I treated this baby’s imminent arrival with a small amount of been there done that jadedness. There was barely anything I didn’t know because hadn’t I done it twice before? And it’s true; I’m not nervous and there’s been no shocks nearly four months in – but I had definitely suppressed the memory of these seven things that go along with having a new baby in the house.
1. The Early Starts
We got lulled into a false sense of security for a couple of years pre-baby. The boys were big enough to get up and watch tv for a while on weekends before one us parents dragged ourselves out of bed at a civilised hour (which is about 830am fyi). Now, 3.5 months into new babyhood we’ve suddenly hit the early starts. She’s fallen into some sort of routine and it involves waking at 530am. And chatting loudly at that time. To coincide with this change I have purchased a cup holder for the buggy. It says ‘No Hot Liquids’ on the box. Listen up health and safety people; if you don’t let me put coffee in there, the only cold liquid going in will be a G&T.
2. The Baby Accoutrements
Just as we regained some space in the house I swore that third time round we would only buy the things we definitely needed, bang! Here comes the stuff. I kid you not, I have both a Mouthee Mitten *and* a Gummee Glove. A ‘Bite n Brush’, Sophie La Girafe, and a load of differently textured loops hanging from the car seat. Of course she’s as happy gnawing the corner of a muslin or the buckle on the baby carrier.
She hates her Tripp Trapp newborn seat and outgrew her bouncy chair but don’t worry – we have a playmat and a ‘Sit-Me-Up’. The SMU is the new marketing ploy since my last go-round; a precursor to the circle of neglect aka the Jumperoo. Don’t worry we’ll be breaking that out soon, lest we get ahead of ourselves and think it’s okay to be able to cross the living room without seventeen primary coloured obstacles.
3. The Songs
I’ve a pain in my face singing the day away – half in an attempt to soother/entertain baby, and half just reflecting my descent into madness. I serenaded her this morning with The Bodyguard soundtrack for no other reason than it’s Whitney. Who needs any other reason? The songs from Moana will forever remind me of Ivy’s first months in much the way that Dominic is synonymous with Elmo’s Greatest Hits. Please don’t make me go back there.
I also like to appropriate pop songs – Poker Face is Poopy face, Gagnam Style is Wuppa Ivy Style (I’m sorry, but it makes the boys laugh) – and teach her some classics by breaking out ‘Pretty in Pink’ anytimeI’m dressing her in, you guessed it, pink. (Less often than you might think)
4. The Drool
We are going through a bib approximately every fourteen minutes here. I can see the little white buds below her gum line ready to burst through one of these days. Her increased liquidity means the hour after every feed is a roulette where I dash through carpeted rooms in the hope she doesn’t spit up again until I’m back on a wooden floor. Oh if I could grow teeth for them I would…
5. The Intensity
You can’t shout “be there in a minute” and hope they forget your empty promises. That basically sums up the parenting style that I have evolved (book deal coming soon I’m sure). That just doesn’t cut it with wee babies – their needs have to be met post-haste whether it’s the telltale ghastly burbling of a nappy being filled or the roar upon waking that signals an immediate need to eat. Parenting an infant requires you to be permanently akin to a sprinter on the starting blocks.
6. The Second Guessing
The soothers – does she even want the jaysis things? Am I stressing over having them on me at all times for no reason? Was it a soother that helped her nod off or would she have gone asleep anyway? I can’t tell. And yet, I can’t go out without them.
And on that note; is Teetha powder baby cocaine or a complete and utter placebo?
What’s that about mother’s intuition? Pffft.
7. The Washing
How can someone so small etc etc… Well, see point 4 above. It’s laundry Mount Everest around here – her stuff, my sicked-up-on stuff and the growing boys and the full size man clothes and the cloth nappies.
But I was ready for this one. We bought a bigger shed. We electrified said shed (well my father in law did) and we put a tumble dryer in that shed! You think I love my baby? I really really love that tumble dryer.