Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Angel days and hell days

I just spent 20 minutes writing this blog post, and then Blogger lost it. Nice one, Blogger.

Anyway, Monday was an angel day because, after the initial struggle getting Baby to take her nap, she went on to complete three whole sleep-feed-play cycles in textbook fashion.

Yesterday was utterly different – a hell day. Between 7am and 7pm, no naps were to be had by Baby nor by myself. There was much crying on Baby’s part, no doubt at least partly in frustration because mummy didn’t know what was wrong. There was much consolatory feeding, to stop the crying. By the time the boy came home from work, I was a physical and emotional wreck; I’d had no chance to catch up on sleep and my confidence in my mothering abilities was nil. Obviously this was karmic revenge for the previous day’s sweetness. To me, it was a hell day.

Today however, was angel day times two. Not only has Baby slept when she was supposed to, but I had some much-needed nannying help from a friend whom I hadn’t seen in years. Klav, whom I knew from my karate days, turned up with a large number of presents and then offered to look after Baby so I could have a leisurely shower. As if that weren’t enough, she then proceeded to make us cups of tea and do the washing up (no small offer, since there was about three days’ worth on the bench). I was so grateful I considered naming my second-born after her (if there is one, that is – ask me in twelve months’ time).

I’m realising more and more how childcare is not so much an inexact science, as an art. Methods for dealing with sleep, crying or whatever, that worked in the past aren’t necessarily going to work tomorrow. This doesn’t sit too comfortably with me, since by nature I’ve always been more comfy with the security of certainty. (This, and the fact that I’m neither a naturally clucky person, plus the fact that I’m a major grump when I don’t get enough sleep, might make you wonder why the hell I decided to become a mother. To answer that question - I was intensely curious as to how a child with my genes and the boy’s genes, would look.)

Childcare is seems to be one of those fields in which information gathering doesn’t so much result in an increase of knowledge, as an increase in confusion.


Jon said...

Well, the boy is English- it's high time you send her off to boarding school before she gets too old ;)

Violet said...

don't even joke about it, Jon! He has mentioned private schooling, whereas I reckon that state schooling was good enough for me and therefore good enough for my daughter.

boudica of suburbia said...

props to Klav for being generally nice.

DON'T as far as boarding school goes, just DON'T, your child will grow up mal-adjusted and institutionalised. I was lucky I was only there for two years!

I saw a tawny owl tonight! joy of joys!


Rainypete said...

"by nature I’ve always been more comfy with the security of certainty"

And you bred?! Kids are about as predictable as a lightning strike. Jakob is putting us through the same paces too. It all blows past over time> Just make sure you aren't too proud to take what help gets offered. If someone offers to make dinner or watch the little on so you can sleep, say yes!!

Make Tea Not War said...

I'm also not naturally maternal but compensate by being painfully conscientious and determined to do whats right.

Everyone has bad days but I found it incrementally got easier. The first six weeks really were the toughest and you are over that now. Each day is a new start. Hang in there.

Violet said...

boudica: it'll never happen. Good for you on spotting a tawny owl. We probably don't have those in NZ.

rainypete: the decision to have kids is never a truly logical one though, is it?

mtnw: thank goodness for that!