Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Have Children! TWO!

It's definitely a shock to the system to say that you have 'children'. Somehow saying that I have 'a child' makes it sound like I'm only a wardrobe change away from flitting out into the night and not returning until daybreak. Or that my regular infantile journey to egocentrism just took a momentary detour and now I'm back on track to self-indulgence.

But talking about how I now have 'children'. . . For some reason the plural dips me in terry-towelling and leaves the mental image of myself bedraggled, unkempt, surrounded by washing and dirt and screaming across the playground. I guess the beauty with having a second child is that I know what to cherish and what to ignore. I think the list goes something like this:


* the smell
- the night we took a 5 day old Harriet out to dinner with us, a friend immediately asked if she could smell her. Sure I thought she was weird then, but now I know exactly what she was doing. I smell Teddy regularly. Even the nappies smell sweet (seriously!).

* the deep sleep
- as has been well documented, Harriet was not much of a sleeper. Having said that though, her first two or three weeks of life were peppered with heavy sleep periods. Teddy does that a lot at the moment, but we've been primed to expect that all to change once he reaches about 3wks past his term date.

* portability
- friends keep offering to pop over to our place in order to save us having to move around with Teddy. Let me tell you, it's never a problem to move Teddy, but it's a darn sight more stressful to get Harry moving! Newborns are so, so easy. Pop them in a sling and away you go!

* warmth
- Teddy radiates such a glorious warmth, just perfect for snuggling. Feeling his body against mine in the Hug a Bub is better than wearing a cardigan any day.

* predictability
- if he's crying, we know why. Or if we can't work it out we also know that we're bound to hear a nice big fart soon after the grizzle and there's the answer to that one. Teddy is quite windy but he has Harry's strong constitution so far in that he hasn't brought anything back up (touch wood), it's just a gassy bottom he has to deal with. Welcome to the family!


* baby stores
- out to sell you more crap than could ever have been imagined in the past. Really all you need is a sling, some nappies and some clothes. Baby-sized blankets are a bonus (and we have plenty of them) and some are really beautiful too. A padded change mat and some teeny tiny cloth nappies are about the only investment we've really had to make.

* milestones
- Harriet never rolled. Or crawled. Yet miracle of miracles, she is still able to walk! *shock* Who would have thought?! Teddy will do stuff in his own time. If we feel that something's not quite right we'll follow it up, but we definitely won't work ourselves up into a lather about it because of some average ages generated without any consideration of our child.

* other people
- We parent differently to most, I think it's fair to say. For example, Teddy will eventually learn to sleep through the night. I definitely don't have to leave him screaming in a room by himself to teach him that. Learned helplessness is ugly and sad in animals; in people it's reprehensible. So suffice to say in this house we don't need to listen to that suggestion, thanks anyway.

The birth of Teddy and his hospitalisation has really brought out the kindness and generosity of our beautiful friends. A few of them have online stores, so I thought it only fair to also link to them here:

* Mamaluna - bookmark this site! Kristie is going to be stocking so many cool items, including a delicious body butter for babies that I have been lucky enough to receive as a present. It smells delicious! We've also been the lucky recipients of her nappies and wipes. Lucky us, lucky Teddy!

* Natural Parenting - a comprehensive online resource for any aware parent in Sydney. Jenny has selflessly offered us Harriet-minding, wraps, food and advice. We are indebted to her generosity.

* Frangipani Baby - the ever beautiful Sarah has a fantastic site for all of your babywearing needs. What sets her apart from others is her ready availability to discuss your specific needs and pinpoint exactly the right carrier for you. She is wonderful!

* Making Mothers - my awesome doula for Teddy's birth. I can't speak highly enough of her and her support and skill. If you are planning on a birth, please do yourself a favour and book her!


Lisa W said...

oooh I haven't checked the blog this week & had so much to catch up on, the photos are so beautiful ! I love James' hand shots with Teddy (yes still obsessed with the hands & feet)The "Harry on Mars" made me laugh hysterically- she looks like a mad scientist !
See you soon xxx Lis

JennieMo said...

Yes...you do! And well done! :)
Miss you all and looking forward to meeting Teddy!