Thursday, 11 September 2014

Today was one of THOSE days

It's 8:22 AM and hubby has just raced out the door for work ten minutes late. He's always ten minutes late. I never understood how someone could get from being half asleep and horizontal to running out a door so quickly. I like taking an hour to get ready, half an hour if I deserve a sleep in. I guess that was before baby. Now I need at least two hours to make sure we will both cope after we step outside. Two and half if I attempt a shower. But what am I kidding. Showers are a luxury. Like going out the front door...

So it's 8:22 AM and I've been asleep for about four hours. And before that for about an hour. Let me explain. We'll just revisit the previous evening. I believe some of you may relate:

Photo credit, D. Garding

7:30 PM Ah, in bed, sleeping, happy, contented bubba. All is well. All is calm. Stay up chatting to hubby, eating our dinner, posting on blog and, oh my, look at the time it's 11:30. In bed around midnight.

12:10 AM Hubby goes to the toilet just before hoping into bed and as the flush sounds so does the cry from the nursery. His elbow banged against the wall. Directly above bub's cot. Bub is awake. Hubby's fault, so hubby resettles. It's the rule. My rule. 

12:30 AM All good. Bub is asleep. Lucky one, hubby.

2:46 AM Crying. What now? This isn't like her. Bounce on the fitball. Still crying. That's really not like her. Something's wrong. Change out of swaddle because it's getting too small and I was planning on changing her into a sleeping bag soon anyway. Maybe it was constricting her movements too much and she woke up. My goodness it is FREEZING and October! What's the deal? She must be cold. Take off new sleeping bag and put on extra layer under the Wondersuit, put the sleeping bag back on and put another blanket over the bed. Good, settled, OK. Let's sleep. 

4:00 AM I've been in bed about half an hour. Little murmurs. Yells. Louder murmurs. Crying out. Crying. Crying loudly. Darn it, she's probably hungry by now. (To add context, bub has only stopped night feeding for about two weeks. Therefore, I consider going from seven until four an excellent stint with no feeds). Get up and feed. It's frickin cold.

4:30 AM Bed. Sleep. She's fed and sleeps soundly. And, finally, so do I. 

7:45 AM Husband's alarm goes off. We rouse briefly. I think I hear a baby talking? Too sleepy. Not eight yet. Sleep again. 

8:10 AM Yep that's definitely a baby cry. Why's my husband still lying in bed? Kick him to get up or he'll be late. Drowsily lie listening to bubba make cute whimpers from the next room before dragging my own sleep deprived self out of bed, into a dressing gown and to get the baby. That's right, go to the loo first because if I don't go now I may not be able to until the first nap. 

8:21 AM Kiss hubby goodbye and start our day. Sigh. Day. Already. The sun is winking through the blinds as if we'd all had a wonderful night's sleep and are feeling radiant and expectant of a new day. I wish I could tell the sun where to go. I'm not ready for today.

So It's 8:22 AM and the beginning of one of THOSE days. You all know them. It is mainly characterised by loud shrieks of horror if any separation between caregiver and baby occurs, constant whining, lack of interest in normally mesmerising toys, resisting food, resisting nappy changes and general moodiness. It involves many one-handed tasks, even if before you never knew you could wash that saucepan with one hand, now you do and these days often result in, "Let's just all get in the car and go for a drive before I lose my wits!"

And so the day unfolds. We don't want to be put down, we don't want our yoghurt, we don't want our water, we DO want boob because boob fixes everything. Or it usually does. Today we are still sad. We don't want our toys, We don't want tummy time. We DO NOT want mummy to do something in the kitchen for more than three minutes even though we are sitting right there in our highchair banging colourful spoons on the tray. We DO want to watch TV but only for five minutes before we realise that today is a grumpy day and NOTHING will work to make us feel better. Not even TV. Heaven sent, amazing TV. Why did you let me down?

Before I became a mother I silently judged mums who gave their screaming toddlers a biscuit in a shopping centre, those parents who swooped in and coddled their baby as soon as they toppled over, the dads who reasoned with their grumpy child in McDonald's about their Happy Meal toy. I assumed that moody children were a product of their soft parents and I would NEVER be that parent. Well, today, I gave my baby her favourite food (yoghurt, for every meal), I turned on the TV, I hugged and swayed and rocked and sang, I considered medicating and I looked for every favourite thing I could think of to help my little girl settle and be quiet and stop whining for just ONE minute (please!). 

And I realised, those parents are actually very good parents. 

Not because they are demonstrating particularly good parenting techniques in public. There are probably wiser things to do at those moments. 

But then again, maybe they are choosing the wisest thing for THEIR child. 

THEY are the ones who'd know. 

Because every parent is trying. 

YOU don't know what their day has been like so far, and neither do I for that matter. 

I find it so heart wrenching to see my baby girl upset. She is trying so hard to communicate her needs to me, but a lot of the time I am just drawing a blank. So I try. I trial and error and try again, hoping to get it right. Trying to teach her how to tell me she is hungry, thirsty, tired, cold, bored, uncomfortable etc as I try to learn her ever changing cues and signals. 

I desperately want my children to grow up resilient. And I know I cannot give in to my child all the time. But not today. Today was one of THOSE days. And when it is one of THOSE days we all do what we have to do.

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