Our little T is 5 months old tomorrow, and getting cuter and more fun by the day. We are also falling more in love as every day passes. The incredibly cute smiles, the squeals of delight when you play his favourite game, the gurgles and babbles as he plays by himself… It’s the most amazing thing ever. Can you tell I’m a besotted mum?
He is desperately trying to become more mobile now too. He does this crazy hip-thrust movement while he’s sitting on your lap and tries to shuffle away. We’ve had a few near misses involving forehead and table edge due to this weird pecking motion. He rolls, he wriggles, he thumps his heels on the floor, and at the moment DH is encouraging him to try and commando-crawl. As with all else baby-related, this carries it’s own set of dangers and worries.
I went to pee earlier this afternoon, taking T upstairs with me and putting him safely in the middle of our bed. There was a loud thump followed by screaming. I shuffled out of the bathroom trying to get my jeans up, nearly colliding with DH who was galloping up the stairs. We ran into the bedroom to find our little adventurer on the floor next to the bed, red face pillowed on his father’s slippers, screaming in terror. We picked him up, cuddled and kissed him and checked for injuries, and a minute later he was laughing again. It seems the bed is no longer a safe place for small children. Lesson learned, and thankfully no harm done. This parenting lark is harder than our parents made it look!
Being new parents we are exploring the options and dabbling in things while we decide what works for us. ‘Babywearing’ is one thing that we have firmly settled on. I had T in a stretchy sling at 2 days old, and we’ve moved on from there really, as he grows we have to adapt and find new slings, new ways of carrying, and new muscles! As he’s nearing 5 months I’ve started wearing him on my back when the weather’s nice (I like to have him on my front and tuck him into my coat when it’s wet and windy). Backcarrying has it’s own challenges though, as I am discovering. DH has yet to backcarry, so I’ll give him a heads up here 🙂
Firstly, you have to get the baby onto your back. There are a few ways of doing this, but the one I favour is terrifyingly called ‘the superman toss’. You grab the baby under his arms, and basically toss him onto your back by flinging him over your head. He finds it funny, I found it quite scary the first few times I did it.
Now he is on your back, you have to keep him there while you wrap 5 metres of fabric around the two of you. You generally bend at the hips so he lays on your back. He also makes himself feel more secure by using fistfuls of hair or ears to anchor himself more firmly. While this is eyewateringly painful at times, it does keep him entertained, especially when he attempts to yank out my hairstick or just grab fistfuls of hair and pull to arms length, loosening random strands. (See picture above)
The third peril (I’m sure there are more yet to be discovered) is the vomiting. If you are still in your bent-double position, gravity is a wonderful thing as the puke just runs off your neck and drips onto the floor, making clean up simple. If you have straightened up by this point then I’m afraid you will probably be discovering lumps of cheese days later in hair, clothes and wrap. (Who has the time to shower or do laundry?)
As the above picture proves, it’s not all bad, and a nice walk across any terrain you fancy with a sleeping baby on your back is far preferable to attempting to do laundry and entertain a tetchy baby within the four walls that become your permanent view.
My husband loves a cup of tea. He has 3 large mugs; I think they hold as much as 2 normal ones, and he will have a large one to my regular one. Just recently T’s become fascinated by us drinking. He will follow the mug from the table up to your mouth, and back down again, often trying to touch the mug. The other day I left a tiny bit of cold tea in my mug and let him drink it out of the mug. He swallowed it, smacked his lips and went ‘Ahhhhhhhhh’! We cracked up! Looks like he’s going to enjoy a brew just like Daddy!
Unfortunately today I tried to be sneaky and it backfired. I was at a friend’s house, and we were having a coffee and a chat. T was busy looking the other way, so I attempted a sneaky sip. He chose that exact moment to bounce on my lap and windmill his arms, smacking the bottom of my mug. Coffee shot up my nostrils and dribbled down my top. The mess was worse than him puking on me, and I am now sporting a fragrant coffee stain on my top. Makes a change from partially digested milk I suppose.
T is now 4 months old, and to celebrate has begun waking for half-hourly feeds from about 5am every morning. This is absolutely knackering for me. This morning he woke at 5.30 demanding food, and as I picked him up I realised he was soaked through. I had been so tired I had actually forgotten to change his nappy at 3am. After a total change he decided that as he had just got dressed it must therefore be time to get up, and wasn’t looking sleepy in the slightest. I cuddled him to my chest in an attempt to snuggle him to sleep. This can be very effective with young babies, and will sometimes work with older ones, but usually by the time they’re old enough to have an opinion, it can be like hugging a demented octopus. A demented octopus who inadvertently throat punches you and gouges your eyes out. On this occasion, it didn’t have the desired effect. I fed him, spent time stroking and patting his back, as he squirmed, thrashed, squealed, blew raspberries and and generally tried to tell me he wasn’t tired. I was so tired it felt like I was scrubbing my eyes with the Atlantic Ocean. Finally, he fell asleep, and I did too. We probably had an hour’s sleep, and then DH came home from his shift, and T’s eyes popped open.