Wednesday, December 2

Did You Hear The One About Uncle Carbuncle

So, I am finally an uncle. Was beginning to think that The Sprite would be the only next-gen kid in our family, but my little sister, Smurf as she is affectionately known, gave birth to Lola Amelie last week. I'm happy to report mother, father and child are doing well adjusting to their new life together.

Having been a parent for over five years now, and having gone through teething and potty-training, the terrible-twos and the know-it-all-threes, it's hard to remember quite what it was like in those brutal first six months of baby boot camp. I look back on those times fondly, in fact I kind of miss them. I semi-jokingly told ElectricMommy last week that we should have another. HaHa, that conversation ended quickly.

So, if I can think back to 2004, maybe I can pull some nuggets of helpful advice for my Sis and Neice.

I remember going out to eat more in the first six months than any other time since. We could put The Sprite into the car seat and take him anywhere. And he would sleep. I can't tell you how many restaurant tables he slept under during that time. Enjoy having someone else cook for you and dine out as much as you can. Once they get a little older, kids have a tendency of making dining out a messy frustrating aggravating nightmare.

Also in the Enjoy It While You Can file is having a child that falls asleep the moment you put them in the car and go for a drive. Oh how sweet the peaceful silence of a baby in slumber in the back seat. Yet, that too will pass. Once babies start talking, long trips manifest into a test of ones tolerance for hours of endless babble.

Of course it's not all bad in the back seat of the car as they get older. Infants demand feeding and daiper changing at the most challenging times and locations. This made some of our long trips impossibly tiring. It gets easier as they get older and you can hand the little one a jumbo bag of Dorito's to feed themselves back there, negating the need to stop and warm a bottle.

Actually, I'm just remembering how much of a hassle it was to go anywhere. And never spontaneously either. Sometimes we elected to stay in just because we couldnt be bothered to pack up and go. It took at least 30 mins to get all the paraphernalia needed to go mobile with baby in tow packed up into the daiper bag and loaded into the car. Bottles, bottle-warmer, daiper, wipes, rash lotion, burp cloths, clothes. It was like packing for a camping trip. We quickly learned I was worthwhile having a kit packed and ready to go at all times, and got our drill pretty well rehearsed, just about the time we didn't need to pack anymore.

I remember the first times The Sprite got sick and the only thing that would calm him was putting him over my shoulder and doing laps of the house, for hours on end. Round and round and round I would carry him, and if I stopped the crying would ensue. I think I must have been in the best shape of my life back then, especially once he started on solid food and started packing on some pounds.

The best thing about those days I recall was the stroller walks we would go on as a family. The Sprite would sleep almost immediately we got rolling and we would walk all over our neighborhood. Those days were great and very therapeutic, strolling up and down the local streets for an hour at a time, sometimes twice a day. They were over far too quickly, once he was done with the stroller and could walk himself, the walks became less therapeutic, and less frequent. Enjoy those while you can.

Those early days were so frustrating as we rarely felt like we knew what were doing. People would offer conflicting advice, the numerous books we read would sometimes contradict each other. Luckily we live in an age of the internet and online communities, and information is rarely more than a Google search away. After a while we just found a groove and we've been going with it since. I'm sure Smurf, you will find your groove and just go with it. Do what feels right, what works for you and don't worry about every little bit of advice offered.

And have fun, take a ton of pictures and video. Because it is done in a blink, even the really tiring, frustrating parts.

Congratulations. Lola Amelie is a beautiful addition to the world.

1 comment:

Soph said...

Hey Ad, lovely to read and thanks for the great advice. It's funny, I too am doing daily walks around my local area, sometimes for an hour and a half to make sure Lola gets her lunchtime sleep.

I agree with the difficulty in getting out. Once one feed has finished I run round frantically making sure the changing bag is well stocked and then make a dash out of the house.

Today I've come 180 miles to stay at mum's. Packing the car with everything was an almighty mission: moses basket, pram, car seat, steam steriliser, electric breast pump, nappies, blankets, baby monitor, electric thermometer, sleeping bag, a million changes of clothes. And a change of undies for me!! So much stuff and maybe not all of it needed but I'd had to feel like I'd left something behind!!

Sophie M