Sunday, 29 August 2010

Tampax should hire me for their next marketing campaign

Who needs to spend money on baby toys when you have.... Tampons! Shameful parenting alert.

Usually I am able to take my shower while Eloise naps in the morning. I bring the monitor in with me and listen to Johnny Cash sing to my sleeping baby. More often then not I am even able to get myself dressed before the beast awakes (though I have had to rush into her room with soap in my hair and clumsily throw some clothes on while I entertain miss grouchy face) (and her "I've just woken up and I'm not happy about it" face is the best. I'm a baby. Waking up sucks. Love it.)

Sometimes however I am forced to take a quick shower while Eloise is plonked in her bumbo seat on the floor of the bathroom. It takes her about 5 minutes to get out of this seat, so these showers are FAST. I give her some toys to distract her from the fact that the seat she is in does not hold her captive. The Latest development is that she eschews the toys for my box of tampons. Apparently Tampax make really fun toys for babies! You can bang them together! You can slide them through toilet paper rolls! You can bang them together again!

My first instinct was to stop her from playing with them but then I thought, wtf, she might as well have a positive association with these things now before she equates them with cramps and crying and blind rage while curled up in the foetal position.

The other day I was sitting at the top of the stairs with Eloise while she used the railing to pull herself up and down and I kept saying UUUPPPP DOOOWWWN. Then she would say UHHHH DAAAAAA and I would clap. The Frenchman came home from work and as per usual Eloise got so excited when she heard his keys in the door that she flapped her arms and rushed over to me and threw her arms around me and squeezed my neck so tight because the excitement of Daddy coming home is just. too. much.

This picture has nothing to do with tampons. THANK GOD.

The Frenchman came and sat next to me at the top of the stairs and we talked about his day and our day and Eloise then shuffled away into the bathroom. I kept an eye on her while we continued to chat and then after some rustling she shuffled back from the bathroom with a bright yellow tampon in her hand and gave it to me. Very proudly. Here mom. You can have one of my new toys. There's a whole BOX of them! Thank you! I said. Then she bum shuffled back to the bathroom and retrieved another, shuffled back to us and handled it to me. Thank you! This went on five more times until finally The Frenchman piped up and said what about Daddy Eloise? J'en ai pas et Maman elle en a 5! So Eloise went back and found another tampon and brought it to her father. He said Merci! and she went back to get him another tampon.

We both started laughing as she turned to go back into the bathroom to find more Tampon toys. What kind of parents are we? Making our daughter show her fondness to her mother and father by giving them tokens of love in the form of a tampon. As Eloise was in the bathroom, back turned to us, about to reach for another tampon she started to laugh to herself. A short sharp Ha! Ha! and then found what she was looking for and came back to her parents.

Seriously. Tampons. Best toys ever.

Monday, 23 August 2010


Sometimes you get caught in the rain.

Sometimes you get caught in the rain while pushing your baby in her stroller.

Sometimes you get caught in the rain while pushing your baby in her stroller with the rain cover inaccessible under groceries.

Sometimes you get caught in the rain while pushing your baby in her stroller with the rain cover inaccessible under groceries and you realize that you forgot to button up your top from the last time you nursed your kid.

Sometimes you get caught.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Treizieme mois avec Mademoiselle Eloise

Eloise -

13 months old baby. Well 13 months old and 4 days. We’ve been busy busy busy over here. And by busy I mean unorganized.

There have been a couple more signs this month (eat and monkey) and you’re getting more confident with your cruising. You’re still very comfortable with the bum shuffling as your mode of transport but you’ve also started to contemplate the idea of standing on your own. The biggest change of course has been your sleeping. While I think you’ll always be a bit of a sensitive sleeper, we have gone from waking every 3 hours to sleeping 10.5 hours maybe 3 or 4 days a week. Just so the sleep gods don’t think I’m boasting, we’re not totally out of the woods. When you do wake up it now usually takes an hour or two to get you back to sleep and sometimes we’re still struggling to get you down to bed for the night at 9pm. 9pm Eloise - this seriously encroaches on mama’s drinking relaxing time.

I think the most important change this month though is with me. Instead of treating you like a little baby, I’ve finally started treating you like the bum-shuffling toddler that you are. You’ve been to the museum. Ate at your first restaurant. And I mean really ate. Almost an entire omelette with a fork and you drank a whole glass of milk. A glass. No sippy cup.

After your first birthday we finally moved your pushchair around so that you are facing the world. At first I missed you, missed smiling and joking around with you, missed watching you try and fight sleep and then fail miserably. But now I get to see how you affect everyone else who sees you. From little old ladies to hardened men deep in conversation. You break all of them of their daily grind and bring them into your innocent world of wonder and smiles.

We’ve been taking longer excursions; 5 hour long walks through nature reserves and marinas. Just today we spent 7 hours on a canal boat, along with a stop at a pub and a park. I always start these outings with a slight trepidation. Will you get cranky and pout all day? Will you scream the entire car ride? Will you cause a huge mess while eating in public? And at the end of the day I realize I had nothing to worry about yet again because while you have your moments, on the whole you are a charming, portable baby who makes her needs known and thus easily met.

I’m just sorry it took me this long to realize how far we could go together.

Je t’aime


Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Oh the places we'll go!

Just today Eloise wrapped her stuffed animal in a blanket and patted her to sleep. I feel like we are on the cusp of the really good stuff. My childhood, like most, had its ups and downs, and as simple as it was I think the best moments of my childhood was paying pretending games with my little sister Claire. Animal games we used to call them.

We played these games for as long as our imaginations were stronger than our self-conscious. Which I am proud to say took us far into the double digits. Our beds became boats as we rescued mewling kittens from the jaws of sharks nipping at our bow. Blankets became caves where we would nurse our sick pets back to health out of the rain while the other would forage for berries so we could eat. Closets became abandoned cottages in the woods in which we could become the youngest pair of squatters with a travelling family of injured pets.

The other day Eloise was playing with my computer. To lure her away to more baby friendly play I cuddled a floppy black cat to my cheek, shushing it and singing it lullabies. She took the bait and bum shuffled over to me, but instead of pushing the cat out of the way in a fit of jealousy as I suspected, she came to cuddle me, but made sure that I kept cuddling the cat too. Could it be? Her first Animal game? Lets pretend we’re a bunch of cats that need to be cuddled by mama.

Oh the worlds we have ahead of us! The injuries to nurse, the teddy bears to wrap in blankets to keep from catching cold, the forts to build to take shelter from the thunder storm that is happening in our living room.

This right here is why I became a mother. I just pray she will let me play with her for a few years before she realizes these games are so much more fun without adults.