Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Who would...

...dress their baby up in a Santa suit, rendering him a cliche of Christmas commerciality? It was a present, a present, I say! We love it though.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Controversy and the Contented Little Baby Book

I decided that if I borrowed it from the library, I would only be taking a peek - a mere skim read - and would not step into the controversy by spending 'good' money on The Contented Little Baby Book, by Gina Ford. I am now thrown into disarray!

Gina claims that, once trained ( or 'Gina-ed' ) her babies barely cry more than an hour a day. She thinks colic may be caused by breast feeding on demand - babies take too much and their stomachs and can't digest it in time.

Her remedy is a strict regime of naps and wakings and - here's the killer for me - only feeding ever four hours. I expect that for the first few days of any such regime, Hugh would be apoplectic with baby-faced rage if he had to wait four hours to latch on. The hypocrisy is this : I eat every 2 or 3 hours and have done all my life (I'm a normal weight). Lordy, I'd be tetchy without my snacks.

However, I can't deny that Hugh has no routine whatsoever at six weeks old. He will feed (or cry and fuss) for 30 minutes or an hour - or 2 to 3 hours any time of day or night. If it's a 2am to 5am stint, it's a tricky one. My energy levels are a lottery depending on his pattern.

Then I try to analyse other parts of Gina's theories - if you let an adult sleep and eat (from an overflowing food table) as much as they wanted, they might get over-tired, bloated and grouchy. Maybe a baby does need structure - even if it protests by screaming? Oh, ma heid is confused... There is so much conflicting advice in the big ol' baby care world.

I know I just couldn't wait while our baby cried his wee heart out for any length of time. I don't have the stiff upper lip gene.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

On not ruining it for the other person

When I was at University I was lucky enough to stay in a large hall of residence - it was a bit like living in a hotel with all your friends. There was always the possibility for meeting more students and I remember some of us going to the room of a boy named Keith.

In Keith's room there was barely any wall space that wasn't covered in posters of Sylvester Stallone, aka Rambo or Rocky. Wow, I said, I hate Rambo, he's awful. Perhaps I expounded on why I disliked Rambo's cliched manifestation of gung-ho, Guns-and-Ammo masculinity. Perhaps I wasn't even that articulate. Keith said he'd seen all the Rambo and Rocky films 27 times (or whatever). Clearly we would not be drawn together as natural friends, but if I could go back now, I'd have said, I see you like Rambo, and left it at that.

Years later, I saw a Rocky film and actually enjoyed it - in easy way, with no resistance. I liked Sly Stallone's unabashed acting. Maybe Hugh will grow up playing with guns, a la Rambo stylee. Maybe he'll have a pal called Keith. Keith Karma.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Up for air and into things

Ah well, after 4 hours sleep on a recent night, Hugh let us get more last night. It's like coming up for air.

I made it into town with him today. You hear all the traditional Glasgow patter: one guy says into his phone - Naw, I canny be annoyed wi' that. A middle-aged man sits alone in John Lewis's cafe telling me his wife is doing all the shopping and she's threatening to buy him a jacket. He says, I dinny want any'hing at all. She just brings me to town so she can put me into things.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I didn't really know what colic meant before Hugh was born. It's a descriptive term for prolonged inconsolable crying in an otherwise healthy baby. It occurs in up to 30% of babies (more common in boys) and usually lasts a good few weeks. More colic info here, for anyone who needs it.

Poor Hugh. He has been crying 'inconsolably' in the evenings and the middle of the night for a few hours at a time. It's a total heart-breaker. The midwives have said if you have a 'colicky' baby it's just something you have to get through. It reminds me of the early days of ME when medicine just shrugged its shoulders.

Ah well, when wee Hugh is calmer, I feel even happier for him. I love to see his big eyes looking about the room, with tears forgotten. Oh, the wee man...

Apologies for not keeping up with social stuff. Any e-mails I manage to send are typed on one hand. The other hand is reserved for Hugh joogling.


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Greek myths and grandfathers

I love that my father can be randomly dry and surreal. I phoned today and said, 'Hi, it's me.' He replied 'Ah, do you know about Prometheus?' I didn't, but at a random guess I said, 'Greek God?'. Perhaps an item about Prometheus was on the radio or it was something my Dad was 'boring' my mum about...but I like the way he always tried to expand our minds as children and told us all sorts of stories and random facts in the name of education...and love, really. We were like sponges and took most of it in. In latter life, we joke and tease my dad, claiming to be less interested in his encylopedia chat (and tragically we often are less interested. Why is that?!). Furthermore, we tease him if he knows little or nothing of popular 'youth' culture. Merciless.

Anyway, Hugh and I are going to stay at my parents' house for a couple of nights as Nice Man is working away. I'm sure my dad will inform Hugh about the mythology of Prometheus. Hugh will perfect the art of looking spellbound and perhaps stroke his chin in an erudite way.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Randy does Bob

I've been introducing Hugh to some breast feeding music to try and soothe his occasional feeding frenzies when he gets all over-excited and starts headbutting me. His hopeful open mouth flails wildly anywhere from my shoulder to my inner elbow. My song choices have all been a bit girl-y (dare I say gay?). Like Abba and Randy Crawford. Tonight though, he seemed to like it when Randy did a cover of Bob Dylan's Knocking on Heaven's Door. Nice Man will let me away with that one.

White noise was recommended to us to soothe a baby off to sleep. Yesterday Hugh and I both fell asleep to The Archers (very British radio soap opera, world readers). It seemed like a lot of poshos shouting and screaming. I don't usually listen to it. I drifted back into consciousness with the line, What kind of parent calls their child Marshall? So, yes, life still feels occasionally surreal.