I have enjoyed blogging so much this year. It has been a year of “more” for me. The blog has opened up doors to new friends, faces and ideas. I’ve learned so much and written so much. Looking back on all my posts during the year, it’s such a shock to see how much has happened in the last twelve months and also how quickly we forget things or our mind distorts time. I spotted a post I wrote in April that I was convinced I’d written in the middle of last year! Continue reading 2013, what a year!→
It’s that lovely time of year again when people switch off and really concentrate on spending quality time with family and friends. We’re winding down here ourselves chez Mind The Baby and looking forward to a lovely Christmas with the very first kinda sorta maybe realisation that Mr Claus will be paying us a visit this year. Top of the list from Santa is “decorations” followed by “another decorations” so if nothing else the bar is suitably low. Continue reading Christmas reading: A 2013 bloggy round up→
I am delighted to be taking part in this Carnival of Creative Mothers and to be a very small contributor to this wonderful book. Please do get your hands on a copy if you get the chance. Here’s my post on my creative process…I never wrote before I became a mother. Sure I wrote essays and assignments for school and college – and I always thought that I would write at some stage – but I never actually wrote anything just for me until I started this blog. I am the author of some heart-breakingly embarrassing teenage love poetry that will never see the light of day but that was less self-expression and more “something I should be doing” as an angsty and tortured misfit.
Something about becoming a mother opened a creative door for me. I find now that even though I don’t publish as often as I did when I began blogging, I write all the time. It feels like it just has to get out. What might not be a popular thing to share is that it comes very easily to me. I don’t ruminate and suffer for the sake of a few hundred words.
If I have nothing to say, I simply don’t.
But then a thought appears. First like a slight change in air pressure where I think “what’s this?”, followed by a light breeze picking up and gently swirling around my head. And then it grows into something bigger and gathers strength and speed. It demands more of my concentration. An atom of a thought becomes a molecole of several. Then its energy pulls in words, a turn of phrase here and there, sentences, paragraphs until really a piece of writing is fully formed.
It can rumble like faraway thunder for a few days. Sometimes, it rumbles then wanes only to re-emerge a few months later.
But mostly lightning follows and I open a new page and literally transcribe what’s in my head. Straight down in one sitting, all in one go.
And then it’s finished.
I never re-edit, just read back and correct a missing or misspelt word. Or maybe move around a sentence or two.
It’s all over then. The pressure change that became a storm, that wore itself out with a lightning climax. It’s all calm again until the next pressure change comes.
It took knowing I was writing this post to actually analyse my creative process. I hadn’t thought about how I did it before. I did observe a pressure change a few weeks ago when a friend asked me if I found it hard to write and I realised the answer was no. Then this post whirled slowly for a long time until I could name it today. My creative process feels like a meteorological event.
I’m reasonably good at poker actually. I grew up in recession-era 80s Dublin where people didn’t go out to socialise and instead took turns hosting poker games at home on a Saturday night while enjoying a bottle of Blue Nun or Black Tower. These were the days before the nation realised wine doesn’t actually come from Germany. Myself and my three siblings spent manys the Saturday night peering over the shoulder of our parents’ friends to see their hands and were a whiz at divvying up the jar of coppers from the bottom of the wardrobe between us, just to make it interesting. My poker face was used early and often.
Yet somehow, I don’t seem to be able to throw myself back to that time and draw on those former skills when it comes to maintaining my poker face in front of the divilment of a 2 and a half year old. There are just so many inappropriate laugh out loud moments these days, it takes all of my self control not to break my shit laughing when really I should be grown up, serious mammy. Himself is also guilty of this although I tend to cave first.
Like the other night when I was preparing his bath which he wanted to get in to but, ya know, didn’t want to get in to, and I suggested he might wanted to run around naked for a little while instead, to which he curled up his fists, bent his knees and stuck his bum out and shouted in a big growly voice “NO MAMA, I DON’T WANT TO RUN AROUND IN THE NIP”.
Or on getting a huge reaction around the dinner table at the in-laws last week when he announced his poo was gone (we’re guessing he farted), he repeatedly shhh-ed us all, waited for silence, and then pronounced “My poo. Is gone” with beautifully dramatic, Shakespearian aplomb.
Not a day goes by at the moment where there I don’t find myself in tears laughing, and not a day goes by where I don’t have to adopt at least one of the following techniques:
going completely silent and not responding to an angry declaration for fear of giggling in his poor little face
turning my back and quietly shaking so he can’t see me
letting the tears stream down my face so that I can get the emotion out somehow while looking as deadpan as I possibly can
laughing into my sleeve
leaving the room
hugging my husband and laughing into his shoulder
biting hard on my lip
suddenly finding some important housework to do to my left
I’d say the child is mystified as to what’s going on when the two of us abruptly turn away from him at the same time so he won’t catch us laughing. Although sometimes this is a very effective serendipitious ending to a seemingly solution-less tantrum, so hurray for that.
I do love this age. It has it crazy tantrums that seem to be so perfectly timed for maximum fall out. But then it has the fun tantrums where you know you just can’t laugh, and the hilarious, rip roaring moments that only happen with a joyful, curious toddler that make your belly ache.
But the poker face must be mastered for the sake of all humanity! I might try counting to ten…
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