Finally! The month of July is over. If I could write a song about July, it would go something like this:
Ohhhh July July….
Ohhhh whyyy whyyyy?….
Why-hyyy you gotta play me like dat?…..
Now that I’ve introduced the running theme for this post, let’s move on to the body….
If there is any time of the year that I have been majorly stressed, uptight, bitchy and grumpy, it was during this month so I am extremely happy to see the backside of July (sorry if your name happens to be Iulai/July). “Ooohhh that’s a bit unfair Rita!?” you say. Well, my rationale for dissing this particular month is because I have gone through great moments of stress thanks to the one major contributing factor that I currently call my life.
June ended off well. I received my results for the semester 1 subjects I completed and yes, let’s just say I killed it! It was also the month of my birthday festival. “Festival” because I actually celebrate my new age for a full week. My kids love it!! Party all week for mummy’s birthday and Hubby loves it too (on the inside, that is). June was also the month I submitted my Minimal Risk application form to the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Human Ethics Advisory Group (HEAG). Basically, any fieldwork/research I conduct in my quest to study Samoan Music and produce an honours thesis at the end of this year needs permission by the HEAG to be used for my thesis. I have heard many horror stories about this process – students before me have struggled to even fill out the form (it’s like a painful essay where each question demands a 500-word answer and there’s like 15 pages) and some questions wanted specific words that you would use when interviewing people for your research. Once the form was submitted, you could be involved in a looooong process that involved back-and-forth emails with the HEAG for SEVERAL WEEKS until they were satisfied that your research methods were legit. Sooooo I had spent ALL of May writing and re-writing my answers for this one form. I treated it like a major assignment – the kind where I lose a lot of sleep and mistake my neighbour’s driveway for my own when I get home. So when I submitted in June, my body went into a catatonic state for at least a good 15minutes after I hit that ‘apply’ button. It was the bomb-as feeling.
Let’s get to July shall we? July was meant to be my ‘thesis’ month. The month where I start putting together chapters and writing a few-thousand words of it. Making a start on the writing process would lighten the workload for when Semester 2 starts at the end of the month. But unfortunately, my plan didn’t come to fruition.
Reason #1: In the first week, Term 3 came to an end so I had major issues with my ‘personal space’ for a good 2 weeks. My eldest Myah woke up the other day with a permanent appetite that seems to affect him every 2 hours so that my fridge-door got a workout due to his constant opening/looking in it/shutting x3 every frikken hour. I am fine with feeding kids for breakfast, sending them to school with lunch, cooking them dinner in the evenings every day, every week. But when you add the in-between snacks/meals that they require when they are home 24/7 for 2 weeks then stuff that s#$%t!
Reason #2: My 4yo ninja Osty came home from karate class with more confidence than usual (yes it is possible) and somehow nun-chucked himself in the eye with the hard end of his karate belt. His eye looked fine for the rest of the day but come the next morning, he looked like Rocky’s little twin. I share some blame in this. Being the fob parent that I am, I didn’t think I needed to ‘ice’ his eye (I ‘vicks’ed it instead. Just kidding….or am I?). ANYWAY. Fast forward to 7 days and just as his eye was healing , he re-injured himself in the same spot but with a basketball. Suffice to say the next week he ended up at The Royal Childrens’ Hospital for a few nights as his eyelid formed an abscess that had pus coming out of it. So I left hubby to ‘man’ the house/other kids while I spent time at the hospital watching over my little ninja, eating hospital food, buying snacks from the hospital stores downstairs and watching hospital TV. This was mid-July, I hadn’t achieved any of the study-goals that I set out to do so I was starting to feel a bit of panic creep over me. Some of this stress was alleviated by how accommodating and comfortable Osty and I were at RCH as their staff were awesome with my little ninja. They even sent Dr Noodles to come in and cheer him up in the emergency room, complete with red nose, funky clothes, tricks and toys but Osty took one look at Dr Noodle’s flashing-toy-ball-thingee and said “sheriously?”. And one morning Osty woke up to find the doctor-on-duty admiring his Thundercats sword and Ben 10 watch and said: “Git your hands…off…my..sword” (eyebrows up and all). So RCH thank you for making our hospital experience a funny one.
Reason #3: We came home from hospital. I was tired. Osty was re-energised. My 9yo daughter had to go to the GP because she was unwell and came home with the news that she has Pneumonia. Hubby had a stomach bug so he moved in to the Toilet. Let’s just say my happy place was far away for the next 2 weeks. I immediately sanitised my house which took a good day and a half and then spent the next 2 weeks playing Nurse Jackie (the angry version).
And now here we are at the end of July and my Hubby and kids are in good health. A crappy month but when I look back I have to be grateful for the timing as it was all neatly condensed in one month of the year (as opposed to being scattered throughout) and even though my ‘psycho-samoan-mother’ persona reached record levels in the space of one month I have to honestly say: I’ve had worse. And I’m sure other mothers out there are doing it harder than me so as much as I wanted to howl and throw a jandal at someone, I had to say what my friend Jenna likes to say to herself when the going gets tough: HARDEN UP. We have our health, our happy families, our awesome friends and that’s more than what other people have…..(Thanks Jenna!).
So today, being the last day of July and whadya know? My ethics application was approved this afternoon so I’m ready to move full-steam ahead with my research. My achievement was celebrated by a victory dance performed by Yours Truly in a quiet corner of the Melbourne Uni library this afternoon: Robocop, Running Man and Roger Rabbit made a 1-minute appearance. Yes I brrrrrrang it!
Ia manuia xx