a wing caught, the swirl of old man's beard and the roar of golden fire light.
An afternoon into evening in the garden where I grew up - noticing the details that I've walked past so many times before. It's a ritual to have a BBQ every Sunday evening - to snuggle around the fire and look for the squawking cockatoos overhead. Now Che gets to be in on the ritual too.
Daniel has been teaching me how to use the manual focus feature on my little camera. My camera is literally a point-and-shoot but it does have the ability to use the manual features and so it has been a fabulous learning tool. I think it proves that you don't need to spend thousands to take a good (enough) photo - although the plan is to start saving for a super-duper canon soon.
I'm solo-parenting this week as Daniel is in Melbourne (his hometown) to do a little bit of work and to marvel at his sexy new bike that will be delivered on a transport truck which will no doubt make Che's whole year. A new motorbike and a big truck. "Oh that's cool man," he said.
A big huge thank you for all your parenting support and book recommendations. I took it all on board. And isn't it interesting the comfort you feel when you know you're not alone - when others affirm that they too are being challenged by a little boy just like yours. x
We have been chugg chugg chugging along and slipping into a winter rhythm that involves cookies, soup and warmth. Our house is known to be slightly chilly in these winter months (although a cool haven on balmy summer days) and I have been practicing the art of warming up with layers of clothing. Luckily we managed to get our hands on a wonderfully powerful gas heater and I thrifted some gorgeous blankets and a super comfy, thick and big cardi. Today officially marks the first slow-cook of the season. Winter is here in all it's cuddly goodness.
The above image is the calm before and after the storm that is my 2-almost-three-year-old-and-the-tantrums-arrived-a-little-late-and-I-though-I'd-gotten-away-with-it-and-wondered-for-a-little-while-what-the-terrible-twos-were-all-about. Now I know. Apparently he's really busy a lot of the time and he "can't talk". It's mentally exhausting because I feel like I have to negotiate everything - including walking from the kitchen to the front door. I have to remind myself that sometimes the firm yet gentle guidance of the parent is best regardless of the response. Regardless of the response. Regardless....
Advice would be appreciated. I'm also thinking of buying the book Simplicity Parenting. Have you read it?
If you decide to comment you may notice that I have changed the settings to "visible after blog owner approval". I have received far too many comments in Chinese script which I can't read. However, last week I found the time to translate a few of the comments in google and voila - a whole heap of jumbled expletives. Hence the screening of comments. It feels weird that random strangers without any good intention feel the need to write jumbled mess in this space. It's the flip-side of all the online goodness I guess.
For those of you that read here often you know that I'm passionate about bellies, birth and babies. Over the past 2.5years I have taught about 200 women pre-natal yoga and it is a true blessing to sit amidst women who are growing new life. It's a blessing to witness and to share in a little bit of their wonderful journey.
At the end of every six week block I ask my students, one by one, what word has come to them in their practice. Usually they only think of it when asked, usually in the verbalising do they only realise how powerful words are. Common answers are: confidence, faith, breathe, determination (this is particularly common for women preparing for a VBAC and who believe their first birth was an unnecesarean). But last week one of my students said something that made my heart absolutely swell. She said:
C H O I C E
"I just thought I had to do what my OB said. I didn't think I could ever ask him questions, challenge his opinion or question his motives."
On that same day I was informed that the local private hospital has a cesarean birth rate of 65%. That's double the national rate. That's a lot of unnecesareans. A few months ago one of my students was the only woman on the ward who birthed vaginally.
I understand now that not every woman has an emotional attachment to birthing vaginally. Some women don't want to do it, some women have liberating cesarean births. However, to know that there must be so so so many women who follow the words of the OB like gospel and hand-over their choice and body saddens me beyond explanation.
I discovered this exciting trailer for the Australian documentary "Face of Birth". For me it's not so much about where a woman births but it's about her choice. A pregnant woman should never surrender her choice. I cried when I watched this - the passion and love and unity in this short piece is palpable. I am especially moved by the words of midwife Jan Ireland - negative birth experiences can affect relationships, marriages and can contribute to post-natal depression and other mental health disorders.
If you know a pregnant woman, encourage her to watch this. To seek out information and to make her own choices. Because in taking responsibility for our birth only then can we experience the liberation.
We stayed close to home today and stayed away from Woolworths (I actually managed to venture there by myself which is always so much easier and so much quicker). Che is doing better and apart from looking a little pale he is his usual self.
A few days ago someone asked me how old he is and it dawned on me that it's only a couple of months till his third birthday. 3. That's so big. He's proving to be a little entertainer who isn't afraid of telling people what he thinks - I admire his confidence and the way he remains completely unaware of social etiquette. If he doesn't want to talk to someone he won't and he's managed to develop this utterly comical snarl/frown that seems to scare people away. With his hands on his hips and the regular tapping of the foot he is coming into his power because, well, he's almost three.
At least he still says:
"I wuv you soooo much muma."
Oh the joy.
Photos taken in the magical garden a few doors down. I told him there were elves in the tree and so each time we visit he calls out to them. Today he thought it would probably work better if he brought his microphone. Ahem!
Just so you know I have no intention of turning this blog into a weather report for the East Coast. But the sun did come out over the weekend and on Saturday morning I leaped to the washing line with baskets of laundry in tow. I had a little giggle to myself, imagining all those mothers in nearby neighbourhoods doing just the same. To be politically correct, I re-imagined fathers hanging washing on the line too.
So the weekend was lovely, simple but nice.
And then this morning I taught a yoga class and afterwards headed to the shops with Che. We were doing our fortnightly grocery shop, Che was a little tired and then all of a sudden, in the middle of Woolworths' fruit & vegie dept he vomits everywhere, I caught most of it, attempted to get a plastic bag from the turny-thing (with one hand because as you can imagine, the other hand was busy) and tried so hard not to curse the twenty or so people around me who just looked the other way.
We left, of course, and my shopping is probably still sitting in the trolley next to the strawberries.
Che's response: "Oh muma, that was really yucky!".
Perhaps it wasn't the best idea to buy Che a little wooden recorder at the op-shop yesterday. It went with him to bed last night and he hasn't put it down all day. In gumboots and his winter gear he closely resembles the pied piper (although the pp was probably a little more in tune). The high-pitched squeaky noise is starting to grate but he loves it. So much. I can't bear to take it away. I just have to tell him he can't play it while I'm driving. Or while I'm sleeping. Or waking up. Or writing. Or...
We discovered a neighbour's garden today...sure it was wet and soggy but a gigantic liquid amber and a lemon tree bearing fruit turned it into a bit of a treasure. Lemon meringue pie is on the cards for the weekend.
I'm feeling a little disenchanted with everything at the moment, I'm blaming the weather. Surely some sunshine would make everything seem a little more colourful,
Excuse my whinge. Writing here makes me feel better.