Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I'm thinking I should stop telling my mum about the problems I have getting Baby to nap. She stopped by today, noticed that Baby was wearing "only" a long-sleeved winter-weight onesie and fleecy footed trousers (perfectly adequate for a room temperature of 15 degrees Celsius) and asserted that I wasn't dressing her warmly enough. My brother, who was present too, rolled his eyes at me. I rolled my eyes at him.

The phone rang half an hour later, just as I was trying to feed a very distracted Baby - so I pulled out the phone jack. It was my mum, who rang back to give me a very protracted monologue on how Baby isn't napping because she isn't warm enough (she is - I check the warmth of her chest frequently, obsessively even), and how irresponsible I've been in neglecting and spoiling an otherwise angelic baby.

In other words (at least, how I interpret it), she called me a bad mother.

This, from a woman who admits to caging my brother and I in a makeshift playpen made of drink crates - for hours - while she served in my father's shop.



Make Tea Not War said...

Would you be interested in borrowing/(probably having as there is only a minute possibility I'll be having another baby) some outgrown baby sleeping bags? They are in good condition and come with a thermometer with an exact indication of what exactly the baby should be wearing in the sleeping bag for optimum body temperature. They are also good because the baby stays covered up but can't get the sleeping bag over their face so (I found I did) less paranoid getting up to check her face isn't covered.

Make Tea Not War said...

And of course you are not a bad mother. You are doing a great job. This is purely anecdotal and please don't anybody shoot me down in flames but I have noticed that often mothers who exclusively breast feed have the most trouble with getting the baby to sleep. I know you have all sorts of allergies and it is highly commendable you are doing all you can to save your baby from this but the trade off might just be sleeping habits don't come as easily. You might also find things settle down a bit when you start her on solids.

boudica of suburbia said...

Booze... give the baby booze.

Before you block me I would just like to say that a drop of wine, whiskey or guinness is what my mother and most of my friend's mothers admit to have used.

hehehe...this isn't a solid recommendation, but I turned out OK, didn't I?

don't answer that.


EB said...

Even though my mother-in-law had done some nice things for us we largely ignored her parental advice, JB would cut her off in fact when she would start which is something which I was grateful for when he was home and that I was not in a position to do the rest of the time she stayed with us. I suspect that my MIL herself felt inadequate in the shadow of her parents.

You are the only one that knows Baby the best so you are the only one in the best position to keep or throwaway advice.

For what it's worth I am full of admiration for what you have achieved so far.

happyandblue2 said...

Personally I think the milk crate cage sounds like fun..

flying kiwi said...

Oh well, one day you can do the same to Baby, and give her unwanted advice on being a mother. And of course you're a wonderful mother - you haven't accidentally killed or maimed Baby, not even once.

Juliabohemian said...

I found that in the case of mothers and parenting, it is best to tell them as little as possible, thus not inviting any unwanted advice.

Violet said...

mtnw: yeah, I wouldn't mind trying one if you have one in a 3-6 months size. Although I wouldn't tell my mum 'cos that would just fuel her idea that I don't keep her warm enough.

I believe you about breastfed babies being less likely to sleep well; it's been mentioned in few books. I aim to wean her onto solids and formula from around 6 months (earlier if she needs the exta calories) - it'll be ggod to have my boobs back too.

boudica: don't think we haven't tried alcohol! I've tried downing a generous drop of fine port or mead before the last feed of the evening; I've come to the conclusion that she has inherited the boy's ability to hold his drink...

EB: Good for JB. The boy isn't in a position to do the same for me, as he's usually at work when my mum harangues me. Also because he doesn't understand Cantonese and wouldn't know when she's hassling me from when she's being nice!

happyandblue2: If she'd been offered a baby cage at a good discount, I'm sure she'd have jumped at the chance.

flying kiwi: no, but I may have inadvertantly let her get slightly chilly.

juliabohemian: I operated on a need-to-know basis with my mum for many years. I'd hoped that this would be a good time to bond over motherhood experiences, but I guess it's just invited more hassle than I can cope with.

Kazzer said...

Violet, listen to your Mum. Look how many Chinese there are in the world - they must know what they are doing when it comes to babies.
Caging you when you were a baby explains a lot about you....

Violet said...

kazzer: there's a reason Chinese couples are only having one child y'know - they were put off after suffering too much interference from mothers and mothers-in-law.