Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Circle of Trust

I have now entered the Parent's circle of trust. Other parents look at you with a knowing smile as you walk down the street, pushing a newborn. There's an element of rarity to your condition, after all, babies don't stay babies for long. Yet, women have been popping* them out for centuries and along with the looks of pride over your present state, there is an underlying look of sympathy. They too recall their sleepless nights, the despair at feeding times, the incessant crying. They look at you, and you at them and you 'know' each other's condition. You suddenly have an overwhelming respect for womankind. How they survive these times is a mystery.

Yet here I am - still alive and so is my child. I remind myself of this everyday, as though I have achieved a miracle. He's still alive so I must be doing something right. He may cry for hours on end but at least it means he's breathing.

Friends kindly keep coming round to drop off meals for us which is an absolute godsend. I can't even imagine trying to cook beans on toast at the moment – I find myself sustained by whatever I can find in my kitchen cupboards. Whoever invented Haribo was a good man. However, what I am learning is that although Albie doesn't have a natural instinct to sleep when he's tired or feed effectively, he does have a natural instinct to know when MY mealtimes are. I hear the last beep on the microwave of my first proper meal of the day (and the third delivery of chilli con carne this week, not that I'm complaining) and little Albie decides he would like to wake up and scream. An hour later I return to my cold chilli and wolf it down. Then I write my woes in a facebook update, to which the circle of trust responds with comments of support. That is, until someone decides to post something on my wall along the lines of 'I was cooking Mousakka four hours after my baby was born' and the circle of trust relents by not 'liking' their comment and I 'de-friend' them out of sheer jealousy.

*Babies are not like pringles, they do not 'pop' and you DO want to 'stop'.

(Based on diary extract from 04/02/2011). 

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