How many times can you microwave a cup of tea before you should just give up and bin the whole idea of a hot drink altogether? I’m currently on my third go round and, undoubtedly, something will happen to stop me drinking it this time, too. The way my day’s shaping up I suspect this post will be written in small chunks! Life as a mum is fairly relentless, but at the end of the day, you look around and you realise – you may as well have just sat on your arse all day for all the noticeable difference you made.
So The Boy likes to hop out of bed repeatedly of an evening, as – I believe – many (most?) children do. In fact I do remember doing this myself on many occasions (apologies Mater, only now do I realise my sins) though it seemed entirely reasonable at the time.
The Man and I tried a few tactics for dealing with this, from Supernanny’s patented “Back to bed, darling” (the ‘darling’ usually uttered through tightly gritted teeth), to sitting in the room with him and a wonderful childrens’ meditation CD called Calm Kids, Bedtime Meditations For Kids. All of these were, ultimately successful, but only in conjunction with one, critical, crucial, vital element: that of complete and utter exhaustion.
It’s funny how you don’t realise how much you love something until it’s gone. An old trope, sure, but no less true for all that. The Girl had a bit of a development leap leading up to last night and when she woke up this morning things were different. She could track movement better and focus more quickly.
I watched her in her bouncy chair and whilst I was proud of her new achievements something seemed to be missing, and then I realised, she wasn’t kicking any more. I love the way little babies kick reflexively with funny little jerky movements that they just can’t help. I never appreciated it properly with The Boy, too impatient for him to grow up and reach the next milestone. With The Girl it’s different. I want time to slow down, I appreciate every moment of her babyhood, each second of it – each frantic kick – is precious.
So I was going to do a smug little post about the sun bonnet I made for The Girl out of an old shirt sleeve of her daddy’s, but then I popped onto Facebook and read a thread on my ante-natal group which threw up some things I wanted to address more. (I will do the smug tutorial-esque post soon though, promise).
A mother on this group was asking about aides for sitting – Bumbos, walkers etc and, along with some others, I said not to bother with those. They can cause physiological problems with hips and posture and force babies to do something they’re not physically ready for. Others agreed with me and when I suggested a playnest (like a big inflatable doughnut) to help support them in their attempts to sit without forcing them, I felt I had offered a reasonable compromise.
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.
Step 1 – get knocked up
Step 2 – grow that baby, and yourself, over nine months. Watch with pride as your belly swells to immense proportions (and horror as your backside and elsewhere does likewise). Try and stay active – just think how strong your legs will get doing your normal exercise but carrying all that extra weight!
Step 3 – get that baby out. How you do it is irrelevant to this exercise regime, but hopefully you’re able to walk not too long afterwards!