Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dirty dancing and dirty nappies

Different cries
You’re always told when you have a baby that you’ll get to recognise what his different cries actually mean.

I don’t think this is really true – I mean you can tell when they’re hurting or really angry, but most of the time it’s more of a process of elimination. George is only ever in pain, bored, tired, dirty or hungry. There’s not much difference between a hungry cry and a dirty cry – but in reality, you know that if he’s had enough sleep and enough food and he’s been changed then he must just be bored.

And that’s how it was last night…

Trouble is, it’s easy enough to be nice to him when you know there’s something wrong. Once you get to the stage where you’ve done everything you can, and you know he’s just being niggly you tend to have less patience with him.

I think I got like that by the end of yesterday night, and Lisa got like it by the end of today.

It’s so good knowing neither of us is in charge for days at a time!

I am, however, getting used to the one or two days a week of looking after him. I’m taking on more work, so it’s a bit of a strain having to take a day a week off (not that I begrudge doing it – he’s lovely most of the time – and it gives me time to get a bit of perspective).

I am able, when he takes his naps to leap onto the laptop and get a few minutes of answering emails and doing other non-intensive work done, so I don’t fall too far behind.

I don’t actually plan to get anything done on these days, so it’s useful to be able to snatch the odd half hour when he’s asleep to catch up – or at least get things prepared so that the days I am at work aren’t continually interrupted by bitty little jobs like invoicing, emailing and doing bits of research and corrections.

Another new project
Jobs from the Google advertising I’m doing aren’t flooding in, but they’re coming at a steady rate and when they do come they’re substantial jobs…

Another new one turned up yesterday from an investment firm. They want to explain a new ethical investment product to potential investors and need some graphics to do it. They’re not sure if they need animated or still pictures and like a lot of people who are now looking for graphics work, they spend most of their time doing other things, so I’m going to give them a rough version of a few different concepts with different budgets to help them work out just what they need.

It meant spending most of the day doing work that might not actually turn into a firm commission – I think you’re supposed to call this “pitching” but I don’t think I will.

It’s worthwhile doing this sometimes because it helps to clarify what’s needed from both sides and if you’re both working on very different notions of the job, it will all fall apart sometime anyway! in addition, most of the time, clients are surprised at just how much is possible – and by offering it in a visual form, you often get the chance to apply your own ideas which would probably be rejected if you tried to simply explain them.

Dirty dancing and dirty nappies
Had the radio on looking after George yesterday. The song “The time of my life” from “dirty dancing came on.

I hate that song – to me it was the soundtrack to the miserable end of countless teenage parties. The last-chance song for everyone who could to grab a partner and everyone who couldn’t (which invariably included me) to pretend they were too drunk or too tired to be depressed about it and prepare for the long cold walk home.

Hearing that song never ceases to remind me just how bad those times were and how thankful I am to have left all that behind.

Then I looked down – I was in the middle of changing George’s third dirty nappy of the day.

Could that really be true? Could I really have caught myself thinking that I’d rather be changing dirty nappies than going to a teenage party?

I realised that, yes, it was true. And not just because I’ve grown out of teenage parties – I never did enjoy them. True I looked forward to them tremendously – as potential high points in my depressing teenage life – but they were always dreadful disappointments and served only to fuel my misery if I’m honest.

Ok – maybe if I knew then what I know now – that things would get better. That this wasn’t life – that I wouldn’t always feel the way I did then – then maybe I’d have been less panicked by the sight of everyone else having a good time (or at least pretending to). If I knew then that my life would be as good as it is now – I might have had the confidence to enjoy those moments – or at least leave.

But I didn’t – and, no, I wouldn’t swap dirty nappies for dirty dancing – not for a second.

I’m not a celebrity
It sounds like I was suicidal in my teenage years – but I wasn’t. if I’d believed in God, then I might have been. If I’d thought there was an afterlife – I might have yearned to visit it.

But no – it’s a bit like “I’m a celebrity Get me out of here” – if you really believe that the moment you decide to end the game, there’s a helicopter waiting to take you to a world of hot baths and cold wine, you’re more than likely to do it. If you don’t believe you’re a celebrity – well, then you’ve got no choice – you eat your widgety grubs, you get on with it and you work to make life better.

And I’m so glad I did. Lack of faith saved me.

1 comment:

Russ Greenwood said...

well god bless your lack of faith - still practising my sneer for "original" music :-)