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 

Lana, 

 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.

 

Mama

 

 

 

Posted in Humour, Life, Miscellaneous

You at 9 months

Lana, I’m writing these letters to you in the hope that one day (maybe when you’ve done something really bad), I can whip them out as blackmail, a little guilt trip back in time, like any good mother would do. But also, and mainly, because I never want to forget this.

This is my first letter.

As I type this, you are at Daffodils Nursery. A cute little name for a place we dreaded these last few months. We debated (your father and I . I don’t debate with many more people) whether to place you there , for how many hours, days , etc, until the time came for both of us to start working again and off you went.

I’m not going to beat about the bush here … you hated it. I was impressed by your ability to recognise the street we were on so that you could cry its’ entire length before we got to the door.

But you are better now. Much better.

Zoe, your key worker, has told me you are the happiest baby there. Although I’m not sure that says a lot. All the other children there have what some people nowadays (it’s 2016) are calling “Resting Bitch Face”.

When you come home later, it will be dinner-time. One of the most fun times now that you’re mastering how to use your hands.  You haven’t quite managed to master the pincer movement to get food into your mouth, but for a girl who didn’t have any nerve endings in her fingers until recently you’re not doing so bad . (Don’t freak out – *all* babies don’t have nerve endings there in the beginning).

You talk to us constantly. The early mornings and late evenings are your favourite times for babbling. You also talk to everything else ; the cat, your teddy bears, the floor, the washing machine, the fridge, everything.

I talk to you in Serbian as much as I can in the hope that one day you will master both languages, and I can go home to your grandparents, grand aunts and uncles and not feel completely mortified that you don’t speak the language.

Night-times are a topic of conversation all the time. Mostly because you sleep like a baby (i.e. in very short intervals). I’m not sure why this has taken both your father and I by surprise, but it has. I guess we just hoped you’d have gotten the hang of sleeping by now. (Who doesn’t like sleeping!? I’ll tell you who… Lana). I want to tell you that the world will *not* end if you sleep for longer than two hours at a time. But you have other plans, I get it.

All in all Lana, we can’t do life without you now. So I’ll check in here every now and again to tell you how it’s going.

Until next time .

Mama

 

Posted in Comedy, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous

Sleep fairy

Hello everybody,

Of the plethora of things no-one prepares you for with a baby, sleep (or lack of it ) isn’t it . Errrrbody has a word of advice about sleep, or an opinion at the very least. 

Sleep when baby sleeps . Careful, don’t fall asleep when baby sleeps . 

Sleep with baby close to you in the first 6 months . Don’t sleep with baby in your bed.

Make sure you feed the baby when she wakes up. Don’t feed the baby to sleep .

Here is our current sleeping arrangement:

Over the past five months I’ve had so many conversations about my babies sleep patterns I’ve lost count. 

It turns out , sleep has gotten complicated . There are (I shit you not ) people called “Sleep fairies” , who will charge you huge sums of money to tell you how to ‘sleep train’ your baby. 

There are also (to name a few): workshops , online courses , coffee mornings and other general bullshitty gatherings that will be 1% useful and 99% will make you feel like you have damaged your babies sleep patterns forever . *cue visions of my child in her twenties waking every two hours . 

Sleep , I have decided , is one of those things which I will refuse to teach my baby. She has got this

Last week , she was awake every two hours. Last night , she slept for 10 hours straight. Nothing I did in the previous week or night before changed . She has got this.

Yes, i nurse her to sleep every single time, and many of those times will leave her to sleep next to me. I have been told by health visitors, GPs, and other mothers that this is a bad idea. And on the nights that she woke every two hours , I couldn’t help wondering whether they were right. 

But they’re not right . I’m right and I’m doing the right thing. Because after a stretch of ‘bad’ sleeping , she wakes up and does something she didn’t know the previous week. She sits, she starts crawling , she babbles and looks at me as if to say ,”You think growing is easy ?!”.

So if you’re reading this and were just about to book an appointment with a ‘sleep fairy ‘ : don’t. They shouldn’t be selling  a solution if there isn’t a problem. 

Save your money. Buy some shoes, coffee, make-up, a garden hose, anything will be better.

And on that note, I’m off to do exactly that 🙂 

Posted in Comedy, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous

Kitty Emergency

Hello everybody,

It’s been an eventful week in our household.

  • We had our first week of real sunny weather and the baby had her first taste of no trousers. (She still had a nappy on – I’m not a monster )
  • We went to a baby swimming class
  • Our cat Batman almost died

That last one is no exaggeration. After approximately 9 weeks of being around a new baby, we thought he was coping relatively well; he was still eating, drinking, and generally being a cat. Last week however, he stopped doing all of that.

We took him to the vet to discover that the additional stressor (i.e. baby ) had caused his immune system to drop, which then caused his cat-hepatitis (?!), which made him jaundiced, dehydrated and lethargic.

It cost us over £300 to find this out and put him on a drip overnight (That’s right – cats go on drips. Who knew!). We didn’t have pet insurance because we were stupid. He’s two years old, we thought. What could go wrong? . Cat hepatitis everybody. Cat hepatitis.

He is now back home and seems to be recovering. We broke our rule about not allowing him in to the bedroom and bought him the most expensive cat food so we could feel less guilty.

In other news, baby is growing. She is literally a different baby every week and I find myself sending photos to everyone I know and posting things on instagram like those people I swore I’d never be . You see this? This is our baby this week. Next week? Different baby.

Every little move she makes, every little thing she learns how to do for the first time I find incredible and great, but very sad at the same time because it’s one more thing she can do on her own without me. I want her to know everything and nothing at the same time. I want her to grow, but I also want her to be a little zombie baby that just looks at me all day being cute.

Well, that’s all I have time for today 🙂 Have a great weekend folks, I’m off to figure out how to give Batman his antibiotic. Just mix it in with his food, they said. I’d like to see you try it Mr Vet.