We had a relativley 'easy' first six months with Baby B, she slept all night long from around 5 weeks, didn't really cry, wasn't particularly ill and was, as I say, a pretty easy baby then we hit the six month mark and teething began and all of sudden it got hard and now she is almost ten months it just gets harder!
Don't get me wrong am I still, and always will be, totally besotted with her, the word love doesn't even begin to sum up how I feel about her but it is tiring, draining, bloody hard work. I cannot remember the last time we had a full nights sleep, sometimes she wakes up crying, sometimes just wanting to play. The other night at half past midnight we were kicking a football around the living room for her, never in my wildest imagination did I think I would be playing football with my nine month old daughter in the middle of the night. Other nights she wakes up in horrible pain with her teeth, this is when I pretend to be a doctor; I get my syringe filled with Calpol and I administer the medicine into her mouth, usually missing her mouth completely and getting the pink sticky liquid all over my arms which I don't realise I've done and I then put my hand in my hair so my hair is then covered in the sugary tar-like substance which means I then have to fumble around for the baby wipes pulling out about 10 at once and trying to wipe the mess away before returning to my doctor duties. Once the medicine is correctly given, out comes my digital thermometer which goes into Baby B's ear and I look all serious as I check the reading. At these times I swear I actually think I could pop on a white coat and do the rounds of A&E.
It's not just the lack of sleep that is difficult though, oh no, Baby B is well and truly on the move, she can crawl at the speed of light, cruise around the furniture and now can race around with her 1st step walker, so there is no getting away from her, she has perfected the 'cling-onto-mummy's-legs-at-all-times' posistion and likes to put it into practice everytime I have a cup of tea, pan of water, or something equally as dangerous in my hands so I'm left trying to very carefully place said item down without so much of drop spilling then I have to try and remove the, suprisingly strong grip of a nine month old girl, from my left leg which once achieved results in an almighty tantrum of 'Vicks first Defence - Supermarket lady' proportions and I'm left with a cold cup of tea and a face full of snot and tears to clean up (and sometimes I have to wipe Baby B's face too...) It is challenging in every sense of the word.
There are times during these nights and tantrums when I wonder how the hell I will get through the next eighteen years in one piece, I already have grey hairs sprouting up all over my head and of course if I tried to actually dye it one day Baby B would be clinging to me so much that she would end up with some very suspicious looking patches all over her skin... And just as I think I can't do it anymore, that I can't listen to another cry or cope with another minute of clawing fingers she turns round and shouts Hiya and plants big sloppy kiss right on my lips and all my worries go away.