Monday, June 27, 2011

And then there were two

No longer shall my daughter be know as 'one tooth'!

Rebecca spent the last few days dribbling, and generally out of sorts. While a good part fo this was down to the remnants of the cold I gave her (see recent posts), the majority of the cause was the arrival of her second tooth. This one is also front and bottom, right beside her first one.

It is now a case where I have to put my finger to the side of her mouth when she bites down on it - for fear of lossing it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Go to sleep my little baby

I am the one who 99% of the time puts Rebecca to bed. I love it. It's definitely the highlight of my day.

No matter how stressed I am from work, I am smiling when I read her bedtime story and sits on my knee in the bed taking her bottle.

A lot of the time she will go straight to sleep afterwards, after we go around the bedroom saying goodnight to everything -
  • Goodnight Rebecca in the mirror
  • Goodnight Big dog on top of the wardrobe
  • Good night wardrobe door (includes a touch of it)
  • Goodnight bedroom door (another touch)
  • Goodnight wall (scrape nails along the paint - hollow wall so echos)
  • Goodnight chair
  • Hello cot
  • Goodnight curtains (sometimes a touch, sometimes not)
  • Goodnight Rebecca's canvas (always a touch)
  • Goodnight chest of drawers (touch without touching anything on it - hard)
  • Goodnight bed (drop onto it and giggle)
  • repeat....repeat...repeat...
On the occasions when she does not go to sleep I sing to her.

Yes, I, a bloke, sing. Poor child.

I sing two songs usually, and like the goodnight to the things in the room, repeat. The problem is I don't know the words to either song.

They are both from O Brother where art thou? and are - Go to sleep my little baby

and Down to the river to pray

In both cases I know the music and can hum and sing along fine, but my lyrics consist of -

As I go down to the river to pray,
thinking about that good old day,
Who can ask the reason why
Good Lord show me the way.
come on brothers lets go down,
down in the river to pray.


Go to sleep my little baby,
go to sleep my little baby,
you and me and the devil make 3
don't need no other lovin baby
come lay your head on the alabaster bed,
don't need no other lovin' baby.

So, I just checked the 'real' lyrics and I am right to have wondered about the alabaster bed! I'll print the lyrics off and start singing the right ones but I don't think it really mattered. Probably better having the repeated ones in ways - more monotonous and sleep inducing. At least that's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

8 months

Today Rebecca is 8 months old.

What a journey!

It is hard to believe the same fragile little thing which couldn't so much as hold her own head up 8 months ago is now sitting up on her own, waving in response to waves, laughing, communicating in a mix of noises and cries, eating semi solids and so much more besides.

It is hard to imagine life before she was in it. Just like I can't imagine life without her mother. I am truly a lucky man.

Things that go bump

I've compared trying to change Rebecca's nappy with trying to wrestle a squid with one hand (my use of one hand, not the squid). She is full of energy, and want to grab, chew, feel, get to everything she can see. This is fantastic to watch but hard to handle - especially with a nappy overflowing with runny poo.

Today that urge to get to whatever she sees took her over the edge, literally. She was just after being washed by her Mummy and was sitting well in on the bed in her bedroom (no, she does not use the bed yet) and must have caught sight of some toys in a basket on the floor beside her chest of drawers. I am thinking she could be a contender for gold medals in either or both long and high jumps in the future as she really had to lunge to get off the edge of the bed. Head first. No fear.

The thud as she hit was something else, and thank the Lord she hit off the basket and not directly onto our hardwood floors. The scream was horrible and sent a shiver down both Mummy's and my own spine. I know from the pediatric first aid course I did a few months ago that it is a good thing she started to scream and cry, but it is still horrible to see our little baby in pain.

Needless to say, cuddles cold cloth and frozen peas (to cool the cloth) were all in use for the following half hour. I think she will have a bruise later today but she is back in flying form and I know it is the first of many falls. I just hope not too many.

A conversation about replacing the floors with carpet is going to be had this week.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Another first

I feel very guilty. I've made my baby sick.

I had a flu, which became a cold after a few days, and is currently just a cough. I was pretty sure it was all passed but it mustn't have been as our lovely Rebecca had a runny nose last night and a little bit of a temperature. It is the first time she has been sick.

She is such a little trooper though - still full of smiles and laughter, but she did wake her Mummy every hour during the night with crying. I got the easy side of the scale - I'd work today, and also didn't want to pass anything else on to her.

We used a few things which I am noting because they may help other parents -

First off, the obvious one: calpol. That was before I got to the chemist and just worked with the temperature.

There was also from the same crew, calpol nasal spray, which has done wonders but I have to say I am a chicken when ti comes to sticking things up a babes nose so have had to bow to my stronger willed wife.

Next is karvol capsules. This is a decongestant vapour which I got in capsules. You break one over a muslin square -well, actually it was one of my old socks (clean!) in our case - and leave it somewhere near enough to where the baby will be sleeping.

The last one is as important, but very hard to find in the shops: stick a couple of books under the mattress so that she is slightly raised, allowing her sinuses to drain more easily.

So far so good - about 22 hours in and she is in good form, coughing a little but other than that no running nose and eating her food.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

First Fathers Day!

Today was my first Fathers day.

As always when I won't see him I rang my own father. He is a great father, and it got me thinking about this new role I have assumed for Rebecca. I am thinking back to the role my father played in my growing up, not to mention my adult life.
As a child Dad was always there to ask questions of, always the arbitrator of fights, the ultimate voice in all things - be it who won a game, what time we can wrangle to stay up till, or the all important pocket money negotiations. Those are the things I remember, that and his smile. What isn't a memory exactly, but is far more important is the security of knowing Dad is always there if something goes wrong. Like mum Dad will always be on my side, but Dads have an authority of force, a might, a presence that is as permanent as a mountain.

Big boots to fill. I hope I can somehow manage to provide Rebecca the same role model, protector and Dad.

We started our fathers day with a feed, a snooze, and then dressed in a 'cool' wine GAP outfit her Godmother gave her. Suitably dressed (Dad even wore a shirt for the occasion) we drove to town and parking at one end walked the length of Main Street to the shops and bought a few items for the dinner. There is a huge warm proud feeling in my chest as walk along, and it isn't just the end of the flu. I felt like I was ten feet tall - I'm Dad and this is my amazing daughter.
I don't know why I felt it more yesterday than other days, but I did. I think it was realising that I'm a Daddy now, and I'm not doing too bad at it either. It is one thing being a father day to day, it's another realising you are that father and love it.

We played together most of the rest of the day, and I ended my day with a coffee in the 'Worlds Best Dad' mug which Rebecca had given me. A great day.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sitting up

Rebecca has been sitting up for ages. She will even stand up, when being held by her hands, for quite awhile. It is fantastic - if I hold two fingers out to her - one from each hand - she will grab them and pull herself up. If I hold them high she stands, or low she will sit. What a girl!

The new step this week is she is sitting up of her own accord - with no help at all. For the last few days when we go into her in the mornings (well, first day for me was today - see my post about being sick) she is sitting there in her sleep-bag playing with her bunny toys.

The down side is she falls over a bit more and hits her head off the railings. I know that even that is part of her learning experience but I'd be some bad sort of Dad if I didn't want to run in and cuddle her ever time she does it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Now you're on your own

The day we left the hospital was such a proud moment. Here I am walking with my wife on one side and my daughter on the other (carrying her in a car seat). It was windy, and raining drizzle on and off. Bright sunshine was shining through the gaps in the clouds dazzling me off the wet tarmac in the hospital car park.

It is amazing at moments like that when you're passing through a crowded area and there are lots of different lives at important moments; people visiting sick relatives, no doubt some dealing with the shock of deaths, drunks shamefacedly leaving A&E, expectant parents rushing to the wards. All this is going on and as you walk through you are surrounded by a bubble of impenetrable protective glass. This is our moment. No matter what you are doing, it is not as important as this moment is to me.

It is about a 40 minute drive from the hospital to our home. Closer to an hour when it is your first time driving your precious baby in the car. I'd never noticed the maniac drivers on the road "move over you fools - don't you know I've a newborn baby on board???". In fairness, nobody was doing anything out of the ordinary but all of a sudden everything was a potential threat. Maybe some primeval parenting instinct was kicking in, I don't know.

That drive was when I realised the midwives were gone, the nurses were gone, even our visiting parents were gone. Now the three of us are on our own. I'm the Daddy so it's my job to make sure everything is safe and provide for my family. That is as scary as life gets.

I wouldn't change it for the world though.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Have you got time to be ill darling?

We are truly blessed. Our little lady hasn't been sick at all.

The only time so far we've had even a smidgen of health trouble was after some of her shots. She got a fever for a few hours which went down with some calpol (Gods gift to parents of sick kids!).

I think a lot of it is down to lack of contact with too many other people. We're not hermits but I work from home and my wife is a SAHM so we don't bring home a workplace full of germs and illnesses every day.

The problem which I am just realising now (as I have the flu and a sore throat) is what do we do if we are both sick? I suffered through my days work and am off to bed with some medication and water. My wife told me as I headed up that she is feeling a little worse for wear too.

So the race is on for me to get well before she gets sick. And both of us praying we don't pass it on to the little lady. How are you meant to handle two sick parents and a sick child? And how on earth do single parents cope with more than one sick child when sick themselves?

I know we will cope, and really hope our little lady doesn't catch it too. I know she has lots of sicknesses to get through in life, and that they will all build up her defences. I just don't know how I'll cope with seeing her unwell and not being able to stop it for her.

Time flies

I mentioned in my last post that you have no time when you become a parent, which is true.

But the other side of the coin is time goes by too darn fast. My little baby is only just over 7 months old but in ways I feel like she is packing her bags to move out. She is less dependant on us day by day and I can't help hearing a voice at the back of my mind saying "Stay this young forever!".

At this point I feel we have shared a lifetime together already. Every day brings something new.

Last night I was doing our usual nighttime routine - wash, change, change into pyjamas , read a book (Well, I read, she chews), have a bottle and most of the time get her into her cot and off to sleep.
All went great and she was guzzling down her bottle (it was a hot day so probably part of it). She got to the end where that little sucking air sound lets me know to pull the bottle away. I pulled the bottle away and when I did that she raised her shoulders, gave a big sigh, leaned forward onto my knee and fell fast asleep.

Hard not to cry out of love at times like that. I hadn't the heart to move her to the cot for a good 10 minutes, but knew I had to as it was going to disturb her sleep.

Slow starting

I'm a Daddy.

My adorable daughter was born last October and now the following June I am getting around to starting this blog which I was thinking about over a year ago - well before she was born.

Thats the thing about parenting - you have no time. It's not a complaint, just an observation. I thought the pregnancy was a busy time but really it all starts when you head for the hospital.