Although life started to come back into focus at around the four month point and I actually began enjoying M’s company, for many more months whole weeks simply disappeared to naps, destruction derby sorry mealtimes, bottles, baths, naps, etc. etc.
Don’t get me wrong; just because it’s been a foggy year doesn’t mean it’s been bad. It’s definitely been challenging - having a baby on a very tight budget in a foreign country AND while one parent is in the throes of thesis-writing was never going to be a walk in the park. But it’s also been interesting, rewarding and thrilling.
Interesting, for example, to see how he copes with three (yes, three!) different languages. Rewarding when we finally realised we were doing an alright job and he’s pretty happy to hang out with us. Thrilling to watch him learn New Stuff and conquer his little universe (giving it all a good chew in the process).
So after all the fog, what will 2014 bring? I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions, but I do have some general hopes and goals for this year.
Have more FUN.
Fun as a little family, without The Thesis hanging over our heads any longer. Fun in Italy, now that we’ve decided to stay an extra 18 months. Which definitely means more day trips to the lakes, weekends away to the countryside, and even having FUN on a BEACH down south, if we can get it sorted out. Whoop!
Or whether we’re actually staying here permanently. Technically we have until mid-2015 to work this out, but for the past year the conversation has gone like this:
“Where do you want to live?”
“I don’t know it depends on where I find work”
“Well where do you think there is work?”
“I don’t know, tell me where you want to live and I’ll look there”
So I reckon we’d better get a head start.
Care less, be positive, trust more.
Care less about everyone else’s obsession with the Bean’s sleep. Care less about what the other mummies and daddies who always look so stylish and damn MILANESE think. Care less about whether I’m going to forget to make M’s clothes match, make him eat every nutrient under the sun in a single day, or ensure everything is an Interesting Learning Experience (the curse of being a former preschool teacher...).
Be positive about my abilities as a mum. Be positive about continuing to make connections with people whose parenting style doesn't always match ours and whose sense of humour we don't always understand, but who are all worth getting to know.
Trust that the Bean is fine the way he is, and that he’ll do everything in his own sweet time, thank you very much.
Remember there’s also a Mr&Mrs P&P.
I need to move beyond my obsessive love affair with the Bean. And Mr. P&P will have to realise there is more to life than Matlab, Latec and whatever else he tinkers around with all day (and, until T-day, a fair few hours of the night). The search for a good babysitter is on...
And finally, get to grips with some random conundrums.
Like how to upcycle the gorgeously soft Nattou sleeping bag I bought for the Bean (in the sales, of course), but which he patently refuses to sleep in. Heck I'd get in it myself if I could!