• jdettmann

Grant Me The Serenity


Lunch out with a tiny nun always helps.


I haven’t been feeling very good lately. It’s nothing that the birth of NB won’t fix (or possibly make much worse, but let’s hope for the best, shall we?), but between the aches and pains of pregnancy and the emotional turmoil that comes with being part of the human race (and possibly a bit prone to catastrophising), things have been rough.

But today I feel better. I’m putting it down to a combination of factors.

1. Friends.

I have splendid friends. Many of them are in the category that I like to think of as taramasalata friends. This categorisation comes from my mate Nic, who recently told me about how she came upon a great deli in Brisbane, where she has recently moved (that’s a story for another day, but let’s just say that I don’t approve. Except that she has gone to be with her fiance, who is in all other ways a winner).  She bought a two-kilo bucket of taramasalata and it only cost threepence ha’penny, or something equally ridiculously cheap. (That may have been the actual price: I’m not sure Queensland went metric when the rest of the country did in 1966.). Nic said to me when we next met and she related the tale with great excitement, ‘You’re the kind of friend I knew would get excited about me owning a bucket of taramasalata’. As indeed I did.

And the thing about taramasalata friends is they don’t even have to like the thing you are excited about, but they still delight in the fact that you like it so much. And they worry when you don’t seem to have anything to make you as excited as a bucket of Greek fish roe dip. I have a lot of those kind of friends, and they’ve been looking out for me lately, for which I am very, very grateful.

2. Rest

I stayed in bed until 2.30 pm today. H took May Blossom to my parents’ house, where she behaved impeccably, for six hours. The little sleep-dodger even napped in her travel cot for her Amah. I lay in my bed, alternately sleeping, staring into space, and reading a Maeve Binchy book, which are all basically the same thing. I feel a whole lot better for it.

3. Play

When she came home, May Blossom and I had a lovely time playing together. We mostly played a game called ‘I’m Helen’. This involved May Blossom introducing herself to me as Helen. ‘Oh, who am I then?’ I asked her. ‘You’re Helen too,’ she answered. So we remarked on that coincidence, and then hung out in her room, just two Helens enjoying each other’s company.

4. Surrender

I’ve decided to try to surrender a bit more to the wave of chaos that is life with a toddler and another baby coming soon. Battle picking may be the most important skill I can exercise right now. May Blossom is strongly resisting her daytime nap most days, so I will embrace short car naps and no-nap days with early bedtimes instead. Because the alternative seems to be this:


When I left her to her own devices in the cot yesterday at nap time, with suspiciously little crying, I returned forty minutes later to find she had painted her room (all the parts she could reach from the cot, anyway) and herself with a whole pot of zinc-based nappy cream. I am told by other parents that I should be glad she found that and not anything more nappy-based to smear on the walls. If she were literate, she would have graffitied “NAP WARS! MAY BLOSSOM 1; MUMMY 0′ on the walls with the cream.

So surrender it shall be. Equally, I need to give in a bit to the state my body is in at the moment, which can best be described as under siege. I’m tired and very sore and I need to wee every twelve minutes; I have a cold and a cold sore and my pelvis is dividing itself in two in an entirely premature way. Here is an illustration of what that feels like, from Pamela Allen’s book Share Said The Rooster:


The bright side to that is that my collapsing body seems to be a very good home for NB, who appears to be growing large and strong. I feel like an old tree stump that houses a family of possums. He or she kicks much more than I remember May Blossom doing, a fact into which I am desperately attempting to read nothing at all. Because how can there be an even more energetic kid to come? Doesn’t bear thinking about.

#friendship #Pregnancy #surrender #Motherhood #Sleep #Life #Parenthood #Toddlers #Parenting #acceptance

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