Once Upon A Time …. There Was a Chubble!

Yesterday saw the end of the third term of school for West Australian kiddies. We have one of them, a kiddie that is.  The Chubble is our 7 year old, blonde haired, blue eyed, bundle of knowing, mischievous manipulations.


She’s a treasure our girl, she struggles being her sometimes.  I understand what that’s like.  This term has been really hard work for us, resulting in frayed tensions.  So when the opportunity for us all to have a little break, regroup and come back stronger, we jumped at the chance.  Grandma (MonsterBiker’s Mum) misses her little ray of sunshine now that we’re country folk, so she offered to have the Chubble for the whole two week school break.  MonsterBiker and I took the opportunity to both take a week off work during this time.  Obviously our main goal is to discuss parenting issues and important things like that, we would never want to imply that we are shipping off our baby girl, just so we can party. We’re serious grown-ups.

Friday morning, the last day of term, dawned overcast and dreary.  Yet the mood in the house was excited and ebullient. Chub headed off to school and I went to my Friday cleaning job (the Spanish lady).  MonsterBiker was able to finish work a little early that day, so we all arrived home around the same time.

As I mentioned, Chub has had a few challenges with school, she’s as smart as a whip, but she’s so easily distracted, highly emotional and tightly wound, that she struggles interacting with her peers and teachers.  She’s a bit like her Mum and her Dad in other ways too, for instance, she really doesn’t like to be taught things, preferring to teach herself.  When it was time for her training wheels to come off her bike, by hook or by crook, she would not let either of us push her along til she found her balance.  Tears, standoffs, some yelling.  So we left her alone.  In one afternoon she was riding confidently all by herself.  She’s a nuclear powerhouse of determination, with regular core meltdowns.

So when she came outside after school and presented me with this…………..


…..let’s just say, I was bursting with pride and golden optimism that maybe, just maybe I wasn’t completely failing my beautiful, different little girl.

That’s the thing about being a parent, but especially when you are the parent of a soul that refuses to be moulded, recalcitrantly rejects guidance and challenges you just because she can, you feel like a constant, epic failure.

At times, the fights seem relentless and no matter how firm my resolve to stay calm, not allow frustration to turn into yelling, every time it happens I become more convinced that I am the worst parent who has ever lived.  So I apologise – again, remind her that she is loved and promise to myself to do better the next day.

Then there are the nights when it’s 9:30 and we’ve been playing bedtime yoyo for two hours, “Yes, you can have the light on”, “Mummy, I need to go to the toilet”, “Can I get a drink of water”, “I can’t sleep”, “I had a bad dream” (which of course is impossible, because she hasn’t been to sleep), “My legs are hurting”, “Mummy I don’t want the toilet light on anymore”…………. and on and on………..



(Incidentally, my only son, The Genius bought this book for me for Christmas a couple of years ago.  What it says about me as a mother that my child bought this for me, will likely be the subject of a future blog.)

Last Tuesday was one of those nights, and I lay there in the dark, with my eyes wide open knowing sleep, if it showed up at all, would not be there til the early hours of the morning.  I kept telling myself, four more days, four more days, four more days, hating myself for longing for time away from my own child, and right then, right there, I already missed her, and she hadn’t even left.

Each of my children has been a unique gift.  Three children, each arriving at very different stages of my life, and I have learned so much from being their Mummy. I love our Chubble, she’s just like her Dad, knows just how and when to push my buttons.  This ability leads to situations where I learn the most about myself, so while it’s as exhausting as trying to suck a steak through a straw a lot of the time, I wouldn’t trade her for all the flannelette shirts in K-Mart.

She has a wonderfully wicked sense of humour, impeccable timing, and often will make a completely innocent and unplanned comment, that is a perfect assessment of what’s happening around her.  She loves music, remembers the lyrics to her favourite songs, and more often than not for her bedtime lullaby begs me to sing Wasted Time by The Eagles.  (I completely crucify it, but she doesn’t seem to mind.)

All right, all right, shut up. I can hear you all asking in chorus (you are, aren’t you) “Why do you call her Chubble?”

She was a gorgeous baby, one of those ones with the big, floppy, pinchable cheeks.  One day when she was about three or four months old, holding her head up but still a bit wobbly, Daddy was bouncing her up and down on his knee, and we became ridiculously amused by the fact that her head seemed to bobble up and down, like the plastic tiger in the back window of the Kingswood.  This merriment was exponentially compounded by the fact that her St Bernard like jowls would bounce in the opposite direction to her head.

We were pissing ourselves laughing.  MonsterBiker would bounce her a few times, we would loll about hysterically, then he would bounce her again.  We never seemed to tire of it.  Through the laughter and our nonsensical attempts to describe this comedic spectacle, we realised: “With chubby cheeks and a bobble head, she’s our little Chubble Head”.  It stuck.

She’ll always be our Chubble Head.


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