Saturday, 19 June 2010

Onzieme mois avec mademoiselle Eloise

Eloise -

You started this month with 3 teeth and are ending it with 8. Lucky for me, most of those teeth came in the same week - the week your father was out of town. Considering the fact that you at one point had 4 teeth breaking the surface of those shiny little gums of yours at once I thought you handled it very well. I didn't once get a phone call from nursery asking if they could give you calpol and during the day with me you were great. At times a bit more clingy and whiny but easily distracted from the discomfort and quick with a smile. At night however, you were not so tolerant of the pain, and there were some nights so difficult that we both found ourselves in tears at 3 in the morning.

We still haven't cracked this sleep issue. In fact, your father is upstairs trying to get you to bed and I can hear you slowly singing through the baby monitor, fighting it. I spent the last 47 minutes trying to get you to sleep and now he's trying. You sleep through the night every once in awhile, maybe once or twice a month, just to show us you can. Usually though you take a while to fall asleep (like tonight) and you wake up twice a night. I know there are babies out there who do much worse so I try not to complain, but those rare nights when go from 7pm to 7am show us just what we're missing. It is amazing what your body can get used to though, and waking up every 3 or 4 hours is no longer as painful as it used to be. Plus, I kind of miss you when you sleep the whole night through*.

Eating with you is so much fun now. Gone are the days when I would watch you eat with my heart in my throat seeing you gag and sputtle while you tried to understand the art of chewing. You do still occasionally gag, but it is less and less common, allowing me to relax and just enjoy you enjoying your food. Finger foods go down best with you as you like to be in control. Usually your meal is made up of whatever your father and I had for dinner the night before. Steak and potatoes. Salmon and green beans. Chicken and cous cous.

You drink from your sippy cup like an old pro now. To go from the days where I had to spoon feed you mush and hold your cup to your lips just to watch you spit out the water, to now. Now where you sit with an entire grown up meal and pick and choose what you want to eat, throwing what you don't like on the floor (thanks for that) and taking sips of water inbetween bites of food.

There are times when I become nostalgic for the little baby you once were, the scent of milk, the baby sighs as you sleep, the fragility and utter dependence on me. But then I see you butt scooching out of the room, turning to see if I've noticed that you're trying to escape and grinning hysterically and wildly flapping your arms when I come to scoop you up again. Or looking out the window and upon seeing your father in the garden, pointing and saying Da. Or deciding that you're thirsty, looking at me and making the sign for milk. And I think, holy crap, watching you grow into this world is so exhilarating and humbling. You won't let me be a witness to who you are becoming at such close range forever so I better stop looking backwards and start making sure I'm watching you plan your escape.

Je T'aime


Eloise is a hair above Mickey now but is clearly unhappy with her new commanding role.

There there Mickey, the title is still yours...

...FOR NOW!!! (I'm scared)

*Don't worry kid, I'll get over it, you sleep all you want at night. Please?

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Crawling is beneath her

She'll be 11 months in 10 days and she still shows no desire to get on all fours and crawl. The Frenchman and I have both demonstrated at separate times how the whole crawling thing works. Eloise laughed hysterically at the sight of her parents on the floor, moving around like animals. Ha Ha! She said. Look at the big people degrading themselves so happily.

We will occasionally get a backwards crawl. She lies on her stomach, does a quick glance backwards to make sure she's lined up to where she wants to be next and pushes herself back with her little hands.

More often though she is sitting up, and with one foot and one hand she scoots her diapered bottom around the room. This is fine with us. If any of you have sprained an ankle, you probably know the butt scootch* well, and so you will know that it is not a rapid means of transportation.

This means we've been able to go this long as parents without having to chase after our baby. We can see the danger coming miles away and slowly move her away from the wires/sockets/basket of knives. Ah the power of distraction. I want to chew on those cables! Oh look! A sock!

I'm afraid though that babies crawl before walking for a reason - mainly to ease the parents into having a mobile baby. First they roll - ok, no more plopping you on the middle of the bed. Then they shuffle around - see above. Then they crawl - stair gates up and locks on cabinets. Then they cruise - ok, anything remotely entertaining for an adult must now be put into storage or onto much higher shelves. Then they walk - best to remove all shelves and furniture with sharp corners or better yet just pack up and move into a play gym.

I had a dream last night that she was walking. I was clapping and jumping for joy at my clever little girl. When I woke I was panicked. This house and our sanity are so not ready for three upright and mobile humans. If it were up to me Eloise would be butt scootching all the way to college.

*Scooch? Scoot?

Friday, 4 June 2010

Squirty Thirty

30 years old today. Three-OHHH. I woke up to the sounds of Eloise babbling in sing-song alone in her room and her father scurrying around the house getting ready for work. The Frenchman brought Eloise into our bed along with my birthday presents. He was going to be late for work so we quickly opened my presents, which was good because having not fed Eloise since 3 in the morning I could feel that I was soon going to leak with her sitting next to me signing for milk. She continued to sign for milk, looking confused as to why I was not whipping my boob out on demand, but then was quickly distracted by the presents in front of her.

A few years a go I would have imagined a big boozy blow-out for my 30th. Good food, strong reds and dry rosé, a few well thought out cocktails, the din of people chattering and ice knocking together in sweaty glasses as I floated around in a new dress with my cheeks rosy. Music and dancing, the crowds thinning out until it was just me and a few with stamina, putting the world to rights with a couple of fingers of whiskey.

Instead I sat in bed, my breasts leaking through my t-shirt, my pyjama clad daughter sitting next to me chewing on a jewelery box as I leaned over to kiss The Frenchman thank you. Thank you for the bracelet. Thank you for telling me I am the best thing to happen in the past 30 years. Thank you for creating this family with me.

And I couldn't be happier.

Although I wouldn't say no to a stiff drink...