more than 4 and less than 6

so i missed a day yesterday. after 4 days. i just felt too shite. had a bolt in my head all day, and towards the evening as i tried laying quietly in my bed i just felt so nauseus from the pain. felt most frustrated with the small people who do not have any concept of this kind of pain and therefore don’t see the need to stay very still instead of bouncing about and don’t understand that the light is off because i don’t WANT to see and you’re not actually being helpful by turning it on.

earlier this week we thought that i may be dealing with side effects from the lithium that i had expected to be starting after my appointment the other day, so neil was on standby to be the chemo person incase i wasn’t able. then the lithium wasn’t a problem but i felt so crappy yesterday that i didn’t know if i would be better by today or not so i said that yes, i thought it would be a good idea to plan for him to go. i felt really bad doing that, like i was really letting her down. and that sounds horrible because he is after all her husband and not trusting him to be as good a support person as me is kind of.. vain? i don’t know. but he does tend to the brusque side of things and that’s not what is needed in this situation. i wrote a note, a list, of things to remember and things to be done. i don’t know if he read it. and if he did i don’t know if he took it as a helpful list of things or as an insult to his competency. i’m inclined to expect the latter, probably because everything i do is wrong for him. or he might think it a list of stupid things that are silly and indulgent of people’s chemically altered thoughts and not the kind of crap he is going to bother with.

i really really hope he does it all right so i don’t have to continue to hate myself for not having been there when i should have been.

since he took mum to chemo and stephanie is at school and abigail and kristian are at kinder and daniel is at work, i am actually here with no one needing me right now. after i took stephanie to school i stopped in a kidnapped dora. dognapped. though does it actually count as dognapping if the dognapee comes willingly? and in fact tells you to hurry up while you are trying to place the ransom note? she has had a nice time here i think, she sniffed everything and has had quite a few naps. she has had a look around outside but happily she heeded my warning not to get the sticky seed things all over herself. i did have to tell her she was not allowed to bark at zaphod since he lives here and she doesn’t. we shared a scotch finger biscuit and a salami stick. i chased her with the vacuum a bit.

now i am just having an apple and about to go take her back so i can pick up stephanie and take in abigail’s birth certificate to the school because i keep forgetting and they need to see it so she can start school next year. she is extremely excited and is now counting down the number of kinder days left before it’s holidays and then after that “and after kristian’s birthday i’ll be going to school every day!”

more than 4 and less than 6

ten thousand, three hundred and fifteen days

A common theme of discussion at the moment is death and the state of being dead. Particularly as it relates to Galen and my father. (Abigail likes to tell people that Galen died on the road and he wasn’t holding a hand and “he’s still dead.”)

Stephanie asked me last night how old my dad was when he died. After thinking for a minute I said, “Um.. twenty-eight.”

Then it occurred to me that I’m 28, too. Then it occurred to me that he died in April, around three months after his birthday. It’s now February, which is about three months after November (my birthday).

I used an age calculator to figure out that he was 10315 days old when he died. Today, I am 10311 days old.

I think of what I have done so far and things I want to do, learn, see still.. and I hope that I have a lot more than four days left.

ten thousand, three hundred and fifteen days

getting into a big girl

Abigail wants to know often if things she does means she is a “big girl” now. It’s difficult to explain that no one particular thing will define her as a “big girl”. She seems to have grasped that concept though, so now she says that she is “getting into a big girl” when milestones are passed.

Yesterday she had her first day in the pre-school room. This is the last step before she goes to “big school” next year. The friends that she played with most had all already moved into the pre-school room a few weeks ago so she was very pleased to be able to play with them again.

Then this evening she told me she’s “not a big girl”. On the weekend I washed the girl’s sheets and when I remade her bed I asked her if she wanted to take off the side guard thingy now since she is getting so big. She agreed that she did. The first night was fine, but the next night we woke up suddenly when Stephanie yelled “Abby fell out of bed!” She had a hug and went back to sleep ok but obviously she was put off by the experience and decided that’s an area of bigness she’s not yet ready to tackle.

getting into a big girl

an excellent thing

A few weeks ago when we were in the pool, Abigail did something that was a new achievement in her water/swimming learning process and we told her that it was excellent. Excited by her own greatness that day, when we announced that it was time to get out, she demurred, saying she just wanted to “do one more excellent thing.” Since then, “excellent thing” is kind of the ‘official’ terminology for any new milestone.

Kristian was doing excellent things today. We have two pools that we go in often – my mum’s, and the one here in the complex we live in. My mum’s is small and not too deep – Abigail can stand up by herself in it but for Kristian it’s still a bit of a stretch. In the one here there is a shallow end and a deep end, and there are several steps and a ledge that you can sit on. I’ve noticed he seems to be much more at ease and confident in our pool, particular with the steps that he can stand on himself and hold onto the edge of the pool for security.

One of the things Abigail learned when she had swimming lessons was how to jump out to us from a step or the edge, as a prelude to us getting further and further away and her actually having to swim rather than just jumping and being caught. Kristian’s seen us doing that with her and has decided he should have a turn a few times, but with him it’s more of a lunge than a jump and he’s pretty much touching you the whole time. Today, though, he was fearless! He was actually jumping to me from the step and one time, he was in such a hurry to do it “agin! again! shjump agin!” that i wasn’t fully ready for him and he went fully under the water before I caught him. Standard operating procedure in unexpected events such as this is to immediately launch into gushy, over the top praise about how clever that was and how great they did and all that. Usually you can distract them from getting upset and then they forget that they didn’t quite like it since they didn’t expect it and they want to do it again because you thought it was so cool. So I did that. It worked. So then I purposely started letting him go into the water and getting his face and head wet before I lifted him up. He was fine – so long as he could hold a ball that we brought to the pool with us while he jumped. He wasn’t into it if I suggested it might be easier if he put the ball down. Ok, weird, whatever.

A bit after that is when I noticed: each time he came up out of the water, he carefully held the ball in both his hands and wiped his face with it. It’s a plastic ball, so it’s pretty much useless as a tool with which to wipe the water off one’s face, but that’s what he was doing. I laughed out loud and caused Daniel to ask what was so funny, so I explained and Kristian was kind enough to demonstrate again, which kept cracking me right up. What a dork.

As if that wasn’t enough excellent stuff for one day, though, he then moved on to “sitting jumps” to me from the edge of the pool, again going right under the water. I was amazed! Half the time you take him in the pool he just about tries to climb up your body, as if the water is too cold for his delicate little boy bits. (He’ll tolerate just his feet dangling in.)

Stephanie will be doing an excellent thing tomorrow: it is the first day of school for the year and she will be starting grade three. I have consented to accompany her to the classroom, since she asked, even though I don’t really want to because a classroom filled with kids and their parents who don’t know where they should be sitting or putting their stuff and they are all making chit chat about what they have been up to is really not at my list of ideal places to be at 8.30 in the morning. And also, since next year I won’t be able to accompany her to the classroom to do all that stuff – I’ll be busy accompanying Abigail to her first day of Prep.

(A couple of weeks ago we were in a fabric shop and a woman who worked there was straightening all the shelves of fabric, and talking to Stephanie and Abigail while she did. She was asking Stephanie about school and Abigail decided to interject that soon she would be going to school with Stephanie too. The woman chuckled and shook her head and said that she didn’t think Abigail was big enough for school yet. Stephanie explained that “soon” is “a year away” and she’s in kinder at the moment. My mum and I were talking about this later. She said the lady was right, Abigail isn’t “big” enough for school, but she is nearly “old” enough. (And then I again started worrying about how I will ever manage to get a school uniform to fit her.) … (Any one know where to get growth enhancing drugs..?))

I thought I might also mention that it has been abysmally humid the last few days, making the temperature seem much hotter than it actually is. And I am so over it.

an excellent thing

abbydotes

I have lots of things I think of that I want to say, but then when I have some minutes to maybe say them there are so many other things I want to look at and read about that I forget to do it..

  • The other day I was standing in the bathroom running the bath for the kids. They were standing around waiting, Abigail was sort of leaning against the drawers and sink, her hands behind her back. Then she announces, like it’s quite an impressive achievement, “I’m touching my poo!” and then brings her hand around the front to reveal a slightly brown fingertip. “Oh. My. God. Wash your hands right now. With soap. And … don’t do that again.” And to myself: WTF??
  • Abigail won a prize in the library’s Summer Reading Club. She got a bath toy and a little tiara and wand. In the car she and Stephanie were playing with the wand and Stephanie informed her she could wish for something with the wand. “What do you wish for, Abby?”
    “I wish you a merry christmas and a happy new year,” answered Abigail, completely deadpan.
    Stephanie and I both cracked up.
abbydotes