So, a few weeks ago I decided to take some maternity leave from my blog. The reasons were manifold, but mostly it was because the little fella was awake ALL THE TIME and I didn’t have a second to brush my teeth, let alone talk to you lot.
So, the last few weeks have been very very cool. The little fella and I have spent a LOT of time hanging out in our own filth, getting to know each other. As well as this, we have become far braver than we were when he was just hatched. We have ventured all the way across the city to stay with my Mum (it took two car loads to bring all the ‘essentials’ I thought we needed) and even made a trip to Ikea together last week – they have AMAZING changing facilities so they do.
The little fella started smiling two weeks ago and has graduated to a burbling laugh that actually made me cry the other day when he burst out laughing as the fella walked in the door. I have turned into a total sap. I spent twenty minutes on the phone to my sister talking about the little fella’s poo – or lack of, he hadn’t gone in three days and the poo-plosion that heralded the reinstatement of his bowels was worthy of a post in itself (don’t worry, I won’t do that to you). So, you see, I am that ma. The ma who coos gobble-dee-gook at her kid in the pram. The ma who shouts about her baby’s crap while in the frozen food aisle. And, worst of ALL. The ma who refuses to give up the GIANT knickers of pregnancy because they are too damn comfy.
I brought the little fella to get his jabs yesterday which was HORRIFIC. We had a taster a few weeks back at the torture chamber of a BCG clinic but being stabbed by two giant needles was too much (for me) to bear. The little fella coped remarkably well. Straight after I hotfooted it to the chemist to buy some Calpol in case he got a temperature from the vaccine and once home, to calm my nerves I took a sly swig from the bottle. RESULT. It tastes exactly as me-as-a-child remembers. AMAZING. Totally delicious and quite exciting really. Now I’m not a drug addict or anything, but it was just sitting there in front of me and curiosity got the better of me, ok?
Things I have learned on my parenting journey:
1. Baths are like valium for babies. My little fella zens out completely when he’s floating around, so despite the whole ‘only bathe your baby a few times a week or he’ll get a skin disorder AND DIE’ I hoosh him into his bath every night before bed.
2. You have to ignore unsolicited advice from people. I met a cousin at the shops last week who informed me that my baby had thrush and I’d want to get it seen to. I, filled with the guilt of not knowing that my baby was ill and probably in pain went into a right tizz, hysterically ringing around doctors until eventually we got to see one who reassured me that there was not a jot of the stuff to be found in the little fella. After parting with €55 I decided it was time to start trusting myself as a parent.
3. When your baby is going MAAAAD and does that I’ve-stopped-breathing-I’m-crying-so-much thing that my little fella has down to a fine art, dip their soother into a pot of glycerine and aniseed and stick it in their gob. This stuff is MAGICAL. It is totally natural and is sugar free and TOTALLY chills them out. I think it’s the new sensation of something in their mouth that makes them forget about not breathing, but as long as it stops the madness I’m happy. You can get it in most chemists for about three quid.
4. Men designed car seats and these so called travel systems. They weigh a BLOODY TON! My back is in ribbons from all the hooshing and pushing and folding and tugging – only a man would come up with this and call it a travel solution.
5. You do get your life back. This is really important for anyone who is just after having their baby and is reading this covered in poo and vom and whose fanny really hurts. My little fella is eight weeks old and I feel like myself again. My life is different of course, but I don’t have that all consuming brick of fear/guilt/avalanche of tears weighing on my heart all the time. What I’m trying to say is, in a few weeks it will be different, and better – and in the meantime, stay in your pajamas, eat chocolate biscuits (I tell myself dark chocolate digestives are a health food), watch Oprah and wallow until you feel the fog lift.