Burnt Toast………..

It’s funny, isn’t it? How a smell can spark a thousand memories: A perfume or aftershave can transport you back to your teenage angst & sweetheart crushes? Perhaps a tropical flower may remind you of a foreign land. How about the smell of home? & I mean your ‘family’ home. Well, mine has got to be burnt toast. To say my dad likes his food well cooked, is an understatement: Beef needs to be charcoaled to within an inch of existence. & Toast? Burnt, with a layer of crisp & crunch, only achieved by setting off the smoke alarms & doing the ‘tea towel’ fanning dance (the one where you’re wafting a tea towel in the air, below the alarm to disperse the smoke).

I know this smell probably drives my mum bonkers, but to me, there really is nothing quite like it, guaranteed to always makes me smile.

I’ve written before about how as parents, we’re seen as ‘superhuman’ to our children, & I openly admit, I hold my parents on this pedestal (‘what d’ya mean, you’re not invincible? How dare you not be!’) View Post

Remembering To Remember & Trying To Forget….

Remembering to remember & trying to forget: navigating the emotional rollercoaster of being a parent.

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Now, if only i could remember….& then forget!


Everybody is probably aware of those ‘viral’ articles on the web about ‘You know you’re a mom when’. Now, I’m not using these examples to spark a debate, that’s for other folk to do. Nope, I’m going to hold my hands up & admit I ticked the box for a number of these ‘examples’! The one that occurs frequently in Cool Bananas HQ is: Laundry. I’ve lost count of the multiple times spent rewashing the same load, because I always forget to remove it from the machine! & With a toddler ruling the roost, I can hardly blame ‘baby brain’ for this now.

Then it occurred to me: once we all become parents (fathers included) something odd happens to our memory. There are certain aspects from this magical pilgrimage of raising wild ones children, which remain crystal clear: You’ll never forget them, & you can recall certain events with such clarity-creating a crisp image & an entertaining story. View Post

A Mother’s Touch

A Mother’s touch

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A tender kiss, a soft hug. Such simple caring gestures, yet in the eyes of a child you’re a miracle worker: There is nothing you can’t fix with a sprinkle of love & cuddles, right?

It goes without saying, there is nothing more gut wrenchingly difficult than seeing the fruit of you loins beside themselves in agony. View Post

The Confessions from a ‘Creature of Habit’…

Routine & The confessions from A Creature of Habit…

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We’ve all heard the term being a ‘creature of habit’ thrown around in our somewhat hectic lives. I’d always thought some Psychologist type had coined this phrase: & therefore I’d always conjure up an image of a judgey pants doctor (of sorts) peering down their nose, implying that for my confession of being a said ‘creature of habit’ I had a bad case of OCD, perhaps it signified ‘control’ issues or some other psychotherapy babble.

I felt a sense of relief  & the pokey eyes of judgment disappear, when I discovered then, that this phrase appears to have originated from an America Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs. Most famed perhaps for his creation of the jungle hero ‘Tarzan’ (Although, I am aware the Greek- philosopher–scientist-dude Aristotle said something similar a few years before, aw you know some time B.C!)

Many of us seek solace in our most simple & mundane daily routines: we create these to help form some sense of ‘order amongst the chaos’. Having children is a life altering experience: the good, the bad, & the ugly. You’re entering a whole new world of unpredictability.

One thing guaranteed, is a helluva change!

Given my idiosyncrasies, I’m a slight contradiction unto myself: As much as I desire routine, when Bear appeared in our life I became more relaxed, content to just go with the flow. The pace at which our children grow & change is something I will never properly adjust to: they’re adapting to the big bad world on a daily basis. I love & cherish all the different stages & transitions: the modifications Bear makes of his own accord, to his routine.

milk, routine, cool bananas, cool bananas blogIn this instance, drinking his milk in the morning:

Lord Snotface is very particular, bossy, demanding even. & Up until a few weeks ago he had to have his white stuff snuggling with me (only mummy) on ‘mummy’s chair’: within seconds of emerging downstairs otherwise all hell would break loose! I adored these early morning bonding moments, a time for peace & where I felt mildly needed by my ‘baby bear’. Then, suddenly one day this changed, definitely more ‘bear’ & less ‘baby bear’ now, he decided to take the independent leap to sit on his own, in his lambskin adorned rocking chair. No more sitting with mummy for morning milky!

Mikl, milky, routine, cool bananas, cool bananas blogHe will insist to remain zipped up all snug in his sleepbag, plonks himself into his chair & requests to watch ‘PotManPat’ (postman pat) ,‘TomTommy’ (Thomas) or ‘KipKip’ (kipper the dog). He has to have his dumdum & Mussie in close proximity, which only he is allowed to move, & his bottle must be placed on the floor besides him-just so, for him to scoop up (I did say he was very particular!)

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cool bananas, cool bananas blogMy heart melts, completely & utterly. This is one of those mundane rituals I spoke of, such a small insignificant action for most-but to me it demonstrates a huge step towards independence.

Such an ‘evolution’ is tinged with sadness for me, I’m feeling less desired by him, one more chapter in Mr. squishy-pants life has been & now gone- far too quickly, as always (remember that bit I said about the pace at which sprogletts change? This is it-here).

I Confess, there are aspect of this routine change I’m learning to embrace & *whispers* enjoy. Regaining the use of my arms: the ability to make a tea & actually managing to drink it.  Popping a slice of toast in to cook & taking a few bites before ‘Mummy! SHARE!’ is bellowed at me (I told you, he’s demanding!)

Despite perpetual changes & challenges that present themselves through the joys of having children, I’m happy to go with the flow & accept the ‘inconvenience of change’. I think I’ve learnt to be a chameleon & adapt, constantly. An element of me will always remain a little OCD,  & I’m still a self-confessed control freak: My new philosophy is, welcome to my ‘Organised Chaos’!

What are your ‘creature of habit’ routines & rituals that you just can’t be without, or new ones you’ve learnt to run with?

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Separation Pains

Separation Pains-The first night away from bear

This week has been a complete mixture of bittersweet memories & emotions for me: on the one hand I’ve been put through the mill of surgery, recovery & my very first night away from bear *sob*. Yet on the other hand, I’ve experienced complete elation to find out I’ve been shortlisted for a blogging award (I feel like one of the cool kids for a change!) Two completely opposite sides of the ‘emotional’ spectrum there, I think you’d agree? In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure if any of these events from the past week have quite sunk in just yet (I’m blaming the darn anaesthetic!).

ordinary moment, hospital, bibs, awards, cool bananas, cool bananas blogChoosing to write down & record this perfectly ordinary moment of my very first night spent away from bear, is one that I’m so pleased to have captured, but I’m painfully aware may cause a stir amongst y’all out there: For I cannot count the amount of times others have deemed it necessary to criticise me for not doing this sooner (bear is 2)- fellow parents & non parents alike. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for opinions: Opinions are great, they make the world go round & life more interesting. But, please, it is perfectly acceptable to Agree to disagree….I am not a child, please do not tell me what I should or shouldn’t do: I’ve developed a coping mechanism for reacting to these do-gooders: Smile & nod, smile & nod. Rant over, lets continue!

Please understand this: I have no problem with parents who are happy & comfortable to leave their precious kiddisquinkles in the capable hands of rellies or babysitters overnight-in fact kudos to them. I applaud you for being brave & confident enough to do this. Truth be told, I’m a bit of a control freak & my OCD kinda flips into overdrive at the thought of bear’s routine going out of sink. Oh & I find it really really difficult to trust people. Yup folks, I’ve got trust issues (quick send me to the Therapy chair!).

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Image credit.

I’ve also had no need or desire to be apart from snotface at night. No offers have presented themselves which have been too good to refuse: a 5* spa break, a weekend away to the sun? Nope. So frankly I’ve been happy to return home to the comfort of my own bed. I’ve just not been emotional ready to face it & I guess I’ve actually been putting it off.

On Tuesday I had to have some planned surgery, all rather routine to the medical world but a teeny bit daunting to me nonetheless. Scheduled as ‘day surgery’ I expected to return home on the same day & naïvely thought that being the fit & healthy gal I am, I’d bounce back immediately & return to normality pronto! Oh Katrina….tut tut, that was so wrong. I didn’t head into theatre until late afternoon, so it was obvious early on this ‘day surgery’ case would likely overspill slightly. I had difficulty recovering & awakening from the anaesthetic. Is it wrong that I was actually kinda looking forward to a little bit of peaceful sleep? (& Even 5 days post op, I’m still feeling very spaced out) I physical couldn’t move, couldn’t drink or eat. & For a control freak like moi this is not a good place to be, thank goodness then I was far too woozy to absorb most of this.

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The decision to stay in hospital overnight therefore was taken out of my hands, & despite being drugged up to my eyeballs, even I could see this was the best decision given the circumstances. A drip had to be administered & constant obs taken throughout the night (What happened to my dreamy thought of a perfectly serene sleep?!)

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My bed for the night….

Given my hesitance (or perhaps that should be defiance) to leave bear overnight, I was pleasantly surprised by my reaction: I felt perfectly happy & calm for this to occur. Admittedly, there wasn’t really much leeway on the decision & I believe ultimately this assisted in calming my nerves.

Although the situation surrounding my first night of ‘child’ separation left a slightly bitter taste in my mouth, it’s given me the assurance to know that I can cope with a bit of distance between us. Bear was fine, he didn’t fall apart (or break) & he managed to stay out of too much mischief. The lesson I’ve learned, which in reality I’ve known all along is: It’s me, not him. It’s my insecurities, worries & ‘mothers guilt’ that have held me back & apprehended me thus far from longer stints of ‘me’ time. I knew it would just be a matter of time before it felt right to leave him, & even though it wasn’t out of choice or an enjoyable ‘night’ for me, secretly I’m really proud of myself.

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Everyone’s circumstances & situations will vary, & of course sometimes these will dictate time spent away from your little munchkins: Work demands naming but one obstacle. & I Take my hat off to all of you whom find yourself in this predicament, who either out of choice or not, are able to part ways with your babies or toddlers for days, even weeks at a time. I pass no judgments; instead I admire your emotional strength. You most certainly won’t hear me offering ‘words of wisdom’, I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer to this dilemma, & it’s a case of ‘different strokes, for different folks’. People should remain with an open mind & offer support, rather than a critique the choices we make.

The burning question is: am I looking forward to my next ‘night of freedom’? & Actually, my answer is yes: I’ll remain optimistic for that 5* spa break!!

How did you endure on your first night of separation, did you procrastinate as I? Or are you one of the bold I slightly envy for taking the plunge sooner?

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Check out all the other ‘Ordinary moments’ with Katie at MummyDaddymeMakesThree