It’s six days since I wrote the post that follows, so I’m just going to wish everyone a safe, happy holiday and load this bad boy before Llew’s computer crashes too. I’m still without mine (screams):
A rainy Saturday morning, using Llew’s computer. Remember the crash of September ‘10, when my computer was pronounced DOA by an Apple Genius, only to be resurrected via the complete reinstallation of its operating system? Yes? Well, we’re there again. Thank goodness for the external hard-drive I purchased that dark day, is all I can say. You know, I keep expecting technology to be better than it is. Why is that? I’m always caught completely by surprise when my computer crashes or the DVD freezes or even when the fridge is on the fritz. I guess I have grown to place an unreasonable degree of faith in these easeful items, so it was valuable to be without a computer the past few days (it’s been sent away this time to Apple technicians and I should get it back next week). Of course, now I have an iPhone I wasn’t without email or internet access (a blessing or a curse? I remain undecided, but the inbuilt camera has been fantastic for capturing Master J on the hop), but I can’t write on the mobile, not really, so it was back to pen and paper whenever the elusive brief window presented itself. I just made a few short story notes in the back of my diary, and otherwise wrote the last of the thank you cards. The last, that is, until yesterday, when an old high school friend added yet another gift to Master J’s staggering pile. In any event, I didn’t so much mind the absence of my laptop, which mostly sits abandoned in a corner of the lounge-room, battery charging for an excursion that never comes, glinting with promise and reproach.
Master J was 20 weeks old on Thursday, and marked the milestone by rolling yesterday for the very first time. He chose a public forum, delighting the crowd at mothers’ group and in particular me. You see, part of the management of his reflux and colic has been keeping him upright, because lying on his front just causes him varying degrees of discomfort as well as to vomit (and yes it still does, every single time). Talk about a disincentive. They can drill new mothers about the untold benefits of tummy time until the men come home, but if it makes your baby sick and cranky, you’re unlikely to feel the love. I’ve been worrying about all this from a developmental point of view, particularly after a chemist nurse’s blunt and unfavourable assessment of his progress a few weeks ago, and have been diligent in overcoming his and my aversion to tummy time ever since. Ergo, it was a very happy moment, and the screeching banshee recording on the iPhone video attests to my excitement. I suppose it ought to be embarrassing to be revealed so squarely – and so early! – as one of those squealing mothers, applauding her child’s every minor achievement, but there you have it. I squealed. In the moment, I was utterly overtaken, and nothing could have shut me up. He hasn’t done it since, so terrifying was my enthusiasm.
In other news, RIP the Welsh Dragon. We farewelled our faithful automotive friend, such a worthy replacement for the Pulsarnator, this morning, and Llew is at this minute at the RTA registering the new (old) car, verily brimming with New Toy Joy. It’s a big step up for us, this car, but it’s still 10 years old and has 167,000 kms to its name. It too faces death by rust now it’s joining us surfside, but there’s not much to be done about it, and hopefully the inevitable decline is a few good years away if we do everything right. I am such a blubberer I got a bit choked up waving off Llew and the Welsh Dragon this morning – it’s not only the car I learnt to drive on, but it will forever be remembered as the V.I.C. (Very Important Car) that brought Master J safely home. I’m a little bit anxious about learning the ropes around a whole other and quite large vehicle, but as with driving itself, I plan to just take a deep breath and get on with it.
Next up, the attribution oversight continued to gnaw away at me, no doubt because it’s not like me to censor myself, as I tried to do here. I really felt a little soiled – not by what had happened, not at all, but by my own muted response to it. There were very good reasons to keep my thoughts to myself, sensible, strategic justifications for keeping quiet and sucking it up, and possibly to my eventual detriment, I ultimately put them all aside. I decided it was more important that I say something to the author, that I stick up for myself and – without wanting to be too grandiose about it, which I really don’t mean to be – every other writer like me. My main point was that as a struggling unknown, I would have so greatly appreciated the mention were it due, and even more so if it might have gone either way. It was a shame, that’s all, just a shame, that the author was in a position to do that for me and instead elected to say nothing. It’s a bit of a bummer, and it turns out it matters more to me to say that than to protect any possible future favour the author might have otherwise felt they owed me. They don’t owe me, and to be perfectly frank, I wouldn’t want a single thing to go my way because of some misguided idea that it would make us square. We’re square. Enough said (and the author evidently agrees, since there’s been no further communication).
Finally, further to my last post, A has returned to spend time with Master J this week, and very obviously hadn’t been smoking any time beforehand on either occasion. When I asked last week if she was a smoker – immediately upon their return, saying I’d forgotten to ask in the hope of broaching the topic tactfully – she gave the exact same reply I used to give enquiring GPs: “Only socially.” I didn’t realise at the time that my fib literally reeked to the heavens, just as A apparently didn’t realise I could smell the fags on her, but the important thing is that I made my wishes clear last week, and A is honouring our agreement in good faith. If I ever so much as whiff a low-grade menthol on Master J, the deal is obviously off, but I doubt it’ll come to that. They’re pretty smitten with each other and they’ve only hung out briefly three times. After that first truly nauseating hour and a half, I am coping a bit better with A’s preference for taking him out walking, although I find myself almost wishing for foul weather so that they might stay here. I can always work at one of the cafes around the corner as I have done in the past, which I’ve suggested to A in my anxious desire to have Master J stay safely at home, but she airily waves me away and says decisively, “We go for a walk.” And she has three grown, lovely kids of her own, so I figure she’s probably got a walk along the beach promenade covered. She told me on Thursday that she slips into Chinese when she speaks to him, and naturally I replied, “Please do.” Truth be told, I’d love her to speak to him exclusively in Chinese. That was when A told me she’d been a high school teacher in China, and I realised I may have accidentally hit upon the perfect babysitter – just so long as she doesn’t light up for two hours every Tuesday and Thursday.
Good Friday postscript: not every Tuesday and Thursday, as it turns out. Master J appears to be moving into a new schedule of feeds and sleep (and that is singular for a reason), so the agreed timeslot hasn’t worked at all this week… I guess we’ll see how it plays out and try again. Each week is anyone’s guess, but there is one area of consistency: he remains supremely cute, and his laugh makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.