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Ex-term - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Ex-term
I like having the structure of the academic year as a way of marking time in my life, but I haven't been this glad to see the end of a term approaching for a long time. Peterhouse Chapel Choir has been great fun, with growing friendships and some glorious music; but it's still a huge time-commitment to fit in around a full-time job, particularly since I started having singing lessons this term (and yes, I know I'm long overdue an update about that).

The CCO has eaten more of my time than usual, too; no half term (it was decided that we needed the extra rehearsal), a big concert on March 4th (which, admittedly, went very well), and the various Publicity Officer duties which I was so relieved to relinquish at the AGM on the 8th after a year of failing to carry them out efficiently. However, I'm missing the last rehearsal of term to see the Organ at Club Goo, so I shouldn't feel too resentful of the orchestra for stealing my time.

Then there's tap classes on Mondays; much though I'm enjoying learning tap, I'm starting to think that there are lots of other things I could enjoy just as much which would be more beneficial to me or others. Also, the class which originally consisted of me and one other adult (a lovely lady called Maria who was always full of excited enthusiasm for the lessons) now consists of me and a bunch of surly teenagers who flick their hair at me, roll their eyes when I ask questions, and clearly resent the rather unsurprising fact that -- after having been to twice as many lessons as them -- I can do the moves better than them. Only two more lessons before the end of that term, though, and I'd quite like to have decided by the end of term so that I can tell Miss Julie if I'm not going to be coming back.

Despite being overcommitted in so many directions, I've managed to carry on volunteering at Oxfam on Saturday morning, singing (occasionally) at Portfolio on Tuesday nights, and even going to gigs, plays, and parties. My mum frequently asks me (when I can actually catch her for a chat in between her full-time job, her Archaeology degree classes, helping out with my dad's blues radio show, Aquafit classes, and learning harmonica...) how on earth I find the time, and I have to confess I've no idea, but it probably mostly involves cycling as fast as possible and not getting enough sleep. (The latter is not helped by the Howling Horror next door, which at 16 months or so is still screaming non-stop for half an hour or so at least once a night -- O wise parents on my friends-list, when do they stop doing that??)

I've also been frantically tidying, sorting, filing, selling stuff on ebay, and eventually giving/throwing stuff away, in an attempt to make room for the piano which should be moving in with us on Thursday. Now, in view of this aim, buying 95 books (also 12 CDs, a large vase, an oversized plant-pot, and a china cat) at keirf's leaving sale last Saturday might be seen as counterproductive; but really, they were all very good books, and I've even read one of them already, so it was clearly worth buying them. This Sunday, we're visiting my parents (or, if possible, persuading them to visit us) so that I can give them a load of boxes of rarely-used stuff of mine to store at their place, and so that they can give me heaps of junk to sell at a car boot sale on the 26th. (If you think some of these things seem to be occurring in the wrong order, then you're probably right.)

Busy, then; and when it comes to a choice between doing things and writing about them, the writing tends to suffer, so I've still got half a dozen things that I'd like to write up. I think I'd rather my brain (like my calendar) had too many things to occupy it than not enough; but apologies to all the people whose comments and posts I've failed to reply to. Feel free to poke me if you think I've missed anything vital. And I'll try to catch up during the holidays...

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emperor From: emperor Date: March 13th, 2006 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

In 8!

:)
geekette8 From: geekette8 Date: March 13th, 2006 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well... Matthew didn't really howl in the night much ever, unless he was ILL, because when he did wake up and squeak in the normal course of things I just used to stick a boob in and go back to sleep. He didn't stop waking up and squeaking until he was 2 years and 3 months. Sorry :-(
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: March 13th, 2006 06:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
16 months is a bit old to be colicky. Is it small-hours-of-the-morning howling, or totally random, or at a nominally reasonable bedtime?

Is it call-social-services type SCREAMING or wah, wah, wah, wah? If the former, call social services after talking to the parents (if that's possible at all). If the latter, two things may be happening: they're trying the "let it cry itself to sleep" method, or else they are so asleep themselves they don't hear it for ages, then someone staggers out of bed to bottle it back to sleep.

But you have my deepest sympathy. It might be conducive to good neighbourly relations if you enquire about the baby's health and well-being and wonder if it's still colicky.

Unless Mum is the type who will swing for you for asking (back to YOU WANT TO MAKE IT A PROBLEM DO YOU.. oh no, we don't [backs away waving hands here]).
j4 From: j4 Date: March 14th, 2006 09:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Both the parents are nice and not at all confrontational AFAICT (he's very Cambridge, geeky, flowing beard and sandals; she's German, and seemed quite shy and quiet) & I suspect that if I say anything they'll be incredibly apologetic -- they've already apologised a couple of times for all the drilling and furniture-shifting (which, to be fair, is pretty noisy and can be annoying particularly when they start at 8:30 on Sunday mornings which are the only day I can sleep in later than 7am...). I don't want to make them feel guilty about it if it is just that their baby cries a lot, though, as they're probably already feeling bad enough about it!

Still, if I see them in passing I'll try to say something friendly-but-concerned, but as far as I can tell neither of them ever leave the house (which irrationally makes me resent the noise even more, in a childish "YOU don't even have to go to work, YOU can just go back to bed, it's all right for YOU" kind of way), and I feel pretty awkward about going round there to say something -- it makes it more formal than I want it to be, IYSWIM.

The baby-noises are most mornings around 6am (5:45 this morning) and frequently 4am and/or 2am as well (I don't know why but it always seems to be even numbers; perhaps it's something to do with sleep cycles?).

It's not child-is-being-battered kind of screaming (and in the daytime we often hear happy-child kind of noises), but it's not the sort of siren-like wah-wah-wah crying that I think of as "baby crying" either. From my limited experience of different types of distressed-child noise, it sounds like the sort of screaming that kids do when they've cried so much that they've worked themselves up into a big temper-tantrum.

I can't believe anyone could sleep through the noise when they were in the same room as it, though!!
aldabra From: aldabra Date: March 13th, 2006 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Kathy was still doing that last year (she's almost entirely quiet now unless ill), but moving her from Bristol probably didn't help. If you've got a screamer it can be utterly impossible to get them to stop (at least, we never found out how); if you talk to the mum please try to be as conciliatory as possible!
j4 From: j4 Date: March 14th, 2006 09:36 am (UTC) (Link)
*nods* If I talk to the mum (or dad!) I will probably just ask how the kid's getting along. After all, if their baby screams all the time they probably feel quite bad enough about it anyway, and I really don't want to make them feel worse about it, and I'm sure that if there was anything they could do they'd already be doing it -- for baby's sake and their own sake! Really, though, I just want the noise to stop. :-/
imc From: imc Date: March 14th, 2006 12:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
In theory, at 16 months a child is capable of being put to bed at night and waking up refreshed in the morning. I think we managed to sort smallclanger out before he was two, but it's all a bit of a blur now and I don't have dates or details. (Not strictly relevant, but we do have a date for when we took the side off his bed because he kept trying to climb out and was looking like he was about to succeed.)

Anyway. The no-cry sleep solution for toddlers is an excellent book with lots of good suggestions for getting the little 'un off to sleep. I've no idea if there's a tactful way of bringing this up, since I'm guessing they are unlikely to be coming to you for advice, but by the sounds of it they need this book.

If you can get to see them in a social context then while enquiring about the health of the baby I suppose you could just casually drop in the "is (s)he sleeping through?" question and pretend you hadn't noticed. Presuming they then point to the suitcases under their eyes and sigh deeply, you could offer that you've heard there's a good book on the subject.
j4 From: j4 Date: March 14th, 2006 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Coo, thanks for the recommendation -- I'm not sure I'll have the tact necessary to pass it on to next-door without it looking like a criticism, but I'll see what I can do.

And I'll try to remember it again in n years' time if/when I find myself struggling to get my own kids off to sleep!
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