I have been bewitched.
I am completely and utterly spellbound by an eight month old baby girl.
Twin boy and girl were not different, they captivated my heart from the moment they crept out the sunroof, but as they came as a pair adhering to your routines meant I had a life which involved sleep and lots of it. But with BB she has clearly cast a spell on me as she has conjured me into taking a new parenting path; which involves complete abandonment of the rules
Your much loved book sits dusty on the toilet windowsill. I dare not crack the spine as I am pretty sure your routines don’t read like this:
Routine for a breastfeeding baby at six to nine months
7am: baby to be woken by daddy’s gentle snores as she sleeps in between her besotted and tired parents. Baby may or may not have a feed from both breasts; it really depends on how much she drank at 3am
8am: baby to remain in pj’s for next few hours as twin boy and girl dominate the morning
8.30am: baby to be tossed a rusk in the car for breakfast as mummy shouts at older children to buckle up and get a move on.
9.15am: baby to nod off wherever baby happens to be
10am: baby to be woken by frantic late mother scrubbing remains of rusk off her face with johnson’s baby wipe before heading to some activity that no doubt will include winding up the bloody bobbin again.
10.30am baby starts to grizzle and arches her body towards mothers breast, mother to then sigh and comment how she should have dropped this feed ages ago whilst lifting top.
10.32am: baby unlatches with wicked glint in eye, giggling at yet another exposure of mummy’s boob. Mummy eats cookie as forgot to eat breakfast.
Between 10.32 and 11.45: baby lurches towards breast in annoyance if anyone says ‘are you still breastfeeding her?’ Or ‘isn’t she getting too old for that now?’
11.45am: baby throws a variety of food on floor and grins madly at mummy who claps and shrieks well done every time a tiny particle enters her mouth.
12.30am: mummy places calm baby in a darkened room in her cot for lunchtime sleep.
12.32am: baby shouts until mummy comes back and hands over the boob for one last feed before nap time.
Baby now sleeps as long as baby goddamn wants.
2.30pm: baby refuses a milk feed, preferring to wait until mummy is driving to school to pick up the twins to mention she is peckish.
5pm: baby once again covers the floor with a variety of food.
5.30pm: baby has some open air time, on change mat mummy encourages her to have a kick.
5.32pm: baby defecates on said change mat much to wild amusement of older siblings and encourages unhealthy interest from rapid hound.
5.34pm: bath followed by quick once over with massage cream.
6.00pm: baby takes full feed from both breasts whilst mummy bathes older children, practices reading with them, gets them into PJ’s and mops floor with the broom handle protruding from her arse.
7.00pm: baby goes to sleep in darkened room in own cot.
3.02am: baby wakes up for a snack
3:32am: baby points out that mummy and daddy’s bed is bigger, more squidgy, and warmer than own cot and refuses to settle until she gets her own spot in it.
3:45am: baby sleeps attached to mummy with daddy’s arm on her tummy. Baby is happy.
From the last time I read your manuscript Gina, I recall your routine to be a little different. So I apologise; I still think your routines are superb but this child has stolen my heart and ridiculed my authority and I can’t bear to hear her sob.
Plus there is only one of her so I can bend the rules a little; can’t I?
a little tired northernmum