Tuesday, March 2, 2010

shelter from the shit storm

Last week I took Rosa on an outing, one of our first, that was not entirely without potential for stress but which went quite swimmingly, as it turned out. I walked back to my car with my six-week-old baby in my arms, feeling happy to have completed my task without incident, when I was suddenly confronted by a person who was craving an incident and entirely surrounded by stress. He marched across the road and shouted at me (and I remember this word for word, though I'm not sure why): "Excuse me, I know you have a child and all, but could you not park someone in? I've been waiting here for over half an hour and now I have to go to work.'' And before he had even finished his sentence, he turned on his heel and marched back across the road to where (I'm assuming) his parents were waiting for him in their conspiratorial huddle. "Sorry" was all I could manage in reply, though I assume it didn't make it through his suffocating air of self-importance. I put Rosa in her car seat, as slowly as possible, remarking to her how some people are just not very nice. Then I got into my car and waved at Mr ME-ME-ME as I passed.
This man does not deserve to be mentioned here, and maybe this story shouldn't be either, but the point is that two years ago, had this happened to me, I would still be sitting in the gutter crying. I would have fallen apart. And I think that most women with a six-week-old baby would struggle with such an aggressive confrontation. But oh what a corner I have turned. My reaction was purely one of disbelief. That any person could choose to heap such ill-meaning aggression on anyone, without any consideration of the effect that might have, is beyond me. But I looked at that big black cloud intended for me and I turned the sucker around, back from whence it came. I like to call my new mindset: IMMUNE TO OTHER PEOPLE'S SHIT.

Monday, March 1, 2010

time waits for no mum

The past seven weeks have been pretty special, to say the least, and I have been floating on a cloud that's an equal mix of hormones, a happy baby and - in keeping with the letter of the day - a husband on holidays. I'm pretty sure my own frame of mind made all these things even better, and I'm about to find out how strong that frame really is. All good things, including husband's holidays, must come to an end, and today I flew solo in the morning school run with no reported turbulence. Lunches were made, breakfasts eaten, clothes dutifully worn, hair brushed, teeth brushed, shoes .. check, check, check .. car keys .. check .. baby .. check. There were no tears at school (not even from me) and as I drove home with my one remaining pre-school child, it seemed all eventualities had been accounted for. Then came the surprise. I was expecting noise to come from inside the car, and not from me or the radio. I wanted, and for a split second fully expected, to hear "Where are we going now Mum?". My seven-week-old bundle, oblivious to all but the most basic of earthly needs, did not oblige. And for a moment I was left longing for the passenger I had just left behind, at a stop called kindergarten, on the first leg of her journey.
Time, you must cry farewell, take up the track. And leave this lovely moment at your back. - Kenneth Slessor