Gone, Baby, Gone

 

My baby is gone. And I only realised this after watching this little film of O in her Tiny Trike  (which was kindly sent by the toy wizards of Galt Toys), and realising she’s slightly too big for it already.  It leads me to the rhetorical question of the day: How can she outgrow things? SHE SHOULDN’T. SHE CAN’T. I haven’t had time to have enough of her as a baby. She loves the little bike so much that when she wakes up, she jumps on it and cycles to the living room for her milk. At least that, she still has some of her baby habits: milk, dummies, nappies (yes, not potty training yet. SUE ME.) I can’t help by being nostalgic. I wonder if it’s always gonna be like this? Constantly pining for the fleeting moments that make up a childhood. There was a time in my life when I used to miss my own childhood. Now I’ll be missing hers too.

I know what you’re thinking. And NO, I’m not having another one. Not now anyway. Thanks for asking.

9 to 10 months

 

I realise by now that probably no one is visiting this blog as I’m updating it once a month, but I guess while we settle back into “normal” life (and by “normal” I mean not entirely consumed with baby-related stuff), the important thing for me is to keep this blog as a journal about O’s growing up. ‘Cause it’s true, we mums forget everything. I used to think it was outrageous how all the mums I knew couldn’t remember important things like when their kids started sleeping through the night, or how often they fed during the day, and to be honest, at this point I can’t barely remember either.

So what’s been going on the past month? She’s crawling faster and faster. She cruises around the furniture and constantly chases Nick, the house cat, who’s learning not to be annoyed at her pulling his tail on a daily basis. We no longer  spend lovely afternoons in cool cafés because she hates being stuck in the pram, or sitting on my lap or in high-chairs. It’s a lost battle: trying to have a conversation and a mug of tea while your kid is throwing stuff on the floor, wriggling itself out of the high-chair/buggy/your lap, and crawling and picking up bits of dirt from behind chairs is not fun. We NEED larger areas with soft and colourful STUFF around, which is why we’re now fresh members of a whole new club: that of playgroups.

I used to read all those women’s mags features about the codes and rules of parents socialising in playgroups, and always thought to myself “nah, I won’t make friends with people just because our kids play in the same sandpit.” But OH, THE PRESSURE. There’s no escaping small-talk because your kids DO PLAY IN THE SAME SANDPIT, and when one of them steals the other’s toy or slap another in the forehead, one must step in and apologise, otherwise you’re a bad parent. In fact, if you choose not to follow your kid around like a robot while she’s learning to climb square cushions, choosing instead to sit quietly and scroll down your twitter feed while glancing up from afar to see if the little creature isn’t eating someone else’s shoes, you’re made to feel a bad parent. Or is it just me? The other day all these mums where exhaustingly chasing and talking to their offspring before grabbing the poor sods to share together a basket of organic apples while I watched. I thought to myself, “If I’m bringing O here every week, am I going to MAKE FRIENDS with these women? When O makes friends with other kids, will I have to be friends with their parents too? Can I just ignore them all, kids included, and curl up with a book in the corner?”

It reminded me of Pamela Druckerman’s book about raising kids in France. There, parents leave their kids alone to play and slap each other at their hearts’ content while adults blissfully watch from afar, sometimes mingling, sometimes politely ignoring each other. Their kids grow up to be independent, thoughtful souls with brilliant manners and very little body fat – and it made me seriously consider moving to France. It won’t happen, of course, but suddenly I’ve realised I’m facing a decade of inner battles and conscience-raiding while navigating the middle-class child-rearing realm (this sounds very up-my-own-arse, I know).

Anyways.

In other news, we’ve had to go back to sleep training, as she started waking up in the middle of the night for several stupid reasons like teething, hunger, and colds. They were all piling up on top of each other, and of course that by this time she can stand up and scream till my ears explode. No point in ignoring her/leaving her to cry because she would just bang her head on the cot’s railings while trying to crawl/stand-up. It became a never ending series of  picking-up and rocking-to-sleep several times at night, making me feel like we had regressed back to the beginning when she had 2-hourly needs and I was a bleary-eyed mess. Then last week I found the perfect solution: a travel cot. She could throw herself head on within it’s confined walls, and no brain damage would happen, making it the most amazing purchase I’ve done since EVER. We’re now back to blissful sleep in separate beds and the art of self-soothing. Worked wonders.

Oh, yes. And she fell off our bed again. So we now sleep on the floor, until she learns to climb it down. *sigh*

 



 

 

V&A Museum of Childhood

One of the reasons I love London more than ever these days is because it’s a city brimming with cool things to do with children.

The other day we went to the V&A Museum of Childhood, and it was Such good fun. It’s a massive warehouse-like space storing toys from the 1700s onwards – things like crazy-giant doll houses (probably larger than my flat) that belonged to the Tate family, and animal costumes made of paper from the 70s (which someone needs to relaunch ASAP). Obviously the 80s section brought tears to my eyes (well, not really. But it felt pretty nostalgic). There’s also spaces for the kids to play like sand-pits, wood toys, and story-telling areas, and a cool gift shop that made me wave my credit card like a Imelda Marcus lost in the shoe lounge of Selfridges. My favourite thing was these glow-stick bracelets, which O loved waving around after dinner like a mini-raver. She’s definitely got my genes.

And at the entrance there was also an exhibition headlined “the stuff of nightmares” which was a bit Chapman-brothers-ish – pretty scary, even for my standards. I’m glad baby O doesn’t pay attention to these things. l’d be terribly annoyed if my kid couldn’t sleep at night after seeing these installations.

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Whatever Makes Her Smile

Two things:

1 – no matter how hard I try to keep things at a STYLISH level, these hideous plastic monstrous Fisher Price toys somehow keep finding their way into my flat, and I can’t avoid them. I do try to search online for cool wood old-school Scandinavian-vibe toys, but they never seem to grab O’s attention as fast as these ugly flashy things (I wonder why…)

2 – I sound retarded in the video, and well, that’s how I sound like most of the day now, so I recommend you turn off the sound of whatever device you’re using to watch this.

What can I do. These days, it’s whatever makes her smile. 🙂

Punk Barbies

Alright. I’ve found these Barbies in a very, VERY innapropriate tumblr for anyone under the age of 18, but I can’t help loving them. This is what I’d like to encourage Baby O to do to her Barbies once she’s old enough – and if she ever asks for one, that is.

Hell, I feel like buying one right now and having a go myself. Hurrah for Punk Barbies \m/

punk barbie

skeleton barbie

creepy barbie

creepy barbie

I’ve always had a big problem with everything girly-related – specially dressing little baby-girls in pink – but since I’ve started noticing a revival of a twisted, rebellious kind of girly-ness amongst teenagers, I’ve been reconsidering my hate for it all. Who knows, I might change my mind and start buying pink tutus.