Is that a smile I see before me?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Nine weeks in, what have we learned?

Babies have a capacity to shoot poo from their bottom at great speed and distance, namely right across the bathroom floor.

Baby boys feel no shame in peeing during a nappy change and find it endlessly amusing if they score a direct hit on Mummy/Daddy/Granny/the midwife/the GP’s face.

They also find it funny if they hit themselves in the face.

They then get enraged when they find Mummy/Daddy/Granny etc. tugging at their clothing, which has to come off as it’s now soaking and smelly.

Babies aren’t very bright sometimes.

Parents aren’t very bright sometimes, either: it took Mummy and Daddy a while to realise that you should never change a nappy in a room with carpet.

If Mummy forgets to wash behind baby’s ears, baby starts to smell of cheese.

If Mummy isn’t ‘allowed’ to shower, put the washing on, get dressed, iron clothes or brush her teeth, then Mummy starts to smell of cheese, too.

This is not Mummy’s fault, even though she’s perversely pleased to be more Slummy Mummy than Yummy Mummy.

Mummy isn’t very bright sometimes.

Babies can projectile puke, especially if you wind them on or near to a new sofa, across the shoulder of your new jumper or close to a (new) laptop.

Babies fed on breastmilk produce sick that doesn’t smell.

Well, that doesn’t smell too bad.

Which means that the new sofa, jumper and laptop only smell slightly of cheese. A bit like Baby. And Mummy.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Whatever you will be, you'll be

You’re almost nine weeks old. You’re changing, constantly, your face filling out, your little body becoming sturdier. You’re now double your birth weight, something I take particular pride in as it’s my milk, and nothing but my milk, that has made you so chunky. In fact, you’re now so hefty that I no longer worry about squishing you in my sleep, even if you do have a habit of snoozing flat on your back, arms splayed, your hands curled into tight little fists. I often wake to find myself shivering and balanced precariously on the edge: you’ve claimed my spot in bed, while your Dad has stolen my portion of the duvet. Like father, like son.

But you have developed an interest in the world beyond boobs and bed. When you focus on me it’s as if a long lost friend has just walked into the room: ah, thinks Milo, here’s Mummy at last. And you give me a big, gummy smile, delighted that you’ve got company. Never mind the fact that I’ve been looming over you for the past half an hour, waving, talking, singing and prodding like a loon, trying to elicit a smile. Oh no, you’ll see me when you’re good and ready, and not before.

You like other things, too: your play mat, and the dangling, rattling animals attached to the frame above it. I feel quite sorry for these marooned farmyard creatures, bellies strapped into harnesses, legs hanging uselessly in the air, never to roam free, but you just give them a big blue-eyed stare, impassive to their plight. Our wall of fame is another of your favourites, and the multiple pictures of family and friends dotted on the wall above the sofa constantly suck up your infant attention. And you like lights: pendants, desk lamps, the warm glow of a night light, fluorescent strips, the lights in the sky…

Which brings us neatly to one of the recurring topics of conversation concerning Milo: what you will be when you grow up.

‘He’s staring at the door frame again.’
‘Ah, he’s going to be an architect.’
‘Now he’s looking at the wall.’
‘A builder?’
‘Nope, now he’s looking at the fairy lights on the tree – see, he’s fascinated.’
‘Hmmm, maybe some sort of product designer.’
‘Product designer? What kind of a job is that?’
‘OK, he likes lights on trees: a landscape architect.’
‘He’s staring at the books on the shelves now.’
‘A writer, then, like his Mum.’
‘Yes, but look, he’s kicking his legs and jiggling his arms about again – he’s so strong!’
‘Footballer. No question.’
‘Whoever heard of a design loving, literate footballer, who has a particular love of lampshades?’
‘It could happen.’
‘I’d have to learn the offside rule.’
‘Good point, it’ll never happen.’

These conversations take up much of our time. We spend any remaining minutes watching and waiting, looking for clues as to what kind of a person you will become. You’re so full of possibility (and charm, and smiles and, er, with an amazing capacity to fill your nappy) that, to your Mum and Dad at least, you are the most captivating little lad this side of the Irwell.