Not Writing, Waving…

April 6, 2011 at 10:57 am (Uncategorized)

A brief blogging window has just appeared… Master J is asleep, his grandfather has just left (P’s helping us hunt for a replacement for the Welsh Dragon, which is sadly on its last legs. This is the second car of ours to literally rust to death, thanks to our proximity to the Pacific), and I am going to ignore everything else that needs doing…

Hello.

Before I go on, I should point out that I haven’t been entirely idle; the latest Varuna Alumni News feature is up. It’s on synopses, for anyone who’s interested.

Now I’m here I’m having the same problem I had last time… it’s a combination of stage fright and brain freeze that means I once again don’t know where to begin. I guess I’ll start with the reason I am so stunned senseless: the Munchkin. Munch. Grumbles. Mr. Cutie McGootie. Master J. Well, the little man is well. And for such a small person (weighing in a week ago at about 6.6 kilos clothed), he certainly does take up a lot of space, time and energy.

Pause.

You know, I might have to point form this post, just to limber up and also to try and get everything (the type of everything that is closely related to, um, nothing) down…

–       Master J moved from his bassinet to a cot on the weekend, and I can’t tell you how it made my heart twist. I washed and dried all his bassinet linen, and then I buried my face in it while Llew and he weren’t home and cried my eyes out.

–       There’s also a box of clothes that no longer fit him. I can barely open the lid of this box before a tractor-sized lump starts grinding gears right up my throat.

–       He laughs, and being the cause of that sound further opens up the mysterious spaces inside me that I am only discovering now he’s been born.

–       We’ve had breakthroughs with both the pram and the car. Litlove and other people told us we just had to get to three months, but it took longer than that for our change to come, and I wonder if it took four months because he was early… certainly that milestone proved the turning point, almost to the day. The pram turnaround (no pun intended) has been especially crucial because we can now go for a walk together without it all ending prematurely in tears and screams (his and mine, just about). A huge thing for my health, mental and otherwise.

–       The end of daylight savings is one of my least favourite days of the year. Winter is my least favourite season, and while technically they’re calling this autumn, all I can feel is winter in the air. This was surely the shortest, coldest, rainiest summer on record – I’d like another, thanks. If this past summer were a meal, I would have definitely sent it back.

–       I am officially one of the dullest people alive at the moment. I had neither the intention nor the desire to be someone who talked/wrote nonstop about parenting, but right now it’s really all I’ve got. I am so stuffed at the end of every day that I can barely speak, and even when I apply myself for the sake of my sanity and my marriage, what have I got to say?

–       I had a great girls’ lunch the other Sunday with two good friends, it was long and liquid and by Christ I needed it, and I’m afraid I probably bored them to death with baby talk too.

–       Actually, I did have something happen, and I wasn’t going to say anything about it because it seemed indiscreet, but now I’m wondering why I am so anxious not to discuss it. I have every right to talk about it. I got the most extraordinary email last week. It came from a well-known Australian author, sort of praising my March feature for the Varuna Alumni News (on writers’ rituals). Great, right? You’d think so, yes. Absolutely. This email should have made my day. But it didn’t, it soured it rather badly, because this was praise of a rather backhanded nature. It was really only there to soften the blow, I think, which was that the author had liked my feature so much they’d “pinched” bits of it, including at least one of my haw haws, for a talk they’d had to give. And in this talk, the author neglected to attribute the pinched bits to me. I was beginning to feel worse and worse about this as days went by, but now I’ve begun to accept that I need to just let it go and notch it up to experience. But it’s disappointing to realise I might easily and deservedly have garnered a mention from this author, who knowingly chose to withhold it. That makes me sad about lots and lots of things, not the least being, as I said to a published author friend, that meanwhile I can’t even get an agent. Kinda sucks.

And that’s time: Munchkin’s awake.

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7 Comments

  1. Pete said,

    Yes that does suck. Wow. And his (I’m assuming it’s a he) mentioning you in his talk would have been a nice little lift after the endless all-consuming routine of baby-care. I find that our little pie is the most wonderful thing and really energy-sapping. I can’t even post a bare-bones post these days. And any other writing (apart from endless and rather circular journalling) from my side? Nothing.

    But yay re the Varuna update! And double yay re the breakthrough with Master J and the pram. The crying sounds like a good release. And all this is sucn wonderful ‘grist for the mill’ as my new therapist would say. (Ho hum, I’m sure we all have enough grist though?)

    • doctordi said,

      Pete, absolutely. It would have lifted my spirits immeasurably, and instead it dampened them. A shame, particularly as the author knows this is the situation. Exhausting, isn’t it? I am a wreck at day’s end, and even something I love doing, like cooking, starts to seem like the most monumental and loathsome task.

      I’m with you. Enough with the grist!

  2. Lilian Nattel said,

    That does suck and I think that a well known author ought to be gracious enough to give a mention to the pinched bits. When you’re well known–you can be gracious and model the behaviour for others coming up who in their turn can be gracious. None of us has to play into the world’s declaration of harshness. We can set our own rules of play. And I am always happy to hear you talk about parenting.

    • doctordi said,

      Thanks, Lilian, and back at you – I love your blogs about your kids most especially. Same with LL’s and Charlotte’s and now, I know, Pete’s too!

      Yep. I couldn’t agree more. What would it have cost, is the question that keeps going round and round my head, even though I know the answer perfectly well. Nothing.

  3. davidrochester said,

    That is one of those things way, way up there on the suck-o-meter. As is, incidentally, babies growing out of things. Even I get a little pang at seeing friends’ children grow and change, so I can only imagine how it feels to the parents.

  4. litlove said,

    What a mean and dirty thing to do. But it IS a tribute to your writing. I’m a big believer in natural justice; what goes around comes around, and that published author will get his dues from the universe. I have a friend who is very good at reminding me to think of the reality of any situation. You don’t want the hassle of publishing a book right now – imagine having to go off for promotional tours and leaving your baby behind, or even the chore of making masses of corrections while you’re sleep deprived. This is time for you to sit back, do the parenting thing, hone your craft when it suits you. Give the universe a chance to prepare the good things coming your way.

    I’m very glad, too, to hear that the pram/car thing is much better.

  5. Woo said,

    Karma’s a bitch. That author has a big old fall a-coming, just wait.

    In the meantime, focus on the fact that your writing was good enough for someone to want to pinch. I mean, we all know you’re a great writer – that’s why we keep coming back – but somehow compliments (even backhanded ones) are always better from strangers, aren’t they? Something about not being to dismiss them as just the result of friendship and liking.

    Also, and I’ve said this to many friends with babies over the years, never apologise for talking about your child. Let’s face it, you and Llew have created an entirely new person. Unique and ever-changing. Life doesn’t get more fascinating than that 🙂

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