Hooray! Harris is 8 weeks old!
We have a fully functioning baby! By that, I mean one who sleeps occasionally, poops and vomits around the clock and, from just quite recently, has blessed us with a smile or two. More importantly though, we have managed to keep him living and breathing for 8 whole weeks! If that doesn’t win you the gold medal in the Parenting Olympics, then I don’t know what does!
Hubby and I are quite chilled when it comes to parenthood and making decisions together. This surprised me at first, of course. However, we DO have one debate that is still ongoing and we are in very separate corners with this one. The dummy.
As babies neither of us were given a dummy. Hubby spoke his first word at 5 months. He was stringing together words by his first Christmas. Yes, honestly! I was as surprised as you are. And I guess this achievement has led him to want to try the same for our son. Poor baby, his first task in his life and already he’s been set up to fail!
Here lies my counter argument. I DIDN”T say my first word at 5 months. In fact, as a one year old I was still pointing at items for people to bring to me (a skill I have taken right through to adulthood- don’t judge me!). And as a 30 year old mum, who still occasionally sucks her thumb.. i guess this is not the image I wish to portray to my son! So, you can see the dilemma, the double edged sword, a discussion that in our household, seems to come up time and time again.
I realise that there are benefits to not giving baby a dummy but I’m going to paint a picture for you so you can fully understand my reasoning.
Yes, 8 weeks in and I’m no master in motherhood, but I do feel like I can take something productive from the whole experience. I can finally distinguish between the cries! And this baby has a number of them! A baby’s cry will always alarm you, but you can at least be best prepared in how to tackle it head on..
My cry catagories are as follows-
- There’s the feeding cry. It’s piercing, so loud and sharp with a decibel range that only mums and small dogs can hear. My advice- albeit messy- is to at all times have numerous muslins around the house at arms length, and an easily accessible boob/bottle to put a plug in said baby!
- The silent cry. You’ll know it when you see it. The eyes begin to close, drawing wrinkles and popping veins across the whole face. That gorgeous beaming face, the one you love so much, the one you keep as a freeze frame in your mind, is now an aggressive shade of reddish purple. The silent cry is the precursor to a much louder cry, and trust me, it’s the worst! My advice is to rock-a-bye rock around the room, until your legs and arms physically give in/ forcefully shove bottle/boob in mouth in case this is a disguised feeding cry.
- The faker. This is more of a whimper, his little lip quivers and he stares at me longingly. The most pathetic of the cries. Sometimes the faker comes out and I laugh a little because, well, it’s just I know him so well.
Mums, have I missed any?
So I think we are in agreement that when our baby is crying, this is for sure the most stressful of times being Mum. With great crying… comes great responsibility and, if research serves me correctly, this is for one of four reasons. 1. Feed me, mum. 2. Wind me, mum. 3. Cuddle me, mum. 4. Mum, I’m tired.
So have you ever been in the situation where you have exhausted every one of these areas and nothing you do works? Why is my baby broken?
Let’s picture it. It’s 10pm, and I have just finished a 2 hour shift of simultaneous baby rocking and swaying. Oh, and he’s still crying! I am preparing us both for bed. Currently examining today’s clothing, I’m wondering whether a spew-stained jumper is acceptable to wear 2 days in a row. I am now a master in my typical bedtime ritual with a crying baby on body. I have designed a synchronised dance of hectic teeth brushing, face washing, clothes removing- the 3 step baby bop! I’m currently thinking back at how 2 week old mum (me) would’ve coped in this situation. I would’ve pulled in hubby for help, amidst me crying helplessly at my failure to do trivial tasks on my own! But alas, I am now Lord (lady) of the dance!
I rock and sway baby gently, dimming bedroom lights, until finally, baby becomes a dead weight in my arms. He’s asleep! I am a super human!
I place him gently in his crib and switch on Ewan the sheep (best investment ever) and he’s down. Yes.
Hubby and I now tip-toe round the room getting into pjs. No words are spoken. Just aggressive stares when one of us hits a floor board under foot. Must. Not. Waken. Baby.
Just as we get comfortable in bed and relax for the night, there it is. The whimper. The start of the fake cry which instantly kills my dreams. And then comes the screeching. Whyyyyyyy?! You were so cosy in that little crib. Why now??!!
I literally jump up alert like a meercat. Surely this is an SOS dummy situation?
“I’m taking it and we’re giving it to this child. End of discussion!” I’m pleading with hubby.
As we pass the baby (and angry remarks) between us I realise. The fact that I haven’t yet won this debate comes down to one simple fact. Character. Hubby is stronger than I am. He doesn’t give up as easily. He’s patient, I’m not. He’s resilient and I’m weak. It’s true. He wins. Every time!
And at this stage, I’m giving up and giving in.
Mums- what are your thoughts on the Dummy debate?