Monday, 28 April 2014


It has been so long since I've written anything at all. Not that I've not wanted to, but we are now firmly in the trenches of parenting. So deep undercover that we've forgotten our real names and our families back home. Evenings are a blur of bath time, bed time and eating dinner; our blessed Dodgers and dear friend Vin Scully getting us through the hardest parts, then getting my trusty breast pump out (always, always 15 minutes too late) then trying to stay awake long enough to actually pump, finally collapsing in an exhausted, happy, if slightly bamboozled, heap.

I could make this post about the unbelievable battles we are having with sleep, but honestly, I'm sick of talking/thinking/dreaming about it. Basically, my 'she sleeps brilliantly' baby hit 4 and a half months and decided to be a dreadful sleeper. My awesome friend talks about the effect bad sleep has on your confidence in your parenting abilities here, so I'll just let her say it all, and will gladly accept any and all offers of 'but Lorna, you are a GREAT mum' anyone cares to throw my way.

I could make this post about how I now have a baby that EATS THINGS. Not just milk, but (really squidgy, pureed) things. This was a mini-meltdown situation for me as I had wanted to wait as long as possible but the kid was literally wrestling food out of my hands and was so obviously ready to eat that we just had to bite the bullet and start weaning a full month earlier than I expected too. At the same time, in an effort to save what remains of my sanity, husband started giving K a bottle of formula instead of breastmilk before bed. Partly in theory that it might help her sleep better (mixed reviews: jury still out) and partly because the constant cycle of feeding and pumping and being ON all the time was wearing out my boobs and my brain.

I could also make this post about the fact that she can now move. As in, be in one place, see something she wants in another and get to it. Not crawl, although it's coming soon, but still. Move. But this post is about none of these things, really.

Instead it's about earthquakes. We've had two decent sized ones in the last few weeks (months? Where the hell did April go?) Husband got nervous. Terrified of 'The Big One' and how the potential for bad things to happen is so much worse now we have K. I'm kind of a fatalist, and consider all these things future Lorna's problem.* I'm not so scared of earthquakes really. 'The Big One' might happen, but it might not, so why worry about it? And honestly, I just see earthquakes as a big giant metaphor. A metaphor for how our lives are steady and routine until one day they just... aren't.

This is the bit I missed when other people tried to explain having a baby to me: that you'll find your footing and feel safe and confident and secure, then a little earthquake. The ground will rattle beneath your feet and everything appears exactly the same but it isn't. And you have to figure out where you are and what just happened. By the time you've done that, the next one hits and it's time to start all over again. I never expected so many days/weeks of feeling utterly lost, of having the strange sensation of having absolutely no idea what K wants or needs. The plates shift under my feet, and I have to re establish myself all over again.

And K? She loves earthquakes. The whole world in a gentle rocking motion, just for her. Like her baby carrier, or travelling in the car. She doesn't understand tsunami risks or falling down buildings or the general feeling of unease left in their wake. Literal or metaphorical. She moves and shakes and expects us to keep up. Most often with a hearty chuckle, sometimes with dragon screams of frustration and rarest of all, thank goodness, pure blind rage. We are left rubbing our eyes, shrugging our shoulders and wondering if we'll ever catch up with her: read from the same page, sing from the same hymn sheet. And then one day we do, if only briefly.

The hardest part is realising that we've just had a shift. There are days of tears (mine) and frustration (mine, hers, his, Joanie's) whilst we realise that the ground has moved and we need to readjust everything. And I'm left wondering if it gets easier as they get older or do we just get better at sensing that the earth has moved, that we need to move with it? Who knows. For now, we're just rolling with it.

*Future Lorna must HATE past Lorna, she gets dumped with all her crap.

1 comment:

  1. You've got a great ability to put into words exactly how everyone is feeling! If it makes any difference, someone asked me at the weekend, now that M is 2 1/2 which part was the hardest (so far!) - and without a doubt I reckon the first 6 months. But like you say, I don't think it necessarily gets easier after that, but the earth does move less often and I think possibly becomes a bit easier to predict. And they become better at communicating their needs in ways other than crying! Also don't beat yourself up about giving food 'early', if she wants it - then go for it, there is a slight change in thoughts though nothing officially advised as far as I know but they think studies are showing that early weaning can possibly lead to fewer food allergies (I think they are looking at some of the main foods that cause allergies)... so there really is no right way, the 'rules' are just guidelines, in my opinion rolling with it is the best way to go. I reckon you are a great mum!


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