HALF A YEAR! Dear Time, please slow down. I am very much enjoying myself. It’s intense, this baby thing, I can’t lie about that, but for every sleepless night/hour of sheer frustration/dark minute of total exhaustion there are hundreds and hundreds of incredible moments. This month has been a bit of a balancing act and also a time of self-discovery: realising that you can’t care for a baby full time and work full time. Well, you can, but your house ends up looking like a shit-tip and your brain goes into meltdown and your body starts acting up because it’s under too much stress. And you start doing things like putting your iPhone in the toaster, and thinking that the telly is a touch-screen.
I’m going to keep this update post quite brief, mainly because I have a little superstition going on that I MUST get these monthly posts done on the 17th, and not a minute later. (Yes, I do tend to make a rod for my own back. It’s one of my more annoying characteristics.) I’ll write about each of the main issues here in more detail when I have more time. (Ha. See below.)
This has definitely been the biggest month so far in terms of development. No longer can I just plonk the baby down on a playmat and run into the other room to fetch something – give her ten seconds and she will have rolled halfway to France. Either that or the fact that I’ve left the room will set off the most almighty crying fit! Strangely, Angelica has absolutely no problem with being held or looked after by other people, but if I’m there then she must have my full and undivided attention. Which is making my little working method of “trying to squash in as much work as possible into twenty minute bursts when baby is occupied with a new shakey toy” a little bit difficult. And when I do try to get some work done, I just feel guilty that I’m not 100% playing with the baby. So it’s a situation that needs some attention, because it’s only going to get more intense! I think I need some kind of Super-Nanny-Housekeeper-Dog-Walker-Extraordinaire!
We have lots of new baby noises going on – Rararararara, Mamamamama and Dadadadada (each time I say “she’s saying Dada!” “she’s saying Mama!” ha) and raspberry-blowing and huffing and puffing. I love it when I wake up in the morning to little gurglings and chats – God knows what she’s chatting to! The wall? The wallpaper? Anyway, it’s cute. It makes my five hours of sleep seem a little less horrific.
I will come back to the whole sleep thing: I’ve been doing lots of reading since I last posted about it (here) and I do think that it would be worth putting up a little precis of what I’ve found out. I think that it’s very easy to think that a wakeful baby is wrong, that you must be doing something terribly wrong, but what if you just have a baby that wants to feed in the night? Simple as that? Maybe something is going on, development-wise, that is making them sleep differently? Could it be that lots of us waste a terrible amount of energy searching for the answer to something that there really is no answer to? That it’s just a phase? (Hopefully!)
I suppose when you are sleep-deprived, though, you sort of go a bit stir-crazy and want to find a solution because it’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone knows someone whose kids didn’t sleep for “more than an hour at a time for the first eight years” etc etc, and when you are knackered that thought is frightening. I’ll keep you updated on my own sleep situation (if you’re interested, of course): I have good days when I feel on top of the world, even after a rubbish sleep, and really bad days when I find it almost impossible to function in a normal way.
My tummy has done quite the shrinking act this month. It’s nowhere near flattish, but it’s no longer doughy and hanging down, which is progress. If I hold my breath and suck it in so hard that I almost break my spine, it just about looks alright. Otherwise, it looks like I’ve been scoffing scotch eggs and cans of Coke and Honeycomb Magnums and – er – quiche. Which blatantly I haven’t. (Have.) Boobs are still the same: cantaloupe melon-like.
Oooh, I’ve run out of minutes. Ten to midnight – dong dong dong. I don’t want to turn into a pumpkin (what?) so I’ll finish here with the promise that I’ll be back again soon. I need to tell you about the cot situation, after all, and our first foray into sloppy food. And my success with a bottle of expressed milk. All in good time, all in good time..