Talk baby to me.

Baby talk. Some love it, some hate it. You’ll find most people have an opinion on it. I had opinions on it too, it then I had a baby and nothing makes you rethink your opinions like having a baby.

I’d never been one for baby talk. In fact I was decidedly awkward around babies, mostly because they ALWAYS cried around me. Some women from a young age are magnetically drawn to babies, and they’re good with then. I was never one of those women.

I went to a hen do a couple of weeks ago. It was the first time I’d left Wills for more than one evening. Although I was dreading being away from him in the run up, I had the most lovely time, and I didn’t miss him as much as I thought I would. (Enter mum guilt.) Some of the women there had said they absolutely do not do baby talk. And I have no problem with that, how other people talk to babies and children is not my business. I don’t feel there is a better way and if I did what makes what I think right? (I’m not always right. Although don’t tell hubs that…)

Anyway, through the miracle of FaceTime, I was able to see my little boy who was decidedly confused as to why mummy was now in the square thingy and not nanny. On the morning we were saying our goodbyes, my phone trilled signifying daddy was true to his word and keeping in touch. I pressed ‘accept’ and the small screen was filled with the face of my son. My beautiful baby. And my voice went high pitched ‘Good morning pookie! Have you been a good boy?!’ William is only 10 months old (well he was nine months when this happened) he doesn’t understand most of what I say, so it’s not what I say, it’s how I say it. He smiled at me and I felt an ache, I wanted to cuddle him, I wanted to hold him close and take in the scent of his hair. But I couldn’t so out poured torrents of baby talk, and his little face broke into a massive, adorable grin. And he clapped. ‘Yay! Who’s a clever boy?’

And that’s when I heard a friend say ‘What is it about babies that makes people talk like retards?’

Wow.

Not only is that far from politically correct, it was upsetting.

Not so long ago I probably would have cringed hearing myself. But I absolutely delight in William, I feel genuine excitement when I see him, sometimes that bursts out of me in the form of baby talk. Kind of like what seeing puppies does to people, gives them a warm fuzzy feeling that sends them into a mini meltdown. Was there any need to make such a comment? Is that the reason I’m now trying to justify how I speak to my child right now? Well I’m nipping that in the bud right now!

I talk baby talk. If you don’t like it that’s your problem, not mine.

In other news:

Wills is once again a little snot factory, he doesn’t seem bothered, he seems to enjoy licking it off his face.

We are off to a wedding on Saturday. I’m hoping to get a nice family photo before Wills gets filthy and daddy gets drunk.

Our garden continues to be the place all the cats get together in for a scrap.

Where has our baby gone?

Okay, so that’s a bit dramatic, and just to be clear we haven’t lost him.

I’ve been growing increasingly annoyed at the state of William’s room so have just spent the last hour or so ‘sorting’.

Shortly after we brought Wills home from the hospital we had a lot of visitors (none of which brought food, apart from my little sister, if people try to visit you without food, don’t let them in! I am serious; no food = NO ENTRY). Many came bearing gifts (of the non-edible variety) we had some beautiful clothes in size three to six months, I remember holding them up thinking ‘Shit! This is MASSIVE it’s never going to fit him!’

Well they did fit him, for about five minutes and now….

they are too small.

Too small.

He’s growing so fast he’s eating solids, he’s sitting up, he does a sort of crawl (sort of) he giggles, turns when he hears his name, splashes in the bath, smiles and reaches out to other babies.

What seems like only five minutes ago, he ate and slept.

I’m not sure how I feel about this, I’m not used to being a mum yet. There are so many things I’m unsure of, I feel like I’ve gotten a job I wasn’t quite qualified for and soon people will start to notice that I have no bloody clue what I’m doing or what I should be doing. I feel everyone has something to say about how we parent, apparently paranoia is a big part of it. Nothing quite damages your self esteem like bringing up a human.

And nothing makes time go by so quickly. People told me to enjoy every second and although some seconds are far from enjoyable, they’re right.

And when time has left us older, wiser and saggier, and our little boy is all grown up and we are left with a gaping void to fill….. we’re getting a puppy.

In other news:

Captain has been stalking a spider that seems to be residing in the living room. The spider, being both superior in leg and brain power, has continued to outsmart him.

Marms is still seen only fleetingly.

I’ve just completed my first week back at work.

 

 

The greatest adventure you’ll ever have.

When I was heavily pregnant and resembling a space hopper on legs hubs and I went for a coffee. This isn’t unusual for us and I have to say it was a much easier thing to do without a baby in tow. As we drank our coffees (caffeine free for me) an old lady, who was sitting on the next table, watched us rather intently with a half smile on her face. As we got up to leave she touched my arm, asked if this was our first, and told me ‘This will be the greatest adventure you will ever have, enjoy every second, there is no feeling quite like the one you get when you are a parent.’

Naturally this made me blub, and it took an awful lot of self control not to have a full on pregnancy hormone induced meltdown in the middle of Costa’s.

Thinking about what she said to me I’m left wondering ‘When will it feel like that?’

Mostly as well as tired, lonely, guilty, fed up, inept I feel like I’m already failing our son. I have no idea what sort of parent I’m supposed to be, but having said that I’ve got to 31 and I’m not sure exactly what sort of adult I am. As I type this, one of my hands is blue because I came into contact with a leaky pen, I had hoped I’d be a much more presentable person. Not much chance of that as one of my favourite t-shirts has a cartoon picture of Little Red Riding Hood kicking the Big Bad Wolf in the nuts on the front. I was distraught when the key ring with the same image broke last week.

So where is my adventure? Is this it? Yesterday I had to stop Wills eating biscuit crumbs off the carpet. I also had to intervene when the threw up on the carpet and proceeded to play with it. This is a new thing, if he doesn’t keep it in his mouth to chew to it, he plays with it. (I would like to take this opportunity to point out he has lots of toys, but apparently sick is much more appealing.) All in all, day to day life doesn’t feel very adventurous.

But perhaps I’ve hit a slump. I’m faced with returning to work next week and although I crave adult interactions and not being at the beck and call of a tiny human, I am dreading it. I don’t feel I’m ready. I don’t think I’ve prepared William yet. (Although how I’d do that, I have no idea!) I don’t feel I’ve got this mothering thing down, so how can I go back to work when I’m not a ‘proper mum’ yet? And also, why don’t I feel like a proper mum? What the deuce is one of those anyway?

And then I think about the old lady in a coffee shop. She’s been there, I imagine her children ate biscuit off the carpet, she craved a cup of tea in peace and cried often. But there she was, smiling, genuinely excited for me.

So maybe I need to think a bit deeper.

How about the first time I heard him cry? When hubs told me we had a boy, our first shopping trip, first walk on a beach? (Well carry, mummy was walking), our first swim, first night in his cot? First solid food? First time he reacted to his name? The absolute joy those moments have brought.

So maybe it’s a lot of tiny adventures that are ever so easily overlooked by overtired parents.

And maybe, one day, I’ll be an old lady in a coffee shop smiling at a ginormous space hopper lady and her husband.

In other news:

I fear that Marms has abandoned ship, to pursue a life with the neighbours. Heart is officially broken and I still call the furry little traitor every night.

The remaining loyal cat is becoming more interested in interacting with the tiny human. These moments are usually extremely cute.

Three more sleeps and I’m back at work.

 

Making it out of the house with a baby – Mission only just possible.

As the end of my maternity leave draws closer, I find myself trying to cram in as many activities as possible in with Wills. I feel annoyed that I didn’t do more earlier, but such is life. I’m just hoping that not taking him to every conceivable baby group from the moment he drew his first breath, won’t have a long term negative impact on his life…

‘So, Mrs Warwick, how do you feel being the mother of the most infamous drug lord/murderer/dictator on the planet?’

‘…. urrrm, obviously I’m very sad, if only I’d taken him to baby mingle/my kid’s better than yours/parenting – you’re doing it wrong, he’d be a well adjusted surgeon instead of a drug lord/murderer/dictator. I knew I’d screw him up!’

 

Okay so probably not that bad, and I’d like to point out baby groups are fantastic things to join but I just don’t like having them shoved down my throat. I always thought I’d join loads. But then I actually had a baby. And when hubs went back to work, I was frightened to take him out on my own; what if he cries and I can’t stop him? What if I don’t have enough food/nappies/spare clothes? What if I have a car accident on the way? A million different anxieties, so I stayed in. I cuddled him, I cried sometimes and my god did I want to get out the house, but I felt tethered to it.

I still occasionally feel like that. Leaving the house with a little one is a monumental pain in the arse. It’s the reason why we pretty much NEVER do anything spontaneous. Yes ‘popping’ over for a cupper is fabulous in theory but it’s no longer an option. Because this is how leaving the house goes for me:

Dress baby in something clean and presentable, go downstairs to pack the bag, Baby throws up all over himself. Change baby in the next best clean and presentable clothes. Make food to take (just in case) gather coats etc, realise need more clean nappies, run upstairs to get them. Pack nappies go to put coat on baby. That moment is right when he decides he is hungry, starving  in fact. And why let just me know when he can inform the neighbours too. So I make a bottle, only to discover that William is participating in the worlds SLOWEST FEED EVER competition. Pretty sure he’s the winner. Then I attempt to  burp him. Just. not. happening. Then I have to change his bum. With a fed and clean bottomed baby I head for the front door and realise that now I need a wee. Up the stairs I go. Then because I don’t like taking several trips to the car, I laden myself up like a donkey in an attempt to get everything in the one go. Wrestle Will into car seat, cursing  the fact my car only has three sodding doors. As soon as the belt clicks William throws up over himself. I swear and search for his binky (rag), it’s not in the bag. Back to the house, unlock the door, run round like a mad woman trying the find a sodding binky that’s not already a health hazard, all the while imagining Wills is being kidnapped. Find binky, lock front door, attempt to wipe sick off baby but it’s already gone crusty. Try not to cry with the sheer frustration of it all. Start car. Hear baby gurgling content. Begin drive to destination. Baby stops gurgling. Convince myself that he is in some sort of life threatening situation in the back of the car. Call his name, nothing. Glance quickly over shoulder, as he’s in a rear facing seat, I can only see his feet. Feet are still. Oh god oh god oh god, pull over, undo seat belt contort body round. Baby is awake and frowning. Sigh with relief and curse self for being so silly. Continue on journey. Arrive at destination, frazzled, sweating, pissed off and wanting something stronger than tea!

I am faced with this daunting task every time I attempt to leave the house. Last week I had that PLUS wrangling a cat into his travel carrier, which as he was poorly, there wasn’t too much wrangling.

Did I mention most days we had to get to the vets twice?

So although groups are fantastic there is a hell of a lot of work to be done just to get through the door.

I’m sure it will get easier. When he’s a teenager he might find me so embarrassing he takes the bus…

In other news:

Captain continues to improve. I’ve even yelled at him a couple of times (He has five scratching posts but prefers clawing the sofa, you’d shout at him too.)

Wills is now going to bed earlier, huzzarh! But he’s waking up earlier too (6:15 am, I can’t wake up that early and be nice).

Woke from a nap to find both Marms and Captain joining in on the action, it’s nice to do things together, even if it is sleeping.