Saturday, August 16, 2008

A slap and a kick...

"I slept like a baby". How many times have you used that or heard someone else make that claim? A statement that implies a deep, still sleep. Has anyone making this claim actually slept with a baby?

Still they are not. The little blighters wriggle and move and kick and punch and slap and scratch. Quiet they are not. Grunting, snorting or making some loud exclamations at whim. Babies sleeping do not imply a restful night for me. Not any more.
You would think that a balled fist the size of a cherry tomato could not do any harm to a full grown and resilient adult. You would think that a weeny foot half the size of a cell phone could not cause an "oof" or some other type of grunt to escape from the same full grown adult. You'd be wrong.
Sleeping beside the offspring (in as deep a sleep as is possible for a new parent) thinking that junior is in fact sleeping deeply and immobile, one is suddenly woken by a kick in the solar plexus, a punch in the face, a kick in the boob, a scratch on the cheek or some other form of physical-ness that indicates the youngster has gotten a fright or that you really need to be awake now to attend to their needs.
Of course there is the odd occasion when the little 'un will wake quietly and allow you a few minutes grace. There has been more than one instance when the Big Maori has woken face to face with the Little Maori. Opening my eyes to find a smaller yet very open and wide gaze staring intently at the bigger version, or big ugly nose to small cute button one, tip to tip.

So the cute factor will always apply with the term "sleeping like a baby", but for me now, if I want to imply I slept soundly without actually saying that, I'd be more inclined to use "I slept like a log" or "I slept like the dead". These two things really don't move.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Instuctions please

The internet is a marvellous thing. It seems newborn babies don't come with an instruction manual bugger it all. Everything else in the world does, but parenthood and babies are left out of the loop. How the hell did that happen?
This is why the internet is a wonderous invention. It is the modern day guide or "how to" for whatever your dilemma may be. And believe me when you are miles away from any family with any hands on experience with wet bums, crying (screaming), leaky boobs, strange rashes (baby's), an instruction manual is more of a necessity than a desire. Throw into the mix being in a different country with their own weird and wonderful "advice" and you too would be glued to the screen trying to make sense of it all.
And people always want to give you advice, or just want to tell you how much they LOVE babies, how cute/precious/beautiful your little bundle is, what they did/are doing when their baby was born and blah, blah, blah. Of course you end up smiling and nodding and tuning out or as is quite handy being a foreigner simply saying "I don't speak Spanish" in English and they bugger off. Superb!

Here in Mexico they bind women after they've had a cesarean, not sure if it's the same with a natural birth or if this occurs anywhere else in the world. I for one am very happy with this little tradition, my puku has not been this flat for many a decade, I feel quite decadent displaying my midriff. Oh-er!
Some other traditions I have discovered and am a little puzzled by are:

* to encourage a dimple, a bean is placed in the cheek of the baby
* to encourage a plentiful supply of breast milk, drink a bottle of beer a day
* to stop illness wrap the baby up in layers of blankets even if it's 28C and sunny
* to stop your breast milk, bind your boobs

Think I'll give three out of these four a miss, and maybe not be quite such a consumer on the remaining.

Pregnancy and babies. They don't come with an instruction booklet. They come with their own set of "traditions" and advice, solicited or not. They come with a whole lot of love and bias. Even if you swore that you would say your baby was ugly if it was, you just can't. It's love at first sight, no matter how cynical, how realistic you are. It's love baby. There ain't no stopping it.