Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Grace - one month old

So, Grace is one month old! On one hand it's flown by but on the other it hasn't. This is mostly because I have been awake more or less constantly for a month now.. which sort of makes it feel a bit like two months really, but anyway, my aches and pains have abated, and I am finally starting to feel a bit like my old self again.

Grace and I have had a busy week. We've been out power walking (me not Grace), trying (and often failing) to avoid dog poo en route. I never realised until I had a buggy how much dog poo there is in Brighton, it's almost impossible to go on a walk without bringing some back with me in the tread of my tyres, and it's not just that I am truly awful at steering, I really should use an L sign though. (This news will come as no surprise to anyone who knew me during the 5 years it took me to pass my driving test, you should see me trying to push the buggy round shops - any display stands are doomed).
Grace seems to love being bounced and bumped around Brighton however, and I love going walking and showing her off. I never thought I would feel like this, I am so ridiculously pleased with myself. I walk along with the buggy like I am the only woman who has ever had a child. I can't keep the grin off my face. When I am out I seem to think Grace and I are royalty and am genuinely perplexed when people don't leap into the road to give us space to pass, or rush to open doors. I also get a bit annoyed if people don't stop to look at her and tell me how pretty she is. I used to hate women like this, and now I am one. What has happened to me? I have even started to nod at other people with buggies, I am like one of those saddo mini drivers who toot at any other mini drivers they see.

Grace is awake for more hours of the day now, and can focus both her eyes at the same time. Isn't that the cleverest thing you ever heard? (humour me, I don't have much of a life at present). She is also managing to hold her head up on her own for a few seconds - this mostly happens when she wants feeding. She is starting to get very indignant if she does not get fed the second she wants. (The problem is she can smell my milk, so whenever I am around her, which is all the time, she wants to be latched on and is grumpy when she can't be. I have tried telling her I can't spend every second of the day breast-feeding, but she just screws her little face up and howls at me, normally ensuring she gets her own way). Luckily people are always on hand with some pearls of wisdom to dispense, my favourite pearl this week is to 'let her cry, or her lungs won't develop'. I bought that 'Contented Baby Book' and soon chucked it across the floor in disgust. The woman who wrote it is a miserable baby-hater. James looked her up on line and it seems I am not alone in my opinion.

We have also been checking out nurseries. As I am going back to work in the summer I need to get her place sorted now as there is a waiting list. Looking for somewhere good enough to leave our precious six month old princess at is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Everywhere I looked at was too small, or too dirty, or "felt wrong", or the woman showing me round had a black front tooth (I KNOW! and she smelt of BO and cigarettes, it would be like leaving Grace with the wicked witch). I became convinced all of them actually hated children and drugged them to sleep all day. I kept looking for cellar doors or cupboards under the stairs.
In the end, however, I found a wonderful place with loads of outdoor space, excellent security, and a great reputation. I have been taking Grace to the mum and baby groups they hold to get her used to the people and the atmosphere. It's a waste of time really as all she ever wants to do when we get there is feed, so effectively, I walk for twenty minutes to sit in a room full of women and children I have never met and show them all my nipples twice a week. Grace can't even see what's going on. It is good to have other mums to chat to though, until they comment on something you are doing/don't do, or say things like "I let my child play with the sharp knifes, then they know how dangerous they can be" or "My 3 year old brings me cups of tea in bed" (These were both said by the same women who soon ended up at a table on her own. Sadly it was the playdo table so me and my friend were gutted as we like doing that activity the best).

Walking into the playgroup was like stepping back in time, the smell of apples and playdo, the tiny chairs and finger paintings hung everywhere. I can't wait till Grace is old enough to do these things, and bring home indistinguishable drawings for me to pin on the fridge. I especially loved the singing (I am sure no one else did, I am very tuneless and I was really going for it at one point. I can't help it, 'If you're happy and you know it' always gets me up dancing).
Being a toddler looks great, you get to run round screaming and knocking things over that you never have to pick up, AND people smile at you as you do it, you can squidge a bit of old playdo together and get told how clever you are, every half an hour you get a beaker of juice. (The snacks are not as good though, no pink wafers or waggon wheels these days. It's all cucumber and figs and cherry tomatoes.) If you do anything wrong, like punch the person next to you, steal their bread-stick, have a tantrum on the floor and wee on in the sandpit it's never your fault, you are either A: Teething or B: Tired. (NB: I am still talking being a toddler at this point, not sure I would get away with being tired or teething if I attempted it)

We went to get Grace weighed again. She peed all over the health care visitor weighing her, the scales they weighed her in and was STILL almost 10lb. Half the clothes she got bought don't fit now and the other half don't suit her and she is too big for girly frills. James likes her in singlet vests best as he thinks her "dinner lady arms" are hilarious. I on the other hand have become a clucky mother hen and keep covering her up with blankets and hats which she hates and James takes off her anyway.

So all in all it's been another busy but rewarding few days. Next week I am attempting to express milk and leave Grace for the first time to visit the swimming pool (and swim in it). I'll keep you posted on the dramas and hilarity that I am sure will occur.


Lots of love

Ericka and Grace

1 comment:

cyberdwarf said...

Hiya to you both *waves*
I like the blog hun, was a very interesting read. :-)
Glad the whole family is doing well.

Perhaps James would prefer Grace dressed in these?

Luv Dunk.x