My head

Lessons From A Rat.

March 23, 2012

My almost-two-year old son’s best friend is a rat.

He’s funny looking – Ratty, not my progeny -, rather smelly (could be referring to either but still Ratty, irrespective of regular washing) and due to an unfortunate incident with my favourite Clinique lipstick recently, oddly, pinky, stained down one side of his cafe latte coloured fur……but all of this aside, D Man loves him unconditionally.

Whether he saw him 10 minutes ago, or two hours ago, his little, often grubby, face lights up when he sees him and with true, heart exploding love he embraces his friend and kisses his smelly, and possibly soggy snout. He has no expectations of Ratty, just love. Pure and simple.

He doesn’t care where Rat has been, or what he’s been up to, or which of the other furry friends he’s been cavorting with in D Man’s absence – He’s just thrilled to bits at seeing his best friend again.

Perhaps there is something to be learned from the simplicity of this friendship?

The nature of friendship is something I’ve pondered greatly over the last two years since I’ve had D Man and my life has been turned upside down in a brown-banana -smears-and -stinky -nappy- flavoured manner, but it’s also something I’ve discussed at length with others of late.

Friendship appears, at times, to have an almost tidal nature. It waxes and wanes in a luna fashion. We are drawn apart and come back together, sometimes in a crashing wave we’re thrown back together, other times with a gentle surge we’re guided back towards our old friend.

The fact is, lives take different paths and yet sometimes we cling, in my case with the dishpan hands Mrs Palmolive warned us about, to the memory of a friendship that was and grieve it’s passing.

Where once there was Martinis, high heels and lipstick smears at dawn, there is now in it’s stead coffees in a park teeming with children and snippets of broken conversation as you try to gossip whilst keeping one eye on your child as they kamikaze off a jungle gym. Sensible Birkenstocks have replaced the heels and suncream and vegemite smears are the new make-up. I, and my life, have definitely, infinitely changed…..but what about my friends that have not?

Now please don’t get me wrong here, a few of my child free friends have embraced my little stinker as if he’s of their own loins, and slowly, one-by-one many of my old buddies are sprouting babes of their own (I was by no means a young mother but still a trail blazer in this field, if none other). I have found many new fabulous friends within a circle of mamas since ‘the change’ but many single peeps have fallen by the wayside.

Perhaps one day the tide of our friendship will come back in, but I know that ultimately the only thing guaranteed in life is there will be change, and if that change is brought about by little people, who raise their chubby little hands to you, snuggle into your neck and sigh ‘wee wee’, then change should be embraced and casualties will always be remembered fondly, through slightly foggy Martini shaped glasses.

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  • Reply Kirsten Cox March 23, 2012 at 4:24 am

    Beautifully written.

  • Reply Lisa - lybliss August 22, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Gorgeous first post .. am really happy to see the picture of the Rat because I really was imagining a real rat, kissing that soggy snout. Eeeewww!
    I was a young Mum, 21 when I had my 1st and the single friends fell away like blossoms in a hailstorm. Our worlds had changed so drastically and so entirely that it was like we were from different nations with a communication barrier. Just the shift in priorities from self centred and where to get your hair done, to discussing which nappies hold the most urine overnight was too much.

  • Reply Katyberry August 22, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Jeepers, Ratty is almost as big as your boy, and I imagine in the early days WAS bigger!

    I moved away from all my friends just as I had my first baby, so meeting new people and making friends through my mothers group was a Godsend.

    Slowly but surely my old friends have had children, or at least are heading that way, and it has been nice to be the “trailblazer” in that department, and have wisdom to offer up.

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys August 22, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      Yeps, Ratty is one big old sewer rat. I tell my friends I have no wisdom, only experience. Just when I think I know something about babies, I realise I got nuffin’!

  • Reply Tegan Churchill August 22, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Friendships certainly change when you add a child to the mix. Looking back though I can see that those friendships were always doomed to fail, friendships built on convenience rather than mutual likes. However my two very best friends both have no children and our friendships haven’t changed at all, even if we go weeks without chatting we are still able to pick up as if it was yesterday we last saw each other.

  • Reply Ness August 22, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I’ve never been the type of person who had lots of friends, so it wasn’t a big change for me when I had kids. I don’t actually have any girlfriends who have kids, which is a bit weird, but that’s me. And also my closest friend, who is awesome can’t have them.

    Anyway, great first post, very well written and entertaining. xo

  • Reply Have a laugh on me August 22, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    I actually feel pregnant with lots of girls I knew and now sadly we hardly have anything to do with each other, they were toxic. Now I have friends that are friend, not just cos we had kids at same time – if you know what I mean. Stella first post, esp compared to my drivel! x

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys August 22, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      I hear you, babe. I also think as you get older and busier your time is more valuable so who you share it with is more important. Heading over to see drivel now.

      Sent from my iPhone

      On 22/08/2013, at 7:31 PM, Keeping Up With The Holsbys

      • Reply Have a laugh on me August 22, 2013 at 8:50 pm

        Thank goodness you knew I meant fell not feel! Bloody iPhone 🙂 and yes yes to spending my precious spare time with those I enjoy xx

      • Reply Have a laugh on me August 22, 2013 at 8:51 pm

        And what do you mean older, I’m still 18 (in my head anyway)

  • Reply Lisa @ Raising Explorers August 22, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Speaking of soggy things that smell, our rat is a scraggly teddy, once known as Charlie, now known simply as Stink… for obvious reasons. Snot, saliva, tomato sauce. Stink is a lost cause, but the kid loves him, poor little critter. On a more serious note, I enjoyed the way you led into a contemplation of your own, more complex, if less stinky, relationships. I really enjoy your blog – your writing and photos. Thanks for sharing your first post.

  • Reply kirstyrussell75 August 22, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Beautifully written and true. I often lament some of my lost friendships but my new ones are even more special. Awesome first post!

  • Reply This Charming Mum August 23, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    This is a beautiful first post. What eloquent descriptions of friendship! I used to try and hang on to every single person I knew, even as all our interests and beliefs changed. I’m more confident now to enjoy people’s company and let them come and go from my life more naturally. Having kids certainly changes things, but sometimes for the better where friendships are concerned. I’m too busy now really for people whose company I don’t enjoy!

  • Reply Rachel August 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    I was also a trailblazer! I completely agree with your “tidal” theory of friendship – in fact I think it applies to relationships just as much. Some friends we have for a season,some for a reason, and some forever.

    My best friend from highschool has lived the exact opposite life to me over the last 10 years. She’s been footloose and fancy free, partying up a storm and flitting off to exotic destinations while I’ve been pregnant and breastfeeding and pregnant again. And while we’ve had periods without talking we’ve never lost touch, always drifting back together like we’d never been apart.

    This year she had her first baby 10 years to the DAY after I had my first baby. Now I get to share all that with her too 🙂

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys August 25, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      How wonderful! Don’t get clucky, chook 😉 I’ve become way more philosophical about it since I wrote that… Maybe because new people have come and stayed, or moved on through. It’s just life.

      Sent from my iPhone

      On 25/08/2013, at 9:14 PM, Keeping Up With The Holsbys

      • Reply Rachel August 26, 2013 at 10:05 pm

        No bloody fear of that! This womb is officially closed for business 😉

  • Reply Navigating the grey zone, and pear and date muffins because cake. | Keeping Up With The Holsbys July 29, 2014 at 7:34 am

    […] very first blog I ever wrote was about that Rat and his place in the family has probably heightened rather than lessened over […]

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