Happy Birthday Dear Glamorouse…Back to where it all began

Now Kim and I had some plans for this birthday week, honestly we did, but you know what they say: life’s what happens while you’re busy making plans. So while there’s every good chance Kim will still show up here sometime between now and midnight, I can’t risk leaving this momentous day uncommemorated (is that a word? help me Suse!).

Inspired by the long note I got today from our twins’ pre-school, about the ‘reflective practice’ in which the carers were ‘engaging’ to ‘enhance your child’s learning voyage’, I thought a little reflection was a nice way to spend this Glam birthday.

In black text: the first ever post on this blog; in plum italic text, reflective notes to enhance your blogging voyage…

Working from home in Marrickville, only the pilots can hear you scream
June 6, 2005

A quick note here to once again thank the lovely Angie for making this blog so darn purty now – it’s a long, long way from the original!

Today is Monday, as they say on Playschool, and on Monday Mummy works at home. On most of the other days Mummy (that’s me, Bec) works in an office. Offices are quiet, controlled and have ergonomic chairs for my enormous bottom. On Mondays there is quiet only during Playschool and naptime; the only control is the power my two youngest children now have to extract any form of snack food from me when I am on the phone (the old point and shout method, an important developmental milestone in most child-rearing texts); and the chair focus shifts to the opposite side of my bottom as first one, then the other, two year old inserts him or herself onto my lap in order to “Hep you wiff your wurk”.

These days I don’t work at home – I finally worked a deal where I finish early on Monday and Tuesday and pick up all three kids at the end of school/pre-school and deal with media calls on the mobile without having to pretend to be productive in my home office… The working from home thing became increasingly impossible when the Gorgeous Boy and Sparkle Twin dropped their afternoon naps. For the first time in my working life (with a history of doing excessive hours in every job I’ve ever had) I feel like I’m working towards some kind of balance.

Oh, but the bottom? still enormous, and the GB and Sparkle still want to be between me and the screen. Good news: they have mastered the letter ‘l’ in help.

In homage to the first blog of the most wonderful Heather Armstrong (http://www.dooce.com/), here are some of the reasons that I should not be allowed to work from home.

Can no longer read Ms Armstrong, although I’m sure she’s still wonderful at what she does. The last couple of times I tried I was so bedazzled by the jetsetting life that blog fame bought her that I nearly puked with jealousy and I quickly skipped back to real life. Shallow, I’m all about the shallow.

It’s 12 past 4 in the afternoon and I’m wearing the yoga pants I slept in last night. I’ve been wearing them during several highly complicated, professional phone calls.I kept them on when I went out for the pre-nap wear-out-the-toddlers walk, too. I may still be in them tomorrow.It’s now 16 past 4 and I have lost count of how many times my littlest girl has watched the Hooley Dooleys today.

The yoga pants would be on right now except they’re 3/4 length and it’s colder than a witch’s tit here right, with apologies to any warm-breasted witches who may be reading this tonight.
Between television, snack food, pre-nap walk, nap, more snack food and more television, the three of us somehow get through this Monday each week.Sometime in the next couple of hours my husband will walk through the door with The Pea Princess, and he will give me that whatdidyoudoallday look. Having worked from home himself with our double contribution to the 21st Century baby boom, he won’t actually mean whatdidyoudoallday, but he won’t be able to stop the look. It’s hardwired.

This has changed a little, too. The Prof and I have made a big effort to understand one another better this year past. It’s not always been easy as, what with the 21st Century baby boom and all, there’s been many a “who are you and what the fuck are doing in my life?” moment. We’re coming out of the awful fog of needy infants and the draining physical drudgery they bring and starting to really enjoy these little people we have made. What we had to do then was to find a way to enjoy being the people that parenthood has made us. We’re getting there. Mostly.

He won’t so much walk through the door as negotiate a path. As I sit here, surrounded by the pieces of four separate Pooh Bear jigsaw puzzles, three newspapers, five of the kids’ artworks (three of them screwed up into long paintbrush shapes and dipped into the breakfast milk to make the last two), the breakfast milk itself, two jumpers, a scarf, two half-squashed boxes of tissues, and what I’ve just discovered are the missing pair of Chloe’s tights squashed into the printer feeder tray, I kinda wonder whatdidIdoallday, too.

Domestic paradise: do you love the smell of old lunch box contents? long for the soft caress of dog hair underfoot? yearn to solve the mystery of the twelve white ankle socks that can’t form a single matching pair? Come to Casa GlamorouseBec, we’ll make all your dreams come true.

And the final reason I should not be allowed to work from home is that at the office the only stuff in the fridge is flat champagne, soy milk and someone’s well-intentioned skinny salad dressing. I think I’ll save the whole Monday EATING issue for another time – it’s too ugly to write down just now.

Guess what? The work-from-home eating issue? Still too ugly to share.

Shortly, I hope, I will be joined here in Glamorouse by the lovely Kim, who is a few months short of delivering her own One For The Country ( http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2004/s1261874.htm),

it’s tempting to put a proper hotlink in here, just because I now know how, but for the sake of future internet archeologists I won’t tamper with this priceless relic of the past.

and who also knows the joys of working both from home and from the lovely quiet office, and who, like me, has tried and failed to keep a solo blog on account of all the evil rage that tends to pour out of Us Women when we send our diaries online.Our theory is that doing a double act will make us less like Virginia Woolf and more like Bridget Jones – dry instead of dour, and only depressed in a cute and peppy sort of way with far less dependence on prescription drugs.

And here’s hoping she’ll be back again too. Even though that original cutesy sign-off of mine about the prescription drugs is sounding a little rank just now.

I guess a blog can’t fix everything, but it can sure take you to some interesting neighbourhoods while you’re waiting for the fix to come in.

So, if you made it this far, to post 667 of Glamorouse, I thank you for your persistence, your patience, your good humour and your bad moments, and all the other things that make it fun to hang around, talking about me and mine with you and yours.