Housework Motivation (or at least comfort).

Basically I’m procrastinating. But listen – I have decided to procrastinate in a productive way. Sort of. Or at least in a way that will make you feel better.

If you’re reading this then you probably know me, but if you don’t, I’m a 31-year-old definitely-adult stay-at-home mum. I have one 15-month old toddler. She is napping right now, or I wouldn’t be at my laptop typing, unimpeded by her wailing at me to pick her up and let her bash the keyboard with her sticky, biscuit-covered hands. Usually at this time she is at daycare, because I am lucky enough to be able to afford it without having to get a job, which is probably more than a lot of people reading this who have kids. I have free time. Usually I do the housework while she is at daycare.

Today they’re having a training day. Kid has to stay home with me. Kid has been up since 6am. Kid is grumpy. Mummy is grumpy. Mummy is tired. Kid has been napping for 45 minutes now and Mummy has eaten and *should* be getting on with the housework, but all she can think about is how tired she is. So tired she’s started thinking in the third person.

So I told google to “motivate me to do the housework”, and it came up with this article, which is full of tips you may or may not find helpful (I’d certainly be more motivated if I could put some really loud music on but like I said, kid napping). The important bit comes after that, when you scroll down and see the pictures. This woman, gods bless her soul, has had the marvellous idea of posting pictures of her messy house. And for some reason, upon seeing these photos (albeit taken by a much better camera than mine) I felt this weird relief. Like I wasn’t such a shitty housewife after all. Like maybe I’d been expecting too much of myself. Who wouldn’t procrastinate a little after spending the morning with a whiny toddler? Actually don’t answer that.

Anyway, I’ve decided to do the same thing. I took a bunch of photos of my messy house (just the downstairs, mind you) and I’m going to post them here for you to contemplate, compare to your own living space, and hopefully feel a little bit better about it.

Bear in mind that I tidied up yesterday and it’s already this messy again. If I hadn’t (and I usually don’t on Sundays), it would have been waaay worse.

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You’re welcome.

Now… *sigh*… now I guess I have to clean it.

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This was supposed to be a funny YouTube comment but then it got way too real

The lusty cries of my child rip me out of sweet nothingness
I stumble downstairs, smacking the light switch
Fill the bottle up to 270ml of water
Add 9 spoons of powdered milk, screw on teat, and microwave for exactly 45 seconds
(5 seconds for every 30ml is the rule of thumb, for my microwave anyway)
Crawl up two flights of stairs to the blessed darkness of her room
Pick her up – she stops crying – collapse together on the broken sofa
She guzzles it down while I doze
But then cries again because there wasn’t enough
(The bottle only goes up to 300ml)
Or she wants to get up
So stand, sit, stand again
(Sometimes the blood takes a while to reach my legs)
I sit her on my right hip
And, clutching the bannister
Creep downstairs
(Place the empty bottle strategically next to her changing table where I won’t forget it later)
And lie in bed, hoping against all reason and experience
That maybe she will fall back to sleep until some less ungodly hour
Sometimes she will cuddle
Or lie still and sing to herself
But her voice is so sweet, I find myself singing along
And soon she is throwing herself on top of me
(Mummies make the best cushions)
And off the edge of the bed
(Or she would if I didn’t keep a firm hold of her sleep sack)
And I am forced to confront the day
If only for the sake of my internal organs
And getting her to daycare on time
(Thank God for daycare)
I dress us both
Often in similar clothes
(I swear it’s subconscious, I’m not one of THOSE parents)
Eat breakfast, or what’s left after she takes her share
Trudge upstairs again to change her
Read a story or a song book or three
Then stuff us both into our winter coats
And psychologically prepare myself to act

Like I am not about to start hyperventilating
Like I have something important to do after this
(Like a job)
Like I won’t just hole up in bed until 2:45pm
feeling guilty about the housework
wondering why I’m like this
Like I’m not just going to sleep
And wake to sleep paralysis, and struggle out of it
And wander around in sluggish autopilot
Wondering if she can tell
Or if this is her normal
Until evening when, too tired to sleep,
I long for that sweet nothingness
Unattainable because I’m so afraid of being ripped out of it
By the cries of my one true love
Again
And again
And again


Note: I’m ok. Honest. Most of the time, anyway. I’m in a bit of a winter slump, so I do have these anxiety days more often at the moment, but I’m taking my vitamine D and seeing a therapist, and I have support, and most of the time I’m fine. Baby Diva does mostly sleep through the night now, although she has her difficult phases, like most kids do, and those are exhausting. And even when she doesn’t, I do have bad days. But I know that some other parents have bad days too, and might relate to this, so I decided to share it, regardless of who it might worry. It’s not like this every day, for me, but it might be for somebody else, and I just wanted to let them know they’re not alone.

In Light Of Recent Events

I Like Pretty Colours

…by which I mean the US presidential elections and Trump winning, but also Brexit, Tories, and the looming possibility of a National Front president in France…

I wrote a facebook post. It’s aimed towards progressives, the left-wing, you know, “our people”. It’s about how we talk to the ones we think of as Them, as opposed to Us, and how we are harming our own cause.

“So I’ve been thinking, and I’d be grateful if you heard me out.

The Trump presidency has come as a shock to me, but then I was also shocked when the Tories were reelected, and Brexit shocked me, too, so maybe I was asking for it by not changing my expectations of the world. I don’t think I’m alone in surrounding myself – online and offline – with mostly progressive people and causes, because I want my online experience to be fulfilling and…

View original post 985 more words

Reblog Talking Consent Over Tea – or why I’ll never force my child to kiss her aunts.

Last March, shortly before 2015’s Sexual Violence Awareness month, I published “Consent: not actually that complicated” – now simply known as “Tea Consent” – on my blog. I had no idea, when I clicked the “publish” button, that I had just written something that would travel around the world, be animated, be read and watched…

via Talking consent over tea: Prevention is possible — Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess

Reasons Not To Breastfeed (by a breastfeeding mother)

OH HELL NO YOU DON’T IT’S 11PM FOR-

Too late, the editor’s open. I have to write the article now. What was it about again?

Oh yes.

I tend to avoid bandwagons. For instance, I don’t read the news daily, I just wait until a bunch of people on social media start talking about it, and then I read whatever’s being shared, or else I google it. This is how I inevitably end up late to the party, as it were. Usually so late that the guests are nursing hangovers.

When it comes to celebrity gossip, I’m not so much late to the party as I just never show up. If it hadn’t been about breastfeeding, which is a Thing I Have Strong Feelings About, I would have ignored it:

Adele Speaks Out About Pressure To Breast-Feed.

Not that I don’t like Adele. I love her music. I just don’t care much about her life, as long as she’s happy in it. I like it when musicians are happy.

But what celebrities say about Things I Have Strong Feelings About does inevitably affect my opinion of said celebrities, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

I still don’t know what all the fuss was about.

To be clear: Adele is right. There is an unreasonable amount of pressure on women to breastfeed, to the point where if you fail at it for whatever reason, it feels just like that – a massive failure. At least, that’s how I was feeling during the first two weeks of breastfeeding when it hurt like hell.

What I don’t get is why people think this is controversial. Saying there’s huge pressure on women to breastfeed isn’t the same as saying women shouldn’t breastfeed. Because there IS also a stigma about breastfeeding, especially in public, which varies from place to place, but which doesn’t make this thing we’re under immense pressure to do any easier. It’s like the world is giving us a high standard to live up to all while putting as many obstacles in place as possible so that we hardly ever attain it – oh wait I just described womanhood.

Don’t get me wrong, I love breastfeeding. I love being able to do it, and I especially love that I don’t have to pump at work in order to do it (pumping is so TEDIOUS and it hurts my back). I love how cheap and convenient it is, and how Baby Diva has never gotten a fever, barely ever gets ill at all, and when she does it’s just a few sniffles or a bit of wind (well, except for that one time). I also kinda like the idea of pissing off all those people who contribute to the stigma around breastfeeding, because that’s the kind of vindicative, childish person I am.

But I love breastfeeding because I chose it. And I chose it because I was pretty sure I’d love it.

The point of breastfeeding is that it helps you create a healthy relationship with your kid, right? Well here’s the catch with that: any woman being forced to breastfeed against her will is inevitably going to feel some resentment towards her child.

Because breastfeeding, while convenient in some ways, is incredibly inconvenient in others. For a start, you basically have a choice between taking your child everywhere with you, and pumping. I hate pumping, so I take Baby Diva everywhere with me, and thank god (or rather, Papa Diva) I don’t need to immediately have a job to survive. For a woman who needs her job, or simply likes it, breastfeeding is often more trouble than it’s worth.

It takes time, too. Sometimes you’re in the middle of something important and instead of waiting four hours as usual, your baby is hungry NOW because growth spurts, because it’s hot and they’re sweating a lot, because REASONS goddammit. Sometimes the important thing you’re doing is catching up on your massive sleep debt, and the time it takes to breastfeed your kid, your brain wakes up and BAM – 2AM insomnia. Happened to me just last night.

Then there’s the whole business of milk production itself which, aside from requiring 2,000-ish calories and at least 2L of water a day, can also be pretty uncomfortable. Baby Diva just finished a growth spurt, during which she was hungry every 3hrs or so (which is not bad, sometimes it’s every 2hrs), which left my nipples a bit sore even though, 5 months in, I’m technically supposed to be used to it by now. Also you’d think she’d drink as much now as she did during the growth spurt, but apparently not, I can tell by the way my boobs are all kind of lumpy and swollen and a bit tender.

Another thing. Remember how I said breastfeeding is cheap? It is, relative to bottle feeding, but it’s not free. You’ll have to invest in at least three maternity bras (or tops, I have two of these which are really comfy). And when I say “invest”, I mean you’ll have trouble finding anything halfway decent and comfortable under 50€. Not to mention the breast pads you’ll have to line them with if you don’t want to be sopping wet all the time. Clothes-wise, you can get away with wearing loose shirts and just pulling them up to breastfeed – I find this more discreet and more convenient than the maternity tops and dresses that were lent to me – but this does limit your clothing options.

But the health benefits! The antibodies! Baby Diva was born in November, Papa Diva and I both have various allergies, and we do plan on putting her in daycare at some point. So far we’ve noticed that she really doesn’t get ill all that much, and although she has developed eczema on her arms and legs, it’s nowhere near as bad as mine was at that age – nor as bad as her dad’s is now.

But is it really worth messing with a child’s relationship with its mother – knowing that a child’s future mental health is very influenced by said relationship – on the off-chance they’ll not be allergic to cats? You’re not sure? Let me break it down for you, then, physical health vs. mental health. Physical health medicine is seeing great scientific advances, getting plenty of funding, and physical diseases likely to be affected by breastfeeding are mainly preventable or curable.

Mental illness, on the other hand, still carries a huge stigma, concerns the most vital, delicate and least known organ in the human body, and varies so much from case to case that it’s difficult to establish a surefire cure. Prevention is therefore best, and one good way of preventing mental illness in people is not forcing their mothers to do stuff that might make them resent their children.

Or, to put it another way, is hay fever worse than depression? (The answer is no, it isn’t. Depression is worse.)

Aw come on, I hear you say, a child isn’t going to get depression just because its mother’s under a bit of pressure to breastfeed, and what if she changes her mind?

It’s highly unlikely that the mother will change her mind in time to actually start breastfeeding her child, and if she does, the fact that she’s doing it against her will is likely to make her fail. What might happen is that the mother will end up feeling like shit at a time when she’s already emotionally fragile, which can lead to post-partum depression in the mother, which can lead to insecure attachment in the child, which can lead to all sorts of bad things like… you guessed it, anxiety and depression.

Adele stopped breastfeeding because, for whatever reason, she physically couldn’t. And she still felt the pressure to breastfeed. Putting pressure on a woman to do something she’s physically incapable of and wishes she could do – excellent idea, society. Just the same as asking an infertile couple who’ve tried everything why they have no kids.

What I’m asking is that the pressure be taken off not only women like Adele who can’t breastfeed, but also those who choose not to. It’s not your business why they made that choice, and their children will certainly not benefit from you making their mother feel like shit. Stop doing it.

/Rant.

 

Parenting 101: DO NOT FUCK WITH YOUR CHILD’S SLEEP SCHEDULE

In hindsight, the party was a terrible idea.

For one thing, it started at 7pm, which is her new bedtime as of this week. Secondly, it was in a barn in the middle of nowhere that had been rented out specially, which meant there would be no warm, dark, quiet room to put her to bed in. And finally: it was a BIG party. In my last post I mentioned that one of the things I love about Baby Diva right now is that I (along with her dad, whom I self-centeredly forgot about) am her favourite person and other people are starting to scare her a bit. And while that is adorable, it is also inconvenient in certain circumstances, such as at parties.

However, your honour, I do have several points to make in our defence:

  1. It was a good friend of mine’s 30th birthday party. She came to mine with her child, I wanted to go to her’s. And she and her partner always throw really good parties.
  2. When we got the invite, Baby Diva was still going to bed around 8 – 9pm-ish.
  3. The couple whose party it was have a baby themselves, and up until the last few days (too late to get Baby Diva used to a potential babysitter), we were under the impression that said baby would be present and therefore that there would be a warm, dark, quiet room to put the babies in.
  4. Baby Diva is having a growth spurt, meaning we couldn’t have left her with a babysitter anyway without me having to pump a shit-ton of milk in very little time.
  5. I took the babywearing wrap (YES I HAVE FINALLY DISCOVERED WHAT THEY’RE CALLED IN ENGLISH) thinking, Baby Diva used to sleep anywhere. Surely, all snuggled up against me, she’ll fall asleep eventually. Right?

 

Wrong. Newborns sleep anywhere, any time, around the clock. Baby Diva is no longer a newborn. Baby Diva is a baby, with a regular-ish sleep schedule and proper sleep cycles and seriously what the hell were we thinking.

It started out ok. She’d slept well during the day, up until about half five, and when I started putting her coat on her at half six, she seemed excited. Maybe she’ll be ok, I thought. We won’t be staying more than an hour anyway.

We picked up a friend, arrived about 30 meters from barn only to be blocked by massive tire-shredding holes in the road, got lost trying to find another way round, rang the guy who was organising it, and finally arrived, to find Baby Diva asleep.

Never mind, for we have that wonder of technological wonders, a carseat that also fits onto the pram, so we took her out and wheeled her indoors to greet the dozen or so people who were already there.

Which is when she woke up.

Never mind, she looked happy and curious enough, so we got her out and (cautiously) passed her around a bit, and lo! she didn’t cry, there were lots of pretty lights and colours to look at and people cooing over her and probably she was starting to recognize the people who were holding her, so it all seemed to be going fine, except for one crucial thing:

Where is the birthday girl, we asked?

Weeell, since this was supposed to be a surprise party, Birthday Girl wasn’t there yet. She would theoretically turn up in half an hour, but it might be in an hour, or maybe two.

I should have guessed this might be an issue, because the first time I organised a surprise party, the birthday boy turned up nearly 2hrs late. The second time I did it, he (different birthday boy) turned up half an hour early and we were all still rushing around decorating and half the guests weren’t even there yet. And this was despite me enlisting their friends to try to distract them for just the right amount of time.

So we had approximately twenty minutes to resign ourselves to the idea of messing with the kid’s shiny new sleep schedule only to leave before the party even started, when – luckily for us – Birthday Girl turned up right on time, and next time I organise a surprise party I’m hiring her partner to help because I want to know how he did it.

By this time there were about 30 people. Baby Diva was beginning to look a bit overwhelmed, but at first she seemed happy enough when Birthday Girl (who she knows) carried her around to greet everyone. When her little mouth turned down and she started whimpering, I took her back and put her in the wrap (OF COURSE IT’S CALLED A WRAP, WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT), which calmed her down.

I may have been a bit overzealous on the knotting of it, because she ended up a bit too high. She was comfy and everything, but I couldn’t tuck her wee head inside the wrap (WHY DID NOBODY TELL ME IT WAS CALLED A WRAP) to sleep. After a while I tried to re-do the knot, but it ended up too tight again, and there wasn’t much space, so I just took her outside to calm down a bit instead.

She was doing the archy-back thing where she cranes her neck around trying to see what’s going on behind her. She wasn’t crying, but she wasn’t smiling either. I knew these warning signs. I didn’t want to ignore them, but I didn’t want to give up so soon either, so I went back inside and loosened the wrap (GOOGLE WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME) with her in it, and finally, she had space to tuck in and fall asleep, if she wanted to.

She didn’t want to. Too many people, colours, twinkly lights, who’d be able to sleep in all that?

A newborn, that’s who. A newborn like tiny baby we met, also cradled in her mother’s wrap (OMG IT’S SO OBVIOUS), fast asleep.

And I thought, stupidly, that maybe seeing another baby asleep in her wrap (“BABYWEARING SCARF” I MEAN WHY NOT JUST WRITE THIS WHOLE ARTICLE IN FRENCH AND THEN FEED IT INTO GOOGLE TRANSLATE WHILE WE’RE AT IT) would make Baby Diva want to sleep. Also, the Law of New Mothers dictated that we gravitate towards each other to trade horrible childbirth stories and compare birth weights (that child was 6 weeks old and she wasn’t yet as heavy as Baby Diva had been at birth, isn’t that amazing?).

Still Baby Diva did not sleep.

I found Daddy Diva and the friend we were driving back and told them we needed to leave soon, it was past 8pm already and Baby Diva was refusing to sleep or even snuggle up in the wrap (AM I LOSING MY MOTHER TONGUE). We started packing up and saying goodbye, and if you’ve ever been to France then you know that kissing people hello and goodbye is mandatory is social situations unless you’re visibly ill.

Well Belgium is only slightly more easy-going on this rule, and there were about 50 people at this point, so we just went round the people we knew (and we knew quite a few) and the ones we’d talked to, and then I went to say goodbye to the other mother with the baby in her wrap (GAAAAAAAAAAH) and somehow twenty minutes passed without me noticing.

I’m not sure exactly what time it was when we finally got to the car. Sometime between half eight and nine, probably. Baby Diva was quiet. She had bags under her eyes. It was, very clearly, nighttime. Nighttime is sleepy time, as we keep telling her. Why wasn’t she at home, in bed? What were we doing?

I took her out of the wrap (GNNNNNN) and folded it while her dad put her in the car and our friend got in front. I got in the back. In fifteen minutes we’d be home.

Five minutes in, Baby Diva started whimpering. I gave her the dodie, but it seemed to annoy her more, so I stroked her cheek and sang her a lullaby. It worked.

Until it didn’t. Two minutes later, she started crying in earnest. With horror, I realised I hadn’t fed her once during the party, the last time she’d eaten had been around half six, and she was in the middle of a growth spurt. She must be starving, poor thing! I sang some more, verses punctuated by murmured reassurances and apologies for being such a mean, neglectful mummy. Our friend had us drop her off at walking distance from her flat, so we wouldn’t have to turn around or anything, and Daddy Diva dropped us off before going to park the car. I fumbled with the keys, hushing her – “We’re home, look, I’ll feed you now” – got in, put her in her playpen just long enough to take my coat off, which she did not like, and by the time I picked her up and got a boob out, it was too late.

This has happened before: she gets hungry at a time when technically she shouldn’t be hungry, usually at night when she’s also tired, and I take a while to realise that’s what the problem is, and by the time I do, she’s so upset she can’t eat because it’s not coming fast enough. The only solution (other than to give her a bottle, which I try to avoid) is to keep comforting her with my boob next to her cheek so that when she finally calms down enough, she can just turn her head and feed.

Last night, it didn’t work. It’s worth mentioning that Baby Diva is definitely a tension increaser, and usually we never let her get to the state of hysterical, newborn-like screaming she was in last night, her poor little body racked with sobs. On the rare occasions when she has been like this, usually it’s because she’s ill. Sometimes we don’t know why, and we feel frustrated. But last night both of us knew exactly what we’d done wrong, and all we could do was hold her and sing, and tell her how sorry we were, and that we’d never, ever do it again.

In the end, my partner figured out that she wanted to be put in her cot with her dodie and lovey. She stopped crying, but would start again after brief attempts to fall asleep, her face snuggled into the bear comforter. I went downstairs and expressed as much milk as I could in five minutes – about 50ml, all that crying made it easier – went back up, and bottle fed it to her in her cot, with the lovey over her eyes. She finished it, took the dodie, and fell asleep. I watched her for another five minutes, but apart from the odd gasping sob, she was finally calm. She slept until 2am.

I didn’t wait for her to cry to feed her, last night. She ate twice, and after the second feeding I put her up in her own room, which is darker than ours, so she’d sleep in in the morning. Both of us needed it. I could have slept all day. I felt like I had a hangover even though I scrupulously avoided drinking. I’m only just emerging now.

Moral: four-and-a-half month olds are no longer newborns, and cannot deal with you messing with their sleep schedule. Don’t do it. The sleep schedule is sacrosanct and must be respected. We are duly humbled. Learn from our mistakes. You might think you’re only staying at the party for an hour, tops, but you’re not. If you really want to go, pump some milk and get that kid a babysitter. Otherwise, just don’t.

The Things I Love About Her

To anyone who stumbled on this article without knowing what it’s about, no, this is not about all the things I love about my lesbian lover. I don’t have a lesbian lover, because a) my libido is on maternity leave, and (therefore?) b) my partner and I are not in an open relationship right now. Sorry to disappoint. Kind not sorry though because maybe I gotz more viewz. Can you tell I’m slightly inebriated as I’m writing this? Did I mention that you *can* drink and breastfeed with the help of some careful planning? You can, google it.

The reason I’m slightly inebriated tonight is because the scarf I’m trying to crochet is turning out wrong. I did the stripes in the wrong order and it looks crap. Also I’m running out of slate blue wool, and that’s supposed to be the colour of the next stripe, so I ended up feeling a bit stupid and depressed. I’m easily depressed at the moment. Let’s say it’s the hormones. Did you know that breastfeeding puts you in a sort of temporary menopausal state that, among other things, kills your libido?

Can you tell I miss my libido?

My partner misses it, too. And, I’m sure if I had a lesbian lover, she’d be missing it immensely.

Anyway. I wanted to write about my daughter because she’s amazeballs (oh, you CAN tell I’m slightly inebriated) and I have a stupid tendency to only write about my life when it’s going wrong, when in fact the best thing to do would be to write about the good stuff so that I could go back and read it later. So, in true Internet fashion, here is an as-yet-indeterminate number of things I absolutely love about my four-and-a-half month old daughter.

  1. She’s gentle. In fact, she’s the first baby I’m ever met who has any notion of what gentle even means, except for when it’s happening to them. Most babies, as soon as they know how to grab something, will grab ALL THE THINGS and continue doing so until they are about three, maybe older. Glasses, hair, the skin of your boob, you name it, they will grab it, ruthlessly digging in the sharp little claws you try and fail to keep clipped as they do it. Not so my Baby Diva: when feeding, she does this thing where she puts her hand flat on my boob and sort of strokes it in a way that would be creepy if anyone else did it but is ADORABLE in her. It’s like she’s telling it thank you for the milk it’s giving her. Another thing she does, when it’s nighttime and I’m calming her down with lots of hugs and kisses, is lift her little hand up, fingers slightly apart, and run it softly through my hair or across my cheek. Again, without grabbing – at least, most of the time.
  2. She’s affectionate. I do this thing where I give her lots of kisses on her cheek and then I turn my cheek to her cheek and say “GIMME KISS?” and sometimes, if she’s in the mood, she’ll turn and sort of lick-suck my cheek, at which point I’ll say “OH, A KISS!!!” and kiss her other cheek, furtively wiping my cheek on her clothes as I do so. She loves it.
  3. She’s cuddly. No affectionate and cuddly are not the same thing shuddup. When we’re holding her, she’ll hold onto our clothes, unless she wants to be put down (which is rarely). Sometimes she’ll lean her head on our chests. Sometimes, when she’s sleeping on me and I eskimo-kiss her in her sleep, I’ll turn my cheek to her and she’ll sort of snuggle up to it. She’s especially cuddly when she’s tired, and she’s tired a lot, because babies need a lot of sleep. Fact.
  4. She’s started copying us. Actually she started doing this ages ago, but she does it a lot now and it’s obvious to people other than us. Like, we’ll blow a raspberry at her… and she’ll watch attentively… and blow one back. IT’S LIKE WE’RE SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE.
  5. She’s easy-going. We can leave her in her playpen or on the carpet surrounded by toys most of the time she’s awake, and she’s fine as long as we occasionally interact with her and congratulate her on managing to stuff her lovey’s head in her mouth or whatever it is she’s trying to do.
  6. She’s a Strong And Independant Woman. We noticed this almost immediately: when something’s wrong, she doesn’t usually start crying immediately. First, she’ll try to solve the problem herself. Then she’ll grumble a bit. Then she’ll try again. Grumble a bit louder. Only once she’s tried a few things will she actually start to cry. The only exceptions to this rule are when she’s in pain, scared, or extremely tired or ill, so if she starts crying suddenly, we know something’s definitely wrong.
  7. I’m her favourite. Whenever someone she doesn’t know (or doesn’t know well) holds her, she looks uncertainly at me until I move too far away, at which point she starts crying. I know I should be worried about her starting daycare in May but for now it’s adorable and I love it.
  8. She has stopped making that horrible high-pitched screeching noise. For now.
  9. She has really bad nappy rash at the moment and she doesn’t even complain, which makes me think she may have inherited my mother’s Badass gene.
  10. It’s kinda hard to make her laugh, but when she does it’s that much more rewarding. I do look that much more ridiculous trying to make her laugh, but childbirth has rendered me immune to ridicule so I don’t care.
  11. She has started taking long afternoon naps and going to bed at 7pm, which means I have a lot more time to do important stuff like writing blog articles and reading.
  12. We’ve started giving her solids and she absolutely LOVES it. So far we’ve given her a bit of mandarine (we use a mesh rattle thing so she can chew on stuff without choking on it), mashed potatoes and carrots, and mashed banana. With the banana she did this funny thing where she’d pounce on the spoon, then screw her eyes shut and do a sort of shiver, like it was too bitter (or more likely too sweet), but she wanted more anyway. She still spits out half of her spoonfuls and I have to feed the drooly mush back to her if I want her to actually digest any of it, but she doesn’t mind. In fact I think she’d take dire offense if I didn’t.
  13. And finally… and I know this shouldn’t even be in my criteria, and of course I’d love her just as much without it, blah blah blah but anyway: SHE’S GORGEOUS. Yeah I know, I’m her mother so I’m obviously biaised, but seriously, I think our genes mixed up pretty well, and don’t tell me you can possibly look at this wittle face and not MELT.

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    Identical socks are irrelevant compared to the coordination of my child’s outfit.