Friday, 26 July 2013

Mother's Hands

This is the week I realized my life took a turn I expected but is still unexpected.

I think it began with my hands.

Each morning I bring Pruin into bed with me for his last few hours of sleep.  He smiles and giggles and strains and yawns.  There he lies squirming with my hand on his chest until he gives in to sleep.  My hand reminds me how small he still is despite his growth spurts and weight gain.  My hand almost covers his entire torso, proving comfort to both him and I.

My hand is brown and spidery next to his fresh, smooth skin reminding me of the song from which we took his nickname.  It bears the scars of my life's adventures.  A life which indirectly led to these mornings.  It looks 'old.' But everything looks 'old' next to his newness.

Some days feel never-ending.  I long for bedtime only to dread it when I finally put my head down.  There's no knowing how long I have until he needs me again.  Other days flash by and he suddenly no longer fits into his newborn clothes.  What remains constant are the days themselves.  Everyday is just a copy of the one before with minor variation.  It isn't until I look back that I see where 'progress' has been made.  Although what we are progressing toward is still foggy.  Everyday I begin again with no real clue about what I am working toward.  There is no hard deadline.  The benchmarks are vague and only visible once you pass them.

I still don't think of myself as a mother (Despite referring to myself in the third person as 'mummy.'  And not just to Pruin but to adults and in conversations not pertaining to babies or parenting. A thing which I said I would never do. The first of many, I fear).  Yes, I know I have this little Pruin to take care of daily, but the identity of 'mummy' hasn't fixed itself to my brain as of yet.

Or, more likely, my pre-Pruin ideas of what 'mother' meant haven't materialized and so this new life seems, well, unexpected.

I keep trying to fit Pruin into my life.  Trying to hold on to what I was and did before...him.

Inevitably, I fail.  Instead, I find I have to craft a new life.  Keeping important and meaningful bits from before and letting the rest fall away.  Or maybe just packing it away for later.  Not unlike preparing for a move or spring cleaning but with less tangible clutter.

At times my hands itch to be free of his.  To do their own thing as they did before he arrived.  But this little man has a tight grip.  If I can't find a way to do it one-handed, it will have to wait.  Maybe forever, but hopefully not.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Month Two (+5)

Last night marked the end of a beautiful run of sleep.  Little man had been sleeping six to seven hours a night.  Quietly.  It was amazing.  We were trying to ignore this miracle in case we jinxed the run.  We needn't have bothered, the heat did it for us.

This mini heat wave caused a power cut last night.   That in itself wasn't the end.

Apparently when the power goes out an alarm goes on at the school across the street.

A very loud alarm.

While we laid awake cursing the noise and the heat, Pruin remained blissfully asleep.  I won't lie, I was a little bit jealous.

Eventually the alarm turned off.  That silence revealed two separate car alarms going off in the background.  Little Man rustled, but clung to sleep.

Finally, only one car alarm remained.  Little Man rustled and added grunting but we thought we were in the clear.

When silence prevailed, Little Man wailed.

If we weren't so hot and tired we would have laughed.


This past month offered up so many gifts.  Pruin is smiling and 'talking.'  Almost giggling.  He recognizes Mum and Dad and gets shy when he catches his reflection in the mirror.  He also recognizes the iPhone since we stick it in his face so often.  He now watches TV.  We aren't so pleased with this development.  Especially since we don't get to watch it very often.

Two days ago he spent five minutes chewing my finger.  I'm not looking forward to what comes next.

Yesterday he almost rolled over.  The excitement in the room was perhaps disproportionate.  We are easily amused these days.

The routine of Feed, Burp, Change, Cuddle remains.

The rewards are a bit greater this month, but it isn't all bliss.  Last month I couldn't believe this was my life now.  This month it's hare to remember my life being anything but this little man.  I admit it isn't always a happy thought.  On days he won't sleep and insists on day long cuddles I wish for a day off.  Or just a few hours.  I'm desperate for a haircut.  I remember when clothes fit and I could sit and walk without pain and mourn the loss of my weekly yoga class and daily runs.

Then there are the days he sleeps easily, giving me a bit of time to myself (even if it isn't completely relaxing), and wakes with a smile and almost giggle.  It isn't a haircut and I still can't sit easily, but it is something.

Watching a little human develop into a little person is a pretty amazing something.

Exhausting and frustrating, but amazing.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Safe is where I'll keep you

A thermometer in your crib 
(which reads too hot)

The sturdy pram
(because the streets of London are rough)

A thermometer in your room
(which reads too cold)

Two baby books
(because it would be irresponsible to completely wing it)

A thermometer in your bath
(which only gives three options)

Bumpers in your crib
(to which the health worker says no, but your flailing arms say yes)

One Bourbon
(because it would be irresponsible to completely stress out)

Breast milk
(because, luckily, we can)

The video monitor
(because sleeping quietly is rare for you and mummy and daddy worry)

20 minute breathing checks
(see above)

A red bit of string
(to keep away evil spirits)