Unexpected things you learn

When my baby arrived I expected a steep learning curve. Stuff like how to hold a newborn, when you should change a nappy, how you should change a nappy, what temperature a bath should be, how to wind them, what to dress them in, etc. But along the way I have found myself learning things that I’d never have expected. Stuff that they don’t put in baby books. For example:

Not Coughing
You know the feeling. You’re lying in bed desperate to cough with your little one sound asleep on the other side of the room. It took an hour to get them to sleep and you’ll be damned if you’re going to let a little thing like some dislodged phlegm wake them up. So you lay there doing a silent gurgle and somehow manage to make the cough go away. What a skill.

One-Handed Coffee
I didn’t realise until James was about 3 months old that you can put a baby down just about anywhere (given suitable safety checks of course…”oh I’d better move that carving knife” for example). Add in James’ fondness for being up on your shoulder and what do you get? That’s right, a one-handed mummy. I am still impressed at how many things I can do with only one hand, particularly making coffee. I don’t think I’d be here now if I hadn’t mastered that.

Banana Poo
I thought that nappy changing would be a pretty grim affair, but it turns out that baby poo is quite fascinating. Especially when you start weaning them onto solid food. Every time you introduce a new food there’s the “Will he like it?” “How much will he eat?” “Will I have to offer it 30 times before he’ll eat some?” but also (and embarrassingly) “What will it look like at the other end?”  Banana poo is a classic. I had no idea that the humble banana would produce such interesting poo! (Oh what has become of me…)

Elbow Pram Driving
Imagine the scene, baby has been asleep in the pram for 10 minutes, it’s hot, they’ve had hardly any naps today, and the slightest noise is unsettling them. You have to keep walking otherwise they’ll wake up (and stay above 50mph anyone??) but you also need to reattach the sun shade. What do you do? Why, drive the pram with your elbows of course! This transferable skill can be used for a whole host of tasks, like drinking some water, checking your phone, slumping over the pram while you walk on a particularly sleep deprived occasion. Passers-by might roll their eyes or tut (after all Mary Poppins never pushed a pram with her elbows) but it’s so useful, I think I know who’s winning.

Award Winning Multi-Tasking
I’ve always been good at doing several things at once, but when you have a baby you take it to a whole new level. Take lunch time for example. I regularly find myself preparing James’ meal (gloop of the day), making a sandwich for me, cooking some more veggies for another meal, pureeing said veggies, washing up, emptying the dishwasher, writing a shopping list and making coffee all at once. Add in the sleep deprivation and I have to say I’m quite impressed that I’ve learnt to do so much simultaneously.

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Love daughter, hate nappies

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I need to get something off my chest – I know it’s controversial – but I hate changing nappies. Now, I’m very much a champion of the “mumsterhood” and I would do anything to support my fellow mums, but really, does anyone actually like changing nappies? Are you sure? There’s pooh there! Pooh is disgusting to me whether it comes from my darling daughter’s little pink bottom, the fluffy behind of a baby rabbit or the hairy a*se of a giant man. It’s pooh, it’s disgusting because it smells horrendous, it looks horrendous, it’s…pooh! 

My daughter, aka the sh*t machine poohs every day, sometimes twice a day. The only bits I like about this is that a) I assume it means she’s healthy and b) the funny red googly-eyed straining face she does when she’s curling one out. It’s pretty amusing, especially when she does it in public and everyone’s watching her. Poor girl is going to get some serious ribbing in adult life if people don’t forget about it before she’s old enough to feel embarrassment.
I don’t make a big deal about hating pooh (except dog pooh which will never have a place in my life) I don’t complain about changing nappies I just don’t like it. OK sometimes I will pass her to my husband right after she’s done one and when he goes “I think she’s poohed”, I act surprised. Very occasionally I just look at him with a sad face and say “she’s poohed”. But mostly I just adopt my coping mechanism which I’ve had for every stage of her pooh and get on with it. My coping mechanism in case you were wondering is this 1) Hold breath 2) Try not to look at it 3) If it’s really bad say “Oh my God, this is disgusting” repeatedly in my head.
Here’s why I did this at every stage; because there has been no stage that wasn’t disgusting. The black tar ones when she was first born were revolting and scary and almost as big as her. They took about 700 balls of cotton to remove – then once I’d manoeuvred her little bird legs back into her blasted baby grow, she’d do another – straight away. Then there was the “liquified alien” stage – the clue is in the name. Then there was the yellow curry-sauce projectile stage which was the worst, and dangerous to boot; I got poohed on (and screamed), my best mate got poohed on (it took 2 washes to get it off her white top), my husband had to deal with what can only be described as a butt explosion which went so far up her back she had to go in the bath. Which brings us to now, where we are in the semi-solid-sludge stage. Guess what? It’s still gross and it will continue to be gross – forever. My love for her is unconditional and endless; and so is my hatred for pooh.

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© gorillamums 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material or media (including images) without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to gorillamums with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Poo Nostalgia

Before continuing, I should point out that I am writing this post on the basis that you know and I know that mothers of babies find poo fascinating and could probably talk about it all day, so let’s not pretend we think that this post will really be disgusting.

On the way back from the monthly weigh-in (baby, not me) today I was chatting to one of the other gorilla mums about how quickly our babies are growing up. I found it rather frightening to be sat in the waiting room for the weigh-in to see at least 2 “baby babies” as I call them – that is, little babies who are probably only a few months old. I was frightened because that was Hannah just a few weeks ago, and that in that same amount of time I will be back at work, and back into my own routine. It made me think about just how true the advice was that I was given by sooooo many people that I should take time to enjoy Hannah when she is so small because the time flies by so quickly.

Anyway, I digress. Me and the other Gorilla Mum (it was Anna, actually) were talking about poo – as one does – and the effect on it of our babies eating solids. I, like Anna, was entertained and amused by the particular effect that banana has on it – poo with little black streaky dots in it, what’s all that about? The conversation then developed into how the substance of the poo has changed (a lot more solid than it used to be) as well as the colour (mainly orangey) and that we missed that oddly cute smell of a baby’s milk poo. My husband and I still quite like changing her nappy, and it’s even a favourite Grandma (my mum) and Nanny (his mum) task to perform.

Now, I’m a clever lass (or clever enough to think at least) and I know this is not going to last. I have very clear visions of the future based on the experiences of dealing with my (gorgeous) nephews for a start. However, I just don’t want the future to come too quickly. The poo is just one issue which, for me, symbolises the pace at which life is moving now. Hannah is in size 3s at the moment, but not for that much longer and there will be no going back. My little girl is growing up. Do I want this to happen? Yes of course – I want her to develop and grow into the fantastic young woman I know she is going to be.  But not too fast please, because she can never go back.

My grandma, after whom Hannah is named (one of her middle names), used to say to my mum that each age has its rewards and I think that’s true.  There’s nothing like the wonderfulness of a newborn, but then you don’t get the fun of playing with a newborn that you do with an older baby.  I guess Hannah will, as I am to my mum, always be my baby, but I’m not half going to miss those early days.  Especially when she hits the terrible twos……..

 

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

© gorillamums 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material or media (including images) without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to gorillamums with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Poorly babies

I always swore I wouldn’t be one of those mothers who run to the doctor just because their baby has sneezed, but I have to say that Hannah has seen more of the doctor in 5 months than I have in 5 years. Well not quite. She is, after all, a baby who needs check ups and jabs and so on. Aside from those I feel I can justify those visits. The first time was about 4 months ago when she hadn’t pooed for 2 days- everything I had been told previously suggested that this wasn’t normal and that she should be doing a number 2 at least twice per day. Nonsense. Hannah’s record is 5 days and it’s nothing to worry about. The second time was yesterday. She’d had a cold for a couple of days and had also been coughing, to the extent she couldn’t sleep (and to be honest I couldn’t either and feel rubbish myself). I felt a bit stupid going to the doctor with a cold, but it was the Friday before a bank holiday and my little girl had been valiantly struggling to sleep for 3 days without much success. So I was pleased when she was prescribed antibiotics- my poor little baby’s suffering will soon be over and not before time. As I type I am sitting in the back seat of our car with her on my way to visit my parents for the weekend. I can’t wait- the thought of 2 days of rest is so exciting I might wee.

Random things I’ve learnt

1.  Mummies are not allowed to be poorly.  If you tell anyone that you and/or your baby are ill, the stock response is “oh poor Hannah” (don’t get me wrong, I would do anything to take it away from her).  Your feeding/cleaning/changing duties do not stop. You do not get a lie in.  You do not have time to have a hot bath.

2. Mummies are supposed to know the answer.  “What does she want”? is the question my husband asks most.  “Where is the xxxx”? Is the next one.

3. Parenting books are rubbish.  I flicked through one the other day which I had devoured when I was pregnant, thinking it was the Bible of Babies.  I laughed out loud at the advice.  One bit said “by now your baby will be sleeping through”.  The author obviously hadn’t met Hannah.  And in fact has never been a mother.

4. You might not be able to establish the routine you wanted.  Before I had her, I was ambivalent about whether or not I would breastfeed, and when she came out I decided I definitely did want to.  I was helped with oodles of breastmilk (lucky me) which for whatever reason is no longer there.  So I’m topping up with formula and frankly it’s really nice to be able to drink from time to time, and to go out without having to get your boobs out to placate a hungry baby.

5. I’m fascinated by poo.  Sometimes she goes twice a day, sometimes once every 5 days. I have names for the different sorts.  I have names for the different colours.  I’d better not carry on with this bit.

6. Having a routine is great when you can stick to it.  Pros – I know when she will go to bed and when she is likely to get up, when she is likely to feed etc etc and can work my life around it.  She seems happier and is easier to manage. Cons – you are tied to the routine.  If she leaves it, I know about it all day for the next 48 hours.  So I can’t go out after 8pm….