Friday, 25 September 2009

Ralph will know what to do.

I am having one of those days where I am so desperate for 2 minutes peace that I would happily hand Baby B over to Ralph, the next door neighbours dog, for the night! before you ring social services, I am clearly joking. Their cat is far more responsible. She has been a little monster today and has needed constant attention and woe betide me if I haven't given it to her.

First, We had a journey to find a non-existent computer fixing centre, for the second time in a week, and it's true it really doesn't exist even the second time round wonder whether I'll try a third time? baby B chose this time to perfect her "even-more-annoying-than-a-never-ending-car-alarm-squeal" (catchy title I know) the journey was an hour round trip so by the end of it I wanted to gaffa tape her dummy to her mouth. After just about surviving this trip, We met my mum and grandad for lunch, baby B was all good and smiley while she was being fed and then as soon it was my turn to eat she decided she hadn't quite perfected the squeal from earlier and decided it needed a bit more volume, a few more tears and random, whatever she could reach, items to be banged along with it, this noise alone would have been difficult to cope with but paired with a story from Army Camp about a Polish man, reading glasses and a dry cleaners suit bag from a 92 year old and I was sizing up the dishwasher in the open kitchen to see if it would house a 7 month old baby... and possibly a 92 year old as well.

We got home and then my precious little bundle decided it would be fun to empty her changing bag and pull out every single baby wipe from the new packet I had just put in while rehearsing, the newly learnt, bang and squeal, she had nowhere near as much fun as I did clearing it up.
Anyway we got through the rest of the tantrum/squeal filled day without me measuring up any other pieces of kitchen equipment, until bedtime when instead of falling asleep like a nice baby she, well, just didn't, as soon as her head touched her mattress her eyes would spring wide open and the yelling would begin. I looked like a Cbeebies presenter on drugs bobbing my head wildly around while singing "the sun has got his hat on" (the only method that actually stops tears) and then finally, one hour later, she was asleep and I looked into her cot and saw her tiny little fingers curled up around her bear and decided Ralph could have a night off from babysitting.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Spot the Difference.

When Mum gets baby ready to go out;

She will look out the window to check the weather, if it's not glaringly obvious through the window she will open the door to double check the temperature. Once deciding on the weather she will make her way to the wardrobe (or pile of clothes that I'm yet to put away if I'm talking about myself...) and spend several minutes picking out a top/dress/bottoms/socks/tights that all match. Once that is sorted she will look out the window once again to decide whether a vest is necessary under the selected items. She will then begin to dress baby, including changing nappy and washing face, once baby is dressed she will then pick out a 'nice' bib that is stain free just in case it's needed.

She will then pick up changing bag and check there is enough nappies, then add one more in case, check there is 2-3 clean bibs, a bottle, a dummy, sun lotion (even if its not sunny because you never know!) wipes, sudocrem (or the equivalent), nappy sacks, spare clothes, a toy, the camera, her purse. then spend another minute re-checking the bag and making sure everything fits in nicely.

On leaving the house she will then feel baby's hands/face/feet several times to check that baby is the right temperature.

When Dad gets baby ready to go out;

He will go to the nearest pile of washed clothes and pick out the top item oblivious to the temperature, leave nappy on unless it smells really bad, dress baby, remember he's forgot the socks so put the nearest ones on regardless of their colour or whether they are a pair. He will glance in the change bag and see there is at least one nappy in there. Leave house. remember they need a bib, return to house and pick up the same bib that was used for breakfast, food stains and all. Leave house again.

And even though baby survives completely fine when Dad does it we will never change our way.

Monday, 21 September 2009

I didn't die, I had a baby.

After another weekend alone, watching X-factor and playing bejewelled while waiting for Mr B to get home from another 14 hour shift at work, I wondered where all my pre-baby friends had gone? I'm pretty sure before I was mum I didn't spend as many weekends doing this, don't get me wrong I wasn't stocking up on red emulsion at B&Q to paint the town with on a very regular basis but I did get out a lot more but since the arrival of baby B some of my 'friends' seemed to have made a sharpish exit from my life.

I don't think I've changed very much, I still have the same, slightly twisted, sense of humour, I still enjoy a pint or three of cider (the words classy and bird spring to mind...), I still like to shake my thing, all be it around my front room these days, to Girls Aloud and I would still like to be acknowledged. I'm not talking about my very bestest friend because she has held my hand through every step of pregnancy, almost every step of labour (she provided gingerbread when required, this isn't a euphemism, I do mean actual gingerbread men complete smartie buttons and chocolate feet from Greggs but then left when things really began to take pace.. .) and for the last 7 months, she has been an absolute angel and I'm not sure I could have done this without her at my side.

I am, however, talking about other 'friends' of mine. here is one common example; I am one of four girls who have known each other for a few years, we haved shared many of lifes milestones with one another from first kisses to weddings and one of them has seen my daughter the grand total of... one time! once in 7 and half months, if it were the other way round I'm quite certain I would have been round at her house providing tea and extra hands every week. She seems to avoid seeing me these days and makes some very dodgy excuses not to meet up and I'm really not too sure why? does she thinking having a baby is catching, like the common cold, because if she does wouldn't we all look silly walking round with condoms over our noses to prevent it.

I must point out, I'm not lonely, I have made some very good new mummy friends since the arrival of baby B and I adore their company and regular chit chat, with these new friends conversation can rapidly change from milk feeds and dirty nappies to anal sex and unusual use of a champagne bottle! They understand where I'm coming from when I've had a really crappy day and they know the right things to tell me to help me see the light but this does not mean I don't want to hang out with my old friends.

I have thought about this over the weekend and decided my 'friend', who I think I shall call Florence, is not the right friend for me anymore. Florence has a 'partner', owns a blackberry and I'm pretty sure she eats supper, Florence has money to spend on labels like Stella McCartney and Prada while I have money to spend on labels like SMA and Pampers. We are headed in different directions and maybe this is why she, and others, now avoid me. Maybe they stare at their blackberries and high heels and realise they will never provide the joy that my perfect designer accessory does.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Before I was a mum...

I would never have called myself a 'baby person', I didn't know too much about them and I hadn't really been around many of them. I have 2 nephews (aged 2 and 18 months) but I lived 90 mins away from them both when they where born and that was pretty much my experience of babies. so before I had a baby of my own the only points of reference I had of babies were hearsay (not the popstars group that featured Mylene, Kim and co because they would have just told me it was pure & simple), sitcoms, Jeremy Kyle and Trisha, which I now know are not completely true. Here is what I now know:

  • It is possible to have a baby that sleeps and therefore you are able to sleep, I know not all babies do but mine does and so do several of my friends little ones. It is NOT that unusual.
  • Trisha told me I'd loose it but I still have a sex drive, Me & Mr B still have amazing sex (obviously not in front of the baby, because that may cause issues for her in later life!) we maybe don't have wild afternoon relations anymore but once our little madam is in bed there is no stopping us, we sometimes even do it in the front room...
  • The mums that are in washing powder adverts (and other adverts for that matter) do not exist and if they do they should be banished to a town called Stepford. I do not or will not ever wear the clothes they wear or speak the way they do. I do not discuss washing machine temperatures or swap 'supper recipes' (We eat dinner or tea, we do not, no matter what the time is, eat supper) I do not wear blouses that my daughter will ruin with my lipstick and if my child tells me they want to go to Paul's house to poo I will tell them not to be such a spoilt brat.
  • It is possible to get dressed and put make up on everyday if you wish.
  • Looking after a baby all day can be exhausting but it's not as hard as some people say (but we don't want them to know we spend a lot of time watching This Morning and faffing on Facebook while drinking tea) most days its actually very enjoyable
  • I have never had to change 10 dirty nappies a day (although I must point out this source of information did come from watching Friends, so maybe it wasn't the most reliable...)
  • I miss my bump. Never in my entire pregnancy did I think I would miss it but I do.
  • No matter how much your baby cries, misbehaves, wakes you up, is sick on your new shoes, although this one could be the hardest to overcome, you will still love them and when they have just emptied the entire contents of their changing bag, which is now your handbag, all over the floor for the tenth time that day, as soon as they smile, your heart will melt and you will no longer be mad, however I'm sure this only lasts till they are about 2.
  • Routine is important but if you are an hour late for a feed or your little one misses a nap, you will both be fine and your child will not grow up to be ASBO as a result.
  • Labour is not easy but neither is it unbearably the worst pain on earth, and trust me my labour was a not a quick straightforward one!

so this is what I now know and I learn more everyday, I don't think I'll ever know it all but then I don't think I'd ever want to!

Saturday, 19 September 2009

My First Blog...

Before I begin my musings/thoughts/rants of modern day motherhood & all things related, I should really introduce myself. I shall go by the name of Elle J and I am 26 year old a first time mum of a beautiful 7 month old girl. I am unmarried but I do live my boyfriend (yes boyfriend, not partner... we do not do business together, well we do do 'the business' but not the suit wearing, briefcase carrying, blackberry tapping business. so he is my boyfriend) we have been together for around 2.5 years and for the purposes of this blog he shall be known as Mr B. I like many things in life and I am unable to describe myself in a short 'off the cuff' way because I am a complex character who likes to digress a lot... be warned! So I shall continue:

So, who makes these rules that us mums are supposed to adhere to? I am always hearing about new research and studies that tell me to 'wean my baby at X months', 'don't feed my baby X food', don't cuddle my baby too much', 'make sure my baby gets enough cuddles','don't pick baby up too much when crying', 'don't use controlled crying', 'don't allow my baby to tightrope walk whilst juggling batons of fire' (I'm sure there has been some kind of university of boresville study into this last one) it drives me completely mad. I created my beautiful daughter, I carried her in my highly expanding womb for 41 weeks and 4 days and I shall decide what she eats, where she sleeps and what she plays with. Except I can't do any of this because if one day I decided I'd had enough of boiling, chopping, blending, and painstakingly scooping food into tiny little ice cube trays and bought a jar of food (yes I heard the audible gasps at the mere mention of jar food!) for my little angel that would be bad enough but if I were to open up that jar in public I would face aghast glances and looks of horror from other mothers, I would hear the whispers off "she uses jar food!, that's not giving her little one the best of starts is it..." even if everyone around me was silent I would hear it, because its my head.

We have been exposed to so many magazines, newspapers and headlines telling us what is bad for our babies that we have become our own worst enemy. We feel guilty if we go to work and guilty if we don't, guilty if we buy baby food, guilty if we don't breastfeed, guilty if on the sixth night sleepless night in a row we pick our babies up and put them in our bed. Why can't these rule-makers just let us make our own decisions about our children and why can't I stop worrying about what everyone else thinks about me as a mother?