So, the little guy smiles! Proper gummy-I-could-be-a-seal smiles. He’s making noises that sound like a baby rather than guinea pig on speed. And (whisper it) he’s *actually* sleeping at night, but shhh don’t tell anyone, we don’t want to put the mockers on it!
Sonny Jim’s not a newborn anymore (whoa where has that time gone?!) but the mumma lessons are still coming thick and fast. Here’s some of the latest…
- No one really knows what they’re talking about… (Even those whose job it is to know. Your health visitor will tell you one thing and your GP the exact opposite. And your friend’s health visitor will say something different again.)
- …But everyone has an opinion. The woman behind you in the queue at Waitrose knows waaay better than you do why your child is crying. Obviously.
- Stuff. There is so much stuff. I’m basically going to spend the next two (?!) years being a two-legged donkey for my cute mini-dictator aren’t I?
- Getting out is good. I think Sonny Jim was maybe a week old when my mum started advocating going out. With the pram. Every day. It took maybe a week more for me to actually start listening, but it’s been the best advice I’ve had so far. Me and Sonny Jim are big goer outers. Even if it is just round the block. In the rain. It normally sends him to sleep. But even if the pram doesn’t work its send-to-sleep magic, his grizzling is less ear-shattering when it’s not confined by four walls. And fresh air really does make you feel more human. Plus I’m probably fitter now than I’ve ever been in my whole adult life.
- Jabs. The first of these are at eight weeks. And you’ll find them way more upsetting that the little ‘un who is being stabbed in the leg. Three times. Their shocked scream will emotionally scar you. For life it feels at the moment. Then it comes round again four weeks later. And then again another four weeks later. It’s like actual torture (for me anyway. Sonny Jim, aside from looking a bit sorry for himself for a couple of days, being a bit more sleepy than usual and doing some truly awful poops, was over it pretty quickly.)
- Tummy time will make your baby cry. For perhaps the first 50 times you do it. You’ll find yourself questioning if rolling and crawling are really necessary life skills. Then you’ll discover that if you roll up a blanket and put it under their chest they don’t protest *quite* so much.
- While they might only just be mastering holding up their own head, babies just mere weeks old have some kind of sixth sense for when you have put them in “nice” clothes. And they will wait for you to dress them and get to where you are going (a wedding) or sense when you are literally about to leave the house (for a thanksgiving service – at grandma’s church) and then let rip with the most epic of poonamis. You will then have to change them in the boot of your car (yes really) minutes before the bride arrives (sorry Mr and Mrs Wolff.)
- Routines are as fleeting as sunshine this June. Just when you think you’ve got the little dude figured out (loving a nap between 1-3pm every day? Got ya.) they go and mix it up again (daytime sleeping is for wimps. Brilliant.)
- Date night is for talking about the baby. You’ll eventually brave leaving the little guy with your parents. For about two hours. While you and the hubby go to a restaurant quite literally at the end of the road. And you will spend the whole time talking about how wonderful the baby is. And after about 90 minutes you will start itching to get back to him. Even though he is asleep. And totally fine with your parents. And even though you have been longing to eat a dinner without one of you checking on him every second minute (or holding him) you rush dessert just so as you can get back and watch him sleep. Like an obsessed lover of the stalker kind.
There are about a hundred other things I’ve discovered over the past few weeks (the stop-your-heart fear when you wake up and they’ve slept longer than usual – even though that’s what the pre-bed bath routine was supposed to achieve; the ability to turn on the mobile above the crib without even opening my eyes; aching knees from all the baby bouncing) but these are the highlights that I’ve managed to type while the little guy gazes adoringly at the giraffe on his jungle gym…