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Posts tagged ‘grandparents’

35.5/40 – Still Moving

I had hoped that this week’s post would be about my lovely new house, maybe recounting some amusing anecdotes about boxes or bubblewrap, maybe having a little moan about the toddler’s inability to settle into her new room, but essentially full of the joys of finally having a place to live.

Unfortunately though, we’re coming close to complete pregnant mammy meltdown. Instead of moving a few roads away, with all our belongings, to our dream home, we have gone all the way down the M50 with a couple of suitcases, and set up camp in my parent’s. Hardly ideal – especially not for my parents, who though they have made us very welcome, must be feeling their nerves fray as the toddler asks to be read the same story for the 150th time.

To be fair, the move out went well. The movers were great, and all our worldly possessions appear to (haven’t opened all the boxes yet) have survived the 250 metre trip. The toddler walked away without a backward glance (mainly because she was walking into her beloved granny’s arms – the words I have heard most over the last few days are “Bye bye Mammy, I stay with Granny”) so it’s not all bad. But, there is no escaping it… The dream home is still a long way away from making the pages of Home and Living magazine. At this stage, my biggest fear is that this baby is going to arrive without a home to go to. I know we’d cope, and my parents would be great about it, but that’s really not how I’d like it to be. To boot, we haven’t got the hospital bag packed, we haven’t located where the Moses basket is, all the babygros (from tiny baby to big bruiser) are all lumped together in one bag – and I don’t know where that is. So, each time I feel a little ache, or have a practice contraction, I think… “Oh, no! This is it!”. I have a few weeks still to go, I know, but the toddler made an early appearance, and also, I have spent months willing the time to pass, hoping that 40 weeks doesn’t become 41 or 42, and I can’t help feeling that the Gods would think this was a nice little present for me… Along the lines of “Be careful what you wish for….”.

And being 8 months pregnant, it’s not the best time, physically or mentally, to have my plans thwarted in any way. I did warn the husband to expect fireworks combined with waterworks when we began this process, and so far I haven’t disappointed on either count. He’s being admirably patient, making lots of soothing noises etc. but my tendency to become apocalyptic is getting worse as the days without a finished house pass. Our builders are doing a fantastic job – I can say that in the clear light of day, as I am breathing nice and deeply, sitting at the pc. But when the husband and I did a recent nocturnal visit, in the freezing cold (the heating doesn’t work yet), getting covered in a film of grey dust as we stepped over planks, I failed to see the huge progress, and started mumbling incoherently and tearfully about eating Christmas dinner in a hard hat. Next year.

But, if you exclude comments about hard hats, and tears, and the toddler now commuting to creche via the M50 – I think we’re coping fairly well. Or the husband is. And, I must keep repeating this, the end is in sight. There is no more talk now about foundations and roofing, but plastering and tiling have entered the discussions. I am hanging out for the words “finishing touches”, “snag list” or perhaps more relevantly “final payment” before I get too excited… But maybe next weeks post will be called “Moved”?

32/40 – Grandparents Rule

Many are the new parents who will say that they only started to appreciate their own mother and father when they had kids themselves. And, from the early stages of my first pregnancy, right through to now, this has continued to hit me with increasing force. I like to think that I have always got on well with my Mam and Dad. We had the wilderness years of course, when I spent my time listening to Pearl Jam and cursing anyone over the age of 23 (for some reason when I was 17 or 18, 23 was a mythical age, the point when all the questions were answered, and after which everything went downhill. I was wrong on both counts naturally and thankfully). But it really is only since becoming a parent, or more accurately realising that I was expecting, that I understood exactly what their job was with me, and how much harder it was than I had ever given them credit for.

Over the last two and half years this realisation has dawned at many and varied intervals – whether it’s been swigging from my bottle of Gaviscon at 3am (and realising that my mother had to do that times four), to cleaning up toddler vomit (times four again!!!!), to delivering the toddler and equipment to them one wonderful Friday morning and returning to a happy, safe and well-fed toddler on the Sunday afternoon. This weekend was another prime example – as you all know, I am 32 weeks pregnant, and my mood is, errrr, a bit iffy to say the least. The husband took himself off to Berlin with the lads, his last hoorah – and while I was glad for him to go, I was deep green with envy and struggled hard not to be bitter and miserable. So, to cheer ourselves up, myself, the toddler, and my bad mood booked into my parents house for some TLC.

I’m a changed woman since – it’s amazing what a well-cooked meal, a happy toddler and some extra sleep can do for a girl. The toddler loves it over there, the relationship between kids and their grandparents is lovely to watch. When I rolled out of bed at 10am (yes, 10am. Between 3 and 5 hours later than usual!!!) Sunday morning, I looked out the window, to see a small child holding her granny’s hand and pointing at the “doggie inna window” – a dog belonging to a neighbour and a favourite attraction at Granny and Grandad’s. I had a shower in peace, without having to sing nursery rhymes / shout warnings or stop mid-suds to extricate the toddler from some mischief, and wandered downstairs to a cooked breakfast and a nice cup of tea prepared by my Dad. Heaven.

Of course it’s not all perfect – parenting ideas have changed somewhat in the last 25-30 years, and sometimes advice given, even with the best intentions, isn’t well received. But when I see a rash on the toddler, or feel strange myself, or just need someone to tell me that it’s normal to feel bewildered at this parenting lark, it’s to my Mam and Dad that I turn. It worked out nicely this weekend for the husband too. When he arrived home, a little tired and emotional himself (maybe the beds in the hotel weren’t that comfortable or something?), he was a little unsure whether his pregnant wife would be welcoming. But he was met with a lovely reception, a relaxed and happy mother and child, the picture of familial bliss – so much so that he is talking about a weekend in Spain with the lads next year!

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