Would you believe that I've been trying to post something for over a week, and every single ounce of spare time each evening has ended up being sucked up by some form of time-hoovering succubus. I shake my head in dismay and mutter tut-tut.
Anyway. I was looking for something in my archives the other day, as one does from time to time, and I ended up scrolling further back than usual. Whereupon I realised that I recently celebrated (but completely missed and hence failed utterly to acknowledge) my sixth year blogiversary. Six years. SIX. S-I-X. I sat there with my jaw gaping in a rather slack fashion until Knox asked me why I was dribbling and I hastily shut down the site before I could give my superseekrit identity away.
I know I'm not the oldest lion in the big cats enclosure but six years suddenly felt like...quite a long time. And where has it all gone? I'll tell you- trying to conceive, infertility, anguish, IVF, resigning self to childlessness, relationship driven to the brink, unexpected pregnancy, labour, birth, colic, the first year of Botany's life, single motherhood, starting over, new love, new marriage, new business, work, friends, family and a startling amount of time spent on the internet.
It has, for the most part seemed to quite quickly- apart from the never ending siege of sleeplessness that I endured, which was a soul sucking millenium's worth of pain. And it hasn't all been delightful by any means, but it certainly has been unquestionably interesting- so many thanks for all of you who have joined me along the way.
In other news- my parents arrived for the summer earlier in the week. My mother has the glint of a Potty Trainer in her eye and has come armed with a secret weapon- Big Girl Disney Princess pants. We expect Botany will recognise this as a much more fashionable alternative to droopy nappies. That said, I do have doubts as to whether Botany is entirely ready to make the transition, given that her attitude up until this point has been decidely take it or leave it. Mostly leave it- and hide behind the sofa doing a poo in her nappy. When confronted, she will loudly announce, "No, I am doing a PEE," and then two minutes later coming running to have her smelly butt changed.
We made a somewhat half-assed (if you'll forgive the pun) attempt at the potty training over the winter, but it was dismal and we quickly gave it up. It was far too cold and horrible weather wise, either to be cavorting around the house in wet knickers or in nakedy mode, and the central heating couldn't possibly keep up with the amount of laundry it was apparently going to entail. As it turned to spring, I have been very much taken up with other things and so- all things considered- we decided it was sensible to just park it for awhile.
However it is now undeniably veering toward summer and Botany will be going to preschool in a few months. She's not expected to have necessarily mastered the toilet by then but it'd be nice. She will be three in August and she's a bright cookie, more than capable of understanding what's needed to be done and when. It's just that all the incentives I have so far offered- new pink potty, chocolate buttons for doing a wee or a poo, gold stars on the chart- have all failed dismally. So I am pinning my hopes on the Disney princesses.
I think I also have to figure out a way to make the bathroom a slightly pleasanter place to hang out in on a more regular basis. We have quite a small and extremely narrow bathoom, in the style so common in tenements in this city and we always seem to be colliding into something- the sink, the corner of the bath, the wall- as we grapple to get Botany out of her pull-ups and onto the potty in time. Even with the window open, the smell of Botany's poo in the plastic pot can be eye-watering. How I long for a lovely en-suite like that at my friend Jane's house- with a sweet little low toilet perfect for the rookie user, pale butterfly wallpaper and underfloor heating.
My parents have also been hinting- or even outright suggesting- that the bars should come off Botany's cot. I don't see the point, to be honest. She's not able to climb out yet, and doesn't try. She still needs to take a nap most days and quite often she needs to be made to stay in her cot for ten minutes or so for that to happen (read: there's often a bit of protest crying followed by an hour or more of sleep). She falls asleep around 8.30pm most nights and wakes up between 7-7.30am, a situation I find entirely civilised for all concerned. I don't think Botany herself quite grasped that the bed can be changed to enable the bars to be removed. So why rock the boat by freeing the bed? We'll get there before too much longer, I am sure, but after finally beginning to recover from several years of sleep deprivation, I'm not inclined to do anything to set us back unless we absolutely have to.
Meanwhile, the new business continues to absorb pretty much every scrap of my tiny residual time and attention. I keep trying to figure out ways to claw back a little bit of life, but it doesn't look too realistic for the foreseeable future and so I've decided to shrug my shoulders and go with the flow.
Also I have, after some contemplation, come to the conclusion that one thing that will make me a bit happier in general is to once a week take a whole hour for lunch (I usually only take 30 minutes, sandwich eaten at my desk) and go shopping for myself, a pleasure I used to enjoy so much and which I do sorely miss. I went the other day, emerging flushed and happy from a store with a bag containing three new shirts that I discovered I really do need. I can't afford to regularly spend that much per week, but the looking, browsing and stroking of the merchandise was in itself so pleasing that I resolved to do more of it whenever I can. Having looked at the budget, I also decided I'd rather forego the cost of having a cleaner to come and blitz my house in exchange for being able to leave the house in garments that are neither moth eaten or covered in mystery oobleck (most likely yogurt and Botany' old snot stains) and I am entirely at ease with this compromise. Yay.