- Catherine Irwin
- Perth, WA, Australia
- Hi friends. To those I have met in person and the many I haven't - welcome to our nest. Thanks so much for stopping by. I am a mama of six baby birds and wife to one papa bird. Our nest is an intricately woven home, crafted over time, through the highs and lows of life, and many in-betweens. We are soon to leave our Australian nest to re-locate to our second home, the UK. This is our story, of our new life in a new country, the trials and tribulations, bidding goodbye to precious friends and embracing new. I know at times, our wings will be flapping so hard to keep us moving forward that we will tire, however, a little perseverence will bring effortless gliding amongst a soft breeze, and even stronger wings for the journey ahead. Welcome to our flight......
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
In our household there is a fair amount of teaching and correcting.
Some days, I fear, when the moon is in some sort of strange alignment, we seem to be giving the children time-outs, send-outs and all manner of other 'outs', usually in the form of 'out of the room' or 'out of his/her personal space' or 'out of the house and chase the monkey off your back'. My parents used to say that to me which used to make 'my back-pack monkey' even madder and instead of trying to dislodge the little critter I would encourage it's presence with all manner of forbidden words and naughtiness.
Other days, we have issues with noise - lots of it, all at once and all the time. I never thought that I would view silence as a golden gift, but when I experience it, I drink it in like my last breath. I have decided that noise breeds noise, and the higher octaves of one child, spures on the next to excel at all costs.
On Saturday just gone, we had one of our naughty and noisy days and at one stage every child was in time-out, including the dog, and the OBH, who hid in the toilet with a mag. Every so often someone would peep their head out of their bedroom door, like one in battle, to see if the coast was clear. Once spotted I promptly sent them back to their beds with their tails between their legs.
After a while they all slunk back to civilisation, very repentant and very worried that ice-cream was off the menu for the day.
Sometimes I line them all up and ask them to look me in the eye, to gain maximum impact, and lo and behold, even the dog is in the line, standing to attention. Impressive hey?
However, you know what? One day, I won't have little ones to correct and the small things such as picking one's nose and growing a 'booger farm' under one's bed, will give way to picking a tux for one's wedding day.
Sunday, 20 February 2011
'Oh that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest -
I would flee far away
And stay in the desert.
I would hurry to my place of shelter
Far from the tempest and the storm'.
(Psalm 55: 6-8)
Children often speak of having wings to take flight.
For girls they are in the form of delicate, fairy wings, usually pink - most often sparkly. Our number four child can be seen flitting around the house, her feet sounding like a thousand horses hooves. 'Mummy', she pants, 'I am a fairy! My name is Susan and I am flying'. Susan the fairy has a lot of flying practice to do, particularly in grace and form.
Then there are the boys.
They fly too, but usually to their mother-ship, taking with them their captive agents to be destroyed and eliminated from the force.
At other times, it is a quick trip to the moon to check all is well with the universe and to clock up extra mileage on their rocket booster in order to avoid federal gains tax on their leased fleet. The jaunt usually includes partaking of sugary treats prior to take off. Don't you know that eating a muffin can be tricky whilst floating upside down?
Babies attempt flying too.
Ours have been having a go from the dizzying heights of our lounge onto the tiled floor. Over the back of the lounge is currently under negotiation. Fatty twin two having reservations about the impact from drop to cold hard floor on her limbs.
Beds are also fair go with the much softer carpet landing. Great squeals of delight can be heard from our bedroom as the twins bungee jump over the edge, only to be caught by their feet right before carpet meets skull.
Then there is the teenager.
She is also attracted to air-borne activity. Ours enjoys the trampoline with the protective mesh around the perimeter, thank goodness, otherwise I am sure she would end up on the neighbor's roof or crashing into their living room. 'Oops, sorry, was that a bit high'?
Now to adults. Some of us like to fly in real terms - planes, parachuting, helicopters and the like. But women, mostly, seem to want to fly away - as in escape. To remove themselves from their current routines, their over-scheduled days and pressing responsibilities. What busy mother has not passed by a travel agent's window and cast her eyes on a calm and peaceful tropical beach scene, sighing inwardly and wishing she could mould herself onto that paper right there and then? She can imagine bathing in the soft, warm rays, cock-tail in hand, feet massaged, eyes closed.
Or alternatively, who hasn't glanced at the opportunity of winning an all-expenses-paid holiday, flying first-class, with five star accommodation, with no cooking or cleaning thrown in, and experienced a pang of longing?
And, why do we sit in a darkened movie theatre and watch scenes of someone else's life unfold before our eyes? Escapism.
Just like the Psalmist wrote, 'Oh that I had the wings of a dove!' Yes, indeed, I quite fancy a bit of soaring above the clouds today and should I land on a tropical, deserted beach, not to worry, I will indeed cope. I love coconuts!
Saturday, 12 February 2011
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
There are a few facts I have learnt along the way of my parenting journey. Here are some of my musings:
1. Children who unstack the dish washer always need to go to the toilet half way through.
2. Green vegetables cause gagging in small children.
3. It is impossible for a child to keep their toothbrush in one place, even more impossible to keep the toothpaste on the brush. It sits much easier on the taps and the front of bathroom cupboards.
4. It is too much of an imposition for growing children to remember to turn off bedroom lights. Didn't you know that the constant stretching upwards to flick the switch causes repetitive strain on tendons?
5. Breakfast cereal must be coated in sugar prior to consuming and then re-applied in layers until the bowl is finished. The job has not been executed successfully unless there is a syrupy glob at the bottom upon completion.
6. Getting out of bed on a school day is a near impossible task,however weekends are for heralding the dawn.
7. All spiders inside the house are so enormous they are called mega-spiders and require two adults, a can of spray and a whole load of screaming to remove. The fact that one needs binoculars to locate them is irrelevant. Nearly always they are red backs, deadly and their names are John or Robert.
8. Children's clothes worn for five minutes always need to be washed as it prolongs the necessity to actually fold and put them back in their drawer.
9. Children love to help to cook as long as it involves licking anything sweet or anything to do with mess.
10. In comparison, washing salad leaves is boring and does not quantify cooking.
11. Helping Mummy tidy up has a very short life span - about 60 seconds.
12. Children respond very well to bribery - as a parent use it with caution, but treat it like pure gold when you are tired and desperate. Warning - you can become financially unstable if you over-use this process.
13. boys like to read books which have the words bang, thump, pow and bum on a few of the pages.
14. Dogs which need to be exercised every day are apparently able to communicate to their owners that they don't feel up to a walk, a treat or to play. They much prefer to ponder all day and write in their diaries. They have days of being anti-social and need to have plenty of 'me-time', which co-incidently coincides with said owners lack of motivation.
15. Children's teeth have an innate ability to clean themselves which so far has baffled dentists and experts world wide. Despite the fact that there is a green tinge and a suspicious smell oozing from the open mouth, said children will swear this self cleaning ability is a work in progress.
Ok... I could continue, but enough said in one lash, after all I have six precious off-spring and I have barely scratched the surface on one of them. I think I will go clean my teeth as apparently being an adult disqualifies me from self-cleaning!
Monday, 7 February 2011
I started full time work last week. No let me clarify - of course - my current occupation is full-time, with so much overtime unpaid that the unions can't deal with my paperwork and have placed me in the pending file for the past 13 years. This is also not to mention the sick leave I am owed as well as extra holiday loading pay. I won't go down that road though, as all stay-at-home mum's know the deal pretty soon after conception of their first child, and if they don't, it doesn't take long for that elusive contract to expand and lengthen as our bellies do the same.
So now I have that off my chest, apart from the above constant duties, I did indeed embark on paid work in an office with grown ups (!) and surrounded by tailored clothing and dress shoes. There was not a flip-flop in sight or a pair of daggy trackies or unwashed hair. It was impressive, not the least of it being me, as I endeavoured to actually arrive at my stated time of 8.15am, with my hair washed and styled, my heels on and my makeup (including eye makeup) well applied. I kept wanting to give myself a little pat on the arm and whisper congratulations. You are awesome girl. Look at you all grown up now at 37 years of age, Mum of six and working!
I answered the phone with a perky voice and there was no babies crawling up my legs to grab the receiver. I had a whole half and hour to eat my lunch (!) and I could go to the toilet without company. I rediscovered my love of organization and administration and was constantly in awe of the fact that I was actually being paid to do that by the hour! I spoke in full sentences in adult language, not baby talk. I never once said 'Ta' or 'Bubba' or 'Don't Touch'. For eight whole hours I never changed a pooey nappy. I remembered that I do actually like to be sociable and chat instead of tearing around the house like a mad-woman. I could go on but that would make me sound ecstatic about being out of the house.
My incredibly devoted parents took shifts to help care for the children. It was a small military operation just to enable me to leave the house by 8am. Shift one started at 7.30am when my Dad would stagger in, who took over baby duties (but not nappies) and shift two at 9am when Mum would come and assist Dad with the rest of the day. Everybody was happy and fed and beautifully cared for and loved, probably a lot better than I have been doing it all lately. I came home to a clean and tidy house, with dinner made and babies napping. True working-girl bliss! Poor Mum and Dad were a bit bleary eyed by the end of the day but they looked happy and contended at days end (probably because they had their leave pass to go home!).
But then, of course, all good things must come to an end, and the kids got the vomits - badly. Like flies they fell to the dreaded gastro bug and the OBH and I found ourselves emptying more sick bowls and changing more bed sheets than we could ever have possibly imagined. Now what to do? I didn't account for the 'chucking-up- your-guts factor', and really, there is only so much your parents want to take on, and cleaning sick was not in their job description (can't remember it being in mine though either). So I called in sick on account of poorly children and necessary mothering duties taking precedence, and I have temporarily said goodbye to my cushy, grown-up-girl day job.
However, after all, I am a Mum first, foremost and forever and only a pretend-career- girl a very poor second!