Lost The Plot

Today T and I are on our own (apart from possibly an hour when DH comes home for some dinner) and I have finally lost my marbles. Normally DH works shifts and is home at breakfast time so he can help out a bit, but not today. I had a whiny, sticky, strawberry-juice coated baby on one hip while I tried to clean mangled strawberries off the high chair and the floor. Then I had to get us both ready to go to the library group at 10am. T wouldn’t be put down, so I was gathering up library cards, muslins, checking that the nappy bag was fully charged with one hand, while talking to myself, checking things off a mental list. I got him and all the kit in the car, then suddenly remembered and shouted ‘Toby’s book, DH’s cheque!’. I had to go back indoors to collect these items while calling myself an idiot for forgetting.

We were actually early to the library, which is a first for us, so I sat T on the floor to play with his shoes/the patterned carpet. He sat entertaining himself then a mum opposite me gesticulated to me to say that he’d been sick. I mopped up the milky mango that was decorating his top, and he carried on playing, quite unconcerned. We were about to start when a mum with a 7 month old little girl came and sat next to me, at which point T toppled over backwards, presumably in his attempts to stare! T enjoyed the singing and bouncing which the group entails, he’s getting more interested in his surroundings now, even though we sing the same 10 songs every week.

Library group over, it was back in the car and to the bank, to pay in DH’s wages. T had fallen asleep but I couldn’t really leave him in the car, so I had to drag the poor little thing out, but he helped by holding my purse in the bank. Back in the car and round the corner to the supermarket. He’d fallen asleep again, and really wasn’t happy about being woken up AGAIN, but a ride in the shopping trolley kept him happy. He goes in the proper big boy trolley seat now, and loves to hold on!

Shopping was uneventful until we reached the chilled aisle. I did a random phone check and it wasn’t in my pocket. Cue the hand-jive phone search dance. Nope, definitely not in any of my pockets, front or back, despite the fact that women’s jeans are not manufactured with front pockets big enough to fit anything larger than a £2 coin in them. I tried to reassure myself that I had left it in the car, as I’d been hopping in and out of it all morning. Just as I felt I had calmed down, I noticed my phone was in my other hand, where I was using it as a shopping list. I think I need a nap.

You Know You Share Your House With A 6 Month Old When…

SONY DSC

Baby shoes are so cute that people keep buying them for him, and he ends up owning more shoes than you!

SONY DSC

You have to deal with this after each meal.

SONY DSC

You can’t remember when you last showered because every time you plan one, your baby decides he can’t survive more than 5 seconds without physical contact.

SONY DSC

And when you finally do get to shower, you are watched by a selection of aquatic animals.

SONY DSC

The toothbrush family is the cutest thing ever.

SONY DSC

You have a scale model of Mount Everest constructed entirely from clean laundry. There will also be Mont Blanc made out of dirty laundry hiding in the bathroom…

SONY DSC

You try to persuade your baby to nap because YOU are tired and want a nap!

SONY DSC

You no longer wash the sofa covers because you are spring cleaning, or they look a bit grubby. You wash them because he had a ‘poo-splosion’ which erupted out of his nappy and all over the sofa.

SONY DSC

Your living room looks like a toy shop exploded…

SONY DSC

Your clean shirt is dirty by 9am… and you only managed to dress yourself at 8.30!

Poorly Baby

Everyone is quick to tell you all about the sleepless nights you are going to have to endure when you have a newborn. No-one mentions the sleepless nights when your little one is ill. Quite apart from sitting up with them and cuddling them, you are on high alert and wake at the slightest little wiggle or moan. Add in the worry that something may be seriously wrong and you are in for an exhausting time.

Last night T went to bed about 7, and we got 2 hours of peace. Then we heard a cry over the baby monitor. We were planning to head to bed ourselves, so assuming he was just unsettled we made our preparations and I meandered upstairs. There was little T, doing a press-up over a large patch of vomit. He had enjoyed sweet potato, carrot and green beans at tea time, so you can probably imagine the sight. I cuddled him to calm him down, and he was sick again. This wasn’t the normal baby sick, where they open their mouths, milk spews out and they aren’t the slightest bit bothered. This was grown-up vomiting, with heaving and retching, and he was getting very stressed and upset. I got him cleaned up, new sleepsuit and sleeping bag, and a fresh sheet on our bed. He had a big milk feed, snuggled into my shoulder and fell asleep.

I breathed a sigh of relief, just to have him empty his stomach all over me. I was so drenched that my T-shirt squelched under his head when he wiggled. I had to strip down T and myself, and replace the bed sheet which had been on the bed for no more than 10 minutes. The third (and last) bedsheet went on, and as we had no more replacements, a large towel went on the bed under the pair of us. DH cuddled T while I collected all the muslins, towels and baby blankets I could find, and put a load of laundry on. I had the entire contents of a linen cupboard piled up beside me as I settled in for the night with T sleeping on me. He had finally settled and I was able to put him down for a couple of hours.

I couldn’t sleep as I was worried, and this was the first time we have had to deal with anything like this. I lay between T and DH, listening to them both sleep. He woke at 2am, hungry, so I fed him but cut the feed short as I really didn’t want him bringing everything up yet again. He then slept through to 7am, 5 hours uninterrupted sleep being very rare! He is his usual happy, hungry self this morning, and whatever it was that caused all the upset last night has obviously passed. We have survived the first episode of being sick half the night, but I’m sure there will be many more yet to come. Maybe a few extra bed sheets will be necessary!

A Busy Week

This week T has been very busy learning new skills. It’s so much fun to watch him develop and take more interest in the world around him. You also feel so proud when he masters a new skill. In the space of 2 days he learned to sit unaided for a couple of minutes at a time (before toppling and rubbing his nose in the carpet), found that his toes are quite tasty, and managed to work out how to undo the velcro fastenings on his nappy.

It’s quite funny when he does something new, because he doesn’t seem to register that it’s new or amazing. He just does it, and looks a bit bemused when we’re praising him and telling him what a clever little pickle he is. It’s like ‘what’s the big deal, I’m only sitting up!’.

Meanwhile, us adults are on an epic quest to discover the mystical place known to many as The Bottom of the Laundry Basket. Despite many hours of toil, it remains thoroughly unreachable. The house, however, resembles a launderette, and there are items of clothing draped and strewn and piled in heaps and basket-loads almost everywhere you look. How one tiny human can create so much mess is amazing. Actually, when you consider the amount of vomit, poo, pee and general smearing of food around one’s face that he does in 24 hours, it’s not so amazing.

In other news, a tooth appears to be hovering just below the surface, so teething hell may well be upon us soon. If teething is really as bad as everyone makes out, the next post could well be accompanied by me sobbing into a large mug of coffee. We shall wait and see!

Who Will You Be?

As humans we like to use labels. If something doesn’t quite fit it’s label or category, we regard it with suspicion, or even fear. This has led to all sorts of problems over the course of history, with society attacking anyone who doesn’t ‘fit’. Despite this, we haven’t learned from our mistakes and still try to categorise everyone and everything. We even apply labels to ourselves. These labels generally seem to sum up what we surround ourselves with or what we do.

Who am I?

I would generally answer this question with a few meaningless statements.

I am scatterbrainedlass. I am a farm worker. I am wife to DH and mother to T. These are labels I use to identify myself to strangers. However, to people who know me, I am more than this. I am my characteristics. I am my strengths and weaknesses, my likes and dislikes, my fears and my triumphs.

When I look at my sleeping son and wonder ‘Who will you be?’ I am not wondering what job he will have when he’s older, or whether he has a university education or a nice car. I wonder how he will interact with others. DH and I play a game where we come up with a career choice for T when he does something. For example, he is fascinated by moving parts, so we say ‘Oh, he’ll be an engineer.’ Or he watches a group of piglets with rapt attention, so ‘He’ll be a farmer.’

I am curious to know what career path he will choose, but it’s really not important. What is important is WHO he is, what characteristics he shows. I hope that he will be gentle, compassionate, strong, trustworthy and full of integrity. Anything else really is an added bonus. He is already starting to show glimpses of his nature, and I can see a cheeky, headstrong, independent boy. Unfortunately, that is genetic!

As I watch him I wonder whether my parents did the same with me. Did they have dreams and aspirations for me? Did I fulfil them? The best parents are the ones who stand back and allow their children to forge their own path in life, but who support them the whole way. I can confidently label my own parents as the best. Maybe I didn’t achieve greatness in my life, but I know they don’t mind. I am happy, and that is all that matters to them. How do I know this? Because that is all I want for my own child.