Saturday, 25 November 2006

That season of all natures

Bleargh. So we went to bed about midnight after watching another stonking episode of Buffy. [Pause for digression: this is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and it's what's described as a 'cult show' in the US. I'd heard it was good, and bought the vidoes of the first series when I found them in a charity shop. It wasn't good; it was BLOODY BRILLIANT. Really well written, fantastic characterisation, and a fully fleshed out universe. We bought all seven seasons on eBay (hurrah for DVDs, and people selling off their video collections - we find videos less irritating anyway, as you can carry on where you left off without having to stumble through some over-graphical interface) and have been watching them in strict chronological order (cos we're like that). We're now only six episodes from the final one, but it's just getting better and better - the writers have pulled out every stop. Whereas earlier on we'd binge (and that's the joy of videos over live television (which we don't have anyway)), watching six episodes in a row and going to bed at 4am, now we're just watching one episode at a time to give its fabulousness a chance to sink in. The writing is just fabulous. Last night's episode was Lies my parents told me (btw the BBC site for Buffy has great reviews and trivia). The discussion about Spike's chip, soul and trigger was just priceless. Could any other show be this classy? We're going to call our baby after a character on the show...] Oh my god! We've got a baby!

Yes, that's still how I feel, just about - surprised and delighted, but perfectly capable of leaving the thing on the bus, actually, because it just hasn't all sunk in yet.

Just realised I've been saying 'we' without introducing the other inhabitant of the pronoun. That would be the chap I'm going to call A, my partner of nearly two years. He's 38 years old, no, hang on, 39, and the father of the infant. Lives here with me in the county of Cambridgeshire. Wonderful, wonderful man. Ahem - did I say I'd try not to be smug?

Anyway, better get back to the baby bit (this blog was originally going to be called babycrap...). I fed the infant (we are of course breastfeeding - and using cloth nappies - being in that particular social demographic (and more on all that later, of course)), then remembered - oh bugger - that we'd agreed we'd try to change the child's nappy a bit more often. Apparently they don't actually mind sitting in warm wee, but eventually their bottoms get a bit sore and then you feel guilty. I bought a lovely book secondhand called Stop Your Baby's Crying, apparently by the TV guru of its day (published 1996), one Nanny Smith, who says:
One reason a new baby won't be crying"I have met people who, when their brand new baby cried, said 'Oh dear, I expect he wants his nappy changing'. Babies really and truly wouldn't care if
their nappy was changed or not. Of course they would care if they got a sore botty, but a dirty nappy doesn't worry babies - both urine and faeces are warm and comforting. People do change babies' nappies far more than they used to. No doubt it keeps the nappy manufacturers happy."

I applaud her cynicism! I also read somewhere-or-other about a study in which they (the omnipotent they) took a hundred babies (I picture it all happening in a large hall, but I'm sure the reality was much duller), waited until they cried (must have been fun), and then changed them. BUT half they changed into clean nappies, and half just put the old ones back on. And lo, the proportion of babies who stopped crying was the same in both groups.

However, we've really been leaving it too long, we think, so decided we'd try to do three changes a day, which if we change in the morning gives us roughly 8am, 4pm and midnight. This I remembered at 1am this morning. Oh, as I said, bugger. A had just gone to sleep and wasn't to be roused. So I did it, and it wasn't too bad - cloth nappies are actually a cinch, and I'll explain all about them another time - in the meantime, the nappy lady can tell you everything - fantastic site.

Anyway, the baby then slept till 0330, then woke up and fed for 20 minutes (this is good as previous feeds were more like five to ten minutes, and we got a bit panicky), til I plucked my nipple from its boneless gums. [Digression: The Scottish play is horribly apposite for breastfeeders, as you keep thinking of "I have given suck, and know how tender 'tis/To love the babe that milks me..." and then you remember what comes next, and try not to. Also all the bits about murdered sleep, and how sleep would (if you could get enough) knit up the ravell'd sleeve of care, seem all too true.] I'm definitely lacking that season of all natures right now. Because after that feed the baby just didn't seem happy. It wasn't full-throated screams: just whimpering, but all the more pathetic for that. A said colic, and wind, and after *he'd* tried everything too, and it was 5am, we caved in and gave the infant a dose of Infacol. Which seemed to work. [I love thinking about those branding meetings, with all the callow young men in suits brain-storming to come up with names, and being *really pleased* that they thought of Infacol. Ho ho.]

After all that drama, I got to sleep until 0800 or so, when A's children started to wake up. They're from his previous relationship, so their privacy is pretty important: I'm going to call them B (aged six) and C (aged four), but may not say much about them. We have them every Wednesday night, and every other weekend, so we've got them today, and we also had them the weekend I gave birth, which was interesting. Again, I'll write about that another time. And now it's time to stop typing and eat some porridge, I think. TTFN.

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