Mistakebook… Enough!

I’ve written about using Facebook in the past here but was asked by someone in Darwin to discuss ‘friend requests” and if you only accept people you really like. Which led me to my September 2011 column in DarwinLife Magazine

 

When a barman asks what you’d like, he means what DRINK you’d like. Trust me; it’ll save you an awkward conversation. Also, when a barista says “Sugar?” he means do you WANT some, not do you HAVE some. We all make mistakes. Life is tricky, and I nearly gave away my sugar.

So, what’s trickier than life? Facebook! A place where billions of people make mistakes, assumptions and comparisons every day, and some really do give away all their sugar. At first it seemed cool, maybe a bit addictive. But Facebook culture lends itself freely to voyeurism, judgement and oversharing.

Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook to pick up chicks because, horny males: the mother of all invention. But it’s changed. Now it’s something you can use to tell 300 friends you’re in labour. Or in love. Or in-capable of emotion. Or in London getting fresh with Prince Harry.

Pfft! Whatever! In your dreams.  See? Tricky! Here are some more common Facebook mistakes.

Adding friends: Just because we once made out and it was hotter than Ryan Reynolds holding a bottle of absinthe and inviting me into a Jacuzzi full of Epsom salts, doesn’t mean I’m requesting your friendship so we can do it again. I only want to be your friend so I can stalk you when I can’t sleep.  Or… What? Nothing! Also, if it takes me more than a day to accept your request, I’m probably not that interested… but might accept later on not to be a rude cow, incase you know someone I actually like and tell them – I’m a rude cow. Either way! It’s not called Like-book.

Rejecting friend requests: Obviously you did something creepy that I can’t look past. Or you support Collingwood. It doesn’t make me a bitch, or you a loser. Que será, mi amor. Well that’s what I told myself when Matt Damon rejected me. It’s not Popularity-book.

Deleting friends: ‘Cleaning your profile’ as a reason for deleting friends is essentially saying, you’re rubbish, bugger off. I’ve only ever deleted one person, and that scheming worthless hack knew she had it coming. I think deleting people is mean. It’s a person! Not some shoes you don’t want anymore. Fickle-book, maybe.

Comments: When your self-esteem is directly proportional to the number of ‘likes’ or comments you get, you know it’s time to converse in the real world. Insecure-book?

Profile picture: If you’ve had some professional photos taken and you use that for your profile – you wanker! Oh wait, I do that. Well at least it’s me, not my: car, pet, tattoo, cleavage, feet, a celebrity, or taken in 1997.  It’s not Guess-who-book.

Groups: Be careful. You and your 5 members might offend someone; enough to sue for fifty grand. Joke? No. Ridiculous? Yes. Almost Defamation-book.

Games: I do not want to play Cityville, Castleville, Farmville, Annoyingville or something called Fruit Ninja Frenzy. I had one of those once and afterwards, I had the hiccups for days. However I think I could get into the game Howzat Cricket. I feel it’s the only sport that prioritises lunch.

Status updates: Life is NOT a dress rehearsal for your Facebook updates. Nobody wants to know what you’re doing every minute. Stop it!  Keep your clean house, your headache, your dry cuticles, your cheese sandwich, your hangover, your new oven or what’s inside it to yourself. Also… Kids are cute and hilarious. But they’re yours not mine, so keep the sleeping/eating/pooping routine in the family. It’s not called Mother-book.

The truth is Facebook is a brilliant way to keep in touch with all kinds of people from our lives – past and present.  It’s one of the best ways to vent, share ideas, gain support and actually – laugh at life.  It’s a great way to share photos so I can see if after you dumped me and got married your kids turned out ugly, and it’s invaluable for making contact. However; if we’re Facebook friends, and you are gulity of any of the above – consider this your written warning. I may not delete you, but I’ll ‘hide’ you. Probably forever, and you’ll never know. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg; it’s not called Nice-book.  Zuckers!

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The bear and the rabbit

I think we can all agree that sleep deprivation is more than feeling a little bit tired. Yes, yes, it’s a form of torture. As are many stages of ‘having a baby.’ I know that I would reveal top secret information and jeopardise national security if it meant avoiding having poo flicked one millimeter from inside my mouth.  

Anyway I digress. Sleep deprivation can mess with your head because being that deliriously tired makes you just plain ole delirious. Unless you’re not sleeping because you’re on speed. That can still mess with your head but can apparently do wonders for your figure. Unlike what happens to me. I vaguely trudge into the kitchen, yawn, reach for the jar of Nutella and BOOM! Instant energy. Instant cottage cheese arse! But at night after you’ve brushed your teeth… Nutella? No. Energy? Gone. Phantasmagorically random thoughts? Yes indeed.

I wrote this particular waffle when I felt alone in my suffering. It could be a metaphor for something quite deep. Or it could just be that I was thinking how Eddie Murphy used to be hilarious when he did stand up and told some funny jokes like that one about the bear and the rabbit, and hang on a minute… Wasn’t that joke in his movie, ‘DELIRIOUS?’

Maybe he wrote that joke when he was feeling delirious, because maybe when you’re feeling delirious your brain releases stored images and memories of bears and rabbits. Like when you vomit – how your body releases years’ worth of stored carrot.

Ok. I’ll stop now.

See?

 

PREFACE: A rabbit seeks out a bear in the woods.

RABBIT: Hey bear!

BEAR: What’s up, rabbit!

RABBIT: Do you like honey? You like honey right? Yes or no?

BEAR: How about stopping it with the stupid questions!

RABBIT: ANSWER ME

BEAR: Dude, yes. Duh. Of course.

RABBIT: Well… I just so happen to have a big thing of honey right over there.

BEAR: ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?

RABBIT: Straight up.

BEAR: Then let’s get down to business!

RABBIT: First… First you have to give me a big hug.

BEAR: No problem, I love big hugs! I’m a bear. Like…. I give ‘bear hugs.’

RABBIT: I mean reeeeally big.

BEAR: Stop talkin’ and start huggin’

[overlong hug]

RABBIT: So.

BEAR: Yeah.

RABBIT: That was … that was really nice.

BEAR: So… About that honey…

RABBIT: Yeah, about that.

BEAR: What.

RABBIT: I don’t actually … have any honey. Per se.

BEAR: What!?!

RABBIT: Yeah. I’m sorry. I just.. (sigh) I  really needed that bear hug right now.

BEAR: I … I mean, I guess that’s OK. You could’ve just asked.

RABBIT: Sorry. I … I didn’t—

BEAR: It’s OK.

RABBIT: I just didn’t know how to—

BEAR: I said it’s fine.

[long, cold silence]

Sorry. And that.

I’ve been crap, haven’t I! Inconsistent blogging with months between them. I know. I’m a bad blogger. If I was a dog you’d be rubbing my nose into my computer screen. So anyway I’m sorry.

Well, as sorry as a self-indulgent mother of 2 in serious need of sleep and a facial with a broken washing machine and broken spirit, and a surprisingly well-in-tact superiority complex can be, anyway.

Not sure that anybody really cares that much. It’s not like my blogging saves lives or helps anyone, other than people who have insomnia.

You know, you random strangers out there that are so bored and wanting to be entertained because despite like a hundred new free TV channels there’s still crap on TV, so you’ll google “nice stylish boys lonely feeling sad” or “hairy condom sex” or ”Jennifer Lopez butt” or “Ryan Reynolds testicle tuck” and sadly somehow (I’m not kidding) you’ll see a link leading you to this site and go: Oh, this should amuse me for about three and a half minutes….

To those of you – I’m especially sorry. Oh and ahhh…. Also to all the celebrities who google their own name and see my 2 cents. Sorry to you too. Not for my 2 cents. But because I have soooo much more to give and I haven’t been. And for THAT I’m sorry to myself.

The kind of sorry that could apologise to an entire generation if it wanted to. Just by getting a bunch of people on a hill somewhere in Canberra and saying – I’m sorry, really slowly into a microphone and then printing it on a T-shirt and in the sky with a plane and that.

The kind of sorry that could round-house kick karate chop your arse, if it could be bothered getting off the couch… what leotard? I don’t know.

But anyway, my sorry would be wearing a sweat band Rambo style. And a red leotard with Swarovski crystals stitched into the bodice. And Christian Louboutin Mouskito Pumps in Black and Red. Because my sorry is AWESOME.

Anyway the consistent folk over at DarwinLife Magazine have this thing called a monthly deadline. So despite my absence here, I will be updating soon with Cyclone columns that appeared in June and July issues.

But for now, well you know.

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard…

 

WARNING:  This is a post about breasts and contains various terms that describe the female chest region. Should you be offended by such words as titty… you may wish to log off Cyclone Cindy now. However – if you have breasts, or know someone that does, or once drank from a pair yourself… you might find this post informative, slightly amusing, and most of all preposterous.

~~~

Once when I was about 13, I ate some dodgy Chinese and came out covered in hives. They were itchy and sore. I remember telling my big brother and his friend that night (almost in tears as I scratched) “Look, I’m covered in lumps – I have lumps”

To which my brother’s friend who I also had a MASSIVE crush on replied whilst looking directly at my chest, “Cundy, You don’t hiv inee lumps.. not yit!”

He was from New Zealand, and I was devastated. It was the first time I became aware of my breasts. Or at that time – lack of.

Oh, if he could see my lovely lady lumps now!

Actually they’re not lumps. They’re Twin Peaks. Big jugs of milk. They should probably have their own postcode. I have no idea what they weigh but every morning when I’m pulling the girls out of my eyes, I wonder… you know?

And as I sit here, typing…

One handed…

One of those jug-o-nauts is hooked up to an apparatus that is pulsing and buzzing with a low electrical hum which is extracting milk. Human milk. The technical term is called ‘expressing’ but I call it ‘juicing the boobs.’

I am a jersey cow.  With nips of steel.  A fem-bot.

It’s not uncommon for women to try expressing breast milk after having a baby for various reasons. For me it’s about comfort and control. Sticking a baby’s mouth on your titty ‘correctly’ involves more technique than a Grand Jeté en Avant** and if you don’t get the technique right, you end up with blisters, blood, and toe curling, teeth clenching pain every time they get on board for a drink.

And – even if you get the technique right; you still have no idea how much the baby is drinking… so how do you know if afterwards, when they’re crying – they’re still hungry, or they have wind, or even just feel like a ‘comfort suck??’

Anyway so here I am, having the milk sucked out of my left booz from a big round plastic pressurised cup, wishing there was an easier way to nourish my child with the antibodies that breast milk contains. So much dairy goodness in fact, that when my new baby got conjunctivitis at only a few days old, the midwives told me to ‘squirt some breast milk into his eye.’

I apologise now for the imagery, but it totally worked! His eye was cleared up within hours.

BUT…

Knowing how beneficial breast milk is to babies and how the ingredient it contains: immunoglobulin IgA, which can cure infections and fight disease can’t be reproduced synthetically…

What if you can’t.
Or don’t.
Or won’t.

My first baby was breastfed for 8 months and I’m proud of that. Probably because it WAS hard and I persevered.

I currently have a five week old. This time it’s much harder.

Maddy and Mo (despite their size) aren’t making enough milk to feed him and so 5 days ago, I started replacing a few feeds with formula. And I feel like the devil. I feel neglectful and mean and selfish and cruel, and that I must be the most incapable mother alive.

Which makes me wonder… Why is there such a social stigma on women who formula feed?

Why do women who breast feed think they’re better? Why are they all “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard and they’re like, it’s better than yours. Damn right it’s better than yours.”

Why do women who can’t breast feed feel like failures. Why do the midwives push ‘breast is best’ on every new mother?

WHY DO I feel like I’m doing my baby boy a disservice, when in actual fact, I’m probably doing him MORE of a disservice by being a run-down, psychotic, emotionally unstable wreck – which is what I am when I breastfeed and express.

Because instead of sitting here with this ridiculous apparatus attached to me, I COULD be sleeping. Or at least typing faster.

I WANT to breastfeed, but I’m so frickin’ annoyed that I hate it so much. I HATE IT!

HATE HATE HATE. And just typing that makes me feel nasty, and about as maternal as Courtney Love. If Miranda can do it why can’t I? And with red lipstick on for that matter? I mean look at her? Bitch! I want to go to her house and burn her at the stake!

So anyway, left with this dilemma combined with a physical inability to make enough milk at the moment, I decided to conduct various tests.

TEST 1 – THE TASTSE TEST

Sample A: Karricare formula.
Powdered milk gone sour? Something they give you in Thailand to go in your coffee?

Sample B:  Breastmilk.  Mine.
(BOOM! Cindy tasted her own milk. I swallow my own snot too sometimes when I have a cold and don’t have a tissue on me, so comparatively, I don’t think this information is totally shocking.)
It tasted like Skim Milk that had had about half a kilo of sugar mixed in. Actually it was more like sugar syrup.

Test Results: If eating sugar is fun, go right ahead and call them fun bags. Boobies are the clear winner here.
Breasts 1: Formula: 0

TEST 2 – THE TITTY TEST
The test goes as follows:

Stand in front of a mirror and strip to the waist.
Take a pencil.

Stick the pencil under the breast. Lower the breast over the pencil.
If the pencil falls to the floor, go ahead – continue to nourish your child with boob milk, and celebrate by going bra-less and sticking your nipples to the wind.
But if that pencil stays for a fraction of a second, there has already been remarkable damage. DO NOT even go to the fridge without MAJOR support, and do what you can now to reverse the damage by discontinuing all suction to the area. Unless you want to wind up with sandbags in the wind; Two old socks with a couple of golf balls someone stuffed inside.

Test results: Let’s just say pencil case not required.
Breasts 1: Formula 1

TEST 3 – THE SLEEP TEST
There’s an argument for and against over which babies sleep better, breast fed or formula fed. Incidentally, whoever coined the phrase ‘sleeping like a baby’ to imply ‘good sleep’ should be punched in the face and forecd to spend a night at my house.

So – This morning I breast fed (direct from the source to make it fair) and the kid fell asleep mid feed. I have no idea how much he drank, but would assume that at the time he was full. I pulled him off, put him in bed, and he slept for half an hour, then woke up. I put him back to sleep again later, fighting him off my chest, where he slept for an hour.

Later I gave him 120mls of formula. He stayed awake for an hour and slept for 3.

Test results: Babies sleep better on a full stomach. I know his tummy was full after formula. Have no idea how much boob milk he drank – so assuming he fell asleep because he was in a state of bliss.
Breasts 1: Formula 2

TEST 4 – THE TIME TEST
Free time with 2 children. Forget about it. So of course the faster they drink, the better. This is about seeing which ‘feed’ takes longer.

Breast feed: 45 minutes. No idea how much he drank. Process complete when he comes off or falls alseep.

Formula feed: 120 mls took 12 minutes. Then had to wash and rinse bottles which took 10 minutes.

Test results: When your baby is just ‘comfort sucking’ on a bottle, you can tell because the milk level stays the same. But when they do it on your boob, you have no idea, so they spend longer on your boob sucking nothing than they do on a bottle.
Breasts 1: Formula 3

 

no time to feed yourself hey Salma?

 

 

TEST 5 – THE GOODNESS TEST
Got all this from Wikipedia.Not sure how reliable that is but anyway…

  • The exact chemical properties of breast milk are not fully understood.
  • A mother’s breast milk changes in response to the feeding habits of her baby and over time, thus adjusting to the infant’s individual growth and development.
  • Breast milk includes the mothers’ antibodies that help the babies avoid or fight off infections and give their immature immune systems the benefit of their mothers’ immune system that has many years of experience with the germs common in their environments.
  • Use of infant formula is cited in numerous health risks. Studies have found infants in developed countries who consume formula are at increased risk for non-specific gastroenteritis, severe lower respiratory tract infections, atopic dermatitis, asthma, obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), eczema, necrotizing enterocolitis and autism when compared to infants who are breastfed
  • It has been discovered that iron supplementation in baby formula is linked to lowered I.Q. and other neuro-developmental delays

Test results: Umm, why do they call it breast milk? These girls are carrying liquid gold!
Breasts 2: Formula 3

  

Back to being aged 13… I was flat and my bra was for show. My boobs were a novelty and I had no idea of their potential or ability.

By the time I was in my 20’s I discovered that shaking my milk makers DID bring all the boys to the yard. I learnt that my rack was actually a secret source of power over men, and that having the right kind of boobs can result in social and economic gain.

Then comes a time when you actually make milk with your milk makers and shaking them just hurts your eyes. You understand why Anna Nicole Smith took drugs for her back pain. Your breasts stop being sexual, although they’re still powerful. They take on a life of their own, obligated to another human being for nourishment which is a huge responsibility. It’s a job. My boobs should be getting paid for this.

Yes my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard. And I SHOULD charge! But they’re so massive that the boys in the yard go “Whoa!”

UPDATE: Bugger it. I’m putting this damn contraption in the bin. Gonna down a couple of cans of Red Bull or some other energy drink loaded with life-giving goodness, and take myself off to buy some cute little B-cup bras.

** A ballet step. A big leap forward whereby the dancer throws the foot forward, like a grand battement, at 90 degrees. The height of the jump depends on the strength of the thrust and the length of the jump depends on the strong push-off. The dancer strives to stay in the air to show a a definitely expressed attitude or arabesque.

The baby blues.

Okay, so I had a boy… But you know what? Forget blue!

Or pink…  Or any one specific ‘baby colour’ because I just realised something…

Those first few weeks after having a new baby, it’s like the whole damn rainbow. Wait – no worse. Probably more like Monet’s paint palette. If you’re not familiar with Monet’s works let me show you. Up close they’re a big old mess.

There are so many shades of emotion after a baby that like a Monet painting, sometimes you’re not sure what you’re actually looking at, and you have to take a step back to see the picture, and figure out what the hell you’re actually feeling.

If the baby blues are those times when you’re feeling low, possibly helpless and overwhelmed… What colour do you call it when you get the urge to take a long leisurely stroll in the nearest patch of quicksand?

Yeah I’ve had the baby blues. Dark blue, light blue, bruised and broken blue… and my favourite – Italian soccer jersey blue – because that’s a shade that takes me to an entirely different colour.

Hullo Fabio...

But it doesn’t seem right to feel sad when you have just experienced the miracle of life, an opportunity so many woman and couples long for and struggle with. Surely I should be nothing but grateful and swooning over my new bundle. But I’ve come to the conclusion that the emotions of a new mother are more complex than Wikileaks.

So – here’s my list of colours. My baby rainbow of emotions, thanks to my new baby boy.

RED – LOVE

  • I love that he’s mine.
  • I LOVE my doctor. He looks a little bit like that fat kid Ralph from the Simpsons, but I adore him and he is my hero!
  • I love that my 2 year old daughter of her own accord went up to him, kissed him, and said ‘I YUV YOU!’
  • I love that when I kiss his forehead, it’s like I’ve cast this magical spell over him and he can’t help but close his eyes
  • I love staring at his facial expressions on a full stomach.
  • I love his little sounds and gurgles.
  • I love that he grabs hold of my fingers, even if it is a reflex.

ORANGE – CONFUSION & UNCERTAINTY

  • I’m confused that baby’s are able to poo more than once a day. It’s a liquid diet!!  What’s with all the mustard-brown stuff? Am I eating too much Nutella?
  • I’m confused about sleep.  SIDS and whatever – but he’s spent 9 months curled up like a ball. You know – the ‘foetal position??’ Why does anyone think he’d be happy flat on his back suddenly? And how do you make a baby understand dark means night. Which means I’d like you to sleep THEN for 6 hours straight, not at 2pm in the afternoon.
  •  I’m confused about my weight. I gained 10kg’s. Baby weighed almost 4. I also lost the placenta, the cord, the extra fluid and blood… SO – Why the frickin’ frickety frick do the scales show that I’ve only lost a total of 3kg’s??? HUH???? Can milk-filled fun bags really weight that much?
  • I’m confused and actually flabbergasted by Libra Fleur. Why do they feel it necessary to include a panel of “ODD SPOTS” on the back of their sanitary items. You know, like when you open a bottle of Toohey’s New and there’s some piece of utterly useless information that you can share with the mates you’re drinking with, because drinking beer is a social activity and such tid-bits are considered fun conversation. But on the back of a  Maternity Pad?? “Wow, Barbie is 25cm tall. Since I’m here on the toilet ALONE, I’ll have to bank that one for future conversations.”  Incidentally, not that I have a whole lot of time for reading such crap when there’s so much other stuff to do with a new baby, but I’m also confused by the TYPE of crap they choose to print. “The bullfrog is the only animal that never sleeps.” WRONG!  I haven’t slept in a week and a half Libra Fleur! Or this: “Female elephants produce only one offspring every five years.” Well they’re bloody smarter than we give them credit for.
  • I’m confused that my husband while mostly supportive; thinks that saying “I’ll be home around ten…” means it’s perfectly acceptable to walk in the door at midnight.
  • I’m confused as to why anyone would want to be a midwife. There’s far too much ‘inserting’ going on with that career. I mean I’m happy to insert a jpeg into photoshop document… but the word takes on a whole new meaning when you’re a midwife. Props to them.
  • I’m confused by the Adam Sandler film I saw last night, but that may or may not have anything to do with my new baby. 

 YELLOW – HAPPINESS

  • I’m happy to be alive after an intense labour.
  • I’m happy to live in a country where there are medical professionals, safe streets, and maternity wards with queen sized beds.
  • I’m happy to have a husband who tries the best he can to be supportive even though his job is demanding and stressful.
  • I’m happy to have a boy and a girl, now that my career in child bearing is officially over.
  • I’m happy that I get to experience motherhood, and co-captain what I hope will be one kick arse team.
  • I’m happy that I can now say with complete disregard to what anyone else thinks…. My name is Cindy, and I’m a control freak!
  • I’m happy that Cadbury Crème eggs are for sale in store at the same time I happen to be stuck mostly at home with a new baby and not much to do. If this is not a sign from the universe telling me to go for it, I don’t know what is. Incidentally – check the colours out on a crème egg wrapper: red, yellow and purple. Love. Happiness. And Frustration that it will essentially make me fatter.

 GREEN – ENVY & JEALOUSY

  • I’m jealous of anyone currently shimmying their bony ass into some exquisitely sexy lingerie.
  • I’m jealous of anyone going to see Black Swan at the cinema.
  • I’m jealous of women who LOVE breast feeding. Kind of. I think.
  • I’m jealous of any 23 year old girls currently getting tizzied up for a night out on the dance floor. Actually, to you I say this: Give it all you’ve got, shake that booty, pump it, pump it nice and hard… because one day your arse won’t be sitting so high, your jugs will be getting ogled at for something other than sexual gratification and eye-shadow will be something you used to remember wearing.
  • I’m jealous of all men. You’ll never truly know. Lucky you.
  • I’m jealous of anyone who has their mojo back 2 days after giving birth. You know – those yummy mummy types who hit the pavement running without so much as an “ooh, that kind of hurt.. I want to go home now, and look in the fridge.”
  • I’m jealous of anyone who gets to play opposite Ryan Reynolds as a love interest. That has nothing to do with having a baby, but I thought I’d throw that one in there because it’s something I think about a lot.

 BLUE – SADNESS

  • I’m sad that I currently have a wound resembling Heath Ledger’s mouth as ‘The Joker’ in Batman Returns’ right across my stomach.
  • I’m sad, and am grieving over the possible permanent loss of my obliques
  • I was sad every night in hospital when I had to say goodbye to my 2 year old when I just wanted to leave with her.
  • I’m sad that my labour made my doctor worry so much, and that the midwife who was there has to have counselling
  • I’m sad that my own family aren’t closer, and that most won’t get to see him til he’s nearly one.
  • I’m sad when I think that my daughter might feel neglected and unloved by me when I show the baby too much attention.
  • I’m sad when I think about babies who are still born or sick or injured; or mothers who die without getting to watch their babies grow; or women who for whatever reason can’t have babies.

 INDIGO (purple) – FRUSTRATION

  • I’m frustrated that he annihilated my nipples in the first 3 days. No more titty for you little guy! Actually I’m frustrated and perplexed my own internal argument for and against this ‘natural’ violation of my pink bits.
  • I’m frustrated that I feel weak, impotent and out of control.
  • I’m frustrated that I’m sleepy and can’t afford a live in nanny, cleaner, driver, and chef.
  • I’m frustrated that shopping is now a team sport with other players on the field to consider.
  • I’m frustrated that I still look 6 months pregnant, can’t wear all my clothes, have kankles AND my fingernails are all breaking.
  • I’m frustrated that I can’t leave the house because 2 children, stormy weather and who knows how many stitches don’t mix.
  • I’m frustrated that I can’t make him burp, so the belly bubble becomes a fart – and that usually means screaming. Aaarrgh!

VIOLET – CALM & IN CONTROL

  • I feel calm and in control when both rugrats are asleep.
  • I’m calm with an open jar of Nutella and a spoon on my lap.
  • I feel in control now that I have mastered the delicate art of cleaning poop off and around testicles. Just think of a ball sac: It’s wrinkly and little bits of poo get caught in the crevices… And you’re doing it one handed because the other hand is holding the feet out of the mess. It’s a tricky feat but I’m proud to say mission accomplished! Also – add to that I have an almost 2 week old boy and have not been pissed on yet. Totally in control y’all.
  • I’m calm when I’m sitting here typing. It’s the best feeling in the world writing down stuff that although nobody may read, or may read and skip and say to themselves…. Geez that girl waffles… makes me feel better. And it’s far more effective than venting to my husband who doesn’t always get it.
  • I feel in control when I’m shopping. Even if it’s just for groceries. It’s funny because whenever I’m anywhere near any kind of shop – I’m actually TOTALLY out of control, but it doesn’t feel like that – especially when the baby is asleep and the 2 year old is being compliant.
  • I’m calm when it’s just me and the little guy, having our own little conversation – him staring up and me, no doubt thinking I have got to be the most beautiful, gorgeous woman he’s ever laid eyes on. Me thinking he is definitely the most beautiful, gorgeous baby boy I’ve ever laid eyes on.
  • I feel in control when there is silence.  Sound waves of nothingness making their way to my ears. Oh what rapture fills my bosom!  It’s as if I turned off the sound on the remote that controls every noise in the universe.

Of course not every new mother has these feelings. I’m intense, sentimental and passionate. And maybe a bit of a drama queen…. so for me – the new baby thing is a little bit of a chore, so in-between some lovely cuddles and precious moments…. basically I’m mothering a beautiful, sweet, innocent, precious little slug. 

Bring on the 6 month old!

My looming date with my obstetrician.

Last Friday night I was sure I was experiencing the early signs of labour. I’d been feeling tight uncomfortable squeezes on my tummy that felt like contractions. It turns out that’s also what happens when you eat a ginormous bowl of creamy pasta covered in cheese followed by practically half a chocolate pavlova loaded with whipped cream and berries.

I was officially due on Friday, so I was thinking there was a possibility. And I was ready. My bag had been packed and I had spent all of the previous week preparing (as you do) for the arrival of my new baby.

Wait.

Back the pram up and let me re-phrase that….

I have spent the last week preparing for a date with my obstetrician.

You know when you have a hot date or special occasion with someone and you make sure every last part of you is groomed and plucked and primed? That’s me right now.

This last week I’ve been waxed, coloured, filed, cut, scrubbed, polished, and painted. I’m like a frickin used car for sale. I’ve even gone out and purchased new scented body washes, moisturisers, oils and knickers… highly anxious that physically – I might not be ready in time for this date.

So yes, my doctor and I have been seeing each other for about 7 months. Just lately we’ve really hit it off. Our time together and our conversations have been much more intense.  I can see that he’s really starting to care from all the questions he’s been asking me. But last week when I was with him, the last thing he said to me was: Well, I’ll see you whenever!

Huh? Noooo! We always make a time. Oh. It’s because…. Riiiight!

This thing we have going is winding down. He only plans on seeing me a couple more times and then it will all be over and he’ll be out of my life forever. But like all relationships, he won’t officially end it until he’s seen me at my absolute worst.

On our next date, he will see me in a way he’s not yet seen me. I know because I’ve been on this kind of date with an obstetrician before.  He will look at me in ways I’ve never been looked at before. He has a tendency to bring out the worst in women, turning them into ferocious scruffy beasts. So if this is how it will end…..

Shouldn’t I at least TRY to be looking my best?

I realise not every girl feels this way before she’s about to give birth. Some women don’t see the same doctor for the duration of their pregnancy and therefore, have not formed close trusting bonds of respect and admiration. Many are overwhelmed with the excitement of their pending arrival.

I’m not. I’ve done it before and I know what’s coming and it‘s not pretty.

Labour is often long, arduous and painful. It’s actually nothing like a real date. It’s uncomfortable, it’s unpleasant, and the only ‘action’ you get at the end of it is a baby biting down with its gums and quite possibly ruining forever sucking your boobies.

Essentially, child birth is icky, mucky, bloody, sweaty, pukey, and primeval. It’s ugly and it’s wild. So wouldn’t spending time and money on ‘getting pretty’ be considered a waste?

Probably but here’s my theory in romantic prose:

(WARNING: Not only is this ridiculous, it’s quite graphic in places – just like most child birth stories)

It’s early evening and the sunset outside is resembling that night on the Maldives where the sky took my breath away. Too bad I’m indoors. The midwives, the obstetrician… they have all been and gone countless times. All of them with the sole intention of taking a look beneath the velvet folds. Thank goodness I am lady-scaped.

But this time is different.

The looks have gone from interested in what they see, to intensely focussed gazes. Except for my husband who looks intrigued, excited and mildy entertained.

My legs are spread eagle, my hands are gripping the sides of the hospital bed. My teeth are clenched. My hair is a matt of sweaty bedraggled wisps framing my face, which is now screwed up so tightly that every wrinkle and imperfection is exposed. And there’s a good chance the veins are popping out of my entire body.

Did I mention, I’m wearing a sexy pale blue and white pin-striped backless number?

I pause for a moment with thoughts of tenacity before pressing my lips together. At that precise moment he; my obstetrician, readjusts his spectacles and quickly glances sideways.

He notices my perfectly manicured feet; my smooth slightly tanned moisturised legs. The expression he wears is unmistakably synonymous with enough time to pour a glass of what little he had left of the bottle of 1958 Glen Garioch.

Pleasantly surprised, his eyes glance upwards towards mine, but only to tell me to push.

Finally, after procuring what everyone is calling a head, I take a long, slow purposeful breath. He acknowledges the peppermint scent with a smile, and sees that despite the messy flock of golden chestnut locks, my hair is shiny, healthy and beautiful. I attempt to smile back; as much as one can when in this state – my white bleach enhanced smile.

Then in what only takes a moment, his eyes wander to my face with intrigue. Is that mascara? He wonders…. Her eyes are totally popping! True. I had made sure the mono-brow had been made obsolete, and had taken great care to at least open my eyes up with a little black water-resistant Lancome magic.

There was still work to do. With an oddly peaceful demeanor now, my hands grasp my kneecaps ready for the end. As I do, the midwives exchange expressions that I can only assume are loaded with respect. They have noticed the French polished gems on the end of my hands and know I’m hardcore.

The intensity (and my disheveled appearance) worsens until the moment another human being enters the room. No, not from the door. The voices in the room are filled with relief and acclamation, but my obstetricians face is nowhere to be seen. Then he turns to me, needle and thread in one bloodied glove, hemorrhoid cream in the other.  This is not how I envisaged our date ending!

And then – it’s over. The room; once filled with coaxing adulation is now quiet. He’s gone now.

My obstetrician has vanished. And so has my dignity! How could either still be present after what had just happened?

But my hands and feet and face remained in top form. My legs are still silky smooth. A quick wipe of the brow followed by a much rehearsed maneuver of the hair and I would be once again perfectly coiffed and presentable.

Plus – the pants I was about to put on were superbly stylish yet comfortable.

‘Ahhh well,’ I think to myself…  ‘it would never have worked out anyway.’

There’s a Baby-Boy-Bun in my oven. Try making THAT on MasterChef!

Perhaps you’ve heard me mention, but I’m pregnant. With child. A masculine child. While nurturing a male son within one’s womb is not at all uncommon, it is for me. My only experience with pregnancy and motherhood so far has been to bear the fruit of my loins with a feminine child. A girl. Feminine fruits. Like strawberries and peaches and pears. Goddess fruits.

I don’t know what kind of masculine fruit my loins are currently bearing. Bananas? Pineapples? Maybe my new son will come out wearing a Hawaiian shirt?

Here’s my issue. And before you start referring me to your shrink, please understand that I KNOW these thoughts aren’t normal. I KNOW it makes me a sure fire candidate for Freudian studies and his theory of ‘Penis Envy,’ and I KNOW it will pass the second that I hold my little baby boy in my arms, upon which time he will no doubt slip into my heart – where my issue will cease to exist.

However – I am utterly grossed out by the fact that within me now, INSIDE my stomach floating around in there… is a penis. And a ball sac. Even typing it is making me freak out a bit.

It might sound peculiar, given that OBVIOUSLY for a baby of ANY gender to be inside my stomach right now, there had to have been both a penis and a ball sac’s participation. But please understand this is something I associate to a man. Imagine giving birth to a baby boy with a five o’clock shadow. For me it’s the same thing.   

I am actually thrilled to be having a boy. I already have a girl and so although it means parting with some precious pink pieces; it’s nice to have one of each.

Like tiramisu one day and chocolate brownie the next. I would never NOT love another piece of tiramisu, but fudge brownie is something different. A whole new experience. Even if the tiramisu tasted different because it was made with a different recipe, it’s still tiramisu. Chocolate brownie has different ingredients and involves different methods of preparation. Different baking requirements.

And that is true. This time around the bun in the oven has required VERY different preparation.

I’d like to say that for me – making this baby boy has been like attempting to make polenta crusted spatchcock with a green olive, fennel and parsley salsa, followed by twice cooked sticky fig pudding with homemade nougat gelato.

It’s exhausting, messy, tiresome, and throughout the process which seems to take FOREVER, you’re so starving, you end up scoffing a packet of Violet Crumbles instead.

I won’t get too scientific on you all, but there have been studies that prove there are genuine differences in the X and Y chromosomes and their effect on the pregnant mother. 

And while we’re on the subject of science, how about this for added pressure? It’s not enough that I can’t eat King Island double cream brie, or freshly shucked oysters with sea salt and lime, or sashimi, or McDonalds Oreo McFlurrys… or a million other delicious things….

I also need to steer clear of the chemicals phthalates and Bisphenol A, found commonly in plastic products, drinking water, cosmetics and household dust.

Why? Oh because exposure to both chemicals during pregnancy can result in changes to your baby boy’s genitals; like un-descended testicles and smaller penises.  And I sooo don’t want to be responsible for that!

I mean if they have to be inside of me growing – at least let them be decent and normal. Making a penis is strange enough already without having to think about the possibility that the one I’m making is deformed.

So anyway, like I said this is surely not normal thinking. I’m positive I have issues, but know that once he’s out, I will adore him and my ONLY issues will be cleaning poo off all the appendages and avoiding wee in my face. Oh, and shopping for blue stuff.

Let me leave you with a poem I grew up with which happened to traumatise me beyond repair until I turned 12. The author of this was clearly a very bitter and twisted animal/man hater who had a penchant for nutmeg and cinnamon type things. Like fruit mince pies.

What are little boys made of? Frogs and snails and puppy dogs tails.
What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice.

Why the f*** do people swear?

WARNING: This post contains the words crap, hell, bloody, and the letters ‘F’ and ‘S’ which are followed closely by little stars like this *** Parental guidance is recommended for children who know how to de-code stars.  

My 2 year old has started to swear. Nothing serious or bad – all G-rated stuff. But it’s still a form of cursing and obviously she’s learnt it from her very highbrow mother. The scary thing is that she uses the words in context. In the tone and situation which they are supposed to be used in.

Example 1. The other week she was playing with the clothes airer. You know those white contraptions that you dry clothes on inside that are poor excuses for clothes lines but totally necessary if it’s raining, and your clothes drier happens to dry your clothes about as quickly as a tissue dries your entire body? Well she was playing in and around that and it collapsed to the floor. I heard it fall and turned around to see. She looked up at me and said “Oh crap!”

Example 2. She knocked her juice over on the coffee table. She knows the juice rules. Only in the kitchen. But she had snuck away, and I turned around when I heard her almost yelling, “Ohh nooo, oh gosh!”

Example 3. I’m driving and she’s in the back seat. Some idiot pulls out in front of me then slows right down to turn a corner. I subconsciously call out, “Mongrel!” She repeats it but I ignore her, hoping that by refusing to recognise it, she forgets the word. Later that day when she can’t get her xylophone out of the toy box because it’s stuck, I hear her say, “Oh stuck. Oh Mongrel!”

What am I turning her into? What kind of Territory Scrubber am I? And how is it that I have said the words, “I love you” to her at least 10 times a day since she was born, but those words have never even been attempted by the little pottie-mouthed princess?

And why is it that when she copies my less than desirable language, I have to turn away and stop myself from laughing? Do you know how hard that is? It’s harder than holding in a wee. Obviously I don’t want her to think its funny, or she’ll do it again and again. But why is it funny? And at what age do people stop finding it funny, and instead find it tacky, sad, wrong?

Beating myself up over it and calling myself a territory scrubber for using the occasional ‘curse’ word in front of others is probably a bit harsh. My definition of swearing is mild. ‘Crap’ is my swear word of choice. The well educated, well-to-do, well spoken, well read, well mannered and well hung (Eddie Murphy?) swear much worse than I do.

(Please note the word ‘occasional,’ because if you are one of those mothers that I hear at the shopping centre telling your 18 month old to “shut the f*** up or you will bloody well take them to the car where they can stay until they stop being such a little s***…” Um sorry, you are 100% fully authentic scrubber).

The other night I watched a music video on You Tube, by Eminem featuring Li’l Wayne called No Love. Won’t go into why I was watching this particular clip, given that I’m not a fan of Lil Wayne and his Pants on the Ground… but thank goodness the chorus was a rip off from Haddaway’s “What is Love? Baby don’t hurt me” (you know that head-bobbing song from 1993?), because otherwise I wouldn’t have understood a single word, except the word F***!

The song was infested with it. And it’s a shame because the message of the song is really powerful and clever, but will never be played on air without beeps every 2 seconds which is so distracting and hurts my ears more than the swear words themselves.

So why did Eminem have to do that? Why does anyone? Is it such a powerful word? Or just shocking? Does it invoke a different reaction in us? Could Lily Allen have sung “Stuff you, stuff you, stuff you very very muuuuuch.” And still had a hit?

 F*** NO!.

Because to answer my own question, I think that mere words sometimes aren’t enough to fully emphasise or represent the depth of emotion we are feeling. Yep, I think that’s it.

Far out, sometimes I am a mother f***ing genius!

I delved further into my own findings. Just to confirm that I am indeed, wearing my smarty pants today. And HOW ABOUT THIS?

Swearing has proven effects of Pain prevention. An investigation by Richard Stephens of Keele University in the UK found that people were able to tolerate placing their hand in ice water for longer when continually swearing than another group that did not cuss.

Stephens thinks swearing triggers an aggressiveness related to our fight-or-flight response, which lessens the feeling of pain. This is backed up by the increased heart rate observed in the swearing group. Previous research also suggests that swearing has a powerful effect on the brain’s emotional centre, the limbic system.

SO – this probably explains why people who speak more than one language usually or always curse in their native tongue; because they can say swear words in a second language but they don’t feel them — the gut link to emotions just isn’t there.

It also explains why I often make the FFFF sound when for example, I slam my fingers in those stupid rubbish bins at food halls and McDonalds, or when I accidentally knock over the mop bucket which is full of dirty water – all over the floor I have just cleaned, or when I get I get bad news. Like that I’m being sued for $50,000.

I’ve decided that by making the sound of the first syllable only, I’m not giving myself the full benefits of pain relief, and should perhaps therefore just drop that F bomb.

One example of a well educated man swearing is US Vice President Joseph Biden. He used an expletive back in March in a private moment to President Obama after the health care victory, remarking, “Mr. President, this is a big … deal.” His words were picked up by a microphone and it went viral. He was no doubt feeling the moment of victory and accomplishment so much, that the word seemed appropriate to express his excitement.

People’s attitudes have changed toward what’s considered socially acceptable language. The F word is not that big a deal anymore, and many shows on TV wouldn’t exist without it. Like Underbelly. Or Entourage.

The fact is though, social sanctions still exist. People who regularly insult others or use language considered to be inappropriate suffer serious damage to their reputation. They have fewer friends, contacts and business opportunities than they would otherwise. (I didn’t make this s*** up by the way…)

If they are public figures, they face severe criticism in the media and elsewhere. Just ask Mel Gibson, or Christian Bale, or Gordon Ramsay, or even little Justin Bieber who while in Australia told a staff member from Channel 7’s Sunrise program, “Don’t ever f***ing touch me again.”

And my good friend Richard Stephens over at Keele University also discovered that the more you swear, the less likely you’ll be to trigger an emotional response. So, you could end up feeling pain more acutely no matter how many four-letter words you say.

I simply know I never want to hear my child speak to me, or anyone else that way. So I am here-by introducing a self-imposed swear jar. If I don’t have coins on me I will write a little IOU note. It will be a gold coin donation and if I can earn as much as the Blind Foundation or Breast Cancer Foundation or any of those other coin collecting charities, then one day I should be able to buy myself a big f***-off diamond.

S*** yeah!

When the dog barks, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad…

I’ve already done a post on a few of my favourite things, and in it I was referring to actual tangible things. I’ve decided to write today about some other pleasantries in my life, because truthfully I’m feeling annoyed and need to remember there’s plenty of good stuff in life.

Why am I snarky? Could be that I’m in the process of doing my tax, which includes deciphering between paid monies and expenses from 3 different areas of employment.

Could be that I’m craving all sorts of soft cheese and sorry; pregnancy rule book says a big fat NO to that one. (Yes I’m pregnant – Miranda Kerr, Isla Fisher and I just have SOOO much in common.)

Could be that in Darwin, the dry is over and the sweaty sticky months are close at hand.

Could be that my husband is going to Melbourne Cup INSIDE THE BIRDCAGE without me!

Could just be that I’m frustrated by our government (or lack thereof). It’s like our system of government is impotent. It exists, but it’s good for nothing right now.

So here are my 5 current favourite things that are not necessarily tangible. Hopefully as I refelct on them, I won’t feel so bad.

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1. Microdermabrasions:
I never realised how essential these were. Okay it’s a bit like sticking the end of your vacuum cleaner on your face, but the after effects are life changing for at least 2 days. Plus you get the added bonus of a mini facial every time you have one, and there’s nothing better than looking over at the machine and seeing all the dead white dull skin that has been removed. Yuk, I know but it’s the same satisfaction you get from seeing the wax strip covered in hair follicles, or pouring dirty water down the sink after you’ve mopped your floor.  You say out loud, “Eeeuw,” but you’re secretly thrilled and think to yourself, “Gotcha!”

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2. Earrings:
Not something I change on a daily basis, especially lately, but it was Elizabeth Taylor who said “Life without earrings is empty.” Before you go calling the Great Dame shallow, think for a moment about times when you’ve put on the perfect pair and realised you’ve totally changed your look from blah to brilliant. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about – here are some pics of celebs who knew how to work their ear bling. Imagine their ensembles without the earrings. See?

   

    

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3.       Sunday morning pancakes:
What can I say about a 3 stack of pancakes drenched in maple syrup on a Sunday morning. Perhaps just this: They remind me to stop, enjoy, indulge, relax, and forget. Incidentally they’re better when someone else made them. Like a café that overlooks boats floating peacefully on the water.

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4.       Dancing with my daughter to the Glee soundtrack
As if listening to the Glee soundtrack wasn’t awesome enough already… when I realised my 2 year old daughter was a total willing participant in singing and dancing around the lounge room with me (she tends to high-pitch squeal) I had one of those moments. An epiphany. I thought how at that moment there was nothing else in the world I should be doing, (yeah to hell with the laundry), and that this is what all those years growing up spent dancing and singing were for. All those childhood days spent in leotards and ringlets. All those teenage and early adulthood nights spent perfecting my craft on club dance floors. All of it – was just for this – with my girl.

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5.       New book smell:
I love getting a new book. I love reading when they were 1st published. I love the bit where the author thanks everyone… but mostly I love taking the open book up to my nose and having a good long whiff. Mmmm… Is that what “hot off the press” smells like?

If so, then maybe I should speak to someone and bottle that smell as a fragrance. Obviously it would be called “Hot Off The Press” and I would have to get Jen Aniston to be the model for the fragrance.

Only she can rock the mature book reading, glasses wearing but not too cliché to be ridiculous look.  I realise she already has a fragrance but I think given her constant presence in gossip mags, she knows all about being hot off the press. Anyway I digress.  The problem with new book smell is that after you’ve read the book, the smell disappears. So you have to keep buying new books, which is fine by me.

So I wonder if anyone else is feeling crappy. If you are then feel free to share your current favourite things here.

What was I thinking, damn it!

There’s a specific emotion reserved within us all for that moment when we get a fine. Parking fine, speeding fine, whatever. The moment you realise you’ve been fined, the feeling is unmistakenly: disdain, mixed with anger, mixed with annoyance and frustration, and finished usually with a little regret.. Why?

Because who ever gets a fine and thinks to themsleves, “Of course, I totally deserve this!”

So last month I got a fine from the NT Police Red Light Traffic Office. The fine shows a picture of my car with the back wheels just over the white line where you are supposed to stop.  

I studied the photo and noticed that I was next to a turning right lane, where there was a green arrow.

I checked the date and remembered the day well. I had just been to a friend’s place for lunch, and my precious little girl who is nearly 2 was having a terrible time in the back.

By terrible, I mean she was screaming, crying and trying to get her arms out of the seat harness.  I recall that on the way home I had to pull over to put her arms back in (yep she got them free) and try and console her with a drink, her dummy, a toy…. None of which was working particularly well. I also recall having to turn around numerous times while stopped at traffic lights.

So. I saw the photo and came to a conclusion, the only conclusion that made sense to me, because WHY in Britney Spears name would I EVER place my child in danger while driving…. by running a red light? I just wouldn’t.

Here is the letter I wrote to the Red Light traffic Office with the sincerest of presumptions that I was telling the truth, (what other explanation could there be??) and with the perhaps ridiculous presumption that they would understand and let me off.

To whom it may concern

 RE: TIN  RL 000 34022

As per the attached fine and photograph, I was the driver of the car at the time the infringement occurred, proceeding beyond the red light 42.1 seconds after it had turned red.

I had actually stopped. While the light was red, I had been reaching towards the back seat where my not quite 2 year old was screaming, attempting to give her a pacifier.

Then the lane next to me got a green arrow and I noticed they were moving. I momentarily accelerated, but stopped immediately when I realised my light was still red. I did not run this red light. I took off too early by accident, and stopped straight away.

I realise perhaps more attention should be paid while sitting at a red light, but if you have ever driven with a screaming toddler, you will know that it is probably easier negotiating traffic with a live pig on your back seat. Or a serial killer. Or an elephant.

Given the extreme stress and overwhelming despair at my child’s cries and screams, and not knowing what was causing her to be in such distress, I actually think I did very well not to cause a seven car pile-up.

So I’m wondering, since you fine people for being under the influence of alcohol and drugs, perhaps you could change the title of this infringement, from Proceeding Beyond a Red Traffic Light (which technically I did, but only for a second) to “Driving Under the Influence of A Screaming Child.”

I’m wondering if the infringement amount for this might be less than $250

If you are not sure about how difficult it might actually be to drive while trying to hush a kid in the back – I urge you to research this common occurrence and borrow my child for an afternoon.  I’ll make sure she’s screaming for you. My address is above, you can come and collect her any day next week.

Then, before determining whether or not this fine may be removed and the infringement scratched altogether, let me know afterwards if you have not at some point buried your shaking head deep into your hands in despair, and looked up only to discover the light’s gone green. Woops, except it hasn’t. (Aaaand, break.)

Please feel free to contact me to discuss at any time. Except not before the kid has had her sleep.

Kind regards

(*me) 

 
 

Maybe I should have included my OWN photographic evidence 

 

Truthfully I wasn’t going to blog today. A million things to do. But some things are worth sharing in the moment.

I just got off the phone with a very concerned Indian man. Someone pass me the raita because I’m burning up right now. My fault. Entirely. But still??

So he received my letter. I could tell by his tone he was not amused. Sense of humour? Much like sweet, softly spoken politicians…. No such thing.

Now keep in mind that I heard this in a very thick accent, which although I am certainly not racist, made the whole conversation SO much more irritating, perhaps because I’m always a little dubious as to the authenticity of strange callers with Indian accents as being local calls. Thank you but I’m very happy with my telecommunications provider, PLEASE stop calling.

He said:

“We have received your letter regarding the red light traffic infringement, I’m calling to let you know that we have been over the photographic and video evidence and in fact you did run the red light. You entered the intersection when the light was red, and continued to drive through the intersection.”

Wow. Was my response. I just don’t do that. I asked if it had just turned red, if it was perhaps orange as I approached the intersection.

“No it was not Mam.”

Silence. He continued.

“Would you like me to withdraw the letter mam or would you like us to forward it onto the police.“

“What do the police do?” I asked.

“They are given the same photographic and video evidence with the letter and determine the outcome from that evidence.”

“Sure, send it on. The more people who think I’m a crazy nuthouse dangerous-on-the-road liar the better right?”

“That’s fine, withdraw the letter and I’ll pay the stupid frickin’ fine.” Is what I actually said.

Excpet I didn’t say stupid frickin’.

“Thank you mam, and might I suggest you take it easy on the roads in future.”

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Truthfully, I’m usually pretty good at getting out of fines so I’m probably just misplacing all of my frustration on the fact that this time I could not. Sorry kind, concerned Indian man. Have I ever mentioned I’m also slightly passive aggressive?

This is why sometimes it’s good to have conversations on old style telephones with chords. You can disconnect the call politely, then hurl the ear piece across the room and nothing gets broken. It just recoils like a slinky.

Let me tell you I am one of those strange people who likes road rules. I like boundaries. I like restrictions, because it makes me feel safe and there’s no temptation to be a speed demon or drive like I’m filming a James Bond movie. Because I know I have a wild side, and am competitive and like to think I can do everything superbly well, including rally driving. But I can’t because it’s against the law, and you could get caught, and get a massive fine…  So I don’t.

So seriously, what the hell was I thinking?

Thanks Dannii… for keeping your clothes on.

But where, O where is your baby bump?

Dannii Minogue has posed (apparently pregnant here) for UK’s In Style Magazine. Unlike many an expecting woman, she has decided to pose with her baby-to-be – fully clothed. I’m thinking she was only about 4-6 months along here. Often with your first it takes a while to ‘show.’ Many people told me I didn’t look pregnant at all when I was actually 5 months along. 

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not against the idea of a pregnant woman on a magazine cover. I think it’s great! Also, I think women with enormous big tummies carrying around a little life is nothing to be ashamed of or something to be hidden.

However, there are ways of showing us your baby bump – without showing us that much skin.

I wonder if the celebrity, or the photographic stylist think that showing us an actual pregnant stomach is sexy. Again… I’m not saying pregnant women can’t be sexy. They absolutely can.  In fact some women claim to feel sexier whilst pregnant. (Not me. I felt like swaying elephant, but each to their own…)

Here are some pregnant women posing:

                 

                  

                 

BUT….. (and maybe I’m completely on my own here) showing us your actual stomach with the baby inside is not sexy. It’s tacky.

Look, when Demi did it back in 1991 – it was revolutionary. Nobody had dared ever been photographed that way before. In fact, in those days, not many women were photographed for magazine covers if they were pregnant at all. Full stop. So I guess it’s great that we are presented with a diverse range of women – including pregnant ones – on women’s magazine covers that aren’t Pregnancy Magazines.

I tried to see if there were any non-paparazzi shots back in the day of Princess Diana, Elle Macpherson or Madonna… when they were pregnant. They were the three most photographed women for mag covers in the early nineties. But no. Not one shot that was posed for.  So I think it’s wonderful that women are now being accepted as cover-model material bump and all.

But why do we keep seeing naked bellies. I’m not really interested in seeing that.. Are you? I mean, when I was pregnant, I didn’t go around lifting my shirt to show people how far along I was. You could kind of tell. And there were times when I felt… well – quite beautiful actually. (Do I even need to tell you that I’m extremely limber and can very easily kiss my own ass). I don’t understand why showing someone the flesh itself… makes a woman more beautiful than she already is.

Here are some more pregnant women posing, clothed.

               

                    

Here is me posing pregnant – also fully clothed. Do you really think I need to lift my shirt or dress to show you anything not already freaky enough here?

 I will say this again to clarify my point: I don’t think a pregnant stomach is anything to be ashamed of, or hidden. I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting a couple of photos of your pregnant tummy for your own personal records and private collection of pictures…. or to show to your closest family and best friends.

But blowing up the images and putting them in your front entrance or lounge room? Kinda tacky! Posing on the front cover of a mag? Unless your name is Demi Moore …. tacky, predictable and done to death.

A pregnant woman in lingerie is not sexy to the stranger’s eye. It’s just not. It might look sexy to your partner, or to you… but not to us. Would you pose half naked draped across your bed with your new born baby? Or would you cover up a bit more? To me it’s the same thing. It’s a very Kath & Kim thing to do.

I realise that lately I’ve been making quite a few judgments on people’s actions. It’s hard to remain completely non-judgmental when you have an opinion on something. Some of my opinions are stronger than others. Sometimes my opinions can be changed, or broadened, as per my last post on those who light their own fireworks.

My opinion on ‘Pregnant Tummies On Show’ is one that I don’t actually feel terribly strongly about. It’s just that I saw Dannii on the cover, and my first thought was: Oh how refreshing that she’s kept her clothes on. And it got me thinking.

So, if you are one of those who have photos plastered all over your lounge room wall of yourself and your partner groping each other’s semi-naked bodies whilst pregnant. Good for you. I think it’s a tad nasty, but that’s me.  My opinion is (as you’ll see if you read my ‘about’) is often distorted and outrageous.

And with that, I conclude my remarks on cheap Shazza types who think we want to see them in a stock standard, you beaut photo wearing black lace knickers and hands strategically covering their pink bits, looking like they could explode if they sneezed.

Chicks who kick butt!

There was quite the brew-ha-ha in the media this morning (and on Q&A on ABC last night) about the fact that Julia Gillard, our new PM is a woman. There were discussions about her suitability as a role model, given that she lives defacto with her partner and has no children, and also whether the fact that she is female will determine the polls come election time.

Our new Prime Minister is a woman. It shouldn’t make a difference, but it does! The whole discussion got me thinking about female role models.  Who decides what makes an appropriate role model.  What attributes must a woman possess to be deemed role model material. In a way, although I disagree politically on many issues with Julia, I think she is a good role model for young girls. I mean, she keeps her clothes on which is a change…

The discussions in the media this morning were in response to a column written, saying that Julia may give young girls the impression that it’s ok to live with their partner, if they ultimately wish to be married and have children.

Here are some excerpts from Bettina Arndt’s column today in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Shacking up is hard to do: Why Gillard may be leery of the Lodge

Living as a de facto with her partner may suit Julia Gillard, but does that make her a good role model for others? …….

It’s fine for Gillard – a 48-year-old woman – to live with her bloke. Yet as a popular role model for women, her lifestyle choice may influence other women into making big mistakes about their lives…..

Cohabitation produces two groups of losers among women and children. Most women want to have children – Gillard is an exception – and some miss out after wasting their primary reproductive years in a succession of live-in relationships that look hopeful but go nowhere, leaving them childless and partnerless as they hit 40.

It’s the women who end up stranded when they spend years in a succession of de facto relationships waiting for Mr Not Ready or Mr Maybe to make up his mind……

If Gillard chooses to play house in the Lodge, this choice sends a strong message to the huge numbers of women who rightly admire her and seek to follow her example. A lifestyle suited to her particular needs may be riskier for many women and their children.

I think this journo is utterly discrediting the intelligence of many young women. Julia is a role model not because of her personal relationship choices. She is a role model because of her abilities, her talents, and her ambition to occupy Australia’s top job.  Girls know that. Don’t they?

The glass ceiling may not be broken, but it’s certainly cracked, and it’s been done by women LONG before Julia’s time. Many of whom have chosen marriage and children, and career. It can be done, and it astounds me that a journalist in 2010 is suggesting that if Julia Gillard were married with children, she may not be where she is now.

We are inundated with images of women in the media and through popular culture. Women who millions of young girls look up to and aspire to be like. Women who are shown to us as having little substance, some talent, but most importantly – bucket loads of beauty.

It scares me to think how many girls look to Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus as role models. Or heroines like Bella from Twilight. Talented and beautiful they may be – but what do they represent?

My main role model growing up was Madonna. She kind of lost me at her Sex book, but prior to that I saw a woman who wanted to rule the world, a woman who grew up motherless, used her ambition and determination and limited talent, and turned it into an enterprise.  In retrospect, I see that she changed women’s sexuality. Using male sub-culture, she created a woman who was sex object and sex subject at the same time, allowing women to feel more powerful and in charge of their own sexuality.

I also looked up to Princess Diana. Mainly I just liked watching her in all those outfits and hats. But also she was graceful, dignified, and charitable.

Now I admire a different kind of woman altogether, but this morning as I thought about role models, and how refreshing it is to see a woman with clothes on being celebrated in the media for her achievements, I reflected on some other female role models in pop culture.  Women/girls whose sexuality or beauty comes second to their excellence, and their ability to kick butt.

I’ve made a list, because as you may have worked out by now, I love making lists.

               

  • Princess Fiona from Shrek

She chose to sacrifice her fairy-tale looks for love, challenging our cartoon cut-out Cinderella-style expectations of a princess who lives Happily Ever After. She’s a romantic at heart, but determined, strong, spirited and seriously awesome.

  • Beatrix Kiddo / The Black Mumba from Kill Bill

She abandons her life as a hired assassin when she realises she’s pregnant with Bill’s (head of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad) child, denying him the right of fatherhood, in order to protect her unborn child. This action provokes the attacks on her leaving her in a coma. Upon waking from her 4 year sleep, she makes calculated plans to get revenge, proving that one lone woman can be more powerful and possess more testicular fortitude than some of the world’s baddest bad guys.

  • Anne Shirley

Am I the only one who remembers Anne of Green Gables? Her fiery, red-haired temperament and academic excellence, combined with her accident prone good intentions and drama queen tendencies intrigued boy-about-town Gilbert Blythe. But she would not be wooed by his tall, dark and handsome looks. Literature was her passion. Bold was her middle name. And she would sacrifice even love to follow her dreams, although love was eventually hers.

  • Hermione Granger

Here’s a girl with back bone. She’s a mud-blood in a wizard’s world, but that doesn’t get her down.  She’s studious, hard working, and knows her spells better than anyone so rather than copping it on the chin, she wields her wand at those who would bring her down and zaps them into subjects of pity. She’s courageous, loyal and undaunted by some of the underworld’s nastiest creatures.  I like her.

 

So there’s my list. In a world of botoxed, buxom, bootilicious beauties…. It’s nice to know there are some who can still be ultra-cool and clever without getting all their gear off.  No, Ms Gillard wasn’t on the list. She may be a role model for some which is great – but not for me personally. Not to say I’m not backing the carrot tops. There’s 2 out of 4 on my list that are red heads.

So who would make your list?

I’m a Domestic Diva, BUT…..

Yesterday I cleaned like a Diva. Like a fascist neo-nazi with one agenda: To do away with and destroy any dirt, dust or decay.

I have the good fortune of being able to clean during week days as I’m a stay at home mum and don’t work.

Woooooaaahh, back the truck up! Did I just say I don’t work?

Clarification: Most days I don’t have time to pull my knickers out of my butt crack and rid myself of my wedgie I’m so busy.

A few months before I fell pregnant I started my own business called SPLASH.  It’s a marketing, copyright and design business. The design part is HIGHLY ambitious but at the time I was planning on doing a few courses. Luckily I’ve taught myself a lot!

I had a few clients, but one in particular has been lucrative and ongoing since I started. The work varies. Some weeks busy, some weeks not so much, but mostly consistently part time. I do the work from home.

I also just started writing for a monthly lifestyle magazine. It’s only 400 words (well, it’s supposed to be only 400 words, I always go over), and only once a month so it’s hardly time consuming. Actually if you work it out it’s about 13 words a day. I can type that in less than 20 seconds.

Then there’s this. My blog, and entirely unpaid. It’s good because I get to decide what I write about, which I usually base on an experience I’ve had, or something I’ve seen or read.

THEN there’s the exhausting demands of motherhood. I realise it sounds totally cruisey to get to stay at home with your child all day but it just IS NOT. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had. And this – another unpaid job of mine – involves LONG hours.

So as you can CLEARLY see I DO WORK. But yesterday any work and my blog were put aside because I needed to clean. Except that I still had to do my MOTHER job.

I should point out that I don’t just clean. I ‘Cindy-clean.’ Well actually, ‘Mum clean.’ It’s my mother’s fault and I blame her that I can’t knowingly clean a bathroom without scrubbing every inch of tiled wall. Without going over every meter of skirting board with a hot soapy sponge (yep, even the ones behind furniture). I blame her that I can’t just wipe down the kitchen cupboard fronts. I also have to open the cupboard, clean the inside, along the top, and also move the plates and wipe the shelf. I blame her that I wipe down the doors, door frames, light fittings and switches.

Anyway, I’m glad I inherited this neurotic-pedantic-clean-freak gene. BUT lately I’ve been letting go a little.

I posted a while back on Facebook that having a spotless house and having a baby is a bit like chalk and cheese? No I never said that. I’ve never tried chalk and cheese together. I said it was like putting sultanas into savoury dishes. The two just don’t go well together at all.

And neither does cleaning your house and looking after a toddler. Yesterday as I cleaned one bathroom, I heard the mystery chatter of my daughter coming from the other bathroom. I stopped and did a mental check-list of anything she might ‘get into.’ Toilet brush – up high. Bin – empty. Toilet roll – not in reach. Shower door – shut. All fine. Continue.

Five minutes later I wandered in to find her sitting amongst a sea of tampons, including 3 in her mouth. I’m not sure what she thought she was playing with, perhaps she was crafting me a lovely vest…. (They were still in plastic, all ok…)  Not only that but I had accidentally left my lipstick bag open, and she had hot pink all over her hands and face.

When I collected up the tampons, removed them from her mouth, and wiped away the lippy, she cried. Actually she screamed and convulsed in my arms as I carried her out of there. Did I mention she has drama queen tendencies?

The whole clean up / calm down exercise took about 10 minutes. Not that long. But guess what? That’s ten minutes worth of wall wiping I DIDN’T DO.

I wasn’t lying before. I DID clean my heart out yesterday. But when it was all done, and my child was finally in bed for the night, I realised something.  I felt as though I had done more cleaning than usual, but on reflection I had actually done less.

I stopped and started more. I repeated stuff; like re-vacuuming  floors.  I put away the same toys about 4 times. I cleaned windows only to discover the same little finger prints 5 minutes later. I found rocks from outside – inside. Spoons from inside – outside. And also stopped mid way for 2 meals, 5 nappies, 8 books, 3 ‘ouches’ and one very quick puppet show with a tiger.

I just can’t get as much cleaning done in a day as I used to. 

I really would love to be able to Teflon coat everything. Why, just days ago I wrote on Facebook that I would love to be able to cover my couch in plastic. Yes… Like she of Everybody Loves Raymond. Actually, exactly like my Aunty. (My mother’s sister who possesses the same cleaning gene).

Why do I wish I could cover the couch? Because I’m so sick of cleaning or wiping off snot patches, or coloured pencil, or banana.

I pulled my 20 month old aside yesterday after she (unbeknown to me) took her blackcurrant juice bottle off the top of the highchair and emptied the entire contents onto the couch. I looked her in the eyes with my ‘mean mum, serious look’ and said, “This is NOT ok. This is not good behaviour. This makes mummy grumpy and actually, it’s getting very old.”

She smiled, then laughed. And I wondered to myself how many more years I’ll be having conversations like that. Hopefully not many.

And it IS getting old: The couch. The child. The continuous cleaning.  And most of all me.

And there’s nothing worse than an ageing diva.

Every Mother Counts

After my daughter was born, I was a little shocked at how dependant she was on me. I’m not sure why. I don’t know what I expected. However, the shock became depression and it wasn’t too long before I felt helpless and angry that this baby wouldn’t sleep. That it needed ME for survival. It was overwhelming.

It was like the worst pressure you’ve ever had at work, like the ENTIRE company and project was depending on YOU.

I used to freak out driving. I used to get scared that if someone hit me, I would get injured, or worse – die. My only problem with that thought at the time was this: WHO WILL LOOK AFTER MY BABY?

The idea of something happening to me would send my thoughts racing into a scary and awful black hole. My baby will starve. My baby will cry. My baby will miss me. She will cry for me and I won’t be there. My baby will die without me.

Just thinking about a baby who has lost its mother makes me feel all kinds of sad. In fact just typing it is affecting my tear ducts. (I should mention that by the time my daughter was 6 months old, these kind of depressing thoughts no longer visited, and I am now delighted and most days over the moon with the joy of being a mother.)

However in decades gone by, it was not unusual to hear of problems occuring with the mother’s health during or after labour, sometimes resulting in the mother’s death. Of course these days there are so many trained medicals on hand, and there’s been so much research done with post partum care, that as a pregnant woman about to give birth: your own health barely crosses your mind. It’s all baby, baby baby. (Which is why I think post-natal depression sometimes occurs).

In fact there is so much focus is on the baby’s health, we often forget that the woman giving birth can be susceptible to all kinds of physical health complications. I had a fairly good labour. There were minor complications with the baby, but she was fine. Perhaps just a bit traumatised. And I was fine -physically. Tired, but 100% healthy.

A friend of a friend was not so fortunate. Last year, after her son was born, her uterus kept contracting and she was losing dangerous amounts of blood. She was rushed to intensive care and hooked up to a transfusion. It wasn’t enough; she was losing blood too quickly. The doctors realised if they didn’t remove her uterus, she would die from loss of blood. So they did, and she was also eventually fine.

In other parts of the world women are not so lucky. There is no intensive care. There are no options for transfusions. There are no doctors to perform these procedures. The care needed to look after a woman who is experiencing complications – often care that could prevent her death – does not exist.

Here are some facts:

1. Post-partum care: Twenty million of the estimated 210 million women who become pregnant each year experience life-threatening complications, many of which occur during the postpartum period—in fact, up to 50 percent of all maternal deaths take place during the first 48 hours after delivery.

2. Lack of Health Workers: Half of the world’s women give birth at home alone or with only a friend or relative to help. Skilled attendance at all births is considered to be the single most critical intervention for ensuring safe motherhood. Up to 15 percent of all births are complicated by a potentially fatal condition and yet almost all are treatable when there is a skilled attendant present to recognise problems early and to intervene and manage the complication.

3. Lack of equipment and supplies. Even when a woman does get to a health center, there may be no trained staff, no drugs, no blood bank, nor the necessary surgical equipment and skills to perform a caesarean section.

4. Transportation. Rural women are far less likely than their urban counterparts to receive skilled care during childbirth. A woman can bleed to death in two hours, and such delays cost many women and newborns their lives.

5. Funds. A lack of money means that many women can’t buy the simple things needed for their care, let alone pay the fees often charged by clinics and health workers.

You may remember Christy Turlington. She was one of my favourite supermodels. (Elle will always be my fave…), and featured in a couple of George Michael’s film clips. Of course this just makes me love her more.

 

But THIS really makes me respect her. After experiencing complications from the birth of her first child in 2003, she became interested in prenatal health, thus sparking the birth of her film. Christy is making her directional debut with No Woman, No Cry, a full-length documentary that examines health care options for expecting women in four different countries: Tanzania, Guatemala, Bangladesh and the United States.

Here is a snippet of the film.

You can follow Christy on twitter here.   Or you can go to this site and sign your name to a petition which will according to The Huffington Post, be taken to the next G8 Summit.

I know this isn’t an issue that everyone will feel attached to. I’m also sorry this post wasn’t very ‘fun’ today.

However – having a child is without a doubt the scariest, most overwhelming and stressful and painful thing I have ever done. It has changed me in ways I can’t even explain. But I had amazing help from a doctor, a midwife, a clinic nurse, and support from family and friends. 

Learning that some women aren’t getting BASIC care astounds me. HOW do they cope?

If you had a mother who was able to care for you in your early years of life – then I urge you to sign the petition. Because without her imagine how different your life could have been.

Perhaps I should’ve saved this one for Mothers Day??? Oh well, today is the Queen’s Day, and she is supposedly the mother of many nations.

Welcome to the world…. Reginald?

Prologue: I apologise now if your name happens to be one of those I’ve listed as ridiculous. It doesn’t mean YOU are ridiculous… or does it?

Naming my child is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I liken it to naming a company or a business, because when naming a child – you are essentially labelling the person with an identity that they will live with for the rest of their lives. A brand name they will live by.

Which may explain why so many couples disagree. 

My husband and I did plenty of disagreeing before naming our daughter… and all I can say is thank goodness it was a daughter and not a son. Because I have never really been a fan of the name REGINALD. No. Not even for a middle name, sorry!

Even Elton John decided that Reginald wasn’t cool enough.  You can’t rock those sunglasses with that name.

Yes naming babies is a big responsibility, which is why concerned parents think not only about their little bundle of joy, but the adult they’ll eventually become.

Before naming my child, I had to shout the name out, as if I was calling her. Then say it angrily as if I was mad at her. Then I had to imagine all manner of versions her name may get shortened to… because we’re Aussies after all. We don’t call people by their actual names.  

In fact, there are HEAPS of names I LOVE, for girls, but not so much what they become when shortened. Basically, names that become genderless like Jess, Sam, Nic or Dan from beautiful feminine names like Jessica, Samantha, Nicole and Danielle. (To those friends and family members who have those names – please be flattered that I considered naming my daughter after you, but not offended that I’m not a fan of the short version).

And as an adult, I often wonder if I could change my name to anything – what  would I change it to? (Without the obvious ramifications to your personal identity.)

I wonder if there’s a name that better describes the adult woman I now am.  As I’ve mentioned before, Cindy is not my real name, but a shortened version of a different name. (No, not Cynthia).However Cindy is how I identify myself, and who I feel like I am.

When I was young, I wished my name was LISA, because Lisa from The Mickey Mouse Club was my idol.  Then when I became a teenager, I wanted to be VERONICA. Not only because it was one of Madonna’s middle names, but also because of the Archie comic and cartoon because Veronica was the one that all the boys loved. (Shallow much?)

NOW – I recognise that I am my name. Changing my sir name after marriage took me nearly 2 years. I didn’t want to.

My full name – the name that had appeared on business cards, on websites, on certificates, resumes, email accounts, drivers licenses etc…. That name in people’s minds – went with my face.

Watching  Glee on-line recently, I was surprised when Puck chose the Kiss song ‘BETH’ to sing to Quinn, telling her that he hoped she’d choose that name for their baby. (It’s not a name you hear much of these days). It was a heartfelt moment that will go to air soon on one of TV’s biggest shows… meaning there’s a good chance that soon there will be a whole new generation of Beth’s running around.

I also know how frustrating it must be to have chosen a name you love, only to discover that some show has that name as the main character…. Just ask my sister who loved the name QUINN and was pregnant long before Glee started. Now her adorable little girl will always be “Quinn, as in the pregnant cheerleader?”

Although some people purposefully copy a name they’ve seen or heard from shows, movies or even celebrities. Ever since the birth of Reese Witherspoon’s daughter AVA, the name has been in the top 5 names in the US, UK and Australia.

Meanwhile, whatever happened to names like Michelle, Rebecca, Lisa, Kylie, Sharon, Sarah, Jodie, and Louise??? They were the names of all my friends in class.  You don’t see many birth announcements with those names these days. 

And what about Diana? Did the name die sadly with her? According to my husband – no. This was his favourite ‘girl’ name. I found myself repeating to him that I was NOT giving birth to a 48 year old).

Pop culture has a big impact on baby names. “Twilight”-inspired names ISABELLA and JACOB were the number one baby names in 2009, and CULLEN (as in Edward) was on the rise. LINDSAY, on the other hand, finds itself falling fast — perhaps in reaction to Lindsay Lohan’s sad and public problems. In 2002, when “Friends” character Rachel Green named her baby EMMA, the name skyrocketed in the popularity stakes and is still at number two on the popular baby names list.

But as a recent CNN article pointed out, even today’s popular baby names aren’t nearly as common as they were in the past. There are a lot fewer ISABELLA’s in 2010 than there were MARY’s in 1960, despite Isabella being in the top 5 girl names.

 That’s because parents today often look to unique names that will make their kids stand out, possibly due to another pop culture trend started by celebrities. Celebrities who have clearly been smoking crack.   

Why else would you call your child a name like Apples, Maddox, Sparrow, Banjo, Zuma Nesta Rock, Bronx Mowgli, Tu Morrow, Audio Science, Pilot Inspektor, Sage Moonblood, or Moxie Crimefighter.  

I think Frank Zappa wins the Award for Cruellest Parent ever by naming his 4 children the following: Moon Unit; Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen; Dweezil; and Ahmet Emuukha Rodan.

I’ll never forget about 9 years ago when a friend of mine told me he named his daughter ARABELLA.
Ara-what?
Sounded to me like the name of a biscuit, or a light bulb.

But these days the name would barely raise an eye. Names are becoming almost annoyingly unique. Oh, we will call him Nathan – but spell it NAY-than.  Or… We will call her Christy but spell it Cristie, or Krysti, or Cristee.
Or names like this: Oh we liked the name Lauren and Heather so we called her Leather….

Of course most parents do worry that too-unique names will mean bullying at recess, but a quick poll of Facebook friends (all who responded were women) found that it was their more uniquely named friends who really grew up to love their names. There are parents who seem to choose peculiar names, but usually they mean something, and I think that’s more important.. (having a name with meaning) than choosing a name because it’s cool or popular.

Sometimes women name their child because of experiences they had during pregnancy. I read Audrey Hepburn’s biography while pregnant and desperately wanted to call her AUDREY but that was bluntly refused.  Then after watching The Sound of Music one night I thought BRIGEETA was IT. But then a gay friend said to me, “No, Cindy… fat German girl!”

I also found that during my pregnancy I ate bucket loads of Apples and Ginger. NO – was not planning on pulling a Gwyneth, but did consider the name GINGER. My husband said no – that’s a red head’s name. Guess what colour my child’s head of hair is?

Another common practise is to name the child based on places you live (or have visited) during the conception or birth – or circumstances surrounding the conception or birth. 

My daughter was conceived during a cyclone. Cyclone HELEN. Not really a fan of the name Helen. However, the name BRONTE means Thunder, a daily weather occurance in Darwin’s wet season. This plus the fact that I am related to the Bronte sisters was to me – the perfect name. My husband said no. He knew a Bronte who was a pain in the arse. 

Yes, we don’t name our children after people we don’t like. Or people that didn’t like us…

CNN also reprted that several studies have linked a child’s name with their future success.  One study found that kids whose names start with a C or a D are more likely to earn those grades on their report card.  (Cleetus, is that you? What happened to your 2 front teeth?)

Sheesh. Thank goodness my daughter’s name starts with an A, because I was also fond of Zoe.

In the end, I did do the pop culture thing, and named my daughter after a delightful French film, starring Audrey Tatou – which was a small homage to the original Audrey.

Do you think my daughter will grow up to be demure, petite, and speak french? Hmmm…