Wednesday, 28 October 2009


I sat in my car, parked outside my house, for almost 1 and a half hours while Pearl napped at lunchtime. She has been sleeping so dreadfully at night (still!) and her daytime naps have been pretty much non-existant, so I wanted to take the opportunity to ensure she got some decent quality sleep. She always sleeps well in the car. Well, sleeps or screams - nothing in between, and it's always luck of the draw as to which car personality I'll get on any given journey. Anyway, today was sleeping, and I was glad of it, for her as well as for me. I sat and wasted time on my phone, playing online, listening to the radio. Just switched my brain off for a little while, which is very much needed in times of sleep deprivation. I totally understand why they use it as a form of torture. At 15 months into this whole wakeful nights thing, I may have developed the ability to rouse the absolute minimum amount required, and I may have somehow learned to function on 2hour stretches of sleep, but all it takes is one even worse night and I am a zombie.

Other mums at the groups I go to with Pearl seem to think that I am either insane or amazing. They'll exclaim how good I look, you know, considering how little sleep I get. They always want to help: to tell me the one trick that'll for sure get her sleeping through the night, or to point out the oh-so-obvious flaw in my nighttime parenting (and daytime parenting, for that matter, because of course if I 'let' her wake me up so much at night, then God only knows what I 'let' her get away with during the day!). Or they'll admit (in hushed tones) that in fact their baby doesn't always sleep through the night... and did I have any advice for them?! If there's one thing I've learned in my grand old 15 months of human raising, it's that every single child is different and that, as with many things in my pre-Pearl life, everybody has an opinion and most of the time they should learn to keep it to themselves. And that everybody worries about what everybody else is doing.

Sometimes I'll meet a comrade - somebody experiencing the joys of 2am, 3am, 3.16am, 3.42am, all too clearly as well. How well these conversations go usually depends on my (and their) mood. It's like with everything in life. Some days you're fighting fit; full of beans and feel like nothing could smack you down. Some days (maybe after a night of nursing your toddler back to sleep 15 times), and you feel a bit defeated. Either way it is always nice to swap notes with these mums. Mostly because if you're still talking about a child who wakes this often at night, you're not letting your child "cry it out", or other some such sleep training bullshit. And if you're not doing this, then in my eyes you are wonderful, and worth swapping notes with. I will write about my hatred for "cry it out" some other time. Anyway. Today (before the aforementioned car napping) I met another mum who just said a few words to me that helped me steel my strength for the night that was drawing ever closer. It's hard to have a conversation at baby groups when most mums practise "cry it out" within their family, and they just don't understand why I have never, and will never, do that with my Pearl. But this particular mum just helped me remember why I do what I do. I can't even remember specifically what she said, I just know it involved talking about sharing sleep, and the strange concept of a 'good' baby.

So I sat in my car, looking like a loony, but doing it all for that little ball of insanity and hilarity and love and amazingness. My latestt crackpot idea is that if she naps better during the day, she might sleep better at night. I have no idea if this is true for Pearl but I'll try anything if I think it might work. I do what I gots to do.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


Between getting addicted to watching "True Blood", (we ploughed through the first series in a week), and then being at my mum's for a long weekend, I kinda forgot about updating this thing.

Pearl had her MMR almost a week ago, and boy are we feeling the effects of that. It wasn't even a choice for us - I didn't have it as an infant, but I did have mumps while I was at University and it was a pain comparable to childbirth, except it was more uncomfortable and lasted for weeks. It totally screwed my already crappy immune system, and the months following mumps were one long stretch of throat infections and clusters of ulcers on my tonsils, combined with being extremely tired all the time. I could not put my child through that. Since the decline in the numbers of parents giving their children vaccines against diseases such as measles, there have been a number of epidemics in our county and the surrounding counties. Including some deaths in Brighton, from a disease that's meant to be well under control. Pearl actually had measles at around 10months and it was truly awful. So the couple of weeks of potential grumpy-ness following the vaccination are more than worth it. Anyway. She is grumpy, seems like she has a bit of a cold/headache/earache thing going on, but I feel pretty darn awful myself so who knows whether it's the vacc or just general poorlyness.

She's been sleeping like a newborn the past couple of nights - that is to say, not very much. I'm not sure if my not feeling well is because of the sleep deprivation or because I'm really coming down with something. My back, neck, head, ears, all hurt. Feels like somebody's punched me in the kidneys.

This is boring for me to type, but I've typed it now so I may as well post it. I'm awaiting the return of my husband, hopefully he's bringing cat food since they are whining from behind the kitchen doors.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

One after the other

Milk, sleep, milk, milk, cry, milk, milk, milk, groan, wake, "CATS!", "Dada!", drink, plodding, falling, whining, food flinging, playing, music, bathing, milk, teeth cleaning, tired, "CATS!", not tired, milk, not going to sleep, carseat, power nap, snacky snack snack snack snack snack (& milk), puzzles, tantrums, drawing, mischief, lunch, fish in hair, new shoes, carseat, party, sausages, chicken, LOUD NOISES, tantrums, milk, cake, tired, nap, dog, "CATS!", quack quack, shopping, milk, carseat, objection, jelly babies, dog, "CATS!", dinner, piano, dog, drums, piano, bath, piano, fish, car, "Dada!", milk, pyjamas, milk, milk, milk, sleep.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Actual heaven!

Thanks, mother-in-law, for this amazingly simple recipe.

8oz self-raising flour
6oz caster sugar
4oz butter
2 eggs
2 beautifully ripe bananas


Banana loaf heaven.

We've eaten pretty much the whole thing in just over 24 hours. Pearl helped me make it yesterday afternoon, and Bob just took a bite and said "What are the crunchy bits in it?"... hellooooooo egg shell, haha. This is what happens when you let a toddler help. She loved making cake though. She loves helping me with everything at the moment, and I'm more than happy to indulge her with this. Everything is new and exciting, even putting away the food shopping, and she loves being asked to do something specific, like carry the cutlery to the dining table for me, or help pull the washing out of the machine. She's very good at mixing and sorting and putting away and making piles and also at making every single chore about twice as long to do. But it is so nice to see her realise all these things that she is able to do! She gets so much satisfaction from doing what she sees me doing. And of course if her little hands are occupied pulling washing out of the machine, then there's less time for tipping boxes of cornflakes out onto the floor.