This morning Adam fell off the bed. And all because I selfishly went to go make myself a cup of coffee. I am indeed, the Worlds Worst Mother.
The OT said we should prop the babes up with cushions to encourage them to sit, which I did. I propped them up with pillows and went to make myself some coffee. The next thing I hear ‘thump thump YELL’.
I ran faster than I have ever run before, screeching down the passage, bathrobe flapping madly in the wind – in fact I ran so fast I ran out of my slipper.
The poor child! I felt terrible. He cried for exactly 30 seconds, I cried for about 10 minutes. I kept hugging him close and he kept pushing me away, wanting to see the TV so that he could smile and laugh at the presenter again*.
The poor child has a bruise on his cheek. I had sweaty armpits, heart palpitations and that horrible adrenalin hangover you get after you get a big fright.
I am NEVER going to leave them unattended on the bed again.
*I am not sure whether it is because my kids are cared for by a black lady, or whether it is that kids in general love black ladies’ faces, but my kids LOVE to see black faces on TV. Whenever a black presenter comes on the TV they give these huge grins. It is so cute.
When the babes were first born life was pretty chaotic. We had no routine besides the one set by the babies themselves. Looking back I think I was actually a little scared of them. I would put them to bed for the night and wait with anxious trepidation for them to wake up again. I was scared to take them out of the house. What if they started screaming? I was scared that they wouldn’t eat enough, I was scared that they would get sick. They seemed so fragile, so vulnerable. Their crying used to make me very anxious. I felt overwhelmed, exhausted and scared shitless to be honest.
Fast-forward to today, and life is so so much easier. Somehow, along the way, chaos has given way to order. We have a routine. It works for all of us. I put them down at night and I am not longer scared of what the night might bring. Things don’t seem so overwhelming, so scary. If they cry (and they WILL cry some or other time) it is fine, we will sort it out. If they don’t drink their entire bottle, that is fine, I know they are getting enough through out the whole day.
I am not sure when this change happened, when I stopped being scared of them. It was probably a gradual change, although the six month mark does seem to be a watershed time.
When you have your first child, every thing seems so overwhelming, and to be honest quite damn scary. And when you are in the middle of the newborn stuff it seems like a never-ending onslaught of scary stuff. People tell you ‘it gets better’ and you cry out ‘WHEN?’ You find it hard to believe that this bundle of need will ever be like those other happy babies you see. Six weeks they say, it get a bit easier after six weeks. SIX WEEKS! You mean I have to live in this scary state for SIX WEEKS? It seems impossibly long. You feel like you can’t manage another (sleepless) night, never mind six bloody long weeks.
And then, before you look, six weeks has gone by, and it *is* a little easier. The next milestone – around 3-4 months, it gets a little easier still.
For me, the big change was around 6 months or so, once the babies start entertaining themselves for a bit. You can put them down with all their toys and they can amuse themselves for 15 mins or so – pure bliss!
And I have to admit that things took a quantum leap forward with the sleep training we did. It was a huge turning point in our lives. The power balance gently tipped from the babes to me. It is amazing how it has permeated through the rest of our days and nights. Adam has two good naps a day now, he is a different child – happy, friendly, well rested, lively, talkative, interactive etc. The child was probably so sleep deprived. Ironically, Marko says he still doesn’t believe in sleep training. Even though Adam is probably the poster child for sleep training. No, Marko believes that it was just coincidental – things would have suddenly gotten easier at this magical mark of 6 months, 3 weeks and 5 days.
And it just gets easier and easier. Sure, there are some things that become more difficult. Their little personalities start shining through, along with stubbornness, wilfulness, temper etc, but it is so much easier for me – because I am no longer scared. If they cry and yell – it is ok. You’ll sort it out and they will stop.
I am absolutely loving this stage. The babes are so damn cute. It really does get better and better. Although I find it hard to believe any thing can top this – this is just so divine.
It is for this reason that I am a little sad I wont have another baby. I want to go through the newborn stage armed with the knowledge that it is not forever, that it will get better. I want to see past my fear and enjoy those hectic first few weeks.
You know, it’s weird – you all told me it would get better, that is just the first few weeks that are so hectic, and yet I didn’t quite believe it. I think that no matter what any one tells you, it is just so shocking to become a first time mom that you aren’t quite sure that you don’t have the one child in the universe that will always be that way. It must be so much more divine the second time around?
Looking back at the pictures of the babes when they were brand new, I can’t quite believe they were ever that small, that fragile. They grow so damn quickly.
I am starting to feel like a seasoned mother now. And it feels great.
I’ve had to type this v e r y s l o w l y because sudden movements and bright lights are threatening to send me back to my NBF the toilet in a hurry.
Last night Marko and I had our first night out since the babes were born, as in proper night out. Because I am a loyal follower of the “never say no thank you to what you can say yes please to” school of thought, I ended up saying “yes please” to about 45 glasses of wine too many.
Last night the toilet bowl and I became intimately acquainted, sending me on a nostalgic and somewhat nauseous trip down the porcelain memory lane, giving me flashbacks to the many hours spent in my misspent youth hugging the toilet bowl.
An HOUR later I reluctantly left my New Best Friend the toilet and dragged myself off to bed. I eventually managed to stop the room spinning around by putting one foot on the ground and one hand on my headboard. By this time the big hand and the little hand on the clock were both somewhere past twelve. I calculated I had roughly about 17 hours too little left until the babies woke up.
Thank bloody goodness the babes decided to sleep later this morning, because I felt like death warmed up this morning. Ugh! NEVER drinking again, EVER.
Of course it doesn’t help that Marko is teasing me relentlessly, making puking noises when I walk past and singing “whoooooo is sorry noooowwwwwwww”. Asshole. Is it my fault he doesn’t drink?
But it was lots of fun. Happy Birthday Bee, thanks for a great evening.
Reading the comments on my post about child abuse, the death penalty etc, I was shocked and saddened to read how many women had been abused as a child. My heart breaks for all of you who had to go through such terrible trauma. The incidence of child abuse seems appalling high.
It made me realize how menacing close this insidious threat could be, and how vulnerable children actually are. I live in la la land, where people love, respect and protect children, but your stories have made me realize that there is so much potential danger out there.
How do I protect my children? What do I teach them? How do I ensure that they will tell me if they are ever placed in a situation like that? What should I do? How can I make sure, as far as is humanly possible, that my daughter and my son never have to go through the terrible pain so many of you had to suffer when you were a child? And if, God forbid, any thing ever had to happen, how do I deal with it in a way that helps the child heal?
I hope I am not being callous by dredging up painful pasts.
What do you wish your parents had done, if it was possible to do any thing at all, to make sure this terrible assault on your childhood never happened, or helped you deal with what did happen?
In the local black culture here in SA, big boobs are completely the norm, and often seen as a sign of attractiveness. So I asked Rose what her friends thought about her boob reduction. She said a few of her friends said she is crazy to do it, but others, the ones who knew her well, and who knew how long she has wanted to do this, said that she should thank God she has a boss like me. I told her to tell them that I thank God every day that I have a nanny like her. And I do! I swear she was sent from above or something. Without her I would have never coped the first few months, and without her I would never have been able to go back to work with confidence.
Then, I *might* be without Net access this weekend again. Those lazy Ibex are threatening a go-slow. Not that any one would notice their industrial action as the lazy fuckers hardly ever ‘go fast’.
There is a serious post I want to do later, but I need some time to type it up. And I don’t have much time now.
And thanks to all of your for your wonderful words and support on my AD post. You guys rock.
Oh, another thing. This morning I went to the orthodontist – yes, at my old age I am thinking of getting braces for my higgledy-piggledy bottom teeth. Its all part of my Operation Renew as I work towards my mini extreme makeover for my 40th. Anyway, I was waiting in the waiting room and there I saw the Shape magazine with the article I had written. So OBVIOUSLY I had to tell someone and the only person there was the receptionist. So I said to her, holding up the magazine and pointing with a cheesy (and some what higgledy-piggledy) grin “I wrote this article”. So she looked a bit shocked and I wondered is perhaps I had come across slightly odd (odder than I normally do). And then she said in a soft voice “I bought that magazine especially for that article”. How weird is that! So we had a nice chat and hopefully I didn’t give her too much assvice. I hope she succeeds in her quest to have a child, she seemed like such a lovely person. Small world huh.
Lastly, not wanting to jinx things, but we have been sleeping through the night the entire week! Last night started a bit rough, Adam moaned about an hour after going to sleep, but it didn’t last long and after that he slept through. I hardly know what to do with myself, I am so excited.