Sunday, August 30, 2009

Blank

Because the words are jammed I'll have to keep just posting pics for a while. They're swimming around there somewhere, the words, but they're all in random order and keep getting snagged on the bits of driftwood that are lodged in my brain. So soon I will tell you a story. But for now, as prompted by Val, some more old family pictures.





or not





internet connection, she having a sulk. And why not, its a sunday after all



so next time




soon






honest

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The tether end, good friends and a glowworm

Last evening I found myself peddling backwards frantically, swimming against the current, shooing away the end of my tether that was approaching rapidly, rabidly grinning. Husband is away in the Serengeti, baby was SCREAMING and showing no signs of stopping and we had no power. So I put the baby in my kangaroo pouch (which she squirmed and screamed in) and walked over to Janelle's. Like a cooling balm (sorry can't think of an original simile) she helped relieve my tension, made me laugh and made me a 'nice cup of tea'. Coz its always a nice cup of tea hey?

And on my walk back in the dark, under the polished black surface of the sky, I saw nestled in the grass, a glowworm.

And I knew that everything would be okay.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Miranda who?

Okay, seriously, time to stop staring at the lovely daughter and write another post. What to say though? Urgh. I wanted to write a witty, light and funny post about our journey back to Tanzania. The 117 kilos of luggage, the pram wrapped up in cardboard and bin liners that looked suspiciously like a dead body, the raised eyebrows, the cooing immigration officers, the perils of changing a nappy in an aircraft toilet, the strange masked men checking for swine flu on arrival at Kilimanjaro airport. But oh woe, my brain, my brain! I'd heard that when you're pregnant something happens to your memory and brain but seriously, this? Now? Like nothing else. And I don't think people (read husband) actually really believes that its true. Its a phenomenon though, right? Ah whatever. So forgive the ramblings, maybe one day I'll manage to write that witty light and funny post, but right now is no possible.

So in short, since the last post:

1 - We had all the grandparents to stay to coo at the baby, from Zambia, from England. Had numerous other visitors from the lovely sister to the beautiful cousin, to the lovely sister's gorgeous best friend(s), the witty friend from University (and fellow blogger Fush and Chips) with his delightfully crazy pug Stankie...and so on...sometimes all at once. More than once I caught myself singing under my breath, "welcome to house of fun da da da da dum". It was delightful to see everyone but at times pretty head-explodingly chaotic.

2 - We flew back from South Africa with one baby, one pram (that looked like said dead body), one car seat, three (big) check in bags, three items of hand luggage (four if you include the baby!), one calm husband and one grimacing but deep breathing mother. I was dreading it, but it was fine. Better than fine in fact. And all because of this thing

At the risk of sounding melodramatic, it has changed my life. It. Is. Fantastic. The baby gets in and sleeps immediately, my hands are free, its sooo comfy, you can breastfeed without people oggling at your boobs (which I don't mind, but husband does!). And so on. Its just one long piece of cloth no straps, no buckles. If you have a baby and you don't have one of these, get one. Seriously. Okay, I'll shut up now, I tend to go on and on about it!



3 - We got home to our lovely little house on the hill that is being buffeted by strong winds, to a full fridge, thanks to our lovely neighbours, a fat and happy cat, and my dear aunt and cuzzes staying next door for a few days. Its good to be home.

4 - Heard the news that Iwomba's bones were found so they were able to have a proper funeral for him.

5 - Going to Nairobi tomorrow for 6 week jabs and check ups and nappy buying!

So dear friends, apologies for the bla ramblings, and more soon, I hope!

Oh and thanks for all the lovely comments. I've been utterly crap at commenting, and replying to mine, but have been reading and smiling. xx

Sunday, August 2, 2009

On Becoming a Mother

"Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body”


I have been thrust, wide eyed and blinking, into another dimension. In a way I have been preparing for this all my life – I had a somewhat serial animal rearing problem as a child. Up every two hours in the ticking dead of night feeding whatever poor doomed bald creature had fallen into my path. From rats to squirrels, warthogs to porcupines, elephants to puku, pratincoles to civets, I’ve had them all. So I am well prepared for motherhood in that I’m fine with the night feeds – really, what’s the big deal in the whole scheme of things. I’m familiar with the burning possessiveness (hey, don’t touch my baby), the high alert, the tuned ear.

On the one hand I am cautious about being a new mother bore, but on the other I want to stand atop the Hilbrow Tower and shout “I have a baby! The best most adorable perfect creature in the universe – you just try and tell me any different! Come here and say that!” I want to find an echo-ey enclave that will reverberate my message to every hidden cave and snow-jacketed mountain there is. So I shall do the next best thing – I shall blog. New mother bore be damned!

Already 4 weeks have whizzed by and I feel that I am standing on the deck, cold wind in my face, clutching at the railings, watching in bewilderment as Time whips by. And I am loving. Every. Minute.

So although I say I’ve reared animals and therefore I’m well prepared, obviously there is no comparison! The familiar feeling is there but there is absolutely nothing like it. See, I contradict myself…but I can. Because I am a mother. Because I say so. Haha! Hey, its fun!

The staring
I sneak a quick look at her and suddenly I realise that four hours have passed. The song "can't take my eyes off of you" playing a loop in my head.

The sense of humour failure
The baby is about a week old. I am still sore and tender new to all this.
I want to bite all visitors on the cheek with my newfound fangs when they come near. "Hey! Back off! That’s my baby! Seriously. BACK OFF!" The first week or two even my poor husband needs visiting rights to smell her milk-and-honey-head. He can’t even enjoy a celebratory glass of wine. “are you drunk? No, you can’t pick up the baby, you’ve had a glass of wine.“ And I burst into tears. "Is that Deep Heat I smell?" Oh dear, I have created a monster. My mother and sister are visiting and I am hiding in the room staring at the new baby. I have left the husband to entertain them. I come stalking into the room where they’re eating pizza and drinking wine. “Are you all getting pissed?” I am offered a glass of wine. “NO! I can’t drink wine. I’m breastfeeding. I have a baby to look after” I scowl and thunder back to the room. This is very un-Miranda behaviour. They’re all too scared to bring me pizza and have to goad each other and draw straws to see who will be the one brave enough.

People making passing comments about zipping the baby up in her body bag, the last tomato in the fridge etc Its not funny. Not at all.

The animal in me
I fully understand how lions and elephants will attack if you get between them and their young. I would kill for this baby without a second thought. My claws are out and I’m ready for battle. I am sure I have a heightened sense of smell and hearing too but that’s probably just my imagination. I certainly have a heightened sense of imagination. Every corner, step, person and inanimate object is a hidden danger, waiting to harm my baby.

The bursting heart
There is, at every waking and sleeping moment, a dull ache of tenderness and pride in my sternum. Whether I’m washing the dishes, picking flowers or drinking juice – it’s always there. We have done something incredible. We have made something unique. I will never ever love anything as I love this small 55cm, 4 and a half kilogram, milk-and-honey smelling creature.