Hello! I haven’t talked to you in ages! I know I haven’t been around for like, AGES, and I’m sorry. I have no excuse, I just haven’t. Sorry.
The last few months have been filled with work, baby rearing, more work and a bit of Christmas in between. The little fella is now a wobbler who belts it around the house with the force of a thousand horses – not really, it just seems like that to me. He is talking lots – he said ‘goal’ yesterday while watching football with the fella… this made me proud and devastated in equal measure.
I feel like I’ve got a handle on this mothering lark. It takes ages – almost a year for me – to let go of the bone-clenching fear that comes packaged so beautifully with your first baby and really believe that you do know what’s best. Of course, nothing is perfect, and the little fella falls on his head a lot, and I fail to interpret his cries at least seventy million times a day, but mostly we chug along quite nicely.
We have only just got him back in his own cot after an extended teething bout meant that he was snuggling in between the fella and me most nights. This was cosy, but a total passion killer, so we made the executive decision to throw him back in his own room two weeks ago.
The process has been difficult and tiring, but we seem to have gotten there thanks to a mix of white noise, 4am rocking and kissing. We started out tough, and did a whole hour of controlled crying which worked but in a horrific, torturous way. The little fella was so distraught he hiccuped his way to sleep after screaming for a whole hour. I couldn’t do it again – I’m sure he would have held up ok, but my heart couldn’t take it.
It was after the Great Controlled Crying Episode of 2012 that I realised something. The only way for the fella and I to succeed at this parenting business is to take the best bits from all kinds of advice and cobble them together to make a hybrid that works specifically for us. When it comes to sleeping, that meant sitting in the dark beside the little fella’s cot until he lulled himself off to sleep, knowing that someone who loved him very much was hanging out, making sure nothing bad would happen. It took longer than the short, sharp shock of controlled crying, but it worked eventually.
The more time I spend as a Ma, the more I curse myself for all the judgements I have casually hurled at people over the years. It’s a hard business, being a parent, and we do the best we can, with the knowledge we have at the time. After almost a year of knowing the little fella in the real world I can confidently say that we do our absolute best to make our family one that our son will be proud to be a part of. It mightn’t look ideal to others looking in, but to our little cocoon, when we are all cuddled up together on the couch eating chocolate biscuits, I can’t imagine a better place to be.