Thursday, April 20, 2006

So what do you do all day?

Let's suppose that my day started at 12.01 am...

3am - Baby cries out from her room, and this time she doesn't quieten down again after a few minutes. I go and feed her from the right boob. Usually when she feeds in the middle of the night, she falls asleep on the job; not this time. I return to bed anyway and leave the monitor off.

3.30-ish am
- I toss and turn, unable to go back to sleep. I turn the monitor on and hear that she's still exercising her vocal chords.

- Now she's crying, so I traipse back to her room and give her another feed, this time from the left. As I sit her up to burp her I notice how heavy her head feels against my hand. Yay, she's asleep. Then I get to fall asleep.

6 am - It's the boy's turn to do the "morning shift". Unfortunately, he's got to leave for work early so I get up at 8, still groggy from the struggle to surface from my dream.

8 am till 9 am - Baby sits on floor with her toys, all bright-eyed and happy, while I shuffle about in my dressing gown, snuffling and squinting. All I need is a fag and a hairnet, and the image of a sloven is complete. Then I take a really quick shower, quick because I need to check back that she hasn't done a face plant on one of the wooden rattles.

9am till 10am - It's nap time. Baby screams all the way through my renditions of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Daisy, Daisy, Twinkle Twinkle and Rock-a-bye Baby. As soon as she pauses to take a breath, I put her down into her cot and sprint out of the room. Eventually Baby's fury lessens and is replaced by sweet slumber. 20 minutes later she's awake and mad at me again.

10 am till 12 pm
- I do the laundry and hang out the washing, while Baby plays in her Jolly Jumper. It's the only place I can put her where she'll not whine for at least half an hour. For lunch, Baby tries the Watties Pasta and Vegetables and Beef, followed by pear puree and cereal. She eats the lot, then I give her the spoon to play with. One day she'll put the spoon end in her mouth instead of the handle.

12 pm till 12.40 pm - Baby looks ready for another nap, so we go through the same head-splitting procedure from earlier. This time she's really going for it. I try to distract myself by going on the 'Net, but I can't relax until she goes to sleep. Boy arrives home for a brief visit, can't handle the sound of her tormented shrieking (How dare mummy put me in bed?!) and brings her out. I give her a breastfeed, but she's distracted because Daddy's home.

1 pm till 2 pm - Baby is all smiles again. She has had fun with super-fun play-Daddy and is busily spreading hot cross bun crumbs all over the rug.

2 pm till 3.30 pm
- I have some errands to run, so we're off in the buggy. I send of our passport applications, get a baby food recipe book from the library and pick up a bunch of photo prints from the chemist. By now, Baby has fallen asleep. I mentally do a dance of triumph and wheel her about a little more before heading home. My blood pressure is now back to normal. Then she wakes up and bursts into tears - hungry. She breastfeeds for the second time in two hours.

3.30 pm till 5 pm - I try to read Superheoes and Philosophy, which arrived in the mail yesterday. But I find intellectual challenges too...challenging. Forget about my body, I want my brain cells back.

While I'm out bringing in the washing, Baby starts crying. I can't see what's wrong, but she won't quiet down. so I pick her up, take her outside and try to continue taking clothes off the line with one hand. I find that Baby fits nicely into the laundry basket.

5 pm till 6.15 pm - Baby has dinner; cauliflower, broccoli and apple, mixed with cereal. She wolfs it down and seems disappointed that I'm not offering pear and banana for dessert.

The boy comes home early, obviously because he saw how stressed I was at midday. During nappy-free time, Baby bursts into tears again, this time because a chain of small-but-perfectly-formed poos is making its way out of her bum.

But then its bath time, last-feed time, song time and finally, bed time. The boy does a sterling job of settling Baby so that she's asleep in her cot very quickly. The evening is ours. The boy makes amorous overtures. I ring for pizza.


EB said...

Wow! Behind Baby's sparkling eyes and cheery smile is a lotta work eh?

star firstbaseman said...

You are a far better woman than I. No way I could deal with that.

Juliabohemian said...

I wonder what became of the boy's amorous overtures...

I love how you guys use the word 'fag' to mean cigarette. In the US they use it to mean someone who is a homosexual.

You might really consider imposing your will on the little one. Possibly making her wait longer to eat her final meal and then just letting her cry without picking her up. I know it sounds easier than it actually is. But, you are in some control over this situation, even if it doesn't seem like it.

I went through the same thing with my first. I was really to pry my eyes open with toothpicks because I couldn't stay awake. She ended up in bed with us alot. When she was very small we put a fisher price aquarium night light in her crib. It makes light, movement and music. Just what she needed being that she was and IS severely Adhd.

As she got a little older we used music tapes, we even gave her some toys in her crib. She needed stimulation because just being left alone to sleep was too daunting a task.

Violet said...

eb: yeah, just a bit

star firstbaseman: just wait till you hit your thirties - you too, will decide it's worth the hassle to reproduce.

juliabohemian: Same as what usually happens to the boy's amorous overtures ;-) Who needs headaches when there's plenty of genuine tiredness?
Imposing our will - that's what the sleep training is all about. But this is the third time we're having to do it, and I'm sure the crying is much louder now than when she was younger. She's also got that aquarium you describe - it worked for a couple of months...

Jon said...

Well, if she goes through a difficult teen period, just remind her of everything you are doing for her now :)