Month Forty-Eight (and Forty-Seven and Forty-Six)

armour1

Dear Husband,

I had the best of intentions. Really, I did. I thought, how hard can it be? Writing a letter to you at the end of each month should be child’s play. There are around 30 days to each month, there is bound to be something to say. And hey, with 4 whole weeks in which to write my missive, surely I could come up with a story or a thought or two to post each month. Even if it was a little late. Then we had a baby.

I did pretty well in the beginning I think. It didn’t go pear shaped as soon as she was born. Despite my best intentions though, this pretty amazing little girl has taken up a lot of my time and a lot of my energy (and some of my creative juice and some of my dedication too) because here we are…Three months later. Every time I thought I should really sit down and write you something I found myself stuck for a place to start. When trying to identify that which was about us two and not us three, there didn’t seem to be anything noteworthy to say as one day sort of blended into the next. And for that, I’m a little sorry.

I don’t want to be someone who passes over her husband in favour of the baby as my relationship with her is not the only important one that I have. I also want for us to have memories of each other and to not come out of this time unable to remember actually feeling married. To not be conscious of the dynamic we have between the two of us because it shouldn’t be something that is just put on hold while we have an infant. Of course, having said that, the one thing I happen to remember most about last month was us not spending time together. Or perhaps that was just not beside each other.

I must admit that last month I was beginning to wonder whether you had an aversion to sleeping in our bed. Not in the I cant bear to be near my wife sort of way, just to be clear, but in the I’m not sure I even like the physical bed kind of way. In order to catch up on missed sleep, I started retiring a little earlier. You on the other hand wanted to “stay up for a while” and watch tv but left me with the promise to follow. So I would go to sleep with the dog curled up at the foot of the bed and then wake between 2 and 3am with the dog sprawled over a good 4/5ths of your side because you had fallen asleep on the couch!

Now I remember saying that if you want to watch tv, that is fine but if you are really that tired, just come to bed! I even suggested that you put an alarm on your phone for midnight so you could still come and get some decent sleep. That couch cannot be good for you. I didn’t say that if you really did dislike the bed, well…you must be crazy and you might need to start sleeping on the roll away because I love our bed but thankfully the pattern seemed to lessen after a while. Perhaps because you figured the only way to stop the 50kg dog from making a body mould in the bed that is not humanoid was to be in bed yourself. Im not good at stopping him from spreading out. I’m asleep!

I do know that you were feeling a little stressed that month and your sleep was often interrupted as it was but I still think it would have been more beneficial to you had you been in bed. And to me for that matter because then I would not have woken up when you came to bed, when the little one wanted a feed and when the dog decided that it was time to hop on the people matress. He loves our bed!

As for the month before that, I actually remember a night when you didn’t leave me in favour of the tv. We went to bed at the same time and we talked to each other. We looked at houses on our phones and enjoyed being a little silly together. We related. That is what I miss when we get caught up in the day to day and the stresses that go along with it. Like you applying for that new job. Which not only brought with it stresses and anxieties but also lows as it unfortunately didn’t pan out.

On a positive note though, we bought you a new stroller that month. Not Genevieve. She was just a side beneficiary. The stroller was really for you. You managed to talk your way to a heck of a discount on a shiny new running pram, the likes of which you have been eyeing off for ages. It is a respected brand of pram to be sure but not as common or ubiquitous in Australia as your steelcraft and your city selects. Which is why it amused me no end that one of the first times you really went running with it, you finished up at a dog park where we bumped into a fellow Bob user with baby and pram in tow. You guys had your own little Bob Bonding Bromance and checked out each other’s rigs. It was kind of cute.

In regards to this month though, we might have just finished it but I still don’t have a lot to share. Except maybe that yelling loudly at your child because she yelled loudly at you first and you thought she should see how she liked it, is not the best example to set. You chew me out all the time for parroting your arguments and your attitudes back at you. Just because you have done something is apparently not a valid reason for me to do it too.  Although I am now quoting your logic back at you again which is seemingly against the rules so perhaps I should leave it there.

Annoyingly yours,

Your Loving Wife

* Photo was taken at this years Mediaeval Festival

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Week 34

Week 34-3

Dear Genevieve,

You still have your cough. I don’t know that I could actually say that its getting worse but its definitely not getting better. It’s worse at night though and whilst it doesn’t fully wake you up (for which I am eternally grateful), it’s terrible to hear as the sound rips from your tiny frame. It’s not nice to watch either as your whole body spasms. I try and get you as calm as I can before I put you down for the night in the hope that you won’t cough as much, but sometimes you still need to get it out of your system. Of course, on Friday night, you apparently had to get something else out of your system.

It was really weird. I fed you before bed as normal and then you slept for a few hours. Not unusual at all. When you next woke, I fed you again and you seemed quite hungry. As you were finishing the side though, you started coughing and then all of a sudden, the whole feed came back up. So we both got changed and I tried to settle you again and feed you the other side. You drank a lot and when you were just about asleep again, you had another coughing fit and the whole feed came up again! By this time, we had just about exhausted clean linen for your bed and sleepy sacs so your dad settled you to sleep. Skin to skin together on the couch. Where you spent the rest of the night.

Week 34

I have no idea what it was that made you throw up. We figure it must have been something in my milk as you emptied your stomach after feeding on each side. The only thing I ate between your first feed of the evening though and the ones where you were sick, was a packet pasta mix. That didn’t seem to be the sort of thing that would make you ill but if not that, then I have no idea what made you spew! I suppose I should be thankful however that you didn’t actually lose your dinner because that would not have been pretty. As it was, it was just milk. Whatever it was though, it would appear that it was limited to that feed or that time because you were fine the rest of the weekend. In Canberra.

Week 34-2

Since it was Grumps’ birthday on Saturday, we decided to head down for the weekend to celebrate. You travel quite easily now so spending three hours in a car is not an ordeal. You don’t sleep spectacularly well in the port-a-cot though so I could have gotten a little more sleep over the weekend but you didn’t seem at all traumatised by this fact so I guess that’s ok. You also got plenty of cuddles and attention which you seemed to enjoy. You had Gigi to read you stories and of course your dad to make faces at you when we brought out the jolly jumper. Which amused you for a little while.

You know, a lot of kids love those. Some little nippers can be thoroughly entertained if they are strapped into the small blue harness and there are babies that seem to think this invention is hilarious. You seem to think its ok. Sure, you bounce up and down a bit and turn around in a circle but you still want company. You are a very social baby. At times I have seen you quite content to chatter away to yourself but apparently not when the jolly jumper is involved. Perhaps you just don’t like being strapped in and contained. You like to be free. Actually, what you really like most at the moment is the mirror. We have a large mirror on the floor behind our couch (because that’s the only place it fits at present) and I frequently set you down in front of it when I am pottering. You seem to think this is fantastic. Your face breaks out in huge smiles and you enjoy seeing your reflection. It’s very cute.

Week 34-4

And there wasn’t much else major this week. Yet again we didn’t make it to your swimming lesson but this time because I was too sick. You gave me your cold! I am really hoping that we’ll get there next week. At least we should get some family passes for the lessons that we couldn’t attend due to illness…And this way, your dad can come with us on the weekend some time.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Week 33

Week 33

Dear Genevieve,

You were sick again this week. You were not miserable or irritable. You still slept and your appetite didn’t suffer at all but you were sick. You got a snotty nose which you have had before but you also got a bad cough, the likes of which we haven’t heard from you previously. It is a sharp, barking cough that sounds piercing and painful and our hearts go out to you when it seems to tear your breath from you in your sleep. I am assured by other mothers though that this is the “child care cough”. And that it will last for months.

Week 33-4

We did actually get you checked out by the doctor. Although that was more for the doctor’s certificate to excuse you from your first swimming lesson. Your lungs were fine though and your responses were just what a little girl’s should be. So you didn’t have pneumonia or anything else that required more attention or antibiotics. You just needed rest and fluids and I thought you probably needed a couple of days at home.

So this week you had four days with me at home and unfortunately no swimming lesson. You did have Bepi come over and play with you however so your dad and I could have a date night. You had a great game going together with some tissues and you were giggling as she kept dropping you on the couch. You did seem to think though that having someone different in the house was a perfect opportunity not to go to sleep. You were out like a light when we left but had been up for at least an hour by the time we got home. If you don’t want to do something, you really let everyone know. Day care has apparently learned this too.

Week 33-3

I believe they try to give you two naps each day that you are there but one time when they put you down, you were so not interested. You made sure that everyone near you knew it as well. They couldn’t put any of the other kids down in the same room with you. One of the women even told your dad that she had thought the fire sirens were going off on the other side of the building then realised, nope, that’s Genevieve! So apparently you can be quite loud. And wriggly. You don’t make changing your nappy very easy either. The rest of the time however, you seem to go with the flow. And the roll.

Week 33-2

You are not yet crawling but you do not let that stop you from getting exactly where you want to go. We are used to you waking up in all sorts of different positions in your cot and apparently at day care, they have put you down on one side of the room before and the next time they turned around, you were over the other side! They tell us that they think you will be crawling very soon. I kind of think why would you bother? Your current method works just fine.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Week 32

Week 32-2

Dear Genevieve,

You napped really well this week. And you had some long sleeps. For the second time in your short life, you actually slept for 9 hours straight! It was awesome. You also managed a couple of 6 hour stretches which were, I have to say, greatly appreciated. I don’t think I am naïve enough to assume that this means you are about to start sleeping through the night (although maybe my real problem is that I don’t believe you will right now?), but I got to take advantage of the longer windows of time and I am hoping that they don’t disappear as suddenly as they arrived.

I know you can last if you really want to. I don’t think you actually need food because you eat like a trooper. Perhaps its just habit that has you waking up regularly? I know sometimes I think wouldn’t it be nice if you could sleep through the night on a regular basis but then I try to remember that I have so many other blessings. I know that there is a mother in my mother’s group who still feeds every two hours or so. I know other mothers that spend 40 minutes to an hour to finish a feed. There are still more mothers within my acquaintance that can spend hours settling their little ones back to sleep in the middle of the night. I’ve never had those situations with you.

Week 32

When you wake, you feed well (you are pretty much back to the one side all the time now), you doze off and then I put you back down in your cot asleep. On the occasions that you are not asleep, you have always been sleepy. You might whine or moan for a few minutes (and you definitely toss and turn) but then you settle into slumber. And in that sense, you are perfect. You have probably spoiled me. If you end up with a brother or a sister, they’ll probably be up at all hours and it will be a rude shock!

Week 32-3

We are very happy to have had such an easy time with you so far. We think you’re tops. We are biased of course but then, all the ladies at day care seem to think you are pretty cool too. Apparently you have settled in really well. There have been no major hissy fits or tantrums and you are quite a cheerful child. The one comment they have made is that you are not very impressed when they cordon you off from the big kids.

Week 32-4

At the beginning and end of the day when they are not fully staffed, they put some of the older kids in with the babies. To make sure that you don’t get overwhelmed or trodden on though, they put you in the play pen. You don’t really appreciate the gesture however, and don’t see why you are not allowed out to play with the big kids. With a giant canine in the house and the Neighbourette’s kids a couple of doors down, it takes a lot to intimidate you and you are up for anything.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Week 31

Week 31-5

Dear Genevieve,

This week was a really good week. This week you got some quality daddy-daughter time because daddy did day care…and coffee. After months of me being the first person you would see when you woke and the one who would dress you and feed you breakfast etc., on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, it was daddy’s turn. This week I started back at work part-time and on those days, your father was responsible for getting you ready and doing the drop-off and pick-up from day care. Unlike last week though when I was more than happy to leave you in care, your dad did not find it so easy. When I asked how he went on the first morning, the response was “fine for her but crap for me!”.

Week 31-4

On the up side however, your father gets to work shorter days when you are at kindy so he gets to pick you up in the afternoon and hang out with you until I get home in the early evening. And what better way to hang out than to go for a walk or go grab a cup of coffee (or in your case, bottle of milk). Apparently the two of you are very cute when you are out at cafes together and your dad gets much better service when you are there to bring the cute factor.

Week 31

This week was also good because on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we had more fun together. Some mothers I have met are women with seemingly boundless energy who are always ready to throw themselves into playing games or stimulating young minds. I am not one of these women. I find that if I get some time to myself to recharge my batteries however,  I am then happy to spend that energy in the service of others. So now that I have gone back to work on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s, every second day, I am all yours. And this week we went on several walks, we went out and had a picnic lunch and read lots of stories.

Week 31-2

Lastly, this week was good because you were very good for your grandad. Your father was lucky enough to get his hands on some free tickets to Hot Shoe Shuffle showing at one of the theatres in the city. The tickets however needed to be picked up in person right on your bed time. We managed to juggle this by your dad training into the city and me getting you ready for bed an hour early in the hope that you would sleep for as long as possible. I was a little worried when you decided that grandad feeding you dinner was not on and when you seemed to wake soon after being put down but I did go out to meet your dad and hope for the best. And apparently, you did sleep for a few hours and were even back to sleep after a feed by the time we got home.

Week 31-3Alles Liebe,

Lexelah