Thursday, 17 July 2008

Grace - Almost 7 months

So Grace is almost 7 months old. It's such an amazing age, every single day she learns something new. She can now blow bubbles, hold her own milk bottle and feed herself little rice-cake things. Crawling is imminent. She gets on all fours and then just sort of rocks, not knowing what to do next. She can pull herself up to standing and if you hold her hands she can even take a couple of steps. It sounds stupid but she is so incredible I just can't believe I made her. I have to keep telling myself she was the tiny seed I grew into a baby, she was the little person kicking and punching their way about inside me, and finally out into the world. I don't relate the baby I carried around for 9 months to the smiling, kicking, gurgling little girl I wake up to each day, or each hour as has been the case lately.

It's my fault. I was so adamant to not let her sleep in the bed with us, but when she wakes at 6am for food it's so easily to lay her down next to me, let her latch on, and drift back off to sleep stroking her cheek and sniffing her baby smell.
The problem is 6am has started slipping back to 5am, 4am, 3am. Now she falls asleep with me at 1opm (OK, I admit it, 9.30pm), gets moved to her cot for about an hour or so then wakes up, realises where she is (or rather is not) and makes indignant squawks until she is allowed back into the bed again.
It's very hard this parenting lark. It seems all the "right" things are the hardest to do, like feeding time for example. I want Grace to have the lovely homemade purees I make her, which take hours and are a painstaking concoction lots healthy and nutritious ingredients. Grace wants to spit them back in my face and live off petit filous and breast milk. Perseverance often depends on how long my day has been. Sometimes it's hard to laugh when you have green sludge dripping down your face, all over your clean outfit and are late to work!

We have been spending alot of weekends back in Hertfordshire recently... Grandparents are marvellous. They seem to love having sludge spat in their face, or their carpets weed on. All the things which become tiring after a long week are a source of untold joy to grandparents. It's lovely to watch Grace smiling and having fun with them, even nicer when they offer to bath, feed and change her!

We took her to the local school fete, held at the infant school both James and I once attended. They even had Maypole dancing to the same songs we used to do it to. (First couple separate, go out around the ring, you pass your partner going out, you pass them coming in!!) The Maypole was alot smaller (stupid health and safety) but it was like slipping back in time none the less. The children even got the "plait" wrong first time, and it all had to be undone before they could start again, same as when I did it. I was rubbish at Maypole dancing. I always forgot I was supposed to go the other way to my partner and ended up skipping after them instead, taking out fellow May-polers en route. James was no better, he thought his assigned partner too ugly for May-poling and so hid up the church tower and sniggered at her having to do it alone instead.

I felt very smug as I pushed Grace round my old playground, I wanted to bump into old school teachers and show her off. I could not find any though, so James' ma and I attacked the baby stall instead. I don't know what has happened to me, but since I had monkey I just LOVE second-hand stalls. I am like an addict. Luckily, Polly is as keen as me (and better and pushing others out the way). We were on our knees within seconds, rooking through boxes of clothes and toys looking for bargains, hats, socks and rattles flying madly.

We got the most amazing bargains, a door frame bouncer (see latest photos) for just £3. Daylight robbery! No honestly, we filled a bin bag with baby-loot and took it off to show James and his dad, but had forgotten to pay for it. A very posh and irate stall holder came over and said "My colleague (colleague?!! It was second hand clothes stall for god's sake!!) noticed that you have not paid yet." James was horrified. He was embarrassed enough at his mother and bride-to-be crawling about on the floor shouting "20p?!! Gotta have it!", imagine his shame when we were then accused of shop-lifting!

Work is getting much better. I still get a lump in my throat when my screensaver comes on, and my monkey is there smiling at me - but I am managing to get back into it, and if I am honest I do enjoy the break. It's working out really well in fact. Grace adores spending time with her childminding family and I miss her so much I am keen as mustard to play peek-a-boo and sing 'Old Macdonald' all evening, wheresas before I went back to work I used to get bored of baby-talk by 7pm and start curtain twitching for James to get home.

I even went for a run this evening, the first time since before I got pregnant even. Putting on my old running shoes felt great, driving to the park, picking a power song on my ipod and hitting the pavement also felt great, for about 2 minutes and then it felt hard as hell. I can't believe I used to run 5k as a pre-exercise warm up!!

So anyway, all in all life is good. Mad and busy with ups and downs but I would not have it any other way!

More photos of Grace here:


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