Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Don't stand on your head or ...

A teddy bear from KM has replaced the ultrasound photo that was going to be his ‘news’ today.

Yes, we finally told him about the baby.

I will admit I was a bit concerned about what his reaction would be but we couldn’t have hoped for better. We waited until Friday morning when he came and hopped into bed for his snuggle.

When Gaye told him she had been to the dr and got a baby in her tummy he looked a bit shocked, but she followed it up with a comment about how fat she was going to get and how she wouldn’t be able to reach her shoes. He was completely taken with that and it all got pretty hilarious with his comments about not standing on her head or the baby would come out her nose. He is completely taken with the thought of the new gender balance in our household (he includes the dog – and yes we found out but I can’t tell you as that is Thomas secret to tell not mine!) and the idea that we might swap the s*x of the puppy was suggested but was hotly counted by him.

He was very interested to see the ultrasound shots, asked questions about what the baby was eating (including a comment about the baby not feeling like avocado so it would wait in Gaye’s tummy until it wanted it) and how did it actually get the food. We looked at pregnancy books and video footage of him as a baby.

We had decided to let him come up with the terms he would use to describe his relationship with the baby and support him in that ('in my family', 'brother or sister' etc) as he is going through a bit of a definite stage so we don’t want to back him into a corner and end up fighting about something that we are pretty sure will resolve itself once the actual baby is born.

He woke up pretty grumpy with Gaye the next morning. And after circus classes he had to spend an hour with her while I went for a massage. He was not impressed. Informing me that he ‘really didn’t like to be left with Gaye that much' (all evidence to the contrary up until this point). He didn’t want to do anything she needed to do and Gaye admitted to me that she was psyching herself up for a bit of a hard hour.

As it turned out they had a lovely hour, rushing around getting treats for the upcoming visit with Ann and buying gifts for Denis her brother who had been left at home with his parents. He was completely angelic apparently and as they were walking around the shops Gaye said they would have seen about 20 pregnant women. He turned to her and said ‘ do you think your tummy is getting bigger yet?' she said ‘hmmm I don’t know darling, what do you think' he had a good look and said “Nahh” (Gaye is 20 weeks on Wednesday, her belly is definitely bigger. We have been wondering how come he has not noticed.)

Apparently, there was someone giving out tastes of some food or another and she said to Thomas. “Would you like to try while your Mummy is shopping?” His answer was ‘No thank you, she is not my Mummy but she does have a baby in her tummy'

It got better still when he and Ann came racing in while we were preparing dinner that night (with my mother, sister and father sitting at the table) and he pointed at Gaye’s belly. ‘in there’ he said. She said “sure Thomas. Aunty Clare, Thomas says he has a brother/sister in Gaye’s tummy” I said “well that is right there is a baby in Gaye’s belly”

(Turn to look at Gaye who has got all teary cause he has used those terms, followed by an overwhelming strong urge to giggle hysterically as I remember that my mother is sitting nearby. She still has not said A THING about the baby)

The next morning he showed Ann an ultrasound photo and again said ‘ see this is my broth/sis ter. (more tears from Gaye and this time me too).

So we are feeling hopeful. We are trying to be very low key about it and I am sure there will be up days and down days. And although I told his teacher this morning so she would be prepared I have told him it is his news to tell at school. Today, the baby has been put firmly in place, as KM concert and going with his cousin was definitely more important!

A big night out

Aunty Louise rang on Friday morning to say she had a plan to take my niece Ann, who lives about three hours drive away to see Kylie M. Ann is completely obsessed with KM, which is pretty funny because she is the non-girly 8 year old I have ever known. But she completely loves KM’s costumes and songs. She can tell you EVERY song on every album and every song KM has sung on every tour. She is obsessed in that way that 8 year olds get.

Thomas really really wants to be obsessed about something. But he just isn’t that type of kid. He really wants to be because lots of his friends are about particular things and he is always planning to collect particular thing or another… and I try and be as supportive as I can … but basically he just isn’t obsessive. He just wants to get to the bit where he has all the knowledge about some item or another but he isn’t actually that interested enough to maintain commitment to it. Not yet anyway. The end result is that he is sure that he really likes KM too (as much as Ann) and so Aunty Louise thought she would take them both.

My folks were coming up this weekend anyway as you might recall, as part of my cunning plan to keep them around after they heard about the baby so things didn’t have time to get uncomfortable. I had bought them tickets to E*ton J*hn. That concert is tonight. So it was organised in a flurry of phone calls to parents and grandparents that Ann should come up and stay with us for two nights and Aunty Louise for two nights and that they would both go to see KM.

Thomas has now been to see his first pop-concert. And he will have to say forever that KM was his first! His Dad is sure this is going to haunt him. I think the fact that he had an arvo sleep first might in fact be the haunting factor. He had a great time, Ann had a fabulous time and I think Aunty Louise had the best time just being with them there and being the Aunty with the mostest. Gaye and I dropped and picked them off from the venue – for not the last time I am sure. It was like a sign of things to come.

And they both had yesterday off from school with my parents visiting the Powerhouse and going on the train. (which I think Thomas was equally impressed with). He is not all that impressed that she is having another day off today while he goes to school but they are meeting up this afternoon for a swim.

They put a show on for us last night. It included Thomas dancing in his undies…

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Maybe baby

Gaye had her 18-week scan yesterday and all is well. The baby is growing nicely and all the bits that should be there are. She has gone all vague and forgetful (which is odd from such an astute woman) but really it is all happy. We are having a very happy time.

We will tell Thomas this week, who fortunately seems to be coming around to the conversation about a hypothetical new baby.

This morning went like this:

“Mum, when do you undo your belly button?”
“Never darling, it just stays like that…”
“Don’t you clean it?”
“Only in the bath”
“When we have a new baby you will see it’s belly button being made, it is all red when the baby comes home from hospital.” (note we have changed from using if to when and been very low key this week)
“Will I get to see it in the tummy with a special camera”
(Quick look at Gaye) “Sure and the nurse will let you hold the microphone on the tummy and hear the babies heart beat – they go so fast”
“With one of those ear things?”
“No it is just like a microphone”
“They take a long time to grow don’t they?”
“Yes, quite a long time”

Which is much improved from last week which went like this:…

“Your new place is great you won’t have to drive anywhere” Old and good Friend
“I know, I have never liked driving, I don’t know why, I know some people like it I just don’t”
From Thomas in the back seat
“Just like I don’t like the idea of another baby in the house”
(Raised eyebrows from OGF) “The great thing about being a big brother Thomas is that you get to have the younger ones do things for you.”
“Like what?”
“Well Adelaide still has Poppy do all sorts of things for her, get her yoghurt, get her a drink. And Poppy is 13 now”
“I have got my Mum for that!”
“And they give you presents on your birthday”
“I’ll have to buy them some too. Everyone tells me I want one but I just don’t”

I found his cot blanket last week and he has slept with it on his bed last night. We agreed last night that we should take it down when we go to see Gaye's folks after Christmas so her Mum can make a new baby one too.

We hoping all this preparation will make the actual announcement later this week a bit of a non-event.

Friday, November 17, 2006

how do they get the pip out?

We are driving along in the car, on our way to something or other. Gaye is driving, I am in the passenger seat, Thomas is in the back. We are talking about where we are going and what we are looking forward to about it. Then...

"Hey Mum..."
"Yes darling?"
"You know those men, the ones who help people who don't have pips... how do they get the pip out?"
"Sorry darling?" Confused look from me to Gaye
"You know those men, the nice ones who help the ladies who don't have a Daddy to have a baby - how do they get the pip out?"
"Ohh you mean the seed, when a man donates a seed so someone can have a baby?"
"Yeah, how do they get that pip out of their pe*is"
(At this point I admit I couldn't hold it together, I got all giggly thinking of blokes and p**n in a small room at a clinic. I mean I really do try to be factual and straight forward with him about such things, but I was a bit confronted about this. I am ashamed to say that I fell on the when you grow up sword....)
"Darling it is kind of a grown up thing, the sort of thing that you learn as you grow up."
"Just tell me Mum, I don't care if it is a grown up thing, I want to know the truth"
"It is hard to explain really, you know how you just know how to do a wee? Well you will just know how to do this when you grow up"
"Does it hurt"
"Not even a bit, you just know you want to and so it comes out"
"Really, I get it. So you think about it and make it happen"
(We jumped on that boat let me tell you)
"Yes, that is it completely. When you are grown up your body will tell you how to make it happen and then you will be able to"
"Ahh right I totally get it"

Thursday, November 16, 2006

There is quite alot happening

but there are a few things that stand out from the last two weeks or so.

  • I got the all clear on my breast
  • We bought a house - which needs renovating and so I am interviewing project managers everyday this week. it looks nothing like the houses we have been looking at and it is in a slightly different area to where we have been looking, but we both feel really happy about it.
  • My Dad was completely gorgeous about the baby and came up to for a long promised visit to Gaye's work this week and it has been comfortable and easy
  • My sibilings have left messages for Gaye saying that they are really happy for her and look forward to reprising their roles as Uncle and Aunty.
  • My mum has not actually said anything negative (actually not said anything at all) about it and when she was here last week was polite with Gaye.
  • Thomas woke us up last week at 5:50am and had a conversation about christainity, evolution and reincarnation. With lots of tied up elements. His funniest comment was probably ‘well he didn’t live long then’ when told JC was born at Christmas and died at Easter. Closely followed by ‘well we were all monkeys and apes before anyway’ when untangling that some people believe that ‘JC rose again” and that some people believe in reincarnation. “Does that mean that I could be a fish and swim by my brother on the shore and say – look there is my brother?”
  • Thomas (although he has not been told yet about the baby) has been telling me all the reasons why a baby is a bad idea. His reasons are hilarious.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Telling my mother

For months now I have planned to tell my mother about the baby this weekend. We wanted to wait until we got past 14 weeks and it is after my mother’s birthday tomorrow. You see I know my mother is not going to be happy about the baby. Her basic objection to me being in a same sex relationship is that (apparently apart from basically thinking same sex relationships are immoral) she believes it is not a good environment for children. And she thinks it is bad for Thomas.

Not that long ago I had a good relationship with my mum, but somewhere along the way I suddenly realised that was probably because I hadn’t done anything to challenge her ideas about where and what I would be.

She isn’t a crazy Christian or a mad right-winger. She has been completely cool about meeting, hanging out with my gay and lesbian friends over the years, her and my Dad have a couple of their own who they hang out with. She is pro- land rights, has pro-migration and anti-war type views. I am pretty sure she has voted Green in the last few elections, she has walked to say ‘sorry’ to Aboriginal Australia, she is pro-choice.

When I told her about Gaye (I wrote her a letter which my Dad who is supportive gave to her) she didn’t speak to me for months. It really has taken the best part of two years for us to talk even close to normally and even now although she is perfectly polite to Gaye when she sees her, and we have stayed at her home together, she never actually asks me about Gaye when we talk on the phone or via email. And regularly there is this particular tone in her voice, which I can’t really describe, but it basically it is cold and disapproving. Not that long ago we used to talk 3 or 4 times a week. Not that long ago I felt supported and loved by her.

The onoing problem is despite feeling disappointed and angry with her, I do really love my Mum.

I tried (at my family’s urging) to be patient and understanding, to meet intolerance with tolerance. I continue to try (at Gaye’s urging) what she calls ‘lesbian desensitisation’ which basically involves mentioning Gaye and I as a family as often as possible. (Last we spoke I mentioned how the lady we are buying our house off said she was so happy to sell to such a lovely family for example).

I completely lost the plot about 10 months in and yelled at her for about an hour and half about being a mother who cared more about her ‘values’ than her feelings for me.

Things improved after that (in that she rang the house and started being pleasant to Gaye) and they have gradually got better. But I still morn the loss of my close and supportive relationship with my mum.

What I get out of our contact these days is related more to her relationship with Thomas (which I nurtured at every opportunity before and since) he loves her and she loves him in an open and joyful fashion.

I am so nervous about telling her about the baby. I haven’t told my brother or father either, as I don’t want to repeat the everyone else knowing before her scenario from last time. I am so nervous – cause although I know she won’t be I would love it if she was okay about it – and I am worried she will cut me off again and be cold and horrid.

And now my mother is coming to stay with my sister for a few days next week so there is no avoiding it any longer. It was going to be done this weekend, but now it must be and I feel sick and nervous about it.

I also feel like I want to tell her about the lump in my breast, I want her support but I can’t work out how to do both.