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Posts Tagged ‘babies’

John chose this happy word this week – what a nice word to have as my first Weekword in a long, long time!

I am late posting this because I’ve been trying for days to get a photo to illustrate the post, but the adage about children and animals goes double for 7 month old babies. Littlest S&S is not a co-operative model.

And she’s the subject of this post because… she’s teething. Not something that instinctively leads to ‘smile’, perhaps. ‘Yowl’, maybe. ‘Bonjela?’ ‘Drool?’ ‘Aaaagh, you little bugger! No biting!?’

But the first tooth is now well through and clearly visible on her bottom gum, and as she’s quite a happy little thing, it’s when she smiles at me that I most notice it. And I am now in that bittersweet phase I have had with all my babies when their teeth start coming.

I have been with this little person nearly 24 hours a day for the last 7 months. (Longer, if you include the time she spent trampolining on my internal organs, but I digress). I know her, every inch of her. I’ve watched her unfold from a crumpled scrap of humanity who did nothing but eat, sleep, cry and poo, to a little person with strong desires and preferences and a sense of humour. I have spent ages gazing at her little sleeping face. And her face looks complete – it’s what she looks like. And then the teeth start to come and I realise that I can’t imagine what she’s going to look like with teeth. Where will they go? There doesn’t seem to be room in her face. Will her jaw change shape? Her cheeks? What will her smile look like when she’s got teeth instead of just gums?

Of course, the teeth come in and somehow they fit in the baby’s head and they still look like the baby and I realise I’ve been ridiculous. Of course she’s going to have teeth and of course they won’t look silly. She’d look much sillier without them, after all. But that little pearly bump on her gum is a milestone on her journey out of babyhood. Although it sometimes seems like it – when the nights are broken and the days are filled with nappy changes, drool and yelling – this phase doesn’t last forever. It is really ever so short, and before long she’ll be running around, and talking and doing all that stuff they do when they’re not babies any more.

It’s bittersweet, I suppose, but then, I imagine the things she’ll get up to and the curiosity overwhelms the tinge of sadness. And I smile.

Check out John’s blog to see the other Weekworders!

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As previously mentioned, Littlest S&S is a hungry wee girl, and likes to eat a lot. She also likes being cuddled a lot, and will frequently wake up and scream if she’s put down, and need to be fed to relieve the trauma. So, I have been more adept at finding things I can do while feeding that aren’t reading and watching DVDs. I’m doing quite a bit of both of those, but the attraction fades after a while – yes, I can have too much reading time! Who’d have thought? I do find it frustrating sometimes, as having another person attached to you is quite limiting. My house is not at all how I’d like it, the garden is running rampant and I’ve not a seed sown, the children are watching more TV than I usually allow and my husband is usurping my role as cake baker (he’s annoyingly good at cakes already), so in true ‘counting my blessings’ style, here’s a list of the things I can do:

1. Daydreaming. I do a lot of this, especially during night feeds when it’s dark. So not really daydreaming, but still. At first it was frustrating to have to think rather than do, but after 4 weeks I have elevated daydreaming to an art form.

2. Talking on the phone. I now schedule my chats with my mum and my friends for the times I’m going to be feeding, as it feels like a waste of non-feeding time otherwise.

3. Crocheting. I can’t knit, but I’ve discovered that I can crochet. Reasonably quickly if Madam is dining on the left, more slowly if she’s eating on the right. I’ll show you what I’m crocheting later.

4. Reading to the older children. I can’t really play with them much, but I can read to them – as long as they fetch the books. And turn the pages.

Thanks to the sling (a babycarrier), there are some other things I can do – the sling gives me both hands free and allows me to move about, but I can’t do anything that involves a lot of leaning forward (so no hanging laundry or doing the dishwasher). But I can:

5. Vacuuming. I can’t sweep or mop, as bringing both hands across my body squishes the baby and causes protests, but can push the vacuum with one hand.This has the added bonus of being white noise, which the baby finds very soothing.

6. Walking the dog. The dog appreciates this, and getting out of the house for fresh air is very good for me, too.

7. Typing. I’m not actually feeding as I type, but I could!

8. Eating a meal sitting at the table. This is very useful as we’re trying to keep our routines and family meals are very important to us, and the sling means we can all eat together.

9. Important self maintenance: I can go to the loo and make a cup of tea, for example, or get some food. When the baby is 90 minutes into a 4 hour milk-bender, this is very important.

10. Nothing. I’m usually pretty keen to be doing something, so I’m surprised by how much time I spend doing nothing. Apart from gazing at my baby and stroking her petal-soft cheeks and nuzzling her silky hair. Sometimes she seems to know I’m looking and opens one eye. She really is alarmingly cute, and although the long feeds can be frustrating and exhausting, I look at my older children and it is clear how short this phase really is. Someone once said that when you have small children, the years are short and the days are long – and it is very, very true.

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