Well it is Christmas Eve.

The kids are playing on the playstation.  Little do they know that the poor ol’ PS2 will be relagated to the scrap heap tomorrow with the arrival of the Wii and shiny new computers.

The cubby is here.  After a concerted effort by MPS  and on the threat of bringing Boo to their homes on Christmas morning, the rest of the cubby arrived at 4pm.

With no instructions.  No diagrams.  No fucking clue what to do.  Oh, and we have to pre-drill our own holes and cut the wood to size.  A ‘kit’ my fucking arse.  Once we get our legal advice I will let you know the name of the company to never ever deal with.

When it arrived in a huge truck, Boo ran outside excitedly exclaiming ‘My Hyperdash is here!’.

The Hyperdash is indeed here, thanks to all my wonderful lovelies that went looking and Boneblower who got her inlaws to drop it off on their way through our town.  Smootches.

But the fat bloke will get the glory.  Bastard.

Boo is watching Shrek the halls.

MPS is playing on his computer.

Amy is screaming around her pen like a bunny possessed.  Probably excited knowing that Santa will fill her stocking with yummy treats.

Everything I ordered turned up today.  Including the awesome photo book I won from Click on print.

I got the most gorgeous gift in the mail from one of my fabulous internet buddies, covered in paper with <3’s all over it.  Shoe shaped chocolates and a shoe for everyday desk calendar that will take pride of place on my desk at work.  Thankyou C.  Smootches babe.

We are about to sit down and watch the Carols while drinking eggnog.  And then Santa will get down to business.

I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you Merry Christmas, Happy Hannuka,  a wonderful Ramadan, fabulous Winter Solstice, a fantastic Kwanza and whatever else I have forgotten.

I am truly blessed to find the world of blogging and the amazing people that inhabit the blogosphere.  Every day I am entertained, informed, horrified, humbled and brought to tears, both happy and in commiseration.

Every morning I wake to comments on what I have posted, when I get home from work and other times of the day.  Comments that make me feel part of a wonderful global community.

❤ my lovelies.  I consider you all family.

Now where is my fucking present.

watching a child fall asleep?

I am sitting on the lounge, surrounded by toys and the contents of a chest of drawers, a tower of CD’s precariously perched on the side of the TV cabinet. The laptop in front of me, my legs swung over the side, some crap on the TV, the disco ball spinning and throwing its coloured lights all over the shit and mustard stained walls.

I look over the top of my laptop and see Boo. Laying across his bed his eyes darting and closing, darting and closing, his leg hanging over the side.

He is nearly there. Nearly there.

I stop typing lest the sound disturb him.

He looks over at me.

I start typing again.

His eyes follow the patterns on the ceiling, down the walls. Yellow, blue, green, soft muted red. I remember teaching him these colours. I remember when he first showed me ‘green’, I remember his confusion and meltdown over the word ‘orange’. A food and a colour. Bastards.

His eyes close. 10pm? Really?

He fights it. His eyes fly open, close, open.

He shakes his head. But he can’t fight it. It is engulfing him. His eyes flutter. They roll. He flings his arm above his head. His jaw goes slack. They flutter again.

He sighs. That sigh of contentment. Of exhaustion. Of comfort.

He sits up suddenly. My heart in my mouth.

He rolls over. Leg now on the bed. Body and head wrapped in the blanket. Just like when I swaddled him as a baby.

It is my turn to sigh.

That beautiful, innocent face.

I wait. Wait till the rhythm of his breathing is constant.

I resist. Resist kissing that adorable face until I know he is asleep.

He is asleep. I kiss him and go to bed.

Stealing one more glance of that angelic face as I walk out the door.

***********

updated to add:

He got up an hour later and went to sleep at 4am.  Tried to recapture the warm fuzzy feeling from earlier to no avail…. 

I was a good little 50’s housewife today.

Replete with apron and self satisfied smirk.

Oh, I went the whole nine yards today, even helped out at school putting away fucking books sorting the readers in the reader room. For 2 and a half HOURS. Boo better get the teacher I want next year or I swear in front of God and all the internets that I will mess up that room GOOD.

Muttering death chants Dancing around the house with my feather duster, vacuum and mop, picking up after my little arseholes angels while seething and trying to ignore tending to my pathetic sick husband and daughter.

And there is more! Oh yes my lovelies, I cooked something for dinner that I have never ever cooked. Something that my kids have given up begging for cause I could never stomach making it.

Tripe? Black Pudding? Monkey brains?

Nope. Steak. Bletch. Mashed potatoes (OK but I prefer mashed sweet potato) and peas.

My aversion to great hunking slabs of animal flesh stems from my childhood.

My mother was a shite cook limited in her abilities in the kitchen. Her repertoire consisted of roast lamb on Sundays, apricot chicken (even the smell of apricot nectar sends me heaving) ‘mexican sausages’ (sausages boiled in tomato soup served with rice. Where is the freaking ‘mexican’ in there?) and either sausages or chops. So tough that we built up some pretty impressive arms cutting the bastards.

The sausages and chops were served with any combination of the following:

Home made chips. Sliced potatoes cooked in lukewarm oil till they were slightly warm and soggy and still raw in the middle. A pretty impressive feat really.

Mashed potato. I think she would lose interest halfway through mashing. So in reality potatoes with the shit boiled out of them and then slightly drained.

For a treat on a hot night we would have potato chips (or crisps).

Served with peas swimming in a sea of butter.

Sometimes Dad would go into the kitchen and make us omelette’s or pancakes.

Herbs were for hippies and spices were table salt and white pepper.

When I first left home I literally lived on spicy stirfries for a year!

So I have been living out of home since I was 18 and have never ever cooked a steak.

But today I was being the good little 50’s housewife, without the help of ‘Mothers little helper’ of my grandmothers day. Valium.

I did shopping, put it away, cleaned up after the little arseholes angels again and threw the hunking great lumps of bloody flesh on the George Forman.  Left the room a couple of times in disgust and then served it up to the salivating animals my darling family.

Too’s eyes lit up.  Moo swooned.  DH was jumping up and down with glee.

‘You are the best Mummy in the whole wide world’ exclaimed my carnivores as they gnashed their jaws on the pieces of cow.

I kept replaying that in my mind as I scrubbed George clean.

Then I made myself some toast.

****************

I will post the pictures of my new shoes tomorrow.

The party is over.

One more to go, but six days to recover.

Boo had a wonderful time. The kids were well behaved. A couple I wanted to strangle. A couple I want to adopt. 10 kids didn’t show, 6 had tummy bugs and their parents called to apologise –WOW – one mum went as far as popping over before the party to say J wasn’t coming but here is Boo’s present anyway……. How cool is that!

27 kids. 5 surly teenagers until the 6 month old baby came, then marshmallows in Emo garb. 4 adults. 3 conversations with the ‘ferals’ – one of them is growing a freaking BEARD! So I asked her how she liked my t-shirt. Bwaaaa haaa haaa!

Everyone but T had a good time. T is a tiny little dynamo, blindingly street smart with amazing blue eyes. She drives me nuts sometimes she is so freaking adult, but I love the kid. She was having a good time until I had to tell her off. She was on the trampoline with a boy and beating the living shit out of him.

It was a fun wrestling game that quickly got out of hand after she had eaten her body weight in unicorn turds (aka mini meringues). She was physically picking him up and body slamming him down. The boy (also T) was trying to save face cause T is half his size. But enough was enough. I ended up having to scream at T to get off him.

He’s all like ‘It didn’t hurt’,  ‘I’m OK’,  ‘I let her do it’ (so brave for a 7 year old) limping into the house trying to hide his tears. I sat T down and told her that she really shouldn’t do that cause she could get hurt one day when someone fights back.

‘Don’t worry Kelley, I can take care of myself’

Damn right she can. She scares me!

So T spent the rest of the party sulking. Refusing cake, icypoles and further turns on the trampoline. She sat out the potions class and pretended to be unimpressed with the teens ‘exploding’ experiments. Oh, it was so wife-pissed-off-at-husband-get-back-by-punishing-myself, I was stunned.  And amused.

Boo got some amazingly thoughtful gifts, adorable cards (lots of ‘you are a good friend’, ‘I love you’, ‘we are best friends’ handwritten cards *sob*) and some what-the-fuck presents.

The 2 blocks of DAIRY MILK chocolate from the woman I was lamenting having to do everything dairy free to and she gave me a fucking RECIPE. WTF?

This make your own animation thingy that plugs into the TV…. oooh it is so cool! AMAZING!

A dirty ball. You could have fucking washed it first before re-gifting dickhead. WTF

The mum that called from out the front to ask what to buy Boo….. I told her $5 in a card is perfect. She walked in the door 1 minute later, $10 in a generic card……. LMAO

Tons of artist supplies. Pens, paper, paints, sketch pads, textas, crayons, artist canvas, coloured pencils, charcoal….. Boo will be set for at least a month 🙂 BRILLIANT

The weather was perfect. A little warm but the rain held off. Thank you everyone for doing those little anti rain dances for me.

After everyone had gone and Boo had enough time to decompress, he came to me.

‘You know what Mummy?’

‘What my Boo?’

‘It was a great party’

‘Yes it was precious. Did you have a good time’

‘I did. Fun was had by all’

Yes, indeed. Everything was so worth it just to have that conversation with my Boo.

You rock Boo. Now it is 10.30pm, get the fuck to sleep.

***************

I will update the party blog with more details and photos over the next couple of days. Right now I have a hot date with a huge glass of red and a footspa.

Some would say why bother writing a letter to Boo, he isn’t going to read it and if he does he won’t understand. I say, I was told this boy wouldn’t do any of the things he has achieved, who knows what the future holds. And if he is 40 when he reads this letter, then I am cool with that. And if he never reaches the point where he can truly understand it, cool again. As my Moo says….. its all good.

My Boo,

My booful boy. My precious little man.

My forever baby.

Oh, how we wanted you. For years Daddy and I tried for you with many losses along the way. But, although hard, they were necessary for us to have such a wonderful little man at the right time. When you were born we were ready. Your sisters were ready. We were all ready for the lessons you would soon teach us. Patience, strength, persistence, courage and pure love.

I remember when you were born. Such a calm birth compared to your sisters. The doctor handed you to me and I held you. Something I didn’t get to do with the girls, I was too sick. In recovery I fed you straight away. You stared deep into my eyes and I wept. The connection was there from the first few minutes.

I remember our first morning together. Daddy had to go to work and I was still in the hospital. We were so lucky to be in a hospital where the Daddies got to stay. We had our own room and a queen sized bed. The three of us together. I had the radio on to listen to Daddy and so you could hear his voice.

‘Don’t want to miss a thing’ by Aerosmith came on. I know it is a love song, but the words fit perfectly to how I felt about you. I could not stop staring into your perfect little face. To this day that song makes me cry. Happy tears.

Then you turned blue. Three times you had to stop breathing before the nurses would take me seriously. Then all hell broke loose. We lost our cocoon and you were transferred to the special needs nursery. How ironic.

For 18 months you had a breathing monitor attached to your body. Affectionately coined the ‘ticker’ it made a ‘mysterious ticking noise’ whenever you took a breath. If it was dislodged or you stopped breathing a deafening alarm would go off. It didn’t need to. I was so attuned to the ticking I knew before it went off.

Just after we graduated from the ticker you were diagnosed with Autism. My little genius boy, who was reading and writing already just choosing not to speak was…….. different.

We developed our own little language in sign.

I love you.

Want more.

Cuddle

And my favourite. You are my sunshine.

We would sing it together all the time. In the car, on walks, in the park, at the supermarket. In voice and in sign. Your eyes would light up when I would sing and you would grab my hands to make me sign it too.

You are my sunshine

My only sunshine

You make me happy

When skies are grey

You will never know, dear

How much I love you

Please don’t take my sunshine away….

Boo, you are my sunshine. I might complain about sleeplessness and destruction, but as I sit here, in the pre-dawn of your 9th birthday, with you laying next to me – Daddy relegated to your bed as is quite often the case – I gaze at you and realise how lucky I am.

Nothing comes easy in your life. You are constantly bombarded by sounds, images, smells that distract or distress you. Yet you have come so far. Much further than anyone ever hoped for. You are a true miracle. A lesson in determination. And in pure innocent joy.

Whenever I need to remember, I just have to watch you eat an apple, play on the computer, hear a new song or give you a tickle or cuddle. Pure Innocent Joy.

My forever baby, we are one.

Love Mummy.

xxxx

P.S. I hope you like your presents. They are not what your asked for but firstly, you are not old enough to drive a taxi. Secondly, Streets icecream won’t let me have one of their freezers unless we own a store. And lastly, I have tried to get you are real movie clapperboard but Mr. Speilberg won’t return my calls. But I am on it. This is the one, right?

clapperboard.jpg


I can’t bear it. Just the thought of you being 16 makes me all weepy.

I look at you and I see a woman. We laugh, we joke, we share. Just like girlfriends. But then you look sad and my heart breaks. You attempt to curl up in my lap and I am transported back to when you were a little girl. Not someone 2 inches taller than me.

Last night, as usual, I wrapped my arms around you from behind. I put my face on your cool back and I could feel your heart beating. I hugged you tighter. Growing up is hard. But I didn’t realise how hard it would be for me. If I hug you from behind I can still pretend you are my little girl. The other way around I am suffocated by the physical evidence of you growing up.

I love our chats. Just sitting in the lounge, while I’m cooking dinner, driving in the car. I love that you tell me all the little things that have happened or what’s going on at school (see the apostrophe in ‘what’s’? You little grammar nazi? 🙂 ) and that you don’t feel like you need to ‘edit’ it for a parental. Just easy conversation. Something I wished I had with my mother. But sometimes I find it hard to fight the mummy instinct. Sometimes the primal lioness protecting her cubs rises up in me and I want to fight the world to protect you from any hurt. But I can’t. Your ‘boo-boo’s’ now cannot be fixed with a kiss and a bandaid.

But I am always here for you. I am always on your side. I breathe for you.

My first born. I was still so very much a little girl when I had you. 19 years old and thought I knew everything. Then you came along. We have grown up together.

I know sometimes you resent the fact that you need to ‘break me in’. You being my first child, you are the one that needs to test the waters and teach me to let go. I am too protective. I recognise that. But I think that also comes from the fact that my teenage years are still so clear, I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I made. But you are a different person to me, more wise, more intelligent, more switched on. When you were born the nurses said ‘This one has been here before’, I thought them delusional.

Now I am not so sure.

You are so loving and caring to your siblings. No matter how much they drive you to distraction you forgive them anything. Boo has turned your life upside down, but you still turn to me and say ‘God, I love that kid’. That makes my heart swell with pride. Not because you love your brother, but because you see past the negative and honestly know that he means no harm. You see the good in him. You are not embarrassed when he screams the place down in a crowded store, you are more concerned about his welfare. I cannot say that I would have been the same at your age. You are much more mature than me.

Moo, your smile ignites my heart. Your happiness is my happiness. Your sorrow is mine, two fold. I tell you every day how much I love you, they are not just words.

You are an amazing wonderful person and I am so proud to say that I am your Mum.

Happy Birthday my beautiful girl.

Love,

Mummy

xx

***************

side note:  To see the letter to Too for her birthday look under ‘letters’. 

There will be a letter to Boo tomorrow. 

And Moo is rather pissed off about it!

So there I was, at work.  Everything was taken from my desk.  I rang IT support and while talking to DH I was chatting to him on IM.  That feral mum from school bugging me to use the phone while her snotty nosed kid was wiping her boogers on my nighty.  DH was telling me not to tell anyone but my desk was cleared cause I got the job as a nurse in Maternity at the hospital.

‘Wake up Mum.  It’s 7 o’clock’

My eyes flew open.  SEVEN O’CLOCK!!  My alarm didn’t go off!

I flew out of bed and looked at Too.  Her eyes were hanging out of her head.  Dark circles surrounded her enormous blue eyes.

‘What’s wrong babe?’  I enquired as I threw on some clothes.  We need to be dressed and out of the house at 7.55.

‘Boo woke up at 1am.  I sat with him cause I know how tired you are’

My heart melted.

‘He went back to sleep at 5.30.  Sorry, I fell asleep so I didn’t wake you earlier’

Isn’t she just the best kid you have EVER seen!

What makes it even more betterer is she is in pain.  Not better cause she is in pain, I am not that bad a mother, but she thought of me.

She has dermatitis on her feet.  They are bleeding it is so bad at the moment.  Because of that she is favouring one foot.  Because of that she has hurt her ankle.  Because of her ankle weakness, yesterday while doing sport she hurt her hip.  So her whole lower body is ‘caning’ but she still stayed up all night with her brother because she knew her Mummy was tired.

Oh, Too, you are a super star!

So she is home today.  She is not impressed cause she loves school (yeah!  I know!  A 14 yr old that loves school!) but she is hobbling around the place and I can’t stop smiling and hugging her.

And Moo is pissed off cause SHE wants to be the ‘golden child’.  It is her birthday on Friday, and she is trying to score extra points cause apparently that equals extra presents……

I shouldn’t have hauled my bottom off my chair and saved him from a fate worse than Mama Cass earlier. I admit my main concern was my carpet, but I saved him all the same.

And what thanks do I get? Shit and toothpaste. He has added a new one to the mix, mouthwash. Two whole bottles down the drain and refilled with Diet Pepsi. And the pepsi bottle being topped up with water.

Oh and lets not forget him trying to cut up the lounge suite with a play doh knife.

And pouring left over soft drink from the weekend all over the newly polished (in a fit of domestic-ness on the weekend) stainless steel GAS cooktop.

And wiping his arse on his doona.

And the wall – yes the FREAKING wall!!!!

And forgetting to pull down his pants before he went to the toilet. While still wearing his only pair of shoes that he will deign to wear……

And making 8 ham sandwiches and leaving them in various states of crumbled-up-ness around the house.

And running into his sister while she is carrying a plate of scrambled eggs and giggling while it flies through the air screaming ‘Do it again, Do it AGAIN!!!!’

Surprisingly he didn’t put up his usual fight when I DEMANDED he to go to bed. Normally it is a 45 minute all in brawl to get him in the general vicinity of his bed, tonight it took all of 10.

Methinks this kid is playing with me. Methinks he knows when he has overstepped the line. Something I should rejoice. Apparently. He is being a naughty little boy, just like every other boy. Apparently.

Apparently it is illegal to strangle your child for being naughty. Even if they are almost as tall as you and stronger than 10 men.
But what if I just shake him a little?

Oooooooh, he is asleep. 10 minutes and he is asleep. Tiny little snore escaping from his lips. Spread eagled across the bed tangled up in the bedding. The pikachu bedhead I made him framing his tousled curls. Perfectly angelic sleeping face. I lean over and kiss his still baby-chubby cheek.

God how I love this child. All is forgiven.

At least for tonight.

My baby girl.

This time 14 years ago I was being prepped by the anesthetist ready to bring you into the world. No makeup, no nailpolish but at least my paper hat matched my gown. Daddy was nervously strutting around waiting to take his position next to me behind the curtain for when, like a magician, the doctor would pull a baby out of his wife.

Throughout my pregnancy I quietly wished that you would be a girl. When people would ask me if I was hoping for a boy, I would wrap my arms around my belly so you couldn’t hear and mouth to them ‘I want another girl’. When the doctor popped you over the curtain, I cried. My baby girl.

I wouldn’t see you till the next day. I was sick, so Daddy had to take care of you. He took so good care of you the Nazi nurse wrote on my file ‘Father overhandling baby. Father not to handle baby’ the other nurses ignored her and saw it for what it was. A proud Daddy.

When we formally met I couldn’t believe the size of your enormous blue eyes. You were mesmerizing. Strangers would stop me in the street to just stare at you. Moo was not impressed. She was, and always will be, the show pony of the family. You would just sit and quietly survey the scenery. Your huge blue eyes and natural Shirely Temple blonde ringlets (Google the name and you will see what I mean)

You slept through the night from 6 weeks old. You were the dream baby that people speak of. Happy and content. Your biggest source of amusement was watching your sister splash in the bath. Oh how I wish I got that almost dirty cackle on video.

But I have the video of when we were madly moving into our newly bought house and you had chicken pox. Dosed up on drugs after a marathon 11 hour drive back from Grandma’s funeral. We were frantically chucking boxes anywhere when I saw you sitting on the pack porch singing Row Row Row your Boat. Daddy grabbed the camera and even though it was 4,ooo degrees in the shade I stopped and smothered you in cuddles. That is my best memory of that frantic, stressful time.

I remember when Carl came over one day when you were on the swings. He hadn’t met you before and commented on how beautiful you were and then you opened your mouth to call ‘Daddy get over here and swing me’ in your surprisingly deep voice, LOL. He nearly fell over and I nearly wet my pants laughing.

You went through an uber tomboy stage. Took the whole thing a little far with your 2 inch long hair and ultra baggy clothes. People told me to dress you properly but I knew it was a stage that you needed to go through and the photos will be great for your 21st…… Sk8r grl.

Now you are 14. In that twilight zone between little girl and woman. As I drove you to the train station this morning clutching your present from Moo and Boo that perfectly reflects the stage you are at now, a soft cuddly toy that you plug your Ipod into, I told you how much I love you. You are my ‘easy’ child and in that respect you tend to get forgotten with all the drama that your siblings and father create. Such an easy going kid, never complaining and just happy to be here. You befriend the friendless, stick up for anyone and are a kind and loving friend and daughter. You adore your brother for who he is and will do anything for him, even if that means turning off your Emo music to go and jump on the trampoline with him or do endless chin ups on the swing set, just because it makes him giggle to see you do it.

You are the sort of person that others aspire to be. I am proud of you. And I hope that I had something to do with moulding you to be the wonderful person that you are, and the amazing woman you will soon become.

Happy Birthday my baby girl.

Love Mummy.