Tuesday, June 10

Random musings ...on living with...

Living with lists...
I don't seem to have much success with lists.
I can write them, & follow to a certain point, then the 'random' in me takes over, & I just seem to rebel.

I was never one who could live with routine. I hated being told to treat my babies as some 'routine'. Do this on Dot A. Do that on Dot B.

I used to think I would scream if I heard the word 'Routine' one more time. I felt my babies were people, ....perhaps like me, who didn't always feel like A on Dot A, or B on Dot B.

What about mood swings? What about whimsy? What about contrary? Who decreed that babies couldn't feel the same,...perhaps wanting variation?

I tried to follow the 'rules' of "Plunket", which was the main source of guidance for new mothers in the 'babyhood' years in my babies' lives in New Zealand. My mother had been the 'victim' of this regime also. She kept my Plunket Record Book, & presented it to me, years later. She agreed, I had been a somewhat contrary being, even way back then!

I probably do the "Plunket" an injustice here, as they really were a source of help & guidance for new mothers. I do believe Plunket probably saved many babies lives, in an age when babies may otherwise have died, through sheer ignorance, & lack of understanding of babies' needs.

Weeping at the feeling I was inadequate, & worrying about my son, the first "AGED" read Doddering Plunket nurse to 'home visit' me, almost caused me a breakdown. All she could talk about was her 'overseas' stint where babies starved to death due to lack of breast milk among the mothers, then a further story about a mother who drowned her baby in the bath, to quiet it down. I was almost a 'gibbering idiot' (thankyou Tanya, the Art Butcher) by the time she left. Why would she tell me such things?? Did she suspect I would drown my precious baby, in some moment of insanity? Did she know that I suspected my breast milk to be inadequate?

Traumatic times. My mother lived on another Island- too far for daily consult. My MIL kept insisting my son needed 'Water'. She snatched him from my arms at every visit, insisting on pumping him full of warm water. Preserve us from MILs. I would never, & have never done that to a young mother!!

My babies survived my seeming inadequate mothering, perhaps to the disbelief of the MIL. snigger, nyah nyah.

I have always tried to respect my daughter's ability to be a mother. I have tried not to over step, or over-instruct. I really do believe in mother's instinct. I also believe that every mother does her best, to the best of her ability.

Living with a Retired Husband.

This is something noone warned me about!

At first, when he was Semi Retired, it was great!
I loved the extra time we had to spend together. We spent time together, & it was fun, & we seemed to be in 'tune' one might say.

Finally he Retired, altogether. A whole different set of rules became apparent.
Gradually he has assumed responsibility for the tidiness of the pantry.
The stacking of the Freezers. The placement of pots, pans, in the cupboards.
Who knew!! All the years I had been in charge of such things, I had made botch of it all! I had organised things in actual 'disarray'!!

My lovely, anti-list style was all wrong! I needed to be 'routinised' is there such a word? if not Hitler has coined it! I am periodically shocked to find I have been a virtual F***wit at housekeeping!!

The weekend's party for Family & Friends, was very nice. I was told to b***er off, it was all taken care of! Some of the Actual Words were "Get out of MY kitchen". You may imagine the ire that raised in my mind!!

However, I went away, & while licking my metaphorical wounds, I decided "Who cares?" "If this is what he wants... I wont argue!"

This has become his new "Domain". His new "Realm". He is Leo. He needs to feel King Of His Kingdom.

I can learn to live with that. I am a lover of my freedom, my own space. He has always allowed me that personal space. I can bend. I can adapt.I think.
It is not always easy "Living with."


Living with new habits on Television Viewing.

The roaring emanating from the Lounge Television, is very hard to bear. I sneak out to turn down the sound, when Gom is not in the room. He is actually out in "His Kitchen" cooking his Steak Sandwich".

I turn it down! Bliss. I can concentrate without intrusive 'St Vitus Dance Finger.' Which is a condition peculiar to Gom--- but may be contagious, or well known among other aging male fingers. I have even heard it can be a female affliction. I don't suffer from that particular disease, thankfully.

Living with that condition is very difficult. Just when you are hearing some interesting piece of news... flick!, inane comedies follow! Or snatches of cartoons! or some Commercial sludge...ye gods, the electronic age is full of items designed specifically to Drive One Mad!!

The frenzied, & frenetic clicking is driving me crazy!! Along with the Retired Hitler, the Garden Vandal, I am surrounded with Crazy!!
Heelllllppp!! Sinking here!

From the weekend, with family....

"Who's your Daddy?"

There could be no doubt!!
Honey Loves SGs Daddy too!
Stanley had a lot of fun.

Randi Crawford, Knocking on Heavens Door.


Mike said...

Both my wife and I have been living the semi-retired life for the last few months. I think of it as a preview of the real thing as we both have to go back to work soon. Anyway, it has been an adjustment, so I completely understand what you are saying. Surprisingly, my wife is much more territorial than I am. Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

oh yes, I agree re the baby thing. I just did what felt right with mine and they all seem to have survived. But yes, my mother did occasionally mention that I was feeding too often etc and it is hard not to start doubting your own instincts and abilities.

If I draw up a list I can never find it when I need to consult it.

Ian Lidster said...

Your comments on living with a retired husband no doubt ring true for many. As much as you dislike routine, as you indicated, you do have your own routines and don't want to disrupt them.
Reminds me of friends and the impact of 'change', even positive change.
When they were first married (very young) he was very irresponsible and an active alcoholic for the first decade. He took no interest in the house or the kids, and only his cronies at the bar.
Then, after a decade he got sober, and has been for about 20 years and he's a fine guy and they're a wonderful couple.
But, she told me that the closest they ever came to divorcing was during his first year of sobriety because he suddenly became responsible and wanted to take over tasks she regarded as her domain.

Thimbleanna said...

Hmmm. I'm thinking GOM and TheManoftheHouse are twins that were separated at birth. Somehow misery loves company and it's good to know that our suffering knows no continent bounds LOL.

Ragged Roses said...

I love this post Meggie! I couldn't agree more with you about bringing up babies, doing everything by the book just doesn't work! I make lists (somewhat less frequently these day) but find them quite overwhelming! Glad your party was good

Molly said...

Oh Meggie, my life would fall apart if I didn't make lists--for the very reason that I'm not regimented....I need some way to tame the chaos and make sure things done!

bluemountainsmary said...

J will be GOM when he eventually retires - I have no doubt - he already has the trigger finger on the remote control.

I'll never forget a lifesaver of a baby nurse telling me when Will was tiny that babies are little people who need lots of sleep but also sun and fresh air and some company!

Rosie said...

my sweet h and I both work from home a lot of the time...and it has never really been clear between us who does what and when in the house and for the kids. It is very difficult not having a zone to call one's own and be in charge of. I quite look forward to it when he goes away to work now and then and I can do everything my way and when I want (but dont tell anyone)....

jellyhead said...

Tee hee! Love the reflections on a shared retirement. I don't know how I'll survive sharing the house with my husband 24/7 when we both retire. I suspect I'll work part-time until I'm very, very old!

jovaliquilts said...

Re retired husbands, I just have to share one of my favorite quotes (don't know who said it): "I married you for better or for worse, but not for lunch!"

ancient one said...

My husband retired and went to work for himself and works harder than ever. No more vacations, no time off... just work, work, work. It is nice having him in the back yard, though, there is no privacy here anymore.

Anonymous said...

I am the one with the itchy trigger finger. It must drivethe poor man nuts. But when I say 'here' and offer the remote, I have to watch car racing. Can you understand why I have the itchy fingers? :)

Q said...

Dear Meggie,
I so hope GOM also enjoys the dust cloth and the broom.
Thank you for the laughs. My darling husband also has a tendency to reorganize the kitchen.
I do make lists ...mostly of what I need at the store so he can do the shopping and the putting away.
Thanks again I did get tickled.

Tanya Brown said...

I'm guessing that the visiting nurse was, in her misguided way, trying to reassure you. Something along the lines of "There, there; you aren't likely to make these mistakes I've seen other new mothers make. You wouldn't drown your baby to shut it up, would you? Well, there you go!"

Being a new mother is hell. The good news is that babies and mothers are generally resilient, and mostly survive whatever the "wisdom" of the day is.

It sounds as though GOM has taken over the cooking duties. Perhaps a new, extravagant cookbook with recipes which require many hours of preparation is in order? Something which espouses tenderly nurturing your food from seed to table, so that he has to organically grow baby carrots with worm fertilizer from his own worms, marinate them in vinegar and herbs he's made himself, and so forth.

the mother of this lot said...

I loved this post! I'm very anti lists and routine too. Are we rebels?

The Sagittarian said...

Like RB, if I make a list I find I have to leave myself a note telling me where the list is. Lately if I have to go upstairs to get something I find I am having to repeat the object over and over in my head as a climb the stairs so I don't forget what I went up to get!! Old timers? Me?