has been my body trying to communicate with me that it's not well, and that now I have coil in place, and that the effects from that are calming down, that I have things to do for the vertigo and that one day I may get some more sleep, if my body is just happier? Who can really say. It may not be necessary anyway.

Today's 5 - just a lovely day with things happening exactly when needed. Not perfect but even the one horrendous bit - when we turned round in a shop to realise M wasn't there, worked out ok. Time went so slowly, I thought Ian was joking, I scanned the room to check, I ran out into the street, I scanned it so slowly it seemed just to see a lady getting up in slow motion as Michael strolled happily off. Of course, he seemed to be moving incredibly fast, it's interesting how adrenalin effects emotion. I didn't mention the torrent of swear words whilst still in the shop. There was a road directly outside the shop, I am so pleased that for whatever reason in his baby brain, something made Michael turn left, rather than rush straight on as he normally does. Plus the kind lady (who was probably getting up rather fast) also about to bolt after Michael was great.

Sunny and hot so shorts were worn, a great new curry house discovered, bath smellies won in a charity tombola, children fed pretty much constantly the day. Cake in the oven needing out.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Medieval Mayhem

We went to a show entitled the very same today and it was lovely. Felt mean not buying D a unicorn when the little girl next to her was getting one, but please, I mean honestly! My demand for historical accuracy simply wouldn't allow it .... (thankfully too tired for debate on theoretical archaeology). Am needing to get my application sent off for an online course on Egyptology as going to stuff like this reminds me how much I enjoy it.

Ok, so today's number 5 are...

1. D curled up on my lap tonight -so tired! The early morning light makes mincemeat of her anti light blind, the getting up early exhausts her, and she doesn't like to nap or go to bed too early. Tricky for her.
2. D's intense concentration today as she saw someone cutting up cardboard to make a spider shield so she could make a spider shield (hem hem authenticity now?), and her focus when painting it.
3. Michael saying "Do do" pushing a toy car. Quite unexpectedly he loves them! The car's he has were D's although she showed no interest in them. They both liked the train set. Can't quite cope with the gendered toys thing - ick! Have already had to remove a gun set for M! ICK!
4. Yesterday - both kids zooming up and down a tunnel for children at a local animal park. Last year D wouldn't do it, and M was too young. This year, D is so much more confident and M just quite naturally followed her.
5. Not really about them, but just seeing that although I can be quite foul, the kids have their own, quite independent of me resources of loveliness that sustains them, and shows through.

Have just finished reading this. It made me cry lots. My father would always recount how wonderful Chile had been when he lived there as a young man, and was so deeply saddened by Pinochet and his government. As we have just come through an election it really does make the point that we are just a bad government or so away from political evil and monstrosities. Am reminded of this cartoon we studied at school about the Versailles Treaty. Still upset.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I'm shattered...

but the day was ok. Children tired too, waking up at 6 am and in Michael's case teething and in D's case being permanently hungry do not make for tantrum free days. Lunch was a struggle until the kindly man served me food from the buffet I had taken the kids do. Michael would not go in the high chair and only stopped screaming 5 mins after teething tablets and much much mummy milk. Horrible amount of pain to be in. The same man gave us popadoms to take away as it was the only food M would eat. So kind and the extra kindness was the implication of it's totally ok to have your screaming infant here, we care! Lovely.

Managed not to be rude to the lady who complained loudly about D's tantrum (pot, kettle, black) in the middle of the salubrious establishment that is poundstretchers. Just glared and carried on removing D. To be fair, D fits the spirited child criteria to a t, infectious laughter, ear splitting screams, intense focus and hates change, so this wont be the first or last such look I shall receive. Or any parent really lol. At least I did just walk on.

1. Dealing with the extreme bum cream spreading incident this am calmly .
2. Having D fall asleep in my arms on the way home and not wake up howling and cranky.
3. Watching D run off with her friends to the loo and hearing how she was on her return. Not that she went to the loo, but she was keen to watch.
4. Gazing into Michaels eyes as he fed tonight. it always feels like I can see eternity reflected back. Had the same when D was smaller too.
5. Singing with D whilst Ian was rocking M.

A mish-mash day!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I would rather not have pushed D away as she was trying to dip her hoummousy potato wedge into the lentils we had been happily dipping into before, but that would have meant coming up with a different strategy and I'd kind of lost steam. Poor thing then screamed so much she was sick, which can't have been a joy for the other customers, but was more a result of her tummy being laden with catarrh as opposed to screaming making her sick. Up till then, and indeed after that point all was good, so I will start with
1. Managing to pull it all together, give D enough space to calm down and then hug her for ages when we were both ready.
2. Bus journey into town was lovely, but early, enjoyed cuddling D and M fell asleep in the buggy.
3. Watching them both tuck into their babycino's in Workhouse coffee - having made the decision to go there after lunch to give us some nice space in town. M sits so well and drinks so well from a cup (if you ignore the huge puddle and dripping jacket). Meeting Deborah's eyes as she drank her babycino, and it just being lovely.
4. Hearing D say more and more phrases.
5. Having them behave beautifully at the hospital, as I was having my check-up (which was fine).

Sadly I reaslised what I should have done was finish what I needed to eat first and then relinquish the rest to D. But writing it down here, it doesn't look as bad and was probably a lot safer than holding the lentils aloft and risking spilling them on Michael. Didn't want to go back to RBH with a scalded toddler.It often gets confusing when I am acting protectively. Need to remember to explain about some foods making mummy sick, and maybe not buying them when it's just me if there's a biggish chance of me having a reaction to them.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Deborah's hearing test

Ah she did so well today! (this is my number 1, I am immensely proud of my daughter). M was howling and miserable, so we had to wait outside to give D a chance to perform the test for her hearing. Which she did, without any separation issues at all. She had to raise and lower little figures into a boat whenever she heard a noise, and didn't particularly want to leave. Her hearing is absolutely fine although there is a slight amount of negative pressure in her Eustachian tubes and the quietest of the lowest frequency sounds had to be turned up before she moved a figure. The testers were not worried as both children were sporting liberal amounts of green snot, and this result is entirely consistent with having a cold. A review test in 3 months. So very happy about ALL of that.
2. Cuddling an extremely tired Deborah on the sofa before bedtime. Seeing her little red shoes and remembering how new she still is. The older child does not often have that.
3. Cuddling a slightly jealous Michael just after. Glorious to feel the full weight of their bodies resting on me totally un self consciously.
4. Spending time with D when M was asleep - we did writing, drawing, sewed cards and play dough in about 20 mins!
5. Just getting through today after being woken about 6 times last night.

“Most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities.” - Dalai Lama

This reminded me about my kitchen moment. Also about how guilty I felt about having given birth as one day it means they will day. As I am so afraid of this, it sometimes seems almost selfish to have given the same as an offering to my kids. Ah nutty mother :) But then we all stuff that's just passing through - if I forget about the kids in a certain kind of way and just focus on my emotions in a completely different kind of way than it's a lot easier. Think it's about acknowledging my needs, but not sure right now. Don't need to know either, am happy for it to be a work in progress.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

1. Stopped fretting about lunch and tea and fed them bread and butter on tap throughout the afternoon.
2. Fed Michael for hours, and refused some of Deborah's requests nicely so that I could still function without feeling completely drained. Made them both chocolate milk as a compromise and didn't shout when it got spilt as I peeled potatoes for tea.
3. Took them out in the morning and did stuff with them this afternoon despite no sleep last night. Allowed my body to feel as absolutely shattered as it is without too much winging.
4. Made paper hats this afternoon.
5. Started to give pauses after demands to allow time for de-grumping and time for compliance.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Minor Miracles

When I took refuge with the Lama he gave me a red thread bracelet to wear. It had 3 knots in it, 2 of which came untied before the whole thread wore through and fell off. I remembered it today after having a moment in the kitchen when listening to a beautiful song on the radio from way back when. My moment was looking at the kids and realising how they too are just souls/buddha natures travelling alongside me, it kind of freed me of that dreadful feeling of total and overall control and reminded me of a total and courteous respect for them and their feelings which I've overlooked for sometime. The bracelet came along later, the unknotting of my fear's had resonance with it being 2 knots that had gone. I told Ian about my minor miracle, and he asked if I'd seen the Lama actually do the knots, as obviously some knots will just pull apart like that. It's good it doesn't translate, as if it did I would get too caught up in the imagery and forget about the fear and the beautiful, dear children behind it all.

Too many total's perhaps, plus not all of these posts have to make perfect or indeed any sense :)
I also felt a lot better today and didn't loose my temper once. I have been so ill, in such minor ways, but with such big effects on me. I have been so full of grief and anger at my body for daring to come between me and the kids and ruin their childhood - brrrr my perfectionism is quite scary. Yet, from a compassionate view for me as the mum in training, that's a very real set of feelings and to ignore them is to be cold and harsh to myself leaving myself even more prone to anger. I guess this is something about non -duality, to cut oneself off from ones feelings is to deny oneself the opportunity to learn from the Buddha nature inherent within.

As I said, maybe not much sense.

A friend has suggested I write 5 good things I have experienced with the kids a day. She suggested a good notebook, and a nice pen, to be picked up when I feel despair and cross. I thought I would start here though, I'm having trouble identifying 5 whole things apart form making food and bedtimes.

1. Not getting angry - ok this is good :)
2. Starting the Mad Academy today, and being so proud of D who was very independent and wanted to do it all on her own, and did so beautifully.
3. Picking M up with grace and not irritation at least once today when he was howling just as I needed to do something.
4. Wrapping up D's play dough man in a wet wipe so he didn't dry out.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

They both

still come for cuddles and love. Maybe there is hope after all.

Pit of self loathing

Not a good place to be. I have now developed vertigo on top of a lovely 3 weeks and counting mirena inspired period. Have been insanely (literally) awful to the children, violence has returned. Trying to be compassionate but to be honest, too bloody cross with the room for spinning around, myself, and ermmmmmm myself.