Cat sick

This morning, while we were doing the mad dash to get out the door, I ran in cat sick. It was one of those final-straw type moments. I'd brushed teeth, showered myself and my toddler - because who wants to take a shower alone anyway?-  dressed her, realised the time (and freaked out) and it was at this moment, when I was throwing nappies and wipes into bags with jeans and bra on but no top and socks, that it happened. 

I screamed.

Danny appears. He's washed and changed and it looks like he has even used moisturiser. This angers me.

"Why, why why is there cat sick on the floor?" I yell.

I know that this is a stupid question. The reason there is cat sick on the floor is because the cat was sick on the floor.

"Haha" he says. And then, to Nives: "mummy is cross".

What. Of course I'm cross. There's cat sick on my foot.

"Deal with it" I yell, as I hop to the bathroom to wash my foot, noticing that Nives is taking her socks off and heading straight for the ..... noooooooo

I wash my foot, smirking as I hear the yells of dismay from Danny and the squeals of delight from Nives as she dances in the sick.

And suddenly, even though we are now later than we already were, and even though I just washed a regurgitated cat biscuit off my foot, I'm not angry anymore. Because it's funny now. 

I mean, it would have been funnier still if Danny had fallen in the sick,  but you can't have everything.

 

Sleep sleep sleep sleep

Who sleeps and who doesn’t, and crucially, how you got to a state of sleep is one of those conversations that should carry a bit of a red alert around it. Everyone, everyone, has an opinion about you and your baby’s sleep. And actually, the only person that should have an opinion is you and your baby. And, on occasion, your other half. We are now sleeping more than we ever have. It’s been a year, but the wake ups are fewer (apart from last night when I think it was every hour and a half…) and she’s settling pretty quickly.

I’ve had all sorts of advice to get me to this stage. Sleep training, passing the egg, heavier milk, water in bottles, my husband doing all the night feeds (good luck with that, you’ll have to wake him first- not easy). I’ve heard it all. You know what works for us, what has always worked for us? Cosleeping. And comfort feeding. Every family, every baby, has something that works for them and this works for us. We’ve moved house and when it came to assembling our bed, I just said “don’t”. The three of us sleep on our lovely King mattress on the floor, we put her to bed in our room and join her later on and … It works. It more than works, it’s lovely.

And the thing is, I tell people and I add “but when I finish work I’ll make an effort to get her back into her cot”, and I don’t know why I say this. I say it because part of me knows that some people think it’s a bit weird. Some people think we’re making a rod for our own back, or whatever. Some people (who haven’t had kids- no one with kids asks this) will ask how this affects my relationship with my husband. I know what they’re getting at, and I ignore *that*. I tell them it makes it better because I have more than two hours sleep a night and so don’t have to think up ways of ways of killing him in his sleep for not waking up and dealing with a baby who suddenly wants to play with her puppets at 3am.

Anyway, two things on this. The first is that I was having an email conversation with someone at work, a guy, who had a little boy at the same time as I had Nives, and I asked how he was sleeping. And while I divulged that we were still co-sleeping and wouldn’t be forever blah blah, he just said “yeah, he’s still in with us too,” and then moved on. No apology or explanation or anything. And I know that I shouldn’t feel like I have to give the explanation, but I do. But he didn’t. And I don’t know if that is a male/female thing - do we put ourselves under more pressure as women? Or a me thing- is this another example of my guilt issues? But I found it great and I thought actually, I could probably learn something there.

The second thing is that I found this thing I wrote about napping with Nives back in December. And it was so lovely to reread it that I wanted to flag up that Cosleeping harnesses real moments of beauty and also that I should have cut out all that bullshit with trying to get her in her cot back then (she was nine months old when I wrote this) and just embraced what clearly worked for us. Here is what I wrote:

“15 December 2015 15:12

I’ve taken to having long naps with my girl. To not changing her out of her pyjamas immediately and snuffling her into bed with me. We lie side by side and sleep with our faces inches apart. Her hand sometimes reaches for mine and I wake with a little sweaty palm in mine. Her breath smells like sweet milk, mine. Her eyes flicker as she dreams and her jaw works up and down as if she’s suckling. Sometimes she’ll let out a cry - something has bothered her sleep. I soothe her by stroking her hair and she falls into a contented slumber. I wonder what bothers her?”

I know I say it a lot, but what I’m advocating here isn’t Cosleeping. What it is is listening to your gut and doing what works for you as a parent and just owning that decision and not feeling like you need to explain it. For me it’s this, for you it might be giving up breastfeeding, using CIO, reigns, routine, babyled weaning, purées. All of these things that we do. Own it and be proud of it. Because all the books in the world can’t really tell you how to read your own kid, only the kid can tell you that and I think it’s up to us to listen.

Goodbye single me

Goodbye unfinished and then deleted text message.

Goodbye peeling labels off beer bottles and looking for an in.

Goodbye Sundays hopelessly waiting for a text.

Goodbye obsessive Facebook stalking.

Goodbye mistaking loneliness for love.

Goodbye drunken fumblings (and bitter disappointment).

Goodbye physcoanalytics over coffee.

Goodbye pretending to read a paper while waiting for food.

Goodbye learning about the following (despite having no interest): Aussie Rules, baseball, Romans, football, fitness, (some) art, whiskey, Cocktails (I just wanna drink them, not learn the history), food (ditto).

Goodbye explaining where I’m from.

Goodbye painful invites for one.

But also:

Goodbye slinging a pack on my back and going wherever I please.

Goodbye first date excitement.

Goodbye learning new pockets of life.

Goodbye being part of a really cool pack and hello living with conformity.

Goodbye coming home and watching One Tree Hill reruns, because no one will stop me.

Goodbye three hour conversations with friends analysing each others’ horrific love life.

But hello new life. I’ve been waiting for you.