So, it’s nearly 10pm and for anyone who knows our family, they’ll know that’s pretty late for us. In fact, with The Boy’s penchant for 5am rising it’s nearly an hour past parental bedtime. I should be tucked up in bed with my Kindle by now, if not actually sleeping, but sometimes days just don’t work out like that.
The Boy was at preschool all day (well, 9am-3pm) so I had my eyes on the prize: a long list of things to get done whilst The Girl snoozed, or kicked away happily on her playmat. I put on a wash, started a bolognaise sauce, ironed a few bits that had been hanging around, then metaphorically rolled up my sleeves – time for the fun stuff. I started researching sun bonnets whilst I fed her, determined to make her a pretty one along similar lines to one my friend’s baby was wearing that had been bought in a boutique somewhere along the SouthWest coast.
The plan was to patch together a couple of patterns whilst she fed, then find some fabric and at least cut it out today whilst she napped, but The Girl had other ideas. Today The Girl was a sad girl. Possibly it’s the 12 week development leap coming up, possibly it’s something to do with her drooling and snotty nose (teeth? a cold?). Who the hell knows. Most of parenting is bloody guesswork.
From a happy smiley girl who is quite happy to watch the world go by, who smiles all day, who goes to sleep peacefully on her own, she has turned into what I term a ‘proper’ baby. A whingey, clingy, velcro mess who wants to snack on and off and will only sleep upright on my chest. Until I sat down to write this blog post I was feeling pretty fed up. Today had been tougher than usual, especially the three hours between picking The Boy up from preschool and his bedtime.
But now, with the house all quiet, my snuffly girl snoring under my chin as I type around her, I realise that there will always be days like these. Days when you don’t get to do anything for you, hell – days when you don’t get to do anything at all, including going to the loo unaccompanied. I sniff my daughters fluffy head, think about babies who never came into being, or were lost too soon, think about how nearly she was one of them and how lucky I am to be pinned to the sofa underneath her warm weight and it doesn’t really matter any more.
Days like these are to be treasured and when it feels like you’ve achieved nothing, remember the family motto: “Everyone fed, nobody dead” and go to bed with a clear conscience that you’ve at least managed that much.