Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Limpet

This is my limpet:

He's in his favourite place, strapped to me, his head bobbling back and forth, trying to look over my shoulder at More Interesting Things (there are always More Interesting Things. And, sadly, More Interesting People - usually the person not holding him. But I digress.) From the beginning onwards, he's been the kind of baby that just likes being in the thick of things, and the purchase of a baby carrier (from the German company Storchenwiege - the Stork's Cradle) quite honestly changed my days, allowing me to do stuff with two free hands!

Alas, the little porker is growing and has now hit 17lbs - nearly 8 kg. Carrying him around is no joke, and while he endures time on his playmat or in his chair, they're clearly only second-best to mother. So while I still can, I lug him about. We talk while I wash up (badly) and we sing along to Dean Martin (neither of us knows the words, but still). At some point, he'll fall asleep on my chest and when I rest my chin gently on his head, it reverberates with tiny snores.

And despite the aching spine, I mostly don't mind it. Here's why:
When I was pregnant, Mr G and I visited another couple and their 4-year-old daughter. They were asking the usual questions: When was I due? Was it going to be a boy or a girl? Did we have a name picked out? And they started to tell me about their daughter, who - as a baby - was an incredibly demanding child. She clung to them incessantly. She would only sleep upright, on one of their shoulders, so they took it in turns to doze on the sofa all night long, with the baby nestled on their shoulder. And they did this all night, every night, for the first six months of the baby's life.

"So no matter how bad it is," the father said, "No matter how much he keeps you awake at night, just remember, it could be so much worse! It could be like us - taking it in turns to stay awake with the baby, sitting up on the couch!"
"For six months!" the mother chimed in. "Six months!"
Mr G and I looked at one another and, I swear, we shuddered.
The other couple laughed - oh, the naiveté of young parents.
"But look at her now," I said. "She's a lovely girl, so you must have done something right."
We watched the little one pirouette in a princess outfit, a perfectly nice little girl.
"And do you know what?" the father said. "I would give anything - anything - to go back in time and have one more night with her as baby on my shoulder till the wee small hours of the morning."


(... while his wife stood behind him, mouthing the words: "Never again. Never. Again. Never!")


Gracey is not my name.... said...

He is beautiful!!!!!

Erica said...

Good gracious, you two made a beautiful baby! I showed the picture to my hubby and even he said, "awww" and smiled =).

Reading about your experiences is both funny and scary--I want to have children so badly in the future but I know everything is going to change when we do so I am enjoying the little bit of insight that I'm getting from your stories!

I hope you and Mr. G get some time to relax soon! If you want to bring him to the states, I'll even babysit ;).

Paula said...

For the first few months of his life my son would not sleep during the day at all which meant I never had a moment's peace, just a few minutes of silence when I could sit down and not do anything for a while. He's now 13 and I sometimes wish I could go back to those days and have him in my arms again as a baby, but only for an hour or so.

Voie de Vie said...

Very funny! (and nice photo of the limpet).

Jay said...

My daughter slept on my chest on the sofa for the 1st 8 weeks, so we didn't disturb the husband and 2 little boys upstairs - I would love to go back to that much easier time!

Anonymous said...

Love your blog and your writing.

You make me laugh so much.

And believe me, the family conversation thing isn't only in Ireland. Mother in law (ex Yorkshire) has conversations just like this...!

And did you know that your sister is my Chorizo Sister? You'd better ask her, it's a bit difficult to describe how that came about without sounding totally mad ....:-)

Anne said...

Your son is a very handsome little guy! :)