Sunday, March 13, 2011

Out of the cocoon

Yeah always it's been ages since I've done a blog. With Facebook and Twitter now, even though I seem to be recording my daily activities more than ever it means that longer forms of writing are suffering. And while Facebook and Twitter are so fleeting and in the moment no one can really be sure if all that info will be around forever. (as fascinating as it is to scroll though a few months worth of status updates.)

Anyway I digress - here I am and gosh it's March. When I first had Poppy and was in the painful, early throes of parenthood once again, scared, sore, exhausted and wounded I sobbed to Ed that I couldn't wait to turn 40. He asked why I was wishing the last months of my 30's away. My answer was that I figured by the time I was 40 (which was 8 months away at the time) I would have healed, Poppy would be a big baby and most likely sleeping through the night, I would be winding up intensive breastfeeding and that I hoped that I would finally be able to stop, relax, have a few drinks and say 'bloody hell - I'm glad the last 18 months is OVER."

Well it's true and here we are I finally feel like I have leapt out of my fragile little baby cocoon and returned to the normal world fully functioning. Not only is Poppy a very, very big baby - she suprised us all by sleeping up to 13 hours a night without waking from 3 months, my scar has healed, I'm no longer tired and that endless run of non stop nausea and vomiting that stalked me for 9 months straight is now a very, very distant memory. Not to be forgotten, Miss Ivy has also morphed from a volcanic tempered irrational toddler into a far more moderate, reasonable and lovely little girl. All things I couldn't have imagined back in July 2010.

So March was a big one. For starters Kath came to visit - one of my oldest and bestest friends who I have seen in the flesh in the last 5 years for a total of 24 hours until this month. As she likes to live like a bit of a gypsy she had been living in far, far, far North Queensland where a quick visit North (for us) or South (for her) just wasn't an option. But now she lives in Northern NSW it was a quick plane ride and a reunion for us both. Lots to talk about, lots of beer to drink and many laughs were had.

Just to up the ante - I started my Masters Degree the same week. The challenges of this first day were many and to be honest the actual Uni part gave me the least concern. My two main worries were A: leaving Poppy for the first time for 5 hours with a babysitter and B: making the epic drive out to Penrith and back alive. Of course the night before I managed to stay up late, Poppy decided to wake me up (for the first time in 4 months) and I got about 4 hours sleep. In the morning super nanny Dee arrived and fortunately Popper seemed very happy with her and I was able to whirl out the door, whilst saying goodbye to Kath at the same time.

Sitting in the car with a thumping head and a pounding heart I set off on the drive. Fortunately Lisa had taken me for two test drives out there for practice so I sort of knew what I was doing but even so I felt like I might want to vomit. I start the car and immediately the windscreen wipers start wiping (whaaaat?) our car is new and compared to old one is like the space shuttle - and I have about as much idea what all the controls do AS the space shuttle. After 15 minutes of swearing and flicking switches I was finally off.

As I reached Parramatta Rd and the massive turnoff onto the M4 I put my fingers to my neck. My pulse was thumping so hard with fear my fingers were actually bouncing up and down. The lights changed - I gulped and I was off. I can lie and say the drive was fine, but frankly it was utterly terrifying. The notion of driving faster than I ever have, amongst 4 lanes of speeding vehicles and trucks all changing lanes on 4 hours sleep in a car I'm not familiar with was very full on. I think it was only the fact that I didn't actually know how to get off the bloody thing was the only thing that kept me going and stopped me bolting for home and the safety of Poppy's chubby cheeks.

I drive sitting bolt upright chanting to myself "you can do this, you can do this" and guess what? It turns out I could. Apart from the terrifying moment when I was sandwiched on either side by semi trailers and when I looked in the rear vision mirror only to see another behind me it was ok and the drive home even better. Who knows? Maybe I will become a hoon one day.

As for Uni itself= it was fine. Any academic achievement was somehow diminished by the startling revelation that I didn't kill myself on the roads there or on the way back. Fab. Apart from that I seem to have established myself as that annoying mature age student. You know the one who sits up the front, puts her hand up constantly and already knows the answers to everything. Yes- I used to hate people like me too when I was an undergraduate in my 20's.

So that was the week done. Now for the weekend - my birthday was to be on an uneventful Monday so I had organised some pizza and beers with Emma, Erin and Jason on the Sunday night. Ed had told me he was taking me out for dinner on the Saturday so I booked Dee the supernanny and was ready for a fairly sedate weekend.

On Saturday evening Ed told me all sorts of things - to dress warmly as we were going to be outside, to wear sensible shoes (grrrr) and that was it. Of course I was convinced we were having a bit of dinner somewhere and then heading off to do the Bridgeclimb or to watch the Mardi Gras. When we arrived at one of my favourite pubs the 3 Weeds I was delighted and couldn't wait to sit down to a yummy dinner and big glass of red wine and relax. Once we walked in Ed started to lead me towards one of the lounges which I thought was odd and then I spotted one of the girls from my mothers group, then a friend from my Optus days, then I saw my sister and then I saw my school friends and then my work brain started whirring as I came to the horrible realisation that it was no co-incidence that they all happened to be at the same pub at the same time and that they were all here for........ME. "Suprise!"

Oh shit - was the first thing that went through my mind and then oh god and, I will admit I did think "oh jesus I'm so tired all I wanted to do tonight was sit down with a nice glass of wine." but that was quickly forgotten as champagne was thrust into my hands and I started greeting what seemed like everyone I had every met in my life. Ed, the master of mystery had totally pulled the wool over my eyes! And once i was into the swing of it (and forgiven him for telling me to wear sensible shoes and warm clothes to my own glamorous party - grrrr) I was delighted and had a fabulous time.

Of course no matter how good your own party is parenthood always likes to take you down a peg. Once we got home and into bed at around 1.30 in the morning Ivy managed to wake me up, convince me to sleep in her bed, then she managed to wee in her bed and all over me before finally allowing me to have a delicious 2 hours sleep before shouting at me that "it's morning!" - thanks.

Sunday was possibly the longest day in the history of the world, followed up by dinner and drinks with old friends. When the big day rolled around I was over it but rallied at the sight of my new stunning silver bracelet and a gift card for 2/3's of a shiny new ipad - Eddie you are a champ. Follow that with Poppy's first successful day at childcare and I finally feel like I am on my way (even if I did have to fill out a survey later that day that put my age in the 40 - 50 category - OUCH.) So here's to the fifth decade - and as Ed put it, lets hope it holds more sleep, less mum jokes, more fun and more freedom. I'll drink to that.


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