Mumbot Version 2.0 – an update

Mumbot’s home!

She’s here! She’s arrived! Well… not the complete Stepford version, since I’m wearing gym pants and a sweat shirt, but I’m feeling, strangely … serene. I wrote previously of my frustrations at home with the girls, and my lack of patience. Lately something’s changed, for the better. I’m really enjoying my girls. They’re not driving me crazy, and when they’re slow or non-responsive, the banshee is not coming out. My care factor is lower. Why????

They are cute and fun. Little A told me on Good Friday that poor Jesus was hung up on the clothesline, but that on Sunday, he’d come back up to life and we might see him walking down the road. Woah. Interesting stuff going on in that Sunday school class she visits sometimes with her grandmother.

Even diabetes played nice over Easter. I’d like to personally plant a big sloppy smushy kiss on the inventors of the insulin pump. Last Easter for Little L was a horrorshow of insulin injections, sugar-free easter eggs, the after-effects of sugar-free easter eggs (have you read about the delightful laxative effect from artificial sweeteners? Don’t leave your kids alone with a container of Eclipse mints, EVER), and some head-spinning rocket-launching tantrums as her blood glucose levels went through the roof despite carefully meted out chocolate hits. This year, however? You want two eggs? Sure. I’ll put the carbs in your insulin pump, then you can eat it. Another four little ones after lunch? No worries. I’ll add up the carbs then it’s all yours. She went high, but we could correct it straight away with another boost of insulin delivered through the pump. I LOVE YOU MR AND MS INSULIN PUMP INVENTOR PEOPLE. And so does the Easter bunny.

The whole long weekend they’ve been gorgeous, and I’ve been trying to pinpoint what’s different. I think they’ve changed because I’ve changed. I’m trying to turn off the trigger mum yell response (which is THERE, believe me) and listen to the need underneath the annoying whinge or refusal. I’m taking two extra minutes to squat down and cuddle and talk quietly, and though it’s taking practice, I’ve found it’s saving me 10 minutes that would have been spent in time outs and escalated crappy behaviour while we head butt like goats.

I am the brown goat. Cos I am bigger, obviously.

It’s far from perfect. It’s taking A LOT of time. I am running late. My parents’ cat, aged 21, died over the Easter weekend and the girls are really sad, and need extra cuddles and talks while they spontaneously pop out with questions about death and wishes that he come back to life (WHILE GETTING READY FOR SCHOOL). Add some rain and the fact that kids turn into frozen confused statues as soon as you add a raincoat (until PUDDLES! Oooh now they’re all Peppa Piggish), and we have a record for school lateness. 10 minutes after the bell! Whoops. But they are happy. And, I didn’t yell.

There’s much refining to be done. It’s not like you can get everyone out of bed 20 minutes earlier in case someone needs some touchy feely time. If you’re anything like me, that’s not enough to stop you from pressing ‘snooze’ on your alarm button. I wonder also whether my new ‘zen’ state has anything to do with the new epilepsy meds I’ve recently started in addition to the ones I’m already taking for migraines. I’m feeling a little whacked, I have to admit. It’s quite dizzy-making at times, and I’m tired, but I’m also feeling really chilled. Hard to work yourself into a frenzy about something when you’re a floating fairy.

As always, I’ve got to find a balance. Tips for being nice, and also being on time please? Punctuality is my nemesis. I suspect you’ll tell me we need to just turn all the clocks in the house back an hour before the real time, but then I’ll have to come around and punch you. Sleep is perhaps more important than food.

See? I’m still me. I still have the energy to punch people when it’s absolutely, completely necessary. Threaten my sleep and I’ll take you DOWN. Nicely, in a quiet voice.


Mumbot Version 2.0 – a work in progress

This is not me. This is, in fact, Nicole Kidman. Doing the acting.

Disappointing as it may be to That Man, there will never be anything Stepford about me. I can bake, but I don’t do it recreationally. I love to cook, but I don’t do it to impress work colleagues. I can dance, but I don’t do it sober in a floral frock. And pearls? I like them black.

I wrote last year about my immense frustration with being at home, and the fact I’d thoroughly misplaced my patience. Sadly this is not a victory post. In fact, today I’m dangerously close to taking myself off for some ‘Time out’ in the sandpit to try and breathe and feel some sand between my toes. It’s about as close to the beach and some ‘me time’ as I’m likely to get. HOWEVER – I think I may have found, if not the patience, then some trick around it. BALANCE. Or some approximation of it, anyway.

There are two invisible kids sitting on the heavy side. Can you see them?

For me, that balance is work. I’ve been working two days per week in the office, doing work I love, for about a month or so now. My permanence hasn’t been confirmed so I’m a bit hesitant about declaring the work drought over, though I’m super-optimistic and feeling less like a citrus-fruit than I was around October last year.

Today, as a home day, has been a TOUGH DAY. Often they’re not, and we hang out and are chilled and relaxed and play together nicely. Yes! I know how to share! This is not that day, however. Keeping me going is the promise of a cappuccino, a desk, and air-conditioning tomorrow. Little A, my pocket rocket, has today drawn with biro on the white wardrobe (‘couldn’t find any paper mum’), put lipstick on the dog, taken 15 minutes to go to the toilet at the gym with the ‘engaged’ lock on the door and me outside, then had a fight with me about seatbelts. Oh, and hurt herself 3 times (falling off things, getting feet stuck in things), and spilt 2 cups of water. It’s only 4pm. I’m so tense I could scream, and with much guilt, I admit I have been. Revision: 5 minutes later – I have just found her in the bathroom lathered in Lucas’ pawpaw cream and water, over her face, arms, hands and hair. WHHYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!! Attention? Me going to work? Maybe I should be sitting with her and a book or playing, but we are both so mad at each other we need a little space right now. Tomorrow is a fresh start and we had a chat and makeup cuddles at bed.

I’m relieved to be going to work tomorrow. People listen to me there, and say ‘thank you’, and suggest I go and make myself a cup of coffee before we do some work. I sit and eat lunch in a courtyard garden, and read my Kindle on the train, and wear nice clothes, and get PAID to do these things. The best part of all is, I miss my girls, and I kiss their little faces all over when I come home, and look forward to playing with them all the next day. Work 5 days? That’s hard. Two days? That feels like balance, and like fake patience, because it makes me fresh for the girls twice each week. It also feels selfish, but I’ve almost convinced myself it’s part of making me a better mother. Plus, money.

This Mumbot Version 2.0 I’m working on? There’s nothing Stepford about it. Like that Vegemite Version 2.0 (Cheesymite?) they brought out a year or so ago and had trouble naming, I’m a work-in-progress. There’s a slower, more planned and organised way I’d like to deal with and respond to the girls, without the heights of emotion and the urgency of being late. Now, if only I can get the littlest family member to play along …