Deus ex machina?

“We’re buying a house so that you can rent it from us.”

Imagine all the things that might go through your mind if your average middle-class parents told you that. All the emotions. I’ve probably felt them all over the past month.

For a while, the most glaring one was guilt. I felt (and still feel) awful not only that I struggle so much with life that my parents felt they needed to do this for me, but also that I am clearly so privileged to have such generous and accommodating parents looking after me. (I have long-standing guilt issues with being a privileged Westerner.)

I have always needed a LOT more help than my younger sisters, largely because I… am not good at life.
And I don’t mean in a, “oh, my life sucks, woe is me” kind of way. I just mean, my personality, my mental issues, my disorders… things don’t come as easily for me as they might to others. It’s not something that I generally talk about, because it makes me anxious to think that people might think of me as spoilt and lazy. (But, I also understand why they would. I know people certainly have thought that of me.) It’s kind of a, ‘I wish I could do all these things myself, but I’m glad I have such awesome parents’ situation.

I am also, of course, extremely grateful for this enormous helping hand.
And, since seeing the house that they have signed for, I’m excited.

Tin roof. Wooden floors, carpeted bedrooms. High ceilings. Solar panels. The room that will be Devin’s has louvre windows. The room that will be ours has built-in cupboards covering an entire wall. The backyard is big enough for playing and making a vegetable garden. There’s a built-in display cabinet with sliding glass doors in the dining room and all of the rooms in the house are individual rooms! No open-plan living at all! It’s practically my dream home. In all seriousness.
It’s an old house but in remarkably good condition, and the only thing that needs to be done is painting. (Though, I mean, I guess we could keep the pink and purple walls… )
And, with the mid-January settlement date, it means that I can keep my long-standing tradition of moving house in the middle of scorching hot summer. (When we moved from Armidale to here, it was 42 degrees Celsius.) Hooray!
(All right, that bit may not have been entirely genuine.)

One of the things I’m most excited about is organising our stuff. I’m already having to contain myself, because I just want to pull all our boxes out and sort through them. (Half of our stuff has been stored in the garage for the last two years.) I want to start painting furniture now and buy new hardware for the kitchen cupboards and start packing up the belongings we have throughout this house and, and, and…

Breathe.

I have done something in preparation, though to be fair, I’ve been meaning to make this for months…

I made Devin a doona (duvet) cover using fabric I bought, and an old sheet. Have you seen bedding options for kids? Especially boys? It’s not pretty. An average budget will get you something stereotypically and gaudily ‘boy’. A higher budget will get you something stereotypically ‘boy’. And a ridiculous budget opens up more ‘gender neutral’ options, which most designers seem to interpret as ‘bland and muted’. Anyway, I’m hoping to carry some of these colours into his room.
Of course, I had put this project off for months and months (I already had the fabric waiting), and how long did it take to make? A couple of hours. I just measured a doona cover we already had, and vaguely followed the instructions according to this tutorial. (Managed to make a bit of a mess of the snap opening, but I’ll be the only one to see that part, anyway.)

So. The title of this post refers to both the fact that we suddenly have our own house, and also to the fact that I seemingly need another deus ex machina to solve my money/job conundrum. I mean, two in one year. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Gulp.

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I kind of like to move it, move it.

So much travelling back and forth. We went to pick up Devin on Sunday and drove back home yesterday, but we’ll all be off again in less than two weeks. Because we’re moving back.

There are things about moving that I actually don’t mind. Things that most people probably hate, like packing boxes and clearing shelves and cupboards and cleaning them. I like physically organising things.

The worst part about moving, for me, is all the other organisation that it requires. Handing in notice to the real estate agency, getting utilities shut off or switched over, getting all the carpet cleaned so we can get our bond back, hoping the house satisfies the requirements for getting our bond back, changing address details (and remembering all the places that they need to be changed for), getting our doctor here to send records to our doctor there. And it all has to be timed well, because we’re not just moving across town, we’re moving six hours away. In less than two weeks.

I am really looking forward to being in the same town as my parents, and therefore having that support. I’m going to miss the New England area, the green, the fact that summer days are not terribly hot, the waterfalls, the short drives to anywhere… And there is, I think, something very easy and self-serving about living in a place where you know no one. At least, there was, for someone like me. But it’s really, really hard with a kid. And I think the three of us will really benefit from having some time being closer to people we know. We all need a break. And I won’t really miss the back door freezing shut on winter mornings, or the fact that our lawn grows so fast you could probably watch it.

Like with most things, I want to skip to the end. Even just skip to the part where we (and all our belongings) are piled into my parents house. Where we start looking for a new place to rent. Just skip to there. Because I make myself sick over things that most people do without a second thought.

Chop II (Now with pictures).

I didn’t cut my hair again. I am simply, once again, taking the easy, picture post option, rather than actually writing something. Devin will be awake soon, anyway.

So here is my security blanket hair before.

And, accordingly, after.

(Um, P.S. I don’t tilt my head on purpose – a curved spine equals uneven shoulders. But it feels straight to me.)

Chop.

I cut all my hair off.

Well, not all of it. I cut 30cm off. A foot of hair.

Well, I didn’t. A hairdresser did.

After 16 years of long, below shoulder blades hair, I have short hair. Above my shoulders. Around my jaw.

And it’s pretty awesome.

I have been thinking about it flippantly for some time. I thought about it seriously for not very long at all before going ahead. I was much more nervous about the social interaction at the salon than I was about losing all that hair.

I don’t think it’s an externalisation of a big internal change. It could be, though. I do need an internal change.

I just wanted to cut it off.  No more knots when I step out into wind. No more frizzy, fluffy split ends. No more getting it caught in things, like car doors and Devin hands.

I feel pretty tired and a bit sick now, it’s 2am. I just wanted to write that, I cut my hair.

Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.

Devin can walk.

Almost.

Well, he can. He stands up unaided, takes many unaided steps, and sometimes reaches his destination without falling over. He is still mainly a crawler, though.

I am admittedly not as excited about this development as I was about crawling, for two reasons.

1, we were waiting for him to crawl for a long time. He seemed to be *thisclose* for months. When he finally figured it out, his little world was opened up. He wasn’t stuck in one place, whinging because he couldn’t do anything. He could finally go. Walking is, for all intents and purposes, upright crawling.

2, he actually took his first solo steps a while ago. Walking has been a steadily improving skill for the past couple of weeks. It’s been a gradual learning curve, not a sudden, single event.

I am still, of course, very happy. I love looking up and seeing him standing in front of me. I love the way he puts his bottom in the air, steadies himself with his hands on the ground, gets up, and then just stands in the one spot with his arms by his side. I love his funny, drunk steps. I love the walking.

P1030134

Any of several types of human quadrupedal gait.

Things! Things are happening!

Well, one thing, mainly.

Last night, Devin started crawling.

Finally.

Because I had commented to Jene, not a day earlier, that this age felt like the most difficult so far. So much whining about not being able to go anywhere. I was really feeling the days drag. He’d been getting into the position and rocking back and forth for weeks, but not actually going anywhere.

I had also said that I bet, I bet, the first thing he crawls to will be something he is not allowed to have.

Well, surprise! It was. Sitting on the floor after his bath, naked, he moved towards the operating fan heater.

“Devin!” I said. “Was that… did you just… I think that might’ve been a crawl.”

I ran to tell Jene.

“Devin just crawled!”
“Really?”
“Well, I think. Pretty much. Just a little distance.”

Jene nodded and smiled and I went back to continue the bed routine.

Later, Devin wouldn’t settle in bed, so I sat him in the middle of the lounge room, assuming that he wanted to move around some more.  Apparently, he did. I went to tell Jene that Devin crawled again, and yes, it was definitely actual crawling.
Then we both watched him move confidently across the carpet, actually crawling, and I got a little glassy-eyed. Out of nowhere. I guess I was proud that he had finally picked it up. It was a strange feeling.

Google Reader keeps recommending me a ton of baby blogs, and the majority of the mothers are always saying that their little one is growing too fast, and this or that milestone made them cry because their baby isn’t such a baby any more.
I honestly don’t feel that. I look wistfully at his newborn photos, and I do comment that time is passing quickly, but really, I am not one bit melancholy about the fact that he is fast approaching the end of his babyhood. Maybe it’s because I spend every minute of every day with him. Maybe it’s because he’s my first and I plan on having more.
When I stop to think, as much as the weeks tend to fly past me, the almost-ten months that he’s been here have felt as long as almost-ten months.

He will get into more mischief, yes. By 9 this morning, he’d already gotten into five things he shouldn’t have. But the  older he gets, the more he becomes a little person, and without wanting to wish the time away, I’m really looking forward to all the things he’s yet to do.

…and on and on and on and on…

I really don’t know how I can apparently do nothing all day, and yet constantly find myself running out of time and missing whole days and weeks without really noticing.

I suppose ‘nothing’ isn’t quite right. I’m cleaning, feeding, changing, playing, cleaning, driving, calming, worrying… But because every day is almost identical to the one before it, it’s hard to feel like you’ve actually accomplished anything when tomorrow rolls around.

I also find myself stagnating in old routines and habits. I don’t have hobbies, I have an embarrassingly short attention span, and I often feel tired and drained, so I just do what I always do because it’s automatic, easy, comforting. I sit at the computer even when I’ve long passed my point of interest. I flick through magazines and catalogues without really paying attention, and I never read books any more, which makes me sad. I keep tidying and organising so I won’t have to think of something else to do. I drive into town and wander around the small selection of shops, even though by now I know almost every item in each store, and even though I can’t actually buy anything.

I need to change. I need to eat more healthily and stop replacing proper food with white bread (which is hard on a budget), I need to be outside more, walk more, go to bed earlier and stop wasting time on the computer. All those clichéd things.

I really need to find a hobby. I want to knit and/or sew, but my knowledge of both is very, very basic. I would need to teach myself, which requires prolonged concentration, which, along with start-up costs, is putting me off.

I know I am being lazy. I can keep using the ‘I’m too tired’ excuse, but it’s not really an excuse if you have the ability to change it.