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

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


I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself this week. It’s been quite hot which always makes things seem more difficult. Nothing really bad has happened to me but I have had lots of little accidents which piled up to make me feel rather attacked by Murphy.

Last Saturday I had a migraine which I tried to pretend I didn’t have by refusing to stop doing things, so my mother and Abigail and I went to the Brisstyle Market at Hamilton. I kept having nurofens and putting migrastick on to help it feel less bad. I think that was the start of my adventures. The migraine in itself and also getting migrastick very close to my eyes. I dab it across the top of my forehead at the hairline usually. But because it was really hot that day and we were walking back to the ferry, I was sweating. The sweat obviously carried the oils from the migrastick downwards and spread it out. My whole forehead and eyelids were burning icy sting. I had to use a baby wipe to get the stuff off myself. I joked to Daniel that now I knew what it was like to be him, as his skin is too sensitive to use migrastick because it just burns him.

I think the next thing I did was a paper cut on an envelope, of a Christmas card that Daniel’s parents sent us. I sliced it right across the base of my fingernail on my pointer finger. I was surprised at how much it bled. Then after I’d gotten that under control and bandaided up and stuff, I was mkaing dinner and stabbed the end of the knife into my finger accidentally. The opposite finger to the one I cut with the envelope, just to keep things balanced.

There was also pinching my finger between some pliers and dropping the tabletop of a small table on my fingers when I was taking it apart to put in the car to bring to my mum’s house for the kids to sit at for Midsummer lunch.

I’ve got another cut on the meaty/muscle part of my thumb that I don’t know where it came from. Then on Thursday afternoon I was getting ready for Daniel’s work end of year party and I was trying to straighten my hair a bit and somehow lost my grip on the straightening iron. Of course I regrabbed it straight away so it didn’t fall, except by that time my hand was around the hot part, giving me a rather painful burn on my thumb. I put ice on it which was great, but I couldn’t find my germolene so I couldn’t get that on it until we got to my mum’s house and I used hers. For about the first two hours if I took the ice off for more than about 15 seconds, it stung and burned like a son of a. Which is of course why, during that time, Kristian filled his nappy in a disgusting way. You can’t change a nappy while you’re holding an icepack.

While we were at the party I managed to get a splinter in my hand. No idea how, or where it came from. Luckily Daniel keeps a little splinter remover thing in his wallet. After we came back from the party, I spent the night at my mum and Neil’s house with the kids, since Daniel wanted to take the car to work the next day and he would have had to bring us back really early anyway because my grandparents and auntie came down yesterday to visit. The kids were supposed to be on mattresses on the floor but Abigail decided she would sleep in the bed too, so I spent most of the night right on the edge. I don’t know how such a skinny child takes up so much space. So that’s not entirely conducive to the most satisfying night’s sleep.

Abigail wasn’t feeling well yesterday so fun thing #1 occurred when she threw up all over me. And herself of course. I took her into the shower to get us cleaned off and when I tried to get out of the shower fun thing #2 for yesterday happened. The shower door is a bit stiff and I couldn’t open it properly, then one of the parts had come out of it’s track, so I was trying to lift it back in and while doing that managed to knock the other part out. It fell outwards, the bathroom door stopped it from sliding far away and spreading glass further but unfortunately that also meant that it fell on my two smallest toes, cutting them a bit too. I suppose I should be grateful that it didn’t hit Abigail at all but by that point I was seriously feeling pretty fucking sorry for myself and didn’t care about her, especially since it was her “fault” I was in the shower in the first place :) I also must have tried to catch the door a bit with my hand as I have a bruise on the corner pointy bone part of my wrist and that’s kind of tender.

Later after everyone was gone we decided to go in the pool again. I had to go and collect my bathers from the bath where I had thrown them after I rinsed them off in the shower (that’s what I was wearing when Abby threw up on me.) My mum and the girls went to the pool and Kristian was just wandering around near the pool waiting for me. Because he had been quite excited to get in the pool, he had been helpful by removing his own nappy.

I think most people can probably see where this is going.

Of course, it can never be so simple as to just have to wipe his bum and pick up the shite, can it? Dora took it upon herself to run off with the offending lumps in her mouth. So I had to chase after her with the pooper scooper and prise her jaws open to get her to spit it out. Oh yes, fun times INDEED.

To top it off, last night I started to feel most unwell and thought I must have had what Abigail had. Stephanie was ill earlier in the week too but it was thankfully one of those fleeting things and after a night’s sleep she was fine again. So I took myself to bed very early in order to hopefully make that go away.

I do feel better this morning, although somewhat tired still – probably from the late night and bad sleep Thursday as well as the valium I had last night to help me sleep better. Now today it is Midsummer and I am making a declaration. I WILL NOT be injured or thrown up on or shit on or otherwise inconvenienced or discomforted today. I WILL NOT. Or I may just snap.