Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Dolly Dearest


Sorry for the lack of blogs. I don’t have time to write posts at the moment. I don’t have time to have a bath, or tidy Ebony’s bedroom, or pluck my eyebrows.
It’s not that I don’t have time because I’m too busy, it’s simply that Ebony won’t let me fill my time with me things. My time is now filled for me.
One thing I’ve noticed since becoming a parent is that nothing ever stays the same. As soon as I get used to a new skill, or a new routine, things have moved on and I’m left behind confused and tired.

Ebony is six and a half months old now. The past couple of weeks have been filled with newness. First she got better at rolling, and then she got really good at rolling off the play mat and onto the wooden floor - usually with a bang and some tears. Then she learned to crawl/shuffle backwards, she can now lift her bum in the air and tip toe/slide backwards like a tiny Michael Jackson impersonator, if you will.
Then she mastered sitting up. We still have the occasional tumble, but mostly in a controlled way. Then she learnt how to babble, and can now chat away (mostly to herself) happily for hours.
Last Monday she cut her first tooth, just in time for me to win the £10 bet I had with Laurie. It’s a very sharp tooth, and she has mostly been using it to tear red cabbage and bite my finger. I thought she managed quite well with teething. She was a bit fussy, and her sleep pattern got a bit messed up, but overall I thought she dealt with it quite well. Until Saturday.
I think there must have been a Freaky Friday moment and Ebony got switched with a grumpy baby. Ebony now cries every time I leave the room. So for the past three days, Ebony has had to come with me everywhere, or I have had to endure screams of terror for the duration of our separation.
I think this new found neediness is partly because she is in pain with her teeth, but I don’t think it’s just that. I think her separation anxiety is also due to mental development, I think she’s just learning that I could go away and not come back. And so she cries to make sure I will come back, and also because she just doesn’t want to be away from me. On top of this, I think her new found mooncrawling, rolling and sitting up skills have blown her mind. Now she is mobile she can see and experience all kinds of unknowns. A few weeks ago she had no idea it was possible to get your leg stuck between the cot bars, or that there was hard floor in the living room (ouch). All of a sudden her world has expanded, and that must be pretty overwhelming for her.
I can’t really understand how she feels at the moment, but I imagine it’s a bit like if I woke up tomorrow morning, flew out of bed (oh my god, what?? I am flying!), said “buenos días” to Laurie (what? I can’t speak Spanish. Shit) and then discovered a door in my house that led to a whole new room I never knew about. If all of that did happen, you would probably find me hiding under the covers, crying for my Mum, because how could I possibly make sense of such a surreal experience.
So it’s no wonder Ebony is a bit clingy. Her world just got blown open, and every time she thinks she’s mastered life, something else changes and she has to start from scratch. And, on top of all that, she has really bad toothache.
I feel bad for her, I hate seeing her upset. I totally understand why she wants to be close to me and have cuddles, but does she really need to follow me into the bathroom? Can’t I just have two minutes to myself?
This morning I decided enough was enough! Weeing in peace is a basic human right, surely? So I distracted Ebony with a toy (a rice filled plastic bottle, we’re fancy in our house) and ran to the bathroom. She started to scream. It was like something from a horror film. The screams were getting louder as if she was getting closer. I wouldn’t have been surprised if the door had suddenly opened to reveal a knife-wealding Chucky-style Ebony with glazed eyes; “I told you not to leave me Mummy.”
I am past exhaustion now but surely, even taking into account the sleepless nights, it is not normal to imagine your baby is a character in a horror film?
I don’t think I’ll be enjoying any me-time for the foreseeable future. I have resigned myself to being followed everywhere by Ebony until she becomes a bit more settled in her surroundings. Until then I have the world’s cutest stalker-in-my-pocket. And an audience when I piss.

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