Monday, 14 January 2013

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Lost in Babyland


It's been a while.

Four weeks in fact. Four weeks since I last posted on this blog. Four weeks since I last sent out a stream of tweets or pinned a little something special. Four weeks since I last sat down and wrote anything at all. Four long weeks since I last came up for air.

But what a ride.

I made the conscious decision to have a month-long break from my writing.

No, that's a blatant lie. I made no such conscious decision. I haven't made a conscious decision in weeks. I haven't thought about much at all because I've been away. On holiday, if you like. I've been somewhere other-worldly where time has come to a standstill, nothing gets done in a hurry, and where little boys puke on you.

I've been to Babyland.

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons (Gwen Harlow)

Dear sweet God above, please help me because I've never been to a more crazy, insane, wildly out of control place in my entire life. It's an unfathomable land of noise and mess and all-out household carnage.

In Babyland, I'm up to my eyes and ears in disposable nappies and baby shit. In Babyland, I no longer have adult conversations but smile and coo, blow raspberries and tickle chins. My reading material consists of 6-page books with short sentences and pictures of cartoon animals. Lots of cartoon animals. In Babyland, I somehow manage to lose whole chunks of my day... and to what? I couldn't even begin to tell you.

In Babyland, the highlight of my day is a trip to the loo where I can gather my thoughts and count from 1 to 10. Very. Slowly. In Babyland, achievements are measured on a lower scale to that of the real world. For example, did I manage to have a shower and wash some clothes today? If so, then that has been a successful day.

My absence from the digital airwaves in preference for this land of tiny people with grasping hands and chubby legs has not been without its emotions. I love and I loathe Babyland. I can't get enough of the mini-hugs and milk drunkenness, but I yearn to do regular things with regular people generally larger than my dog.

As a reader recently pointed out, it's ironic that my less ordinary life has actually become more ordinary. I change nappies. I tidy rooms. I sterilise bottles. I hang seventy small flannels on the washing line (which, by the way, takes approximately two hours to do).

I've also become rather adept at sitting with a baby balanced on my lap, bottle in my left hand, TV remote in my right. I'm a modern man with many new-found talents and a new-found love for Ellen. I never knew she could be this good and I now know she's coming to Australia. Woo hoo.

You see I don't mind this 'ordinariness' because, in it's own small way, it's absolutely extraordinary.

A year ago, I'd never have believed I'd now have a two-month old baby, thriving and fattening-up, inquisitive and vivacious. With a long Sydney summer stretching out before us, 2013 will be a year of learning curves and, no doubt, some tears, but at the very least it will be a year of new beginnings and hopefully many more wonderful adventures (in Babyland).

Have you been to Babyland recently? Was it good for you? What goals or adventures do you have planned for this year?


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32 comments:

Lesley Snell said... Add Reply

my Mother in Law used to call babies "time wasters" and nothing could be further from the truth what else have you got to do thats MORE important right now???

Heather said... Add Reply

Love it! I look forward to hearing more about the journey!

Phoebe Baker said... Add Reply

Just wait until "Toddler-land" even noisier, messier and you don't even goet to go to the loo to gather your thoughts- at least not by yourself! hehehehe it's the BEST ride ever! x

familyinspain said... Add Reply

Fantastic! Welcome to the wonderful world of parenthood. It's a rollercoaster ride for sure. Enjoy being lost in the fairground of crazy antics where timeframes no longer exist. Just jump on and enjoy the ride ... you will never look back :) Have fun!

Karen Nager Loethen said... Add Reply

OH yeah, Babyland, quite a place! LOL
Welcome back!

Jack Scott said... Add Reply

Welcome to the next two decades!

Aisha Isabel Ashraf said... Add Reply

My favourite bit of this post was where you spoke of how achievement is measured on a different scale from the larger world. Days when you manage to wash your face and get out of your PJ's make you positively giddy with the potential of it all! Kids change your life and your outlook in so many ways - enjoy it! *hugs*

Adventures said... Add Reply

Ahh, Babyland. You fall down the rabbit hole into a magical time warp. Enjoy every minute (even the less pleasant ones) because before you know it, you'll look around, scratch your head and ask aloud 'Where did the time go??'

Liene said... Add Reply

What, you get to count to ten in the loo?! Oh, that's right, there's two of them in this house... :) Welcome to the club!

Sara said... Add Reply

you can't fight babyland, you can only surrender. What to do with this tiny little being that wields power far and above what it should? Surrender :). It's the best and worst of life isn't it?

Russell V J Ward said... Add Reply

Two decades? It didn't say that in the manual!

Russell V J Ward said... Add Reply

Quite a place indeed! Thanks - good to be back :)

Russell V J Ward said... Add Reply

Thanks Heather. Here's to 2013!

Russell V J Ward said... Add Reply

That's very true, Lesley. Nothing else at all!

Russell V J Ward said... Add Reply

Oh yes - and slowly! Looking forward to the day that a little hand curls around the door frame seeking me out :(

Russell V J Ward said... Add Reply

It's only been 8 weeks and there's no fight left in me anymore ;-) But I am loving it. It's the best and worst... and it's only really just begun!

Russell V J Ward said... Add Reply

Toddler-land? No-one told me about that. Whoa there! Might have to let Sarah take care of that vacation ;-)

Russell V J Ward said... Add Reply

Thanks! And I'm actually surprised I was able to respond to this comment in good time! I should add that the post above is written from my perspective. My wife has had a MUCH tougher time in terms of lost time, dirty nappies, and poo-filled bins :)

Russell V J Ward said... Add Reply

It's a ruddy black hole, is what it is! I never knew a day could condense down into just one or two hours. And I'm in bed by 9pm - what's going on?! My party days are long gone ;-)

Russell V J Ward said... Add Reply

Oh you bet. Sarah absolutely now measures things in terms of hair washed, dishes cleaned and baby bathed. I'm back at work today and my productivity is through the roof - I managed to answer five whole emails and it's only mid-morning!

Aisha Isabel Ashraf said... Add Reply

OH! I forgot to mention - I love Ellen too!

Susanna Perkins said... Add Reply

Hahaha!! Russell, after each of my babies was born I felt as though Scotty had beamed up my brain for several months. With my first I learned to allot TEN TIMES more time for any task that it "should" take. Minimum. By the time I had my third I was quite a bit more competent, but still. . . it's a good thing blogging wasn't around back then because I couldn't have done it with newborns. Enjoy this incredibly special time.

Russell V J Ward said... Add Reply

I knew it. I can spot a closet Ellen fan a mile away. Bet you can dance too.

Russell V J Ward said... Add Reply

Thanks Susanna. Yes, blogging certainly adds an interesting dimension to the day's workload with a newborn around but I'm rapidly learning to work faster and harder (before the little bugger wakes up!).

Michelle Garrett said... Add Reply

Babyland is the new theme park, welcome to the roller coaster! I made a
semi-conscious (!) decision to not blog for a month and I do not have a
baby for excuse. It's an amazing, steep, exciting, beautiful, scary
learning curve, isn't it?! Anyway, welcome back. :)

Russell V J Ward said... Add Reply

Lol. Ain't that the truth! And thank - good to hear you also took some time out. It was a nice enforced break for me :)

Sine Thieme said... Add Reply

Ha - I might have been that reader with the "ordinary" quote. Glad it's working out for you though. As I just read on my other favorite Aussie blog, 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle, some of us who've already had all the kids we're going to have are a bit reminiscent for new-baby-dom. It is a very special time, something you'll never bring back so better savor all of it. Even if you can SO get tired of it. Just think of us other folks who have nothing but 4 teenagers to look forward to. Just think of all the arguing alone you don't have to listen to at the moment. I'm seriously envious. Glad you took the break from blogging but of course am looking forward to more parenting blogs from now on!

Russell V J Ward said... Add Reply

Thanks Sine. Trying hard to appreciate the little moments with him right now. He sleeps, wakes, feeds, burps, then gurgles a bit. It's fairly easy going and I think of him in a few years, running around, creating havoc in the house. Hmmm, can't wait! ;-)

aenglish said... Add Reply

Thank you for this honest blog about the early stages of parenthood. Someone once said to me that if you don't like a phase that your child is in, don't worry because they will soon move on to another phase. When I had my first child I felt like my world had been turned upside down, but it did get easier. Now with my second child, I have used the counting method when he is trying my patience at bedtime. Enjoy!

Russell V J Ward said... Add Reply

Thanks. And that seems to be the case - the little man moves from one phase to the next each week so it seems! Appreciate the advice and I will keep on enjoying :)

travellingforfun said... Add Reply

Congrats. Im sure Ellen must be larger than your dog now and you have the flannel hanging down to a fine art!

Russell V J Ward said... Add Reply

Haha. Thanks! :)

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