05 February 2009

First in a series of one-finger-typed posts


Taking care of a fussy infant is seriously hard work - taking care of a fussy infant when you have a flu is seriously much harder though.

Some of you from the old journal may recall the harrowing tale of my brief stint as assistant to the tyrannical producer of a Hollywood film. I've been reminded of this undistinguished period the last few days simply because it dawned on me that the needs of my newborn son are only slightly more discernible than those belonging to that Worst Ever Employer, and his mood vastly less predictable. And if you ever find yourself comparing your child to the man who once threw a gold-plated pen at your head suddenly and without warning then you have my sympathies and I won't try and talk you down, as that ledge you're currently teetering on probably feels a lot more secure than the nursery you likely just fled from moments ago.

Yesterday, I finally managed to eat my lunch at four, scarfing it down within the precious few minutes between feeding him and when he noticed my nipple was no longer in his mouth, which, let me tell you, is cause for great hysterics in these parts. Sometimes he will fall asleep mid-feed and come unlatched and I can sneak off to relieve my aching bladder or refill my water bottle. If I take any longer than two minutes though, from the bedroom will emanate the most outraged squawk - one that directly translates as: HEY! YOU WITH THE CRACKED, SHREDDED NIPPLES! GET YOUR ASS BACK IN HERE, I WASN'T FINISHED WITH THOSE!

Because he is only small, he often forgets that actually, yes, he was finished feeding and so I have to latch him back on as you can't really argue with that kind of logic - the kind of logic that shatters glass and wakes the dead and temporarily deafens the neighbourhood dogs if you let it continue building its argument for too long.

As I've explained to people who have never given birth to such an inconsolable creature as Hartley, caring for him is a little like holding your finger on the trigger of a live grenade that you are not allowed to throw (though the council of Haringey might be a bit more lax about these things)- no matter how exhausted you are, no matter how much your arms ache from all the rocking and holding and winding and carrying, you can't for a second let go of that trigger or the consequences will be devastating.

And the only way to diffuse that bomb for a even short while is to plug it with breast tissue until it stops fussing and falls asleep. Even then, you must lie very still and try not to breathe too loudly, like so...

3 comments:

Amy Thibodeau said...

Golly that little Hartley is a doll! Did you get my message the other night? Between the snow and work I just couldn't make it. I am back this weekend though and maybe we could do brunch or something? Anyhow, sorry you haven't been feeling well. I am always here if you need anything! XX

thelass said...

That picture is great! I was going to make some wisecrack about how great it must feel to be so needed but thought better of it at the last minute...hope things calm down for you soon!

Friday said...

Thanks Lass - and I really did mean to post a photo of Hartley in his new baby vest with duck but he managed to soil it (and several other vests since) before I got the chance. Bruce has him now, I should probably use this time to take a photo of the other lovely gifts (including books, which I completely forgot to mention - thank you for contributing to his library, which is just as important as the clothes on his back!). Except I can hear him waking up again...argh!

Amy - how does 10.30 on Sunday sound? If you can spare the afternoon also, we can come back here for a proper visit while Bruce and the boys (Luke! and Matt) head off to the pub to watch the footy for a few hours. Sound okay?