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July 2016

hunger games - really this time

Just as well you don't come here for logic, dear visitors. The last post, (aptly named (I thought) The Hunger Games) was meant to be about the Time of Hunger we are living through. But then I went off on a rant about the infant feed industry and then, I do not know, I must have seen something shiny or nodded off, or something, because I never got to the hunger. However, being that as it may; he is gaining an ounce a day (nearly 30g). That's a lot, isn't it? Even for an infant. I can see the kid grow in front of my very eyes. Already he is out of these dear little clothes:

IMAG2060

Goodbye little tiny Jay. Hello, Jay, the mini-power lifter, with all the sit ups (forgive lack of hyphens. It is dark and my fingers don't remember quite where they are, despite the excellent home-training (ooh the hyphen is back! It was there.) in typing I gave myself in 1986 on one of those ancient metal typewriters out of a spiral bound red book. Where did that thing go?) the leg-lifts and the turning over at night. He can bear his own weight, he can stand up in his carrier. He can lift his hips easily, and arch his back. He's a strong baby.
(*Feels 98 per cent proud and 2 scared* Is this kid going to eat us soon? He is hungry.)
Luckily, the pediatrician advised us to give him inverted commas a little inverted commas (where are they?) baby rice to help with his acid reflux. Otherwise, the afore-mentioned Parent As Snack phenomenon would surely have occurred by now. During the day, it's fine, of course, but at night he's just too hungry to sleep through and sometimes wakes 4 or more times for a feed, where it used to be more like 2. And sometimes I am not sure if he's really hungry. I fear we're teaching him that food is the answer to every emotional problem. Lonely? Tired? Sad? FOOD FOOD FOOD. On the other hand, with all the kicking, lepping around the cot, the desperate attempts to sit up AND the rollovers, he's not at all overweight, it seems to me. Just a bit of pudge, like a baby should have. So! Tell me. They do, do they not, sleep better when they get proper solids? And when can I start with those? Really at six months, eh? I would love to hear your experience, if you have a moment.

And another milestone: His birthmother has asked for another update. YAY! I take this to mean we didn't put her off with the last one and (maybe even) have won her trust? I know that birthmothers sometimes fear being judged by adoptive parents, so I really hope any such fear has been assuaged and the lines of communication are open. I've written her another letter densely packed with information about Himself - I hope with the right amounts of respect and warmth and non-presumption. I am also sending her a photobook.

It's racing up to ten past nine, everyone. I must retire; last night was not a pretty affair. Jay had some something going on, (teething? Developmental stuff? Wonder weeks says week 19 is likely to be challenging) which involved sad crying, (you know? with the heartbreaking downturned mouth?) and maddened yelling and some other flavours of crying too, so an early night is in order.

Night all. Be well, everyone,

T


hunger games

 Ah. I didn't mean to leave it so long. I've taken up worky reins again in a small way and while this is most helpful to the mental health and feeling a part of things again, it takes up the very few free hours I have available, so that taking time for something else (blogging, gardening, getting haircuts) feels uncomfortably like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Some juicy projects have landed on my desk, beautiful, perfect beasts of projects which I must fit into 3 or 4 hours a day; the rest of the time I'm thinking how much I relish getting back into them. 

I am actually not complaining, I must add. It's nothing new, is it, and my situation of being one of two mostly free adults to one easy baby is ideal, rare and wonderful. I have lots of energy and happiness to give to Jay when I come back from work, and I appreciate keenly all my extraordinary luck, I do. The universe is smiling on me, the sun is shining, it's been a golden time. I feel I am where I've been going to all these years. 

Jay is in fine fettle, too. He's enjoying his cot, kicking his way all over it, waking me with a surprised cry when he finds himself up against the bars. He's doing a lot of babbling; when he cries it is much more communicative of simple needs and less of existential angst (or colic as the less poetic of us call it). Aaaahoooo, aaddooo, aiya, he says. You know? Ayyyooh? His field of vision must have expanded; now he can take in his feet, leaves, the tiles in the bathroom. Everything is interesting.

The other day the JB pointed out black circles you could see through the end of the bottle he'd been feeding out of for at least 10 minutes. Mould, people. MOULD. It seems I, the person who has been sterilising All The Things with neurotic care, inadvertently grabbed a dirty one that had been in the bag since the previous week, growing black fur. Well. I felt awful. I watched Jay tensely for the next day or two as if he was a ticking bomb. But no. No explosion, rather, even finer fettle. Totally, totally fine. Finer than fine. I am still sterilising but, you know. Colour me skeptical. I am similarly Fed Up with Aptamil and their constantly changing, arbitrary guidelines for making up formula, written on the side of their packets in their tut-tutting, fear-mongering tone, which at the same time contradict themselves, and make not even pseudo-scientific sense. It all smacks loudly of ligitious arse-covering, instead of giving real information and explanations people can understand. Boil exactly one litre of water, they say. Leave for exactly one half hour. Then I dunno, dance backwards in a circle, reciting the Greek alphabet. Bah. Just tell us why, you twits. What temperature should it be when you are adding the powder, exactly. That's all we need to know. It's not a flipping magic spell. And are we to not mention the fact that on the previous packet you advised pouring the boiling water into the bottle and capping it and then waiting 30 mins? (No matter the amount of water, by the way, always the magic 30). (Grr.)

Ah. Deep breathing. What is it about babies that attracts all the finger-wagging? A woman in the park hissed at me the other day: Don't you feel those raindrops? Dangerous! I was 3 minutes from home, and his buggy closes up to keep him dry. If that's what she meant, I don't even know. Maybe people make themselves feel good by styling themselves self-righteous Baby Protectors? Is that it? Perhaps a cape and tights would complete the look. They could hold meetings and discuss the failings of local parents and how their child did x because they did y and he's an engineer/doctor now. Bah.

Meanwhile though, actual friend parents have been MARVELLOUS with their honest and hilarious stories. So helpful. SO helpful. My friend E, whose child had finally slept through the night after weeks of shrieking the house awake told me one. He must be dead, her exhausted brain reasoned when she woke. But he'll still be dead if I sleep another 2o minutes, it won't make any difference really she thought as she rolled over. LOVE. (That child is now nearly five). Making babies by Anne Enright, in which she says it will occur to any parent to leave at some point but this would be like leaving your own arm. HOW FANTASTIC is that? VERY fantastic. VERY VERY. A neighbour with young daughter I never met before emerged and told me she knows how it can be, and they're great, beautiful, magical and relentless, but it gets better. I mean, let me be in that club.

Oh my, I must go to sleep soon, or I'll be banjaxed tomorrow. He is not, unlike our afore-mentioned caped crusadors' babies, Sleeping Through The Night. He's just too hungry at the moment, and when your baby has been in hospital with a feeding tube, it makes you more indulgent, I suppose. I don't mind at all. He is all magic and beauty. 

Night all
T