…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. 🌸

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An open letter to my neighbours…

Dear neighbours,

We’re not friends. At best we are mere acquaintances. At worst, simply people living next to each other, living our own lives oblivious to one another’s. 

I want you to know I understand the walls are old and thin. And that I understand everyone has their own quirks, habits, routines. That I understand sometimes children tantrum and scream, or that sometimes you just need to turn up your favourite song just because. But I also want you to know you seriously suck. Like, really.

I’ve often mentioned during our polite exchanges that for more than eight months now my baby has had me up every two hours every night. I am exhausted. This is in no way an exaggeration. With two children of your own I assumed you’d understand my desperate need for sleep at any given opportunity. Apparently not.

Is it just ignorance that makes you want to loudly clean out and Hoover your fireplace at 10pm? Or pure whim that you’ve chosen to rearrange your house tonight at 9pm? Perhaps the hour is not that late to you, despite your children waking you, and us, up at the crack of dawn every day with their adorable screaming and tantruming. I can’t tell you how much I love that, knowing my baby is still sleeping and my partner has only had six hours sleep after a 13 hour day, to be woken up by you. And if it’s not the children, it’s you, whistling. Got to love a whistler. 

It seems worse because I’ve spoken to you before about noise. Several times. And I don’t believe the sound only travels one way. It can’t, surely? 

My Twitter followers probably think I’m insane, or an old lady, the number of times I’ve ranted about your inconsiderate behaviours. I just need to vent. We are far too polite and British to do it in person. 

To sum up, please be quiet. Please just THINK, because next door I’m likely despairing, and wondering if we indeed disturb you just as much. 

Yours,

The sleep deprived neighbour 

I will NEVER…!

So it’s been eight months since my baby girl was born, and being a parent is a constant learning curve. It’s fun, it’s draining, it’s the most amazing experience and the most testing. Over these eight months I’ve looked fondly back at my pregnancy and smiled at all the things I swore I’d NEVER do as a parent…and have since done.

1. I will NEVER let my baby get so completely messy at meal times.

Turns out this one isn’t always optional, especially when it’s something green and not so tasty. Or a rusk. Got to love a crumbly drool covered rusk biscuit.

2. I will NEVER talk to her in crazy baby talk

“Ooh she’s such a good girly whirly”… you can’t help it. They are so cute and squishy and love cooey baby talk, so why not? You’ll find you really really don’t care if people think you’re bonkers

3. I will NEVER co-sleep with my baby. 

I used to recoil in horror when people said they shared their bed with their baby. We all know it’s not safe, it’s not recommended, and yet…it’s so relaxing with a warm baby curled up next to you.  Plus, try getting up every two hours for eight months straight to breast feed, you’d soon be letting baby share with you too.

4. I will NEVER be one of those mums who goes shopping EVERY week

I used to watch the Baby Club wandering the city, window shopping or using a need for a pair of socks as an excuse to go out, and I’d think ‘No way will I do that’. But with a baby activities are limited and getting regular fresh air is a must, so if admiring the latest Kath Kidson dress in the window means we both get to go out I’m sold.

5. I will NEVER take my baby to a restaurant and disturb other people

I hated going for a romantic meal, and on the next table is a loud screamy baby. Mood. Killer.

Unfortunately, to keep up with friends and family, sometimes a lunch is necessary- it’s also hard to guess what mood baby will be in. She can be smiley and happy when we go in, yet order the starter and all manner of baby hell breaks loose. And people have to deal. I am mortified if baby girl gets too fussy, but she’s a baby and gets to scream if she wants to. Plus she’s mine so shush your mouth, she is wonderful, screams or no screams.

6. I will NEVER let her do what she wants

So, within reason, babies do try and get into everything and anything they shouldn’t. And obviously if it can be swallowed or is a general danger, baby does not get what she wants (this includes chewing the TV remote) But watching her crawl over to my pile of To Watch DVDs and pull them off the shelf is just so darn adorable…! The newest challenge is making sure daddy doesn’t give her what she wants when she screams, but I’m sure that will come up in later toddler based blog posts.

7. I will NEVER let the baby take over my house

Babies have a lot more stuff than I ever anticipated. Enough said.

8. I will NEVER visit people and expect them to babysit

Turns out most people WANT to play with baby and give you a break. As a new mum you quickly realise it’s worth making the most of every moment.

9. I will NEVER lose my patience and ask “What do you want?!”

I refer to point 3. You’re very tired, baby is tired, it doesn’t always end with a smile on your face, but you do get through it. Eventually. And asking baby what they want, despite the fact the biggest word they can say is ‘ma’, just seems to be an adult brain trying to make sense of a senseless situation, so give us a break eh?

10. I will NEVER expect my partner to help out at night

My fiancée runs a pub, works very long hours. However, when he is home from work at around midnight still buzzing from a days work, he has far more energy than me to walk her to sleep for the umpteenth time.

Despite all these ‘failures’, I am loving parenting. And I’m pleased to say there are one or two ideas my naive hormone addled pregnant brain had that I’ve kept to. The best one being ‘I will NEVER forget how lucky I am’. 💓