The truth about…

so I saw tomorrow’s theme for blog posts is #thetruthabout and immediately thought back to earlier today.

This post is the truth about that screaming baby. 

A close friend of mine is visiting from Yorkshire, so we decided to stick to our old tradition of meeting in the centre of our fine city (Norwich, just FYI) and go to our favourite restaurant where we used to work together, and order our usual starter of garlic bread with cheese. The only difference in this plan to countless before was that this time I would have my baby with me. 

All started well, we’d been for coffee, Twiglet was an angel, smiling, cuddling and eating her rusk biscuit. 

The First Screams occurred not long after arrival, she didn’t want to be in her high chair and so made it known. A couple behind my friend were polite and didn’t look our way, but I was immediately anxious we were ruining someone’s romantic lunch. So I guess the first #truthabout is that a baby may seem spoiled wanting to be up and out of the high chair, when in fact they’ve already put up with many inane grown up situations so far that day! 

The Second Screams occurred as the clock struck 12:24, 24 minutes past Twiglets lunch. She was hungry, and so  made it known. This is easily rectified with an organic purée or whatever floats your boat for baby meals, so please bear with the parent desperately trying to find said meal from within the Mary Poppins bag of nappies! The second #truthabout here being…nappy bags have a lot of equipment hidden within them, so bear with mum/dad/carer! 

The Third Screams, and by far the worst, came midway through our main course. She did not like her high chair. She did not want food. She did not need a nappy change. She did not want cuddles. She was teething. 

I always feel awful for Twiglet when showing signs of teething, because other than calpol and hugs I can do little else. When I think to times when my teeth have ached or been sensitive, I feel doubly sorry for teething babies, having whole sets of teeth cutting their way through the gums! 😬

The worst part was a couple who had just been seated opposite us. They heard Twiglet, exchanged a look, and moved tables. They actually moved. Because of me and my baby. I was mortified, even minutes later when I spotted the gentleman giving me dirty looks as I tried to comfort my tired teething baby. At that point I should have gotten grouchy. It was a family friendly restaurant, early afternoon, you expect children to be about. I should have been really grouchy, I was hugging, rocking, soothing as best I could. I should have given dirty looks back. Because #thetruthabout a crying baby is, you can do everything right, have all the right toys, all the right foods, stick as close to their routine as you like; the truth is if a baby is teething, it can strike at any time, anywhere, and the baby will cry. A lot. 

So the truth about that screaming baby you see is, sometimes the baby’s just got to scream. And odds are the parent/carer is doing all they can to fix it, so no dirty looks please, we really are trying.

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…and then the blossom was dancing again

Permanently looking like a panda is the standard look for me these days. I adore my baby, but she is slowly driving me insane after more than eight months of sleep that lasts a maximum of two hours at a time.

I think I hit my ‘wall’ last weekend. I could feel my eyes were heavy, my limbs were slow and just driving to my parents house was enough activity for the day.  The mulch of blossom on my car (creating ANOTHER job I just didn’t have time for), the cold weather, and the constant fact I just wasn’t sleeping enough was just building up into a ball of despair in me. It felt like a big cloud was hanging low over my head, shrouding everything in gloom.

Arriving at my parents, I put Twiglet down in the kitchen, immediately started telling my mum stories from the week, keeping a close eye on a baby who was now crawling, pulling herself up and grabbing everything in sight- a lot had changed in a week, and I was struggling to adjust to a much more active and accident-prone baby.  Halfway into our first story, I spot Twiglet trying to use the vegetable rack, which is on wheels, to pull herself up. I heaved a sigh and scooped her up, muttering ‘it’s not a good day, is it?’ Mum turned from the sink and calmly replied ‘it’s not a bad day, it’s just your attitude.’ 

Now that may sound harsh, or nonchalant in the face of exhaustion, or may just ring true based on my mood, but to me it was like an epiphany. She was completely right. Looking at my active, inquisitive baby, I suddenly remembered she was hardly at an age to be purposefully naughty, she was, and still is, exploring her world. 

So for the last week, tired, reasonably rested, hungry, whatever my state, I’ve worked hard to be more positive for my baby. And it’s worked. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still dying for a good nights sleep, but I’m once again enjoying all the little things. Her laugh, her fascination with an empty bottle over any expensive toy, her baby chat, her determination to climb on any piece of furniture, her singing, all of it. Just making sure I remain positive has pushed that cloud away, and made me feel happier in myself.  

 Twiglet is such a happy baby, and last week in the car I just ended up grinning; in the mirror I have installed in the car on the headrest so I can see her, she was talking and waving to me, and the sun was breaking through the clouds. A wind whipped up at the traffic lights and the blossom swirled up, then floated over the traffic like natures confetti welcoming the summer and I thought ‘if that’s not a pathetic fallacy, I don’t know what is’

Mums offhand comment has really pulled me back and helped me keep upbeat, so thank you mum- the blossom is dancing again. 🌸