Archive for September, 2011

Golden….it’s in the eye of the beholder.

September 30, 2011

I’ve entered a golden age in the rearing of twins. If by ‘golden’ I mean…

The sun is bright and shining. Warmth cascades down, as I tilt my face upward and say, ‘Oh, wondrous world full of golden light. Golden.’ I laugh and my healthy, glossy hair ripples.

Life is full of bounty. Golden…oh, wait, what the fuck? What’s that smell? Why are things getting darker?

Get me an umbrella! Shit is raining down and ruining my hair just before the Pantene audition!

Yeah.

I had a limited time frame of magic. No straps attached to backpacks. Kids who stayed close to Mama; kids who waited for me as I cheerfully said, ‘Please wait for Mama. Thank you!’

What I forgot is that with young children, everything is a phase. All those trying times and bad things? They pass. So, apparently, do the good. Onward and upward.

I need the help of a twin mama with, say, three year olds. Someone who knows.

First:

Walking is now more exploratory than ever. Where is the patient woman I was? I LIKE that my kids examine stones, try to climb trees, smell flowers. But running away down the pavement/sidewalk when your sibling has just fallen and is bleeding? What do I do?

Darting into the road because you apparently see a ball and I ask you to stay with me?

Running down every drive, trying to fix that goddamn broken fence? Flailing, screaming, laughing at me? Fine.

Going fucking limp and refusing to stand or move? Listen, I know you want to collect acorns. I get that. But….

Second:

Woods behind our house. A nice little path. One kid takes off running. I curse and leap after him. He’s so fast at this point, and I’m so crippled. I have to chase him because I trust him less than I trust her.

Once this week it meant leaving her and a man with a giant black dog walked up from the park. Scaring her.

Another time we were walking in the gloaming, and she just froze. Now, I do always say, ‘Stay there, please, Coconut! Mama will be right back.’ Then I either walk back with Snort, or if he’s limp and refusing to walk I call out to her and she follows. Agonizingly slow.

But this time, as it was getting DARK, Snort ran so far and so fast I couldn’t see Coco anymore, and she couldn’t hear me yell for her.

Snort would NOT do anything other than his fantastic limp noodle* impression. Yet if I left him he’d run further. What do you do?

What do you DO?

I know prevention is key. He’s back on the backpack strap for the time being, as we are actually getting into potentially dangerous situations. But when I have not prevented and I’m wrestling a two year old who is freakishly strong and laughing at me while refusing to stand? While burning rage is threatening to explode from me (remember I’ve had a three week long period and, yes, am still bleeding. A lot.) and that hot rage is colliding with cold fear for Coconut, alone in the fucking woods?

Thunderstorm Mama ain’t pretty. She’s scared and really pissed off.

Three:

At the park. One kid takes off. I ask the other to come catch up with him, which always works. But this time all her friends are at the park. She lives for friends and her face caves in as she shakes her head sadly no and says, ‘Oh, friends. Coconut’s friends!’ My heart cracks. But…

At this point Snort is a literal entire football pitch away from me. I yell at my friend to alert her of the situation, leave Coconut, and run for Snort (people wonder why I have not healed!). I finally get him just before he runs into the woods. He refuses to turn back or stop.

I see my friend holding hands with my kid and her kid, so I can relax and turn my whole focus to Snort. I engage him in watching planes or blowing trees or something, so we can sit and wait for Coco.

And this hurts me more than it does when I leave her – even bleeding and crying – because yet again her desires and our plans are totally hijacked by her brother.

I love that he’s an adventurer. If he was a singleton he’d have more opportunity to do so without all the attendant struggles. So he’s shortchanged.

As is Coconut – of comfort, of taking the lead and making decisions, of safety.

But more importantly, how am I supposed to walk them both home from playgroup when they are so independent? When I have FIVE twelve inch square pieces of paper dripping with paint and glue?

I can’t do the pushchair anymore as it physically breaks me – I use it once a week for storytime. (playgroup is a 3-5 minute walk for a single adult, alone. It took 35 minutes to get home yesterday even with TMD to help. It used to take us 15 tops.  Storytime takes 10-15 minutes for a single adult. Yeah. You see the implications?)

We have entered The Age Of Two.
As always, I’ll have a harder time adjusting than my (awesomely cute, smart, fun, loving) independent and strong-minded children will.

*limp noodling annoys and frustrates me more than all other behaviours combined. It’s the ultimate in control for the child, I guess, especially as I am physically unable to lift and carry a kid, let alone walk while holding a kid.

He’d have no reason to limp noodle if he didn’t have a twin. But since he does…

What do I do about limp noodling, people? When time is short and I have a second child that often requires immediate attention? What do I DO?

Blood. Sponsored by the TMI working group.

September 26, 2011

After being told during the first round of injections that it could mess up my period, I got my period a week early.

After this round? I have been bleeding every day since the tenth. Everyone join me in a healthy round of WTF.

You can imagine bleeding for sixteen days is making me need chocolate – though the steroids also apparently cause sweet cravings.

This is just like the weeks after giving birth….in the wondering if I’ll ever stop bleeding kind of way.

The Mabon harvest I waited a lifetime for.

September 23, 2011

It’s Mabon, a time of harvesting. I woke up feeling really great, not realising it was the equinox. I was just crammed full of orangey light and goodwill and feeling really….um…..bountiful. I know, I know. I just embarassed you, I just embarrassed myself. Sorry about that.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately; I think entering this little writing contest has changed my life. I know how that sounds, but listen: I’ve transformed from a painfully shy writer who wanted to puke at the idea of doing something like this, to feeling like I am happier, and more full, and more willing to do something like this in future. The genre (sorry to be non-specific, but am trying to avoid search engines. If you’ve clicked through to my entry, you’ll see the genre!) is a safe one for me. One I think is actually trickier to write than one would suppose.

It’s not my life dream, but it would be a dream day job.

This entry was safe for me, in a way. Something I wrote a year ago and never looked at since. I suppose that’s a risk because it was not polished, edited, etc – but for me, that was freeing. I think this contest was to trying to get published what NaNoWriMo is to trying to write. Just something to plunge into, to try, to experience.

And it’s a nice surprise to be doing well – in terms of feedback from other writers, from author mentors, etc. I’m happy.

But more than any feedback or ratings, it’s the sense of contentment that is changing me. I’d forgotten (had I ever known?) what it was to have a goal for myself, something that made me feel connected and powerful and HAPPY. Just that: happy.

I think about it at certain points in the day – as I do the dishes, cart small children to playgroup, get dressed in the morning. I’m a writer who is trying to move forward, who has something on the go, who is learning to take herself seriously. To respect myself enough to try to let go of 33 years of bullshit fear.

It really doesn’t get much better than that.

I tell my mother not to get her hopes up. I know I’m not going to win this contest; I feel I won’t make the next cut. Not to be defeatist, oh no, because my soul is feeling nourished and it’s filling up just fine. I don’t need to win a contest to know I want this feeling to keep going – this unbelieveable joy in being and trying and remembering/discovering myself.

Raising feral children who will WIN at grab-the-money-while-in-the-blowing-tunnel games when older.

September 20, 2011

A lounge.

A pop up tent in the lounge.

Balloons, beachballs, and foam balls in the tent in the lounge.

Now cram your family in, make maniac noises like the theme tune of an 80s challenge show, and throw around/hit balls and balloons as wildly as possible.

Breathies and sleepies.

September 17, 2011

Taking a break from the inevitable writing contest blog entries, let’s move on to Snort’s nine prescriptions this morning. The past three nights, I/we have calculated when he will need his inhalers (we are currently trying to stretch to six hours between ten puffs, but he’s not quite there yet). Both nights had different calculations on when he’d need that little bit of extra help to clear his airway – and both nights he woke up exactly five minutes before a dose.

I’m not being all exaggerated here: we are talking EXACTLY five minutes before EVERY dose of breathies.

One morning I said to TMD, ‘You know, I think he may be waking in the night because his breathing is disrupted. I wonder what would happen if we gave him breathies before bed.’ I paused. ‘Actually, is this a conversation we’ve had before? Why does it feel familiar?’

TMD said – ohyesshedid – that when we saw his pediatric allergist doctor, she suggested that we give him inhalers every night before bed, as while it was still completely normal for a kid to keep waking through the night, she thought he was actually waking because of breathing issues. TMD then continued to point out that we’d been too lazy to try this.

Slap our wrists and call us sillies.

Um.

So ANYWAY, he’s now been prescribed steroid inhalers as well. Two puffs twice daily throughout the winter (ie, everything that is not summer), and four times daily when he gets a cold. Continue with the rescue inhaler as needed.

I’m curious to see what effect the steroid inhaler will have on his at home treatments, his hospital admissions, and HIS SLEEP. Oh, his sleep. Coconut sleeps soundly all night long, though waking and asking for a few sips of water once a night is common. Snort has slept like a rock these past few nights of breathing treatments, except when actually having the treatments.

Last night just before 11 pm, we did wake him to give him breathies. He cried softly throughout, clearly unhappy with us fucking up his sleep. When we finished, he said, ‘Yay!’ in a tiny, tired voice and clapped for himself. This is a milder version of the insane clapping and cheering we do post-breathies during the day, at which point Coco grabs the mask and proceeds to give herself a treatment.

The only other awesome IsThisAsthma news is that rather than the unshaped mask and giant volumatic spacer, we now have a tidy little tube spacer with teddy bears on it. The mask is shaped and soft, and the tube is petite enough that Snort can reach his own inhaler to help push it down – that is, when Coconut is not screaming that SHE is giving him the breathies.

(Two pounds down this week. That’s forty pounds lost. Just over halfway. Jesus.

Writing contest: Still in first place popularity wise, though I reiterate that means nothing officially as the judges make the first cut. Still, it’s making me feel more calm and confident about sharing. Please click here to view my MUST READ post about the contest and see a link to the chapter. Or click here if you’ve already read that post and want to read the chapter. Ratings and feedback welcomed, though you need to complete the ten second site registration to do so – and I found out last night that everyone who registers is entitled to a free book. You’d better believe I already ordered mine!

At this point I am brave enough to say that I am happy for you to share the link to the site on twitter, facebook, etc should you feel so inclined. I MAY just share it on my own Facebook soon.

That being said, I am having uncontrollable diarrhea so it’s clear the anxiety and self-judgment is still going strong.)

Holy fucking shit.

September 16, 2011

Ten minutes ago I was in tenth place, out of 144 entries.

Now I’m in third.

WTF.

My last entry, along with exposing my paranoia and insecurity, also has a link to my contest entry. And a plea for ratings and feedback.

I’m almost afraid to go to sleep. I hope I don’t wake up and discover I’m really number 143.

Peace out,
Your friend,
(sometimes) Negative Nelly

EDIT

Oh my god oh my god. Just checked again. First place.

Heart is pounding and I may pass out from anxiety. Jesus Christ.

Must. Stop. Checking.

I don’t know how long this link will be up. Just fair warning.

September 16, 2011

From my written journal this morning:

Today I just need to wait for the editors at _____________ to email saying my chapter has been accepted.

I am afraid of linking to it on Facebook. Even my blog.

What has crystalized for me is that I am afraid if people don’t like my writing, they won’t like ME. They’ll judge, they’ll lose respect, they’ll never look at me the same way again. Instead of encouraging my writing dream, they will silently roll their eyes and keep their mouths shut because I’m not worth it anyway. Not good enough.

Wow.

Two years of therapy and I only see this now.

Wow. 

This is deeper than a fear of rejection, or IS this the fear?

But why should I CARE? I know I am an awesome person.

WHY is fiction writing – and the exposing of it – such a BIG thing?

There is more. And there was even more I thought of but didn’t have a chance to note down before it submerged, once again, into the murky depths of my unconscious.

Two friends on twitter (hi, girlies!) asked for a link to read my chapter. And I like them enough to feel safe enough to have asked: Will you like me anyway?

Will you like me when you discover the genre I think it would be fun to write as a day job is ___________? Will you like me even though ___________ is wrong with my chapter? Will you commit to writing me comments – all please on the actual entry (you need to register with the site to leave comments and rate), unless they are comments about how truly terrible it is, in which case please email me directly?

This is the real me: insecure, longing, hesitant. Also brave enough to say it. I’m afraid. I find my fear isn’t about submitting my work in the first place, it’s about waiting to hear what other people think.

Thus, gulp, fuck, terror: click here to read the chapter I submitted. I refuse to allow myself to write disclaimers for it (but they are demanding and brutal and trying to fight their way through my fingertips onto the screen). I just need to keep breathing and say: fine, if you want to read it, you can. If you would like to comment on it*, I would really appreciate that. Honest feedback, please, though remember I am fragile. If you would like to rate it, go for it.

I can take it.

I think.

*Remember, you need to register on the site to read, comment, and rate my offering to the competition gods. It takes fifteen seconds to do so. Thus far I’m feeling like I have already won, just because I entered. Having the editors give it the okay to go through to the competition is icing on the cake. Maybe your comment will be my cherry? All comments on the actual competition site, please, so I can have them all in one place. Of course, if you want to copy and paste your comment over here, that’s fine.

Or leave a comment here saying that linking to this entry will not result in certain death, trauma, or a hemmorage of disappointment.

(I realise I am totally fucking crazy because YOU PEOPLE see my writing all the time. It’s all you see of me. But this blog feels like the real me, not writing….even just putting the link into this entry has accelerated my heart rate. God only knows if I can click ‘publish.’)

Yeah, so, wow.

September 16, 2011

The editors have read and approved my chapter submission. I’m officially in a very large and well known writing contest!

Have lots more to say, but my wireless isn’t functioning and the slowness of my phone’s internet provider is grotesque. So more later…..

I did it.

September 15, 2011

I just submitted my entry to the writing comp. I pulled a synopsis and first chapter summary out of my ass. I made up a format that looked legible. I did it all without reading any of the other entries, because I didn’t want to freak myself out.

I am not puking into my lap. I am not shaking with nerves.

WHY?

After a life of thinking (and sometimes experiencing) a self that is deeply troubled, scared, exhilarated, and unable to share (non-blog) writing, I just fucking DID IT.

I am using a pen name. I forgot that I do plan to re-enter the counselling field at some point, so am playing it safe. The public will see my pen name, but the editors and judges will get my real contact info and name. I haven’t yet decided whether to ask any friends or blog readers to read my entry. People who register with the site can read entries, rate them, and offer critiques.

Of COURSE I want some sympathetic people to rate me five stars and leave stellar comments (at this point, none of the ratings or comments counts toward anything; judges/editors decide who moves forward. The comments are just for critical learning, testing the waters.) because even worse than the idea of negative comments is the idea of no comments at all.

Plus I need some bolstering.

I just don’t know if I only want feedback from strangers who don’t know me, and think my (fake) name is pretty……or if I want feedback from people who seem to matter more, because they KNOW me – through this blog or otherwise. Thoughts?

Hopefully my chapter will be approved tomorrow and up for public viewing before the weekend. I guess I’ll let you all know when that happens.

I think I am already learning, though. If you look at my last post (please, look how awesome our day was!), and imagine non-stop awesomeness with NO NAPPING FROM TWO TODDLER TWINS, you can imagine how fucking tired I am. Yes, emotionally I enjoyed eating pizza on my lawn at twilight, but physically I’m about ready to fall asleep in your willing arms.

And despite being as tired as it’s possible to be, as tired as I can be after three nights in a row of alarm clocks, ‘breathies’ (inhaler treatments), and screaming sad little boys, I am still able to do this. To focus. To try.

If I get nothing else from this contest, that may just be enough.

Our day.

September 15, 2011

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Follow the progression….the only bits missing are the large chunk of time when baby bits were on display during fort building! Also all their afternoon running and slide stunts as Walnut doesn’t exist on the internet….except the back of his head during twilight pizza parties.

I also got my leg peed on – Snort peed while sitting on the toilet, but the force of his pee forced his willy to zoom around.


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