Posted in Comedy, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous, Travel

New year, new you

Dear Lana,

I only have to look at you to feel like I’ve accomplished very little in a year.

In under a year, you have learnt to walk faster, a lot faster (and that says a lot coming from a family of mostly fast walkers).

You’re talking and you’re not stopping. Your favourite phrase right now is “I don’t like it”, where “it” can be anything; a verb, a noun, an adjective , anything. E.g. “I don’t like apple”, “I don’t like the nap”, etc.

You’re giving goodnight kisses and saying please and thank you (But only when you feel like it – a lesson for us all i suppose).

You sleep at least better than when I last wrote about it. So that’s something.

You also just get out of bed when you’re done sleeping. I’m not sure why I find this so strange because well, what else are people supposed to do when they’re done sleeping, right ? Wrong. It’s weird. I’m no longer sure you’ll be where I left you.

You’ve taken a liking to the music from Fantasia, which I’m absolutely delighted about because for a brief few moments I can impress people with how my child likes classical music. Until you ruin it by saying “Ok Google, YouTube Twinkle Twinkle”. And then we’re f***ed again.

Today was your first day starting with the bigger age group at your nursery. You are no longer in the Baby Room but can mix freely with children of all ages up to 5.

When we first placed you in a nursery, we were worried about how you would be treated.

Now I can safely say we are not worried about you at all, but only wish the best of luck to the other children around you.

Godspeed kids, Godspeed.

Posted in Comedy, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous

So here’s the thing about sleeping like a baby…

It’s 5am. Probably not the best idea to be writing anything but I am about as alert at 5am as I am at 2am , or 2pm, it’s all the same.

It has been two years and this child (because she is a child now, not a baby) , still wakes every 2-3 hours each night. I try to talk about this as little as possible with other people because the solutions they offer are something I don’t want to try ; I don’t want to leave her to cry. 

That being said, I know enough about my psychology to know that I need to let it out occasionally before I suffer from a mental break. 

So Lana , this is a f*** you letter.

– I’m typing this with my left hand because my right arm is trapped under your head; the only way you would fall asleep after your 4am wake up was to be held this way. I lost the sensation in my arm about 30 minutes ago . 

– the above said 4am wake up was not the only one. You were up at 11.30 and 2am.

– your father and I plan our divorce every night now . I’ve never known a more bipolar relationship as we appear to be fine every morning and all day until ..(11.30, 2am,4am..)

– as you know , I left work. Was it to be with you ? Of course. Was it also because I failed to concentrate and started to make some pretty big professional mistakes ? Of fucking course. Ironically I start work again tomorrow but only for two days a week – about as much as I can handle.

– I don’t look the same. Once we stopped breastfeeding and all the good hormones well and truly disappeared, what followed was a weight gain of 5 kgs and skin that is a puberty throwback. When you eat relatively well and walk an average of 20,000 steps a day, this makes no sense – until you take a closer look at that sleep pattern.

– Family planning – at this point , some people might start thinking about having another child. We think about it often. And then nighttime happens. We are both terrified of going through this again.

I hear it all the time. “This will pass soon”, “you will miss it when it’s gone “. 

No and no. It’s been two years and I will not miss this. 

Your head has just shifted off my arm and I can feel the blood coming back. 

Sleeping like a baby… what a joke .

Posted in Comedy, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous

I’m sorry the old Lana can’t come to the phone right now ..

This is a line from a horrendously catchy song Lana . Maybe your generation will still listen to Taylor Swift, maybe (hopefully) not.

The line made me think of you because it doesn’t take much for me to think of you , but also because I have no idea who you are right now. A few weeks ago we had it all figured out. We knew what made you happy, sad, etc.

Not anymore.

Here are some examples of your behaviour recently:

– You cry (briefly) when I leave you at nursery. Today you didn’t cry, but instead threw your toy train at the child I put you next to and then, shortly after, you knocked over his bowl of rice crispies. Oh yes, you’re that baby now.

I’m not so surprised at these stunts. I think it’s no coincidence that they come shortly after I’ve left work and have been at home with you more than you’re used to. I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but apparently I’m amazing to be around.

– When you don’t get what you want in that instant, you turn into one of those toys that collapse when you push their base. Sometimes you don’t even cry, you just fall over and play possum. It’s funny , until it happens in a shopping centre.

– You are persistent and you do not let things go.One week ago, you dropped a little toy behind our bed. There was no way to get it back unless we moved the entire bed and headboard, so I told you that it was gone (forever). You seemed to understand.

Last night you cried before bedtime and when I asked you what was wrong you pointed to the bed and asked for that same toy. So I guess we’re moving our bed tonight.

It’s getting harder to solve all these behaviours and problems with food or milk, and we really have to start using our heads with you. I love it; I love your persistency and stubbornness, all of it.

There are good behaviours too:

– You give kisses and hugs without me asking for them.

– You say please and thank you , except your Please sounds like an order and your Thank You sounds sarcastic. Someone gave you an ice cream cone the other day and you said Thank you very much; emphasising the very much and giving the fakest smile I have ever seen. It was beautiful.

– You don’t throw your food at me or the floor anymore (honestly I never thought we’d get there with this one – flash forward to us in our fifties and sixties sitting with you, and food on our faces).

– You’ve started laughing when something funny happens on a TV show or cartoon.

As ever, you are a creature of habit and like for the day to have order (eating time, nap time, bed time etc). Your sleeping has not changed and you wake every 4-5 hours, which we have come to accept as ‘good’. I don’t talk about your sleep patterns with other mothers anymore simply because there is no one left who has the same pattern in our circles, and that’s okay.

So that’s you this month. Also, our cat is still alive and you are getting on despite your differences.

Posted in Comedy, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous

Lana at 17 months . Me at 31 years .

Lana,  tomorrow I turn 31. Unlike yourself at the moment, I unfortunately do not count my age in months . This is my actual yearly age you see ( I know I know , hard to believe). 

So here are some things that have happened to you and to me:

– You are really getting the hang of talking. You can count to 10. You can sing the alphabet . And you can sing happy birthday (“happy .. to you “) . You have no idea what any of this means yet. Or maybe you do?

– You are starting to get dangerously free and curious. It’s a strange feeling watching you run towards a flight of stone stairs, or climbing your pram and doing a “trust fall” as if you were on a motivational boot camp. It’s a strange feeling because I want you to keep doing what you’re doing and to keep learning , but I also want you to stop doing it and calm down because I want to finish my coffee without feeling like I’m dieing.

– You had your first febrile seizure. This is a less fun one to talk about but it was a milestone like any other  or rather, like no other. This particular moment with you was not one I want to have again (no offence , you’re great but …) ; after a speedy rise in temperature your brain quite literally couldn’t handle the load and seized on you for a minute or so. You were fine two minutes later . 

– We on the other hand were not so fine. After months of sickness spells in your nursery, near enough constant debates about whether or not we sent you there too early, and the final nail-in-the-coffin-seizure , I resigned. You will, as of next month, be going to nursery two days a week and will have me full time every other day. (Please don’t freak out, this is temporary). (If you are reading this as a teenager and I am still not working – please call for help immediately)

I’m a little scared Lana. This kind of reverse-maternity leave doesn’t seem so common and for the first time in a very long time, I really have no plan. I’ve also been reading and re-reading a lot of Roxane Gay novels – you won’t know her yet but she is one of the feminists of our time and what I’m doing with my professional life right now does not feel like the feminist of my time – so I’m scared. 

Mostly though , I am so excited to just be with you for as long as I can be. 

We will go on trips, walks, we will do nothing and everything . And on the days you are socialising in nursery, I’m going to do whatever the hell I want. 

Bring it. 

Posted in Comedy, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous

Lana at 13 months 


 I now understand why parents count a babies age in months for so long. You at 12 months seems a world away from you at 13 months. I swore I’d never be the parent that counts in months after you turned one , but here I am. I also swore I wouldn’t put too many photos of you on Instagram, and we all know how that turned out. 

As it goes, your 13th month was the one where you started walking. 

Your father and I went to a first birthday party last weekend (you were there too but you’ll never remember it), and we laughed to ourselves when one of the other parents remarked that their baby was walking ; the said baby took two steps before falling over.

Up until this week, you were doing exactly the same thing . But it was entirely different to that other baby because you’re our baby. See? You’re walking. 

This last month was also where I felt a niggling regret at going back to work so early. Fleeting thoughts, but I felt them nonetheless.You’ve had chicken pox, flus , colds, you name it, and we spent more time at home with you than anywhere else. 

You know how to say “mama” now and repeat it when I say it . I’m not so sure you know that I’m trying to get you to realise that “mama” is me. Or you do know, but you don’t want me to know it . That’s probably it.

You have a real appetite for oats and any fruit, and you still want to feed yourself but only with your fingers. For this reason, you haven’t had soup. 

Birds continue to be your favourite thing about the outdoors and your arm locks in a pointing motion permanently when you’re in the pram, pointing up to anything with wings , including planes that even I can’t spot easily. 

Our cat continues to be your best friend, much to his disappointment. And with your increased mobility, life will only get more difficult for him. You grab his tail, throw his cat brush at him, stick your fingers in his food and empty his water bowl. I think he loves it , deep down. 

You’re starting to sleep more like a regular run of the mill baby; you wake every 3-4 hours but are quite easily calmed by a bottle of milk ( 3 bottles of 180 ml to be exact. Not all at once ). We try not to think about whether this is normal and I’ve stopped googling and reading about baby sleep patterns altogether. You are happy and healthy. 

Update : it took me a few days to finish writing this and in that time you’ve learnt how to say ‘baby’, ‘cat’, ‘tata ‘ (Serbian for dad), and you say TI , which I think is ‘pTIcice’ (Serbian for little birds). You say ‘Ta’ whenever you give or receive an item, which is an abbreviation for “Thanks a lot” (you’re so clever). 

Update : And on the sleeping situation; this weekend we will try to put you in your cot (right next to our bed) . I’m already laughing to myself about how this will go. 

Posted in Comedy, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous

You at 11 months

Lana, you’re 11 months now; sound asleep while I sit here typing this and also browse the internet looking for ideas for your first birthday party (these ideas are largely for us because you will remember none of it ). 

A year is short. Too short when you develop this fast. I know every baby is generally the same in their quickness but I swear you’re growing faster than most . Yesterday for example you did not know how to get off the couch without going head first . Today , you turned around and got off like a normal 75cm person would . 

I remember you being passed to me by your father in the hospital (he got to hold you first because, well , Labour) , and I remember not knowing what to do with you. This feeling has, for the most part, not gone away. We figure out one thing, and then something new happens and it all feels new again. 

So… you at 11 months. You are :

– Talking. We don’t understand you , but you’re talking . At the moment your favourite word sounds like “Bidet”. You also frequently say “Dimbee” and “Kim G”. As I said , we don’t understand. 

– You are not walking yet and look bored by the entire thing ( I don’t blame you) .

– You point at everything , but most of all the ceiling. You’re starting to see things at quite a distance . Gone are the days of not seeing across a room, and you now point at planes and birds in the sky. Birds are your favourite. 

– You continue to wake frequently during the night, but I can feel our feeding together may be coming to an end as you’re starting to put yourself back to sleep or are just as happy to have a bottle of milk as you are to breastfeed. Months ago I may have been quite happy about this but I know I’ll miss everything about it.

– You give hugs and you enjoy biting us on the shoulder, using your (currently) 6 teeth to full capacity.

– You climb up stairs and can now climb down until the last step where you still rely on one of us to help you down.

– You love being chased; taking a look at me before starting to crawl away as fast as you can, squealing in delight. 

The list of what you can do grows every day and if I were to write a post tomorrow, it would have grown by at least three items. 

What I love most about how you are right now is your excitement about everything. I hope you are as excited about life twenty years from now. 

This photo of you may not illustrate that excitement quite so well, but it’s one of my favourites. 

Until next time little L . 

Posted in Comedy, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous

Phenomenal cosmic power, itty-bitty living space

Lana; that’s a line from the cartoon ‘Aladdin’. Hopefully we can watch it together some day. Robin Williams is the voice of the Genie , but he’s dead now (in real life – sorry, but there’s Youtube).

The reason for this little quote though is that right now, this is what you remind me of. You are thinking so much, feeling so much, planning so much, but have very little ability to do it. You are too small. But you are mighty.

The lady at your nursery (who’s name I do not know and she is your key-worker, shame on me) told me that you are the most independent baby she has seen in her two years there. I was so proud.

It has been a little over 10 days since my last post here and since then you have started to stand independently (for a few seconds); you laugh at the faces I pull and try to copy me, and then you laugh at yourself; you are testing our limits and the limits of the house by digging in the dustbin, trying to open cupboard doors and eating the toilet seat (this is your favourite button-pusher).

You also have no fear. Which was cute in the early months but it’s starting to worry me now. Do I let you fall off the bed just once so that you can develop some sort of ‘cautious’ behaviour? Undecided.

This also brings me to my second worry: Parenting In General. I have no clue how to ‘teach’ you anything. I know repetition is key, but when I say ‘No’ and you continue to do something you shouldn’t … well.. the look of pure joy on your face as you’re doing it worries me. But we will continue in our efforts (even if I actually agree with you that tearing up bank statements is actually quite satisfying).

So that’s where we are for now. Next week will no doubt be different but for now, you are still itty-bitty.