Sunday 20 January 2013


Based on diary entry 21/02/11 (4 wks old)

I'm pretty sure Albie keeps trying to smile at me. People tell me it's wind, like that's a more reasonable explanation. Admittedly wind has been known to make me smile, but that's definitely down to appreciating a comedy moment, rather than an involuntary reaction. Besides which, Albie seems to smile whenever I am smiling at him, like he's trying to copy me or something. And it's true what they say - a bit of charm gets you everywhere in life because I would do anything to see him smile again, short of running round my garden in a borat thong.
And my life is suddenly ten times easier, just because Albie gets cuter by the day. No photo or video could ever capture what it's like to have a baby of your own. If I could bottle his cuddles I'd be a millionaire (though I'm not sure if I'd get very far on Dragon's Den). Don't get me wrong, I knew beforehand I would feel this way - but it's just that now there's an actual person involved, and a very cuddly one at that. Suddenly my life without him fades into insignificance.
I remember when I first found out I was pregnant I walked to work listening to Kelis (no, not 'milkshake', though that song would probably be appropriate for another entry). I listened to 'Acapella', and now I listen to it in a whole new light. "Before you my whole life was acapella, now a symphony's the only song to sing..."

Wednesday 9 January 2013

All so peaceful until...

Based on diary extract: 20/02/11

I ended my last post with the profound words of Bjork: It's oh so quiet. It's oh so still... And you knew what was coming didn't you? It's oh so peaceful until... Albie decided to scream all night long (I'm not sure Bjork would've had as big a hit with those lyrics... though it might work for Lionel Richie). After Neil had kindly offered to do the night feed with some expressed milk, it turns out Albie kept him awake all night. I, on the other hand, slept 'like a baby' (who on earth thought that was a good comparison of sleeping well?!), all because my body has never needed anything as much as a good night's sleep. Ever. I woke up to find Neil partially asleep in the spare room with a squirming infant on his chest and I switched back into mother hen mode. cluck cluck.
And this is the thing about parenthood (for me anyway): you are continually switching from cloud nine to rock bottom and, because you have so little sleep, anything before the last 24hours is a total blur. So a bad day is a really bad day because you are convinced that every day is the same and you feel you can't cope with tomorrow. On the other hand, a good day is a really good day and you react in disbelief when anyone says anything negative about having children, saying things like 'but when they fall asleep on you it's the cutest thing', and all sorts of other things that might sound like you're saying 'you're a failure because you're not enjoying this' to the mother who is having a hard day. Then a bad day comes around again and another of your mummy friends skips into your house, swinging her baby around in delight and you want to launch your own baby right at her. Well, not really, but almost... Come on, all you mother's have been there right? Unless you're one of those mothers with an angel baby, (grrrrrrr. Not that I'm bitter or anything ;)). It's all about perspective and you have to console yourself that it won't always be this hard (or humble yourself that it won't always be easy), and sometimes that means giving yourself a break, as well as everyone else. I have learnt to restrain myself and express my opinions in this blog so as not to aggravate any other mothers who are all doing their own thing in their own way. And too bloomin' right. Tomorrow is a new day...

Tuesday 1 January 2013

sNOw problem

based in diary extract 19/02/11

I opened the blinds this morning to find thick snow covering our garden. When you have children this is supposed to be fun - unless of course your baby is less than a month old and, being of a sensitive nature, cries when you merely open the fridge door (let alone when you carry him into minus degrees outside). Besides which, our £500 buggy cannot manoeuvre in such conditions. We'd have done better to invest in a sledge and spent the rest of the money on something more practical, like counselling - or, better still, gin. Of course I'm joking, I could never drink that much gin; I'd have to mix it up with a few bottles of pinot (if only it wasn't in my blood stream for his next feed). Though that might help him sleep better... hmmm.
As I was beginning mull over the snow problem (and my slightly worrying cravings for gin), my husband came in and with a look of dismay told me his football had been cancelled. This to a man is like someone telling me I have to give up wine, sleep and socialising, god forbid. Oh no, wait, that's true. I've had so little sleep that I've lost all sense of reality.
Just as I was beginning to think my husband's words were also a figment of my imagination, he repeated them once more and I tried to contain the urge not to do some sort of cartwheel across the bedroom floor. Does this mean I get a day off; a weekend?? So we both shared duties all day like some sort of 'dream team', and Albie has never been more content. He even settled himself to sleep for the first time which was a sheer miracle. This is both a joy and a burden: a joy because it means my life will become easier if he continues to do this, but a burden because Neil is wondering what the hell I'm complaining at the rest of the time. I'm sure I can see a glint in Albie's eye, like he knows he has to put on the 'angel baby' act because Dad's around and I'm left wondering if the hard times were also a figment of my imagination.
It's days like these when I recommend parenting. I've had some of my own time, I've made cups of tea (and got to the bottom of them), we've had a meal together, uninterrupted - no problem. Albie has been very cute all day- I swear he's trying to smile, and Neil has even offered to do one of the night feeds to I could have a break (what a guy). All is rosy in the Maltby household... it's oh so quiet. Reminds me of a Bjork song...