Friday, May 18, 2012

Wilderbeest = Feral = Three = Ted

 So you think you want to have children?

You go out, see sweet babies gurgling and cooing.  See adorable toddlers waddling around tentatively.  Hear hilarious preschoolers saying the most precious things.

Luckily I never wanted children.  I was never clucky.  I can never look back and believe I had been deluded by Family Ties or The Cosby Show into thinking family life was all one liners and easy resolutions.  I never went out into the world and felt beguiled by the sweetness of small people.

I was (am?) a pragmatist. Children = work.
Children = responsibility.  Children = time.

Then James said to me one day "Hey, I think I'd like to talk about having children one day".  After I (literally) lost the ability to stand and needed to sit down quickly (I do believe a glass of red wine was involved), I thought sure, hey, what the hell?

What the hell indeed.

I am now a parent.  Two very different people will forever more think of me and think of me not as Cass, but as Mama.  I am not a person, but a porridge making machine, a walking memory of where Blue Baby was last seen, or which Little People are adults and which are children, a blanket wielder, lap provider, personal driver, infinite snack provider, cleaner, songwriter, and on and on and on it goes.  I really don't mind all that stuff - that's the job.  It's cool.  It's even fun.

But oh my freaking god, is it tiring.

Ted is a rather full-on child.  He is on all the time.  He can dance, sing, bang, hit, kick, jump, spin, yell, eat food and play a musical instrument of choice all at once.  At volume.  He can say most colours in Japanese.  He can count up to ten in Japanese without thinking about it.  He can sing in tune.  He played all six variations of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star at his lesson today - he had never done it before (in fact at home he had only played two of those variations in his practise time).  He can sing songs he has only heard once.  He can read quite a few words.  He has the family skill level in art (read: zero).  He chooses fast over slow.  He rides his balance bike with gusto and speed.  Down hills.  Without a helmet.  Pass me the Valium.

Just this morning I was on the phone to a friend and looked up from the kitchen to see him eating a banana.  On the table.  Whilst singing a song he was making up.  And some funky dance moves in there too. This shot is oof because I was finding it tricky to focus, hold the camera and phone and laugh at the same time.

Today we played with the marble run, made chocolate (it is just so easy - cacao butter, cacao powder and maple syrup), sang songs, read books, had Arki over and of course, being Friday, had violin.  On the way to his lesson he was squirming around in his car seat with excitement and asked me "Mama, is it really Tori day right now?  Are we going there first?". And when I replied in the positive, he punched the air and yelled out "Yes!".

But you know what?  After about 3pm, Ted undergoes a metamorphosis Kafka would be proud to write about.  He slowly starts to become more physical.  Less adorable.  More manic.  More aggressive.  MUCH more trying.

By the time we reach 5pm most days lately, I am completely spent.  Running after him, playing with him, gently parenting him, feeding him, educating him, guiding him.  He does not stop and therefore, neither do I.  And I'm not three!

So writing up blog posts with some photos of him being cute can help to remind me of how fleeting this time will be, regardless of just how never-ending it seems at the moment.  And now it's done, I'm off to the lounge to read some Jeanette Winterson (bummer about missing her at the Writers Festival) and be grateful for the sleeping-through-nights I now get to experience.  Because for a while there they seemed never-ending as well, remember?  

But I can't be all sweet maternal.  This one's payback.  Ted's realising they call it the blues because that's the music you play when you live through the repercussions of eating half a kilo of blueberries.  It gives you a looong time to sit down and compose.


jay said...

love the shot of Ted on the table singing through the banana, what a classic. phew. i am exhausted just reading that post. hope your evening has been delightfully relaxing.

Lou said...

What a grat read Cass! Ted is awesome. High energy, LOUD, totally exhausting...but awesome! So are you for managing to blog after days like this!

Mr Shell said...

You are parenting two children destined for greatness (world changing greatness I'm imagining). Teddy and Harriet are extraordinary little people. I admire the way you parent Cass (even if I need to lay down after reading about your days ha ha).
It seems as though Teddy has taken to violin like a duck to water - no doubt he'll be halfway through Book 1 by the end of the year. Isn't Suzuki method the best!