Thursday, April 21, 2011

All the Little People (Or, How I Quit My New Job in Just a Week)

I'm sure that if you've turned on your televisual communication device within the last year, no matter WHERE you live, there's a story somewhere about some schmuck in an educational field who's gotten either fired, reprimanded or firebombed for probably telling the absolute truth about what goes on in their classroom TO THE WHOLE INTERNET. My only thought, when seeing a story like that is, "Did they not think anyone was going to see that?" Those pesky kids. They're all about The Facebook.

Although I definitely set a personal record for the amount of time elapsed between being hired and deciding that my job was mind-bendingly awful and leaving (one week) I'm slightly wary about making the whole sordid tale a matter of public record due to the involvement of children. (not mine. well, one of mine, but lots of ones who weren't mine. who might have litigious parents.) However, since I will use no real names ( especially not the name or location of the center in question) and am no longer employed, I feel slightly less queasy about it.

When searching for a pre-school with the Prawn (who is now 4, by the way, sheesh.) when I first arrived, she initially attended a pre-school that I almost didn't leave her in on the first day. I opened the door to discover a perfectly crafted "nursery chaos" scene before me. Kids running rampant, throwing toys, hitting each other with anything they could lay their hands on AND the director's 11 year old son, who was in the classroom "helping". ("DYLAN! You can hit me, but not anyone else, okay?" NO! NOBODY GETS TO HIT!) Needless to say, she didn't stay long. Within a few months, I'd found her a place at another center, one that seemed a lot more structured and curriculum based. Less running, less throwing toys and no one espousing the virtues of physical violence. It is at this center that I was very briefly employed.

It's hard to know where to start. I like to think that I'm at least a little more careful than the average consumer. I check reviews for big purchases. But like a total dumbass, I let a nice lady (who, despite briefly being my boss, I still feel is a nice lady, albeit with a heart-attack inducing job) lead me down a corridor of brightly colored classrooms with happy looking children in them, use big educational type words and thought, "Wow, I want the Prawn to go HERE!" Of course, I now know that anyone who uses the word "curriculum" in conjunction with "pre-schoolers" has a bridge somewhere that they're trying to sell me because, even at the best of times, anyone under the age of five is truly one step from swinging through trees and flinging their own excrement at other people. (And that's my kids included. Don't think for a second that just because I love them that I believe my children to immune to shaved monkey behavior.)

My growing list of "people who need a slap" expanded once more in the short 5 days of my employment to include, "whoever made up the licensing regulation that stipulates that all children, even those 4 or 5 years of age, must be kept still and silent on a naptime cot for TWO WHOLE HOURS in the afternoon." The only explanation I can come up with is that the person or committee has never actually MET a 4 or 5 year old and so would not be aware that the only way to keep a child in this age bracket ANYWHERE for that long is to use nails. And even then, they'd have to be really BIG nails. The teachers in the center live in fear of those two hours because it is a non-stop battle of wills between frustrated and bored children and equally frustrated teachers, BOTH of whom would really, really like naptime to be over.

My shift began at the very start of these two witching hours and I provide breaks for the exhausted lead teachers. I was, on my first day, dumped headfirst and solo into nap time with little warning of what to expect. (Do you know how hard it is to keep the peace in a room where you don't know the children's names? Oh, yeah.) There were, of course, the obligatory 3 boys that desperately needed to be separated who I spent an entire hour telling over and over again that they needed to be respectful of their friends who were trying to get some sleep. (Oh, did I mention the happy, clappy discipline policy? Apparently, the "IF YOU DON'T SHUT YOUR SMART MOUTH, I WILL SHUT IT FOR YOU" method is NOT an approved style. )

The discipline style has a name, although I won't mention it as I don't exactly want to draw attention to this little diatribe from the wrong quarters, but lets just say that it involves "choices". And it's supposed to work something like this:

-Timmy is 4 years old and 4 year olds are insane, so he's standing on top of a table. First, one gives a statement of fact.

"Timmy, I see that you've climbed up on the table."

-The second step is to attach a totally made up and preferably totally understandable reason as to why the child has performed this unacceptable behavior. (This goes for really heinous crap like hitting and biting too) This is called "Positive Intent" and it is meant to show the child that they are not a bad person, but someone who has made a bad decision. Luckily, a group of Timmy's friends are playing on the other side of the library cart.

"You must have wanted to see what your friends were doing on the other side of the library cart."

-The third step is an explanation as to why the child needs to knock the behavior the hell off.

"Climbing up onto the table isn't safe because you could fall and hurt yourself or someone else."

-The fourth step is to guide the child into a positive alternative, even though they'd really like to keep standing on the table, thanks very much.

"Let's come down and see what your friends are doing on the other side of the library cart! Maybe you can join in whatever game they're playing."

Now, on the surface, this sounds like a reasonable strategy. Re-direction, at least, is a good weapon in any parent's arsenal. (Along with beer.) However, when dealing with 17 4 year olds intent on destruction of person, property and emotional well-being, you do not have time to use 4 disciplinary steps when just, "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, TIMMY, GET OFF THE FUCKING TABLE!" will suffice, because, at the same time, you also need to deal with Aiden and Markus who are in housekeeping hitting each other with ironing boards. This form of discipline takes time. And with that many children, there is no time.

This brings me to my biggest concern which was the sheer volume of children in the Prawn's classroom. While most public school classrooms are severely overcrowded, the children within them are older and are expected to have at least some small vestige of impulse control.

One of the only interesting bits of information in my week long training session included the fact that humans exist in three different states of being: Survival, Emotional and Executive. In Survival Mode, (rather obviously) we are concerned with whether or not we are going to last out the day. (Am I Safe?) In Emotional Mode, we are concerned with how we feel. (Am I Loved?) The Executive State is where we make decisions and do our learning. Apparently, humans are not fully capable of functioning in Executive Mode until the age of 24, so this certainly explains that time that I drank so much in college that I threw up in somebody's flower bed.

My point is that one should avoid putting one person in charge of 17 individuals that spend all of their time in Survival/Emotional Mode because truly, we're not just talking about no education taking place, but putting children in a situation where perhaps the answer to "Am I Safe?" is "No". During my week at training, 3 teachers at the center called in sick 2 days in a row. This resulted in the 3, 4 and 5 year olds (The Prawn being one of them) being combined into one class of 20 with one teacher looking after all of them. (A really quite gross violation of State licensing laws.)

I brought it up with the center manager when I got back, although it felt a little odd to be dancing the line between being a loyal employee and a concerned parent. "I wish I could say that this kind of thing won't happen again in the future, but it probably will," she said. "I certainly can't go to somebody's house and drag them into work, no matter how much I might want to." And while I realize that this was entirely true, it certainly had a lot to do with both my decision not to continue on there and to take the Prawn out as well.

I took the job to feel that I was being of some use. If I had to leave my children for 6 hours a day, I wanted my job to mean something. But it was obvious that the entirety of my job was to be based around being an assistant warden rather than an assistant teacher. 99% of what I did and what I would have continued to do in the future was scolding children who were a) committing a terrible act, b) committing the same terrible act for the 165th time or c) about to commit a TOTALLY NEW terrible act because they'd gotten tired of the first one. You can imagine my state of mind by the time I got home each evening, every nerve frayed and STILL had two children at home who are completely capable of committing terrible acts of their own to deal with.

I still feel a lot of guilt over my decision. I'm not the kind of person who quits a new job (especially one that's taken so bloody long to get) in a week, especially one that I was so enthusiastic about to begin with. Not only that, but I've removed the Prawn from her social network, familiar friends and teachers who she liked very much. (She'll be starting in a new and very acclaimed center in June) But at the end of the day, I suppose parenthood is like that; doing what's best even though it can be shitty. What I do know is that I don't wake up with a ball of lead in my stomach, knowing that I have to leave my kids to face another afternoon of shouting for a very low wage.

I DO wake up thinking, "What interesting things can we do today?"

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Anyone still out there?

I am most likely writing to the aether at this point, seeing as how my last entry was in MAY of LAST YEAR, but I just thought I might check in on the off chance that someone somewhere may still be listening.

Bullet points.

-Now firmly ensconced in the USA.

-The Prawn is enough of a person to know what sort of items are not allowed through airport security.

-The Squid (who has been rather unfortunately rechristened The Pig) is rapidly approaching her first birthday. Her favorite activities include screaming, wiping her face on the clothing of the nearest adult and not sleeping. Luckily, she is cute and this excuses most things. (However, I'd do just about anything for a full night's sleep.)

Pictures? Oh, yeah.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Starting Over

My mother in law once told me that she and my father in law were scheduled to attend what she described as a "Tea and Dick Party". Having not long been married to my husband, I was wondering if perhaps I would have to re-evaluate what I believed that I knew about my in-laws. The British are certainly not alone in their penchant for perversion, but the quaintness with which they endow it often makes it seem all the more sordid. It turned out that it was a party being thrown by two friends called Theresa and Richard, which was vaguely disappointing.

At one of these parties, one of the male guests related the story of his first sexual encounter, which took place in a rather picturesque wood. Apparently, at the Moment of Truth, the gentleman in question suddenly experienced an excruciating pain in his feet which he took to be par for the course for The Nasty. It was not until several moments later that he realized that his legs were sticking out onto a public footpath and he had, in fact, been run over by a bicycle.

I always think of this story when I venture into the bluebell woods on the nearby Ashridge Estate. (Not only do I have this lovely anecdote to draw on, but during one of Mr. DD's and my trips to the woods while dating, we encountered a couple who obviously had the same idea, making the sightseeing slightly awkward.) Luckily, when I stopped by to take in the sights last month with The Squidlette, our fellow wood-goers were more likely to be worried about the state of their sock-suspenders rather than whether or not anyone could see their bare ass rising above the flowers.

The arrival of the bluebells every year has always filled me with hope. Although I've spent many seasons trotting amongst the blooms in heavy sweaters, they've always heralded the start of warmer weather and long, light evenings. This year, the sea of blue filled me with a slight melancholy, knowing that it may be the last time I see them, for who knows when I may next be in England during bluebell season.

Although Mr. DD and I have always known that we'd someday be leaving the UK for a life in America, now that it is only weeks rather than years until we go, it's brought little things into sharp focus. Like how much we'll miss family and friends. How we'll explain the dramatic life change to the Prawn. And how, in three years, we've gone from having precisely SQUAT to having an attic groaning under the weight of our belongings.

One of our tasks of the past weeks has been to cement both the Prawn and Squid's claim to US citizenship which, of course, meant a trip to London to the US Embassy who's security and imposing nature make it the ideal place for a fun day out with a toddler and newborn. (Not to mention the extremely child friendly appointment time of 9 am.) Squidlette got the morning off to a roaring start by staging a total meltdown in the car in some of worst London traffic I've seen since it took us 3 hours to go 2 miles once while taking my parents to visit the Tower. The "Bucket" (the word we use to refer to her carseat) was a magical device for the Prawn; pop her in and all was right with the world. It's spell would lull her to sleep and keep her that way until she was unceremoniously removed upon our arrival at home. The Squid, however, merely tolerates The Bucket and a traffic jam on the M1 pretty much tested her tolerance to breaking point. Said meltdown required me to unbuckle my seatbelt, lean over into the backseat and try to stick a bottle into the orifice that was creating the noise, all the while enduring funny looks from slowly passing fellow motorists and a barrage of "WHATCHA DOIN MUMMY?" from the Prawn.

After arriving nearly 45 minutes late for our appointment, a fairly long spell in a hot waiting room that has apparently remained unchanged since the Eisenhower administration was enough for the Prawn's patience to wear paper thin and on the way out she chose to become an immovable object on the subjects of a) wearing shoes b) holding hands and c) remaining vertical, necessitating Mr. DD to carry her, screeching, across several busy intersections while I crossed at pedestrian crossings with Squidlette and for a few brief moments was able to pretend like I had nothing to do with the wailing banshee across the street.

Our pain, however, was not all for naught and has yielded two small, blue books that now declare both Squid and Prawn to be US citizens, entitled to all of the rights, privileges and opportunities to buy cheaper products imported from China that goes along with it.

Mr. DD's visa process has been substantially more complicated. While it has NOT, in fact involved a Hollywood style simultaneous questioning in two separate rooms to determine whether or not we are aware of the other's favorite colors (after nearly 11 years and two children, we would have the least convenient marriage of convenience EVER.) it HAS entailed rather a lot of complicated paperwork and and a not insubstantial sum of cash. However, we are now down to the last hurdle of his interview which is booked for mid-July and we are at least marginally certain that it won't involve any probing beyond those questions that the embassy official will put to him. We hope to be re-united Stateside in early August.

The reason for the girls and my early departure, (apart from the fact that packing everything up will be much simpler without a small person questioning why all of her toys are being sealed up inside a cardboard box) has a lot to do with an unpleasant dispute with our downstairs neighbor; a woman who is sadly afflicted with cancer of the personality. While I don't wish to go into extreme detail, suffice to say, she has become only the second person my enormously mild-mannered husband has ever had a shouting match with in his life (the first being a stripper on my brother in law's stag do) and that existence in this apartment has become rather like living above a bridge with a troll underneath; a grossly overweight troll with a hatred for children and a propensity for revealing clothing, door slamming, sleeping til 4 in the afternoon and drinking heavily during the day.

Neither Mr. DD or I are fans of conflict, so despite the fact that we're not in the wrong, we're simply removing ourselves from the situation. I learned long ago that there is no "winning" against a thoroughly unreasonable personality and the only way to resolve the conflict is to walk away. Although it may give her pleasure to see us go, it is unequalled by the pleasure that I will gain in never having to see her face again in my life and the knowledge that just being her is punishment enough. Mr DD is rather anxious for us to leave on that account as we're fairly sure she is unaware of the fact that there's a guitar amplifier up here that could put cracks in the foundation of the building.

It's weird to think about going home after 11 years overseas. There are overtones of "leaving home" that I've not experienced since I was 18 and it occurs to me that repatriation is going to carry some of the initial challenges that I faced in 1999 when I relocated to the UK shortly before Mr. DD and I got married. Being American doesn't automatically prepare you for life in America, especially after over a decade abroad. When I think of the naive and easily offended creature that appeared on these shores all those years ago it is hard to believe that that same woman is returning to her country of origin a) with 7 more tattoos and two more children than she left with b) a far more cynical approach to everything and c) vaguely concerned that she might say something wildly offensive at any moment. It's all going to be about re-learning how to fit in. (and trying to keep the word "wanker" out of my vocabulary)

I've thought for years about "going home". While I still know that America is where we want to be, I realize more than ever that the UK has been just as much a home to me as the US ever was. My children were born here. Half of my family is here. THAT'S what makes a home, more than borders or nationalities.

And I will miss it deeply.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Two kids.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Birth Story, Take Two.

I remember writing The Prawn's birth story some 3 years ago from a fairly bad place on the other side of a birth experience that was utterly unexpected and traumatic. Over the last few days, I've devoted a very small portion of my brain (the only part not occupied by washing, feeding, expressing, disciplining and, on occasion, breathing in and out.) trying to figure out how I felt about my experience this time around.

In the first place, I didn't bother with a birth plan. While expecting the Prawn, I spent one very long evening composing a rather detailed plan for her birth which I responsibly printed out and included in the folder of notes that I took to the hospital. This piece of paper was instantly discarded and used as firelighters when it became apparent that the Prawn was having NONE of that labor shit and that she was QUITE HAPPY just where she was, thank you, necessitating the medical SAS to stage a uterine incursion to extract her. This experience taught me that that once you are caught in the current of the hospital system, it is best to behave as a very pregnant twig and follow where it leads. Knowing also that a Caesarian was on the cards this time around made it seem even more pointless to try to dictate the terms of The Squid's arrival when I myownself wasn't really going to have much to do with it other than turning up in an open backed hospital gown, showing my ass to the anesthetist, lying back and then marveling at the sensation of not being able to wiggle my toes.

The Rock Star and I arrived at the hospital unfortunately early due to my insistence that we were supposed to be there at quarter TO seven as opposed to quarter PAST seven, so we spent 15 rather whispery minutes sitting in an all too familiar cubical and surrounded by the all too familiar curtains with the all too familiar sights of Aylesbury and the surrounding areas. (Although this time around, I noticed that one of the buildings depicted was in the complex where I work) Of course, the catch phrase of the hospital is "hurry up and wait", so had a fair amount of time to get reacquainted with the local sights before called down to the theatre.

Unlike my visit to the theatre with the Prawn, I walked in under my own power, getting a really quite detailed look at all of the instruments that would be being used shortly to expose my insides to daylight. Perhaps it was this fact or the fact that we'd been waiting for nearly 25 minutes in a very hot hallway, but the proceedings did NOT get off to the best start when the very talented anesthetist (to whom I felt much indebted later) put a relatively simple cannula in the back of my hand, and I pretty much nearly fainted like a big girl. My thoughts, through my rapidly diminishing field of vision, was that this was NOT a good start, considering what was to come.

During the Prawn's birth, I did not have the luxury of a spinal block. The epidural that I had been enjoying the services of for 12 hours or so was simply topped up for the surgery. While epidurals are great for blocking out labor pains, they are not ideal for being attacked with sharp surgical implements and towards the end of the surgery, I started to get some sensation back at a rather inopportune moment, requiring me to be put under for the duration of the procedure. Because of this, it was AGES before I actually got any bonding time with the Prawn. The anesthetist was dead set that I should make it through this procedure awake and to make sure of it, gave me a fairly heavy dose of the numb stuff. So heavy, in fact, that I was not ENTIRELY sure they had begun the operation until suddenly I heard a baby crying and was informed that it was, in fact a girl. (Which both the Rock Star and I were hugely relived about as we had a) neglected to choose a name for a boy and b) had a large drawer of pink clothes waiting at home.)

Of course, because this is me. this is around the time that things started to go wrong.

The Squid was bundled up tightly and given to The Rock Star and I got a full 3 minutes or so of gazing adoringly at my new daughter's face before it became apparent to me that all was not going completely well on the other side of the curtain, where bits of me that had never seen the light of day lay open to the elements.

First I was hot. Then very cold. Then incredibly sick. The Rock Star informed me that the anesthetist was very busy twiddling buttons behind my head, trying to keep ahead of my plunging blood pressure and the nausea that resulted from the blood pressure medication. The junior and senior registrars were called into theatre due to the fact that things were going a bit pear shaped in the uterus contracting department. Despite the fact that I was now completely numb and no longer about to pass out or throw up, I could tell that there was a fair amount of pulling, tugging and shoving going on. The Rock Star was made to clear out of the way and was standing on the other side of the theatre with The Squid looking nervous. However, I didn't really notice any of these things as I was just so grateful to feel absolutely nothing.

Things finally DID come under control, albeit after some major bruising and blood loss and I was wheeled into the recovery room where I was able to hold the Squid. But what kind of birth experience would it be without a little MORE drama? One of the theatre nurses noticed that the Squid was making a rather demure squeaking sound which was not par for the course as far as newborns go. A consultant from pediatrics was dispatched forthwith and agreed that they'd like to have a little bit of observation time in the NICU. Of course, this is the news that NO new parent wants to hear, but as shot away as I was, I was keen for her to be looked after as well as she needed to be, so rather reluctantly surrendered her to a pair of blue scrubs and asked another midwife if, since they were taking my baby, could I please FOR THE LOVE OF GOD have a glass of water as I'd not drunk anything since the night before? I then proceeded to ignore advice to drink slowly and nearly drowned due to the fact that my diaphragm was in a spinal block induced coma and was temporarily unavailable for lung clearing activities.

It was, in fact, several hours before the Squid was returned to our be-curtained cubicle back on the ward. The Rock Star was valiantly trying to keep a full fledged freak out from occurring when they finally wheeled her back in, looking rather pitiful with a My Very First Cannula sticking out of her tiny left hand. We were informed that she'd been started on a course of precautionary anti-biotics and given a chest x-ray ("Welcome to the world. ZAP!") to make sure there was no infection lingering about. They were fairly sure she'd just gotten a snootful of fluid as many babies delivered by Caesarian do, but they wanted to be 100% sure.

Thus began again a rather traumatic time on the wards, much as I'd remembered it from the Prawn's birth. I would simply like to re-iterate the fact that whoever thought it was an awesome idea to stick 6 post op women AND their babies in the same room for a minimum of 2 nights should be promptly found and set on fire.

One thing that had definitely changed was the speed at which the hospital was intent on getting Caesarian patients out of beds and out of their hair. With the Prawn, I remember begging every nurse and doctor that passed me if they could PLEASE GOD TAKE OUT THIS GODDAMMED CATHETER only to be told that I had to wait for someone very senior in charge to give them the go- ahead. However, this time around Operation Mobility was sincerely in force and midwives were working furiously to get those of us who had just undergone major abdominal surgery walking around again so we didn't keep hitting the Call button every time our new offspring sneezed. Unfortunately for me, while I was able to get out of bed fairly soon, due to some unexplained internal bleeding, I was equipped with what was rather simply called "a drain". For those not acquainted with this particular post-surgical apparatus, I shall spare you a detailed description save for the fact that it is deeply unpleasant to have to carry around a bag of fluids that are currently leaking out of you via an opening that, up until 24 hours previous, did not actually exist. And if I thought having it IN was bad, this was nothing compared to taking it OUT. This was done by a very kind midwife who was just as surprised as I was that the surgical team had left approximately half a mile of tubing in my innards which, at the end, whipped out rather suddenly, tagging what felt like every organ I owned on the way and causing me to yelp like a stuck pig. Oh, the indignity.

Unusually enough, my sister in law was on the maternity ward at the same time as I was. Sometime during my second day, The Rock Star texted his brother asking whether they were upstairs yet and discovered that they were, in fact, behind a set of curtains on the other side of the room with our new niece, who has been affectionately christened "Wubba", born less than 24 hours later than the Squid. Luckily, the midwives were on the ball and two women with identical surnames and nearly identical addresses in the same bay caused little to no consternation or pharmaceutical mishaps. Although I would not have wished a c-section on Trumpet, it was rather nice to have someone to text across the ward at 3 am when a VERY young woman was brought up with a new baby who proceeded to scream ALL NIGHT. It's mother, not possessed with much in the way of initiative, took to tapping half heartedly on the plastic cot beside her bed rather than pressing the buzzer for the nurse who could have been of some assistance. Trumpet referred to the ward as "Guantanamo Bay for new mothers".

Round about Friday, when I was ready to pack my bags to go home, we were dealt another blow to our morale when a pediatric doctor said that although all of the blood cultures were negative, they were awful gosh darn sorry, but they'd forgotten to have a good look at that pesky chest x-ray very closely and due to what they saw, they were keen to keep The Squid in for two more nights to complete the course of anti-biotics. Not only this, but due to a miscommunication with the NICU, the Squid's cannula had already been removed, meaning that my 3 day old daughter would have to have a second ENORMOUS FREAKING NEEDLE inserted into her hand. Not only THAT, but THIS time, I got to be the one to hold her tiny arm still while they did it, making me feel even more like Mother of the Year.

This of course, also meant two more nights in for ME. By this point, I was beyond tired; not due to the Squid, (who spent rather a lot of time sleeping) but rather to the lack of opportunity to have ANY peace and quiet for 2 nights running. I don't mind saying that this lead to an absolute melt-down on my part- the idea of two more nights on the wards were more than I could bear. However, I was kindly offered one of the private side rooms for the duration of my stay so that I might actually be afforded half an hour here and there to catch 40 winks. So while still in the depths of despair at having to remain in hospital, the idea of a private room made it slightly more palatable.

I was feeling especially desperate due to the fact that I'd hoped to be home for the Prawn's birthday on Sunday. In an uncharacteristic burst of foresightedness, I'd wrapped all of the Prawn's presents before leaving for hospital, so it wasn't much work for the Rock Star to gather them up and bring them to my little room along with the Prawn so that we could have a birthday of sorts in hospital. This was probably way more depressing for me than it was for the Prawn, who was thrilled with a bounty of Peppa Pig merchandise and a gingerbread man to munch on. While I felt terrible at making her share her birthday with me and her new sister in a clean but wholly sterile environment, she was quite happy to run around and try to find a moment when the two of us weren't looking to press the "CPR" button on my bed control.

We were finally given the all clear to leave on Monday morning. While I had visions of being made to wait until sometime in the afternoon for the drug trolley to rumble my way, I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted in the morning by an enthusiastic midwife who'd obviously been informed about the melting down earlier in the week and had made it her mission to get me out of that ward as fast as humanly possible, so by the time The Rock Star arrived at 11 for visiting hours, both the Squid and I were packed, dressed, in possession of powerful painkillers (those were for me) and ready to get the HELL out of there.

Life since the hospital has been blessedly easy in comparison to what I was actually expecting, although both the Rock Star and I are waiting for the penny to drop. As far as sibling rivalry goes, The Prawn has pretty much been acting like your garden variety 3 year old with a burr up her tailpipe, but none of her acting out has actually been DIRECTED at her new sister, who she seems to be surprisingly well disposed towards. As for the Squid, she does rather a lot of sleeping and remarkably little shouting, although she has drenched both of her parents in bodily fluids various, but since this is par for the course for newborns, we shall not hold it against her. In the hospital, I took to calling her "Spitty Frog" due to some highly comical amphibian-style faces she was wont to pull. Upon her return home, we christened ourselves "The Itty Bitty Spitty Committee", which, let me tell you, sounds HILARIOUS coming out of the mouth of a 3 year old.

We are well, but tired. Happy, but exhausted. And we are a complete family.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Squid and the Prawn

Just wanted to post a quick picture of my girls. I've not decided if the look on the Prawn's face is cute or an expression of "just wait until you're looking in the other direction and this thing is SO going to be covered in permanent marker."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Arrival

Eleanor Kestrel Anne arrived at 1pm on Wednesday, March 17th- 7 lbs, 13 oz. More to come when mama and baby manage to make it out of hospital! :)