11 January 2011

hands full


When the number of children in your family jumps from two to three, everyone makes the same observation... "You must have your hands full", they say, looking over at my older two girls and the baby in my arms. Well, erm, yes, I do rather! Its just not the fact that it now seems like I have a football team every time we go out anywhere, big and little owlet are rather easy kids to have around actually. Its the armful of baby I'm carrying. She's a lovely thing. Smiles whenever you look into her beautiful blue eyes. She is most definitely an *in arms* baby. She must be held for most of her waking hours - and there are a lot of those! But not only that, she must be moving. So we do laps of the hallway, the kitchen, the garden. Often while breast feeding as she refuses to do that sitting down. The world is just too interesting. And so my hands are full.

The things that my hands used to do are temporarily on hold. Like sewing. And knitting. And reading, catching up on blogs, cooking, gardening... often cleaning and washing are out too unless Huz is around to help out. But I do love it so, this mothering thing, especially when that tiny hand grabs mine. During late pregnancy I longed for my hands to be massaged. In labour, I wanted them to be held. And then gently touched in the days after her arrival. Hands are such an important part of this motherhood caper - oh what I wouldn't give for an extra set most days!!

I often wonder what I'll be doing with my hands when they are no longer full of owlets. I'm always drawn to activities that require the skillful use of my hands, yet I've always had some battle with them, from the eczema that plagued them for 25yrs (and has mysteriously vanished now I'm all grown up), to the shakes... I have a tremor, passed on from my Dad, and his father before, that I feel in my whole body, but appears most visibly in my hands. My left hand is hard to control, as are my thumbs and occasionally my wrists. It gets worse with age. It is getting worse now. I can feel it and I know what is coming... The shaking has always defined my style of drawing and creating and I've learned to love the imperfections. I can get my hands to do what I want most of the time, it just takes concentration and patience, just like my grandfather had when he worked, ironically, as a handyman. I know that one day it may take too long to thread a needle for sewing to be worth my while. Knitting is already getting harder. I make a lousy waitress, so I don't think a career in the food industry is in my future. Hmmm... might read up on gardening some more...

For now though, I'm grateful that my hands are full of owlets and we are healthy, safe and dry. Maybe you'd like to follow Handmade Kids and their Flood Appeal Auction and if you have a hand free, perhaps you could buy something beautiful and hand made. Or if you have two hands free, perhaps make something to contribute. I'll be lending a hand where I can and sending love to all those affected by the Queensland floods.

*photo taken by big owlet*


  1. Ah sweet woman, you have such a way with words, and express such love with your posts.....I can relate to the baby(ies) that are awake a lot and need to be walked around!! And also to the sore hands (wrists in my case) that are showing the gracefull procession of age. You have wonderful hands and express their function so well. I feel honoured to be alongside you in the newborn baby land:)

  2. Funny - when I met you at The Market stitching something or other - I noticed how busy your hands were! My hands have suffered since I became a mother - I have terrible eczema which goes away when I'm pregnant, comes back when I'm breastfeeding. I've discovered (accidently) that if I wake up in the middle of the night with that familiar excruciating itch, I can soothe it by holding my hand under very hot running water.

    What a delightful photo - lucky you to have such a beautiful little bundle to hold in your hands!

  3. Hard to complain about full hands when they're full of such good things, isn't it? :) Essential tremors run in my family, yet so many of us manage to do skilled handwork. Sheer stubbornness, I guess. ;)

  4. What a lovely post and a gorgeous picture taken by your big owlet! And I love how you have embraced your tremorin hands to define your style and I hope that you have plenty of years left to sew and knit before it becomes too difficult for you as you make such wonderful stuff!

  5. I really relate to this post, Lauren. If only I had a dollar for every time I've been told that! That photo is precious - clever big owlet. The carrying can get so tiring, especially as they get heavier. You're doing a fantastic job, Lauren, full hands or not. J x

  6. I'm really excited and curious about the jump from 2-3. We aren't even pregnant again yet.

    In the mean time - backwrapping saved my sanity with an exclusive in-arms baby til 8 months. :) x

  7. Ah, yes... wrapping. I've managed it a couple of times. Trouble I'm having is she's really heavy and hates froggy legs and her head isn't strong yet. she's too big for newborn positions and too little for older baby ones... I've ordered a mei tai while I wait for her to grow into my other slings so hopefully I'll have some freedom soon. Even so, I have to keep moving constantly, so craft is out ;)

  8. Beautiful post Lauren. I didn't read it at the time, but I did so enjoy reading it today... now my hands are full too!


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