Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dear Boy (3 weeks old)

Dear Boy,

You are now three weeks old. I was giving you a cuddle this afternoon, with you all curled up in my arms, and I was trying to figure out how not so long ago you fit inside my belly. How was that even possible?

Your dad and I are still trying to figure you out, to cope with so little sleep but everything is finally starting to feel like the new normal. At the very least, I'm not crying so much because I don't know what you want, what's wrong, how to soothe you, how to help you fall asleep. In fact, I haven't cried once in last few days. We now have a little schedule, a pattern to our days that seems to suit you okay and not drive us too mental. I don't feel so anxious, so guilty, about how we're feeding you (although that's still up in the air and not so easy) or when you don't fall asleep and need to be cuddled on my chest rather than laying in your bassinette. The Child Health nurses are all happy with you and your weight gain, so we seem to be doing okay.

In the last week, you've started to look at the toys we put into your eye line and somehow manage to roll onto your side when we're trying to change your nappy. These of course, make you a superstar as well as very difficult to change.

For me, most of your days are measured in small victories. Having a shower and getting out of my pajamas is the biggest one, but others are taking you for a walk in your pram, getting us all to an appointment on time, getting a cumulative five or six hours of sleep a night, having visitors over, accepting help, managing to keep in contact with family, staying calm when I talk to the insurance people over the phone... All of these add up and help make me feel like I'm not a complete failure as a mum. So what if I ran out of nappies last night and had to hightail it to the supermarket for more? I tidied up my desk and sorted out the mountain of paperwork we've accumulated since you were born. See... victory.

Much love,

Your mum.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ringing in the New Year, oh so quietly

Like many of our celebrations recently, the new year was rung in quietly, oh so quietly. Just Lovely Husband and me at home: him in the study skyping with old friends, reading strange journal articles and letting his computer chug through mountains of data; me in the loungeroom watching episode after episode of Pillars of Earth (because it's the only TV left in the house I haven't seen) and then in bed at 11pm with season 4 of The West Wing and text messages from family just before the countdown. Because I'd spent the afternoon in my pregnant lady paddling pool, I slept badly under the breeze and noise of the fan.


This, of course, is quite similar to our Christmas, which we have both christened the worst in history. With Lovely Husband in the emergency department being treated for gastro on Christmas Eve and then recovering slowly over the next few days, there was little festive cheer around here. The night before Christmas we closed the house down against the heat, had a Sherlock Holmes marathon sitting miles apart on the couch and then he escaped to the study while I took to my yearly viewing of Love Actually. On Christmas Day, we unboxed our new flat screen (a joint present a long time coming) and surfed through many more channels of crap over ham sandwiches. There were calls and a few presents but none of the normal things that make up Christmas - an early morning wake-up call from the youngest in the house exclaiming over the piles of presents, no low-key breakfast, no mountain of wrapping paper, no test-driving of toys or games of cricket or frisbee to entertain the masses before lunch, no mountain of food for lunch followed by mountains of pavlova and pudding, no welcoming of further guests and giving up of chairs for the older, less mobile relatives, no afternoon naps, no raucous game of Heather's Revenge in the late afternoon, no walking off of lunch, no dinner of leftoversm no sugar-coma from the Christmas lollies that the kids have opened without permission.

Next year, we've been summoned to my mother's house - her only request for her 60th birthday, which falls earlier in the month. We haven't all been together with her on Christmas day for many, many years. And I'm already looking forward to it.

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