My daughter and grandson came to visit and stayed the night.
That still feels so weird saying that -“grandson” but I’m slowly easing my way into the whole nannahood thing. Unlike parenthood, which simply smacks you in the face – bam!
I have to admit…I’m not really the maternal type, despite having had four children. I mean, I was, and am, sort of maternal, in my own way, with THEM, but I’m not one of those women that go ga ga over small babies and toddlers. Not usually anyway.
So last night I had two options.
Share the lounge room with my daughter and” crying in the middle of the night baby”, or go back and sleep in the bed with my snoring husband.
I chose the crying baby.
I feel for my daughter.
It’s tough dealing with these early weeks, no sleep, no lap, no hands….
I tell you what, you can learn to do some amazing things, one handed, while juggling a newborn.
Teeth and toes come in handy too.
Unfortunately I’m a bit out of practise.
Anyway, so at 4.30 am I heard my daughter get up to feed him a second time.
I felt a bit sorry for her so I said “Here, I’ll take him, you get some sleep.”
I thought maybe half an hour of pacing round the house, rocking, patting, shooshing…and he’d drop off.
At 6 am I was still pacing, rocking , patting….and seriously considering giving him back to his mother!
My lower back was killing me… one arm was going numb.
I tried to make a cup of tea to wake me up….made it cooler than usual, milky. Wouldn’t want to spill hot tea on an infant.
It was almost cold by the time I got a chance to stop patting for a minute and take a swig.
Somehow I missed my mouth and cold tea poured down the entire front/side of my T- shirt.
I gave up on the rest.
Now I understand why my daughter says “Mum, some days I just don’t get to EAT.”
Dummies are not the same anymore.
They used to just be one shape…like cherry shaped.
These days there’s a right way and wrong way up for these fancy schmantsy weird shaped dummies.
It was dim, so I couldn’t see the baby’s mouth. I’m sure he thought I was trying to stick the dummy up his nose. When I DID manage to get it in (the right orifice and the right way up) he would promptly shoot it back out, across the floor.
Do you know how hard it is to get down on your knee’s holding a squeaking infant , still trying to maintain a steady patting motion whilst groping in the dark for a spat dummy?
And then….to sterilise it…
Oh what a bother.
Finally he fell unconscious, just like that.
Lucky, because I was about to do the same thing myself.
My husband got out of bed and I moved in….with portable baby bed, a musical sheep called “Ewan” which plays white noise, heart beats and pretty (annoying after 20 minutes straight) harp music, and of course a now snuffling “be warned I’m about to wake up again!” baby.
God, we never had “Ewans” when I was raising babies! At best we had wind up cot mobiles that played some annoying twinkly tune for three minutes at best! White noise? That’s when you turned the knob on the radio to get static between stations! I tell you what….things have advanced these days. Ewan indeed. (I need one, to put ME to sleep!)
Where was I ?
More patting….resting baby on my chest….jiggling baby…..sticking dummy up nostrils again….
Finally he was still.
Should I chance shutting my eyes, just for second?
I must have.
Must have had a microsleep, and suddenly I woke to this strange infants face next to my face.
It was the weirdest thing.
It was like…”Who are YOU?” just for a second.
And then my aching back reminded me.
For a moment I amused myself imagining …what if I suddenly REALLY lost my memory and woke up in this exact scenario not having a CLUE who’s baby this was.
What a weird notion.
But he’s so cute, (while he’s sleeping) so I think I’d just keep him anyway and ask no further questions.
I’d forgotten how much babies wriggle.
See, I was a TOUGH no nonsense mum.
My babies never slept in my bed….never even slept in the same room as me because I couldn’t stand the snuffling.
That build up to the “Ok, I’m crying…YES, I am hungry!” snuffling can go on for ages!
Ok, so sometimes I’d let them sleep in my bed.
You do what you have to DO!
I do not judge mothers….I know how exhausting it is….
“Whatever works!” is my motto.
Followed by….”But DO try not make any rods for your own back.”
Whatever that expression really means.
ME?, I NEED a rod for my own back it seems.
Hell, you just try anything and everything, for sanity’s sake.
It’s VERY hard work looking after new babies!
Anyway, so very very carefully I laid him down in the portable bed thing, next to me….he stayed asleep. YAY!
But the snuffling continued, on and off, until 8 am when they developed into “I’m hungry again!” cries.
THEN I woke my daughter.
Later on in the day she popped out with her sister for a bit and I had some more time with him…out on the verandah, sleeping on my chest.
It was nice.
Funny…you look at these tiny innocent, completely dependent little baby boys and you know what one day they will be big strong men.
I remember when my son was born, writing a letter to him…(Wish I knew where it was.)
I rambled on about a lot of stuff….mushy stuff probably, but one of the things I said was….”When I look at these tiny hands of yours, I hope and pray that when you are a fully grown, “big strong man” these hands will only wrap themselves around others in compassion and healing, and never do harm.”
That was important to me, still is and I am thankful, that even though all my fourteen year old son does these days is grunt, I know that deep down he DOES have compassion, and a good heart. (How do I know these things, if all he does is grunts? I’m psychic.)
I wish the same thing for my grandson.
Well, I’ve prattled on enough. I’ll be sounding like a doting grandmother soon.
We couldn’t have that, now could we?
We’ve all been big on photography lately in this household.
We took these photo’s today.
Some were by me, some taken by my eldest daughter.
I think they are gorgeous! 🙂
Lucky babies are bendy. It seems anatomically incorrect for his toes to be where they are!
Oh all this popularity and paparazzi makes one sooooo tired!
Such beautiful light….on lovely faces.