Three months

If it was actually possible, the day got worse and all came to an ugly bleeding head when Jasper was fussing at dinner time and tried to climb up both Chef’s and my chair at the same time, subsequently failing dismally, falling and hitting his chin on the table as he went down, resulting in a blood bath as you always have with any form of mouth or head injury. A teary bath followed. I was so fed up and over it by this stage but decided to try and be the grown up, so got some new books off the recently cleaned out shelf (there is a pile of books that comes 3/4 up my leg to go to the tip Vinnies) and sat with the “Iwandadda” child. He fell asleep on book three.

And in other news, our littlest sprogget was three months today. In amidst the various whinging, spewing, screaming and bloodbath episodes I stole some quiet precious moments with this little chap.

I realise the poor kid got a bum deal at the outset, with me making all sorts of claims about how intense he was when in actual fact it was the scale of the operation of being a mother to four that was intense and he was just being a newborn. Who knew! A newborn being a newborn.

Anyway, he is a carbon copy of Felix in the looks department and it appears his eyes are staying blue and his hair dark. Of course, next month when his eyes go brown and his hair fair you can all laugh at my nonsense.

I am very proud of my teaching him to sleep as well. It is something I keep telling myself and using as a confidence buoyancy vest, that by number three and four I had worked that out. That sure, there are some kids who are naturally good sleepers and others that need to be taught. I realise I now have enough experience under my parenting belt to finally understand the notion of a phase and that you can either recognise it for what it is and ride it out or create habits that can take years to break.
I know.
I’ve done both.
I used settling techniques and sleeping strategies with Jasper and Grover and have in Grover the makings of another good sleeper. In the last three nights he’s (finally!) dropped one of his night feeds and while I’m trying not to dwell too much on the fact that Jasper was sleeping through the night at 9 1/2 weeks this has given me the fortitude and hope it won’t be long for Grover to be doing the same. He settles himself in his cot, sometimes there’s crying but at most it’s for about two minutes, but now he, like Jasper, finds his favourite toy and his thumb and off he goes.
Do I sound smug?
Because with Oscar and Felix?
I had six continuouse years of rocking, patting, singing, trying to tiptoe quieter than a fairy out of a room, sneaking out of a room by rolling.across.the.floor and going insane when it came to getting them to sleep. My mum can’t stand that I don’t sing the two younger ones to sleep but you know what? It’s called self preservation.

Incidentally, I am still recovering from not letting a comment from Mum go through to the keeper. It was the first time in more than twelve months that I did so and at one point, in the heat of the discussion she said, ‘you always think I think the worst of you’ and she was right. It happened around Jasper not eating dinner and the situation escalating as I refused to let him sit on her lap at the dinner table if he wasn’t going to eat. Eventually he cracked it and I was about to lose it, so I put him into his room and put myself in my own to calm down. Mum came up to my room and said, ‘maybe he didn’t like it’. In my rather sleep deprived fragile state it was the equivalent of pouring a lot of petrol on an already well lit fire. I went upstairs and said that when she says something like that to me it isn’t helpful and that in fact, it is deeply hurtful and makes me question my entire ability as a parent and undermines my confidence in the decisions I’m making as their mother. She says all she meant was maybe I should cook him an egg or something. I pointed out that he doesn’t eat eggs and how am I, when it is clear how upset I am by the fact I have removed myself am I meant to understand that ‘maybe he didn’t like it’ actually means would you like me to make him something else?

The upshot of it all was that she gets stressed and doesn’t cope when he is crying a lot. I pointed out to her that I’m not exactly having a party or enjoying having one of my kids cry and cry and cry either and what sort of cold-hearted mean mother does she think I am. Which was when she made the above comment about me thinking the worst. I pointed out to her that she needs to recognise that when she is feeling stressed she says things that clearly mean one thing but come out as something completely different, so she needs to recognise that she’s not coping/feeling stressed and remove herself until she is feeling calmer, the heat has left the situation and so on and then come back if she feels the need. Then she won’t say things that say one thing but mean something completely different. GOD, even typing this is exhausting. And boring.

Lets look at some pretty pictures:

Grover, three months, 2 Oct 07

Smiley happy people, they do exist in this allconsuming world. Who knew!
This little piggy…
Four boys – Felix, 7, Grover, 3 months, Jasper, almost 2, Oscar, 9

And before the day went pear shaped, someone dropped in just as we were heading out,which actually has made my day. Below is a shot of my natural father, my birth father L. He’s 16 years older than me. He and his family live about 7 minutes drive away. He also has a child with special needs, my half-sister H, who is 17. What H has and what Oscar has are not related in any way, but Oscar is now at the same primary school albeit mainstream while H was in the support class and if we stay in this area he will go to the high school she now attends. Spooky, huh.

Anyway, just as Grover was entering the world a whole new range of issues developed for H that seem to be neurological and have resulted in severe anxiety attacks impacting on her eyesight and rendering her almost incapable of dealing with stairs. They too have had a hellishly intense three months.

I can’t tell you what finding L and his family and my natural mother H and her family and having them in my life (even if our contact is very sporadic and correspondence woefully inadequate) does for my soul. But this photo gets pretty close: