It's only 9 months... but it feels like Maternity...

Now Known As Postnatal Oppression

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

This is all degenerating into randomness I know, do forgive me. When I go back to work, maybe my brain will awake from hibernation and I'll get back to this regularly... but for now, are you ready for more aimless ranting? Here we go:

  • Once you get past about 3 months, nobody seems to know if you count baby-age in weeks any more, or start using months. It may not seem that important, but when you're buying Stuff, and it says 'from 4 months', does it mean 16 weeks or 4 calendar months? I asked my health visitor which one it was. She said "Hmm. That's a good question."
  • I am bursting to buy Stuff for Spawn. There are tons and tons of things you never knew you needed, and have been doing perfectly fine without, until your eyes wander across something in yet another catalogue, or someone says "Have you heard of so-and-so?", and suddenly the Retail Angels are singing and a heavenly beam of golden light is cast across said Stuff. Luckily, for the most part, common sense has prevailed. Normally, if I leave it a week or two and then go back to it, I can see that we don't actually need a complete sunblocking black shroud to cover the pram from handle to wheels and make it look like I'm wheeling a junior Addams Family member around after all. But that's the tricksy thing about babies. Their needs keep changing, and so you con yourself into thinking that you MUST completely buy everything for that Next Stage. Resist. Someone will give you it for free sooner or later anyway. I would honestly say that I have only actually needed to buy about 10% of the things I thought I would need.
  • Meeting up with other mothers - now that is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I think "Yeah, it'd be nice to get out, chat to someone else going through the same things, be a bit sociable." But on the other hand, you're entering an absolute minefield. There are mums you like, but you don't like their kids. Kids you like, but you don't like their mums. Mums you like, but you don't like their friends. Mums who see you and everything about you as competition. Mums who seem to be on commission from the NCT/parenting websites/mum-and-baby-groups/local nurseries/etc etc (see previous entry's rant about conversations with other mothers). I have bumped into this woman a couple of times, at the baby clinic and at my corner shop, and I have been Nice and said Hello and asked after her numerous offspring. Then the other week, I saw her when I was coming back home from a walk, and we again stopped for a quick exchange of hellos. The next thing I know, she's grilling me. Where did I live? What number? Which end of the road was that? When was I going back to work? Where did I work? Was I married? What did my Husband do? She finished off by threatening to call in one day! Hells bells! I have started locking the door and keeping all the windows shut whenever I go upstairs, just in case I come down and find her stretched out on the sofa flicking through Sky.
  • Oh you'll never guess what, I have come across Scandinavian girl from my antenatal classes again! Apparently she and cat's-bum-mouth have really chummed up and see each other all the time, and I've been invited to join the hallowed circle. Hmm. I bumped into her when the Husband and I took Spawn swimming (her baby had, naturally, already completed a whole swimming course. What. Ever.) Spawn, incidentally, loves the water. We paddled him in the sea first, which he didn't object to, and last weekend we took him back to the beach, he got upset when a wave crashed over his head but other than that, it was all good. We decided to try the local pool out despite the negative comments I'd heard from one of the mums at the baby massage class I went to, and it was absolutely fine. He rather enjoyed bobbing around in his inflatable throne, and when we took him out of it and swooshed him around in the water, he kicked his legs energetically whenever he was on his front, and screeched angrily if we tried to put him on his back. Tip - the pool was a great opportunity to check out all the things that I'd seen in the catalogues and websites too, because there was every imaginable floating device and all the variations of swimming clothing being modelled by all the littluns. The best thing though, was that Spawn didn't puke in the pool.
  • I can't wait for him to start weaning, because I am a bit bored of milk. He probably is as well, seeing as he watches everything I eat or drink with great interest. But I'm going to wait for a bit, as he's perfectly alright with milk for now. But here is another weird thing - literally, every single mother I have come across, has told me that they HAD to wean their baby so early, because they were SUCH a Hungry Baby. Now, is it that, because of the marvellous parenting it had, their baby grew so fast and so strong, it just NEEDED this extra nutrition to sustain it's superbrain/athlete-type growth? Is it bollocks. It's just another very strange way for people to wear their I'm Such A Great Parent badges.
  • I am getting extremely ratty with the Husband. I can't imagine it's all his fault, although it does seem like it at times. I do find myself swooping down on the tiniest thing and using it as more Evidence That I Do Everything. Last night, I had bathed Spawn and was feeding him in his room, all nice and quiet like. The blinds were drawn, I was listening to some comedy thing on Radio 4 (music keeps Spawn awake), the birds were singing, he was beginning to doze, all was calm. Enter the Husband, stage left. Remembering a lecture I'd given him about Me Doing Everything, he was clearing up for me in the bathroom. Suddenly he did one of his gigantic sneezes (I normally measure them in the number of cats they make leap up and run out of the room - this was a 3-cat sneeze) which shot Spawn upright with wild, staring eyes. He (the Husband) then had a Victoria Falls pee, flushed the loo loudly, dropped the plastic jug in the bath, cursed, whistled as he put things away in there, and then tiptoed into Spawn's bedroom so as not to wake him. We both gave him a Look, and I had Words with him once I'd put Spawn to bed. Tonight, I went into the bathroom after Spawn had gone to bed, and the Husband hadn't cleared anything. I thought "Lazy bastard. I do Everything around here." Call me unreasonable if you will, but there's no sign of that eternity ring yet...