Big baby, very small boy

 

 

Some of the supermarkets here leave out kid-sized baskets for the children to use. This is very evil of them.

My son is nearly 20 months old now and recently, I’ve started having startled moments where I look at him and no longer see a big baby but a very little boy. It’s not a huge change and he doesn’t metamorphose into something else overnight.

 

And yet he does too. All the time. Little changes and then they’re big changes after all and time goes so quickly really.

Mother’s Day 2017

Yesterday, I successfully navigated my second Mother’s Day. My own mother is lovely and R, despite not even noticing the occasion until a morning radio segment brought it to his attention, came through in the end and picked up some flowers and chocolates for me on Mr K’s behalf. 


I’m always a bit baffled by people who get pissy about these as a present choice. No, it doesn’t require much thought or effort. But flowers and chocolates are two of my favourite things!

I feel like I’m reading a lot more analysis of the whole Mother’s Day phenomenon this year, in defense of it and criticizing it. I suppose that’s unsurprising, given society tells us that mothering is the bestest, most important job in the whole world while simultaneously devaluing it at every turn. I wonder the whole working/stay at home thing is such a mindfuck. 

A lot of it has been frustrating to read, on both sides. I wish we could all just accept that parenthood is a big deal but not the only, all-defining deal. That mothers are people, no more and my God, no less. That working rights and sensible hours would be good for everyone, parents or not. That Mother’s Day is hard for some people and the reasons for that might vary greatly and be intensely private. That most of us know that it’s an overcommercialised load of bullshit, deviating far from its humble origins and that an epilator or – I’m looking at you, department stores of Japan – an apron are not the greatest gift ideas. 

I know.

But I’ve had only a handful of good nights of sleep in the last two years, wiped up a lot of body fluids and juggled a whole brunch of things that become a lot harder when you constantly have to work out what to do with a very small, dependent person in the mix. I just want to enjoy my cheap flowers and nice chocolates.

1 year old

On Saturday (29/10), Mr K finally turned one.

I seemed to run the full gamut of emotions in the lead-up to the big milestone, golden fuzzy warm nostalgia all the way down to bleak, dissolve-into-tears mess with no idea how the hell I’d made it this far and certain that I couldn’t manage it for much longer. Extreme, yes, but the year has encompassed both those feelings and all that lies between, so why not?

And here we are. 

Mr K is 12 months old, but we should really say one year now. I don’t know if I can still call him a baby? He still acts very much like a baby, though. He babbles at length, crawls everywhere, and finds inane objects utterly interesting. He stands up a lot but only when holding something, and he has taken a strong liking to opening and closing things, pulling things out and putting them in different places entirely. He doesn’t walk yet, but he is determined to skip that and climb on things instead. 

The time has been, and still is, so very distorted. How can one year have passed already, yet how can it have been only one? The days are long but the year(s) are short indeed.

Baby-carrying

My name is Lyssa and I’m a baby carrier convert.

This afternoon, Mr K was grizzling after lunch. He was tired following his unwilling participation in an ESL class and the broccoli I had presented him with as finger food with was not to his satisfaction. After trying to settle him elsewhere, I gave up and wrangled him into his carrier, slinging it onto my back like a backpack. He immediately calmed down and, ten minutes later, he was asleep.

The baby carrier is a relatively recent acquisition. Up until Mr K was 10 months old, we lugged him around with our arms and I his pram. Shortly after we moved into our new house, though, a neighborhood earthquake drill happened and we were told to make areangementS for something with which we could carry Mr K on our backs. I grudgingly went out and forked over five thousand yen for a carrier that looked like it might do and we proceeded to participate in the drill.

And something else happened too. We fell in love with the carrier.

It’s relatively easy to use, it frees up my hands, and most importantly, Mr K is happy because he’s still nestled close to me. Yes, it hurts my back and shoulders a bit, but back pain is part of this baby gig and you get used to this particular version and the pay-off is very, very worth it.
I have to admit I’m a little frustrated with myself because I knew all this before he was born. I bought a secondhand carrier because not everyone else entirely sold on it, and it didn’t work out very well, not least because carriers just are kind of awkward for very little babies (you’re better if with some sort of sling, apparently). I bought another one that I didn’t really like, and then I gave up.

 And I really wish I hadn’t! I could have saved myself a lot of anguish if I’d just stuck to my gunson this instead of letting my eroded self-esteem get a little bit more so.

Anyhow, we’ve got it now and Mr K and I are both a little happier for it.

Moving

The thing with buying a house is that you kind of have to move into it and so, after about three weeks of shifting stuff, arguing with R, and working on the irritating process of cleaning, I feel like I can say we have moved house.

Moving is disorienting and, for me personally, somehow very depressing. We’ve picked up our lives, all the important bits, the miscellaneous parts and even “why did I ever buy this” ones, and planted them somewhere else in a chaotic mess. The familiar is rendered unfamiliar, and the unfamiliar has to be wrangled into the familiar. The buses we take, the way we turn the taps on, each light switch, the rooms I spend the most time in and the ones I don’t, the view from the window. I find myself sitting in the car at the supermarket, ready to go home, and having to remind myself where home is and how to get there. It’s all so very mundane yet deeply unsettling.

And we’ve just moved suburbs!

For me, the whole sense of being in a weird limbo has been exacerbated by our internet issues. We have only just had it reconnected and my over-reliance on my iPhone’s mobile network as a back-up in the meantime sent me way over the data limit and rendered it almost unusable for online dealings. As a result, I spent the last three weeks scuttling to cafes more than ever just to keep vaguely abreast of what’s happening in my corners of cyberspace. Normal, yet not, and all but impossible to manage to blog.

We still have access to our old place and there’s still cleaning to be done there, but the focus is very much on settling and just living again now. I’m working on things. We’ll get there.