It’s been about a million years (in baby time) since I last blogged. Bubba is now 13 months old, and such a different little proposition to how she began. I think I need to find another bloggy pseudonym for her, seeing as she is not going to be a bubba for much longer. How about Moopet?
It had to happen, and so we did it. Over a period of a month, I weaned Moopet, and Moopet weaned me a little slower. I gradually dropped feeds, until we were down to one a day, and she started to reject the boob entirely at that point – obviously there was not enough in it for her any more. I felt OK – I had done it slowly enough to feel like it had been my decision. It was just before she turned one. I was needing to go do more meetings, and wanting to be able to claim a day to myself again – a whole day, with no need to be any place to feed her within a few hours.
And then there we were. My husband took over four of the seven morning shifts, and I slept in for the first time in a year. The first day, I still got up at 7 am. I just couldn’t help it, and it felt like such a sleep in as it was! Now, two months later, and I find it hard to get up for my early morning shifts at all, and often I go back to bed for an extra nap when Moopet does. Unbelievable – the sleeper in me was just biding her time all along, waiting to be reborn.
I held a friend’s newborn a few weeks ago. He waved his little fists, and tried to focus his eyes on the light from the window. Whilst I was extremely happy for my friends, I did not feel the maternal rush I had expected. I had imagined I would be swamped with a hormonal urge to have another baby. As soon as I weaned Moopet, I had desperately wanted another child, even though my mind wasn’t convinced. This is how it went: my husband wasn’t keen on the idea of a second baby, although we both thought it would be good to keep an open mind and see how we feel in a couple of years. But I wanted to be the one who was being refused, so I could retain any copyright over regret and blame when we are old and grey.
In reality, it was like this: I didn’t want, I don’t want, another baby. That’s not strictly true – I would LOVE another baby. But I do not want to have a life which involves having two children. I don’t want that life. I can see it now for what it would be: busy. I always thought I would have two kids, and I may still (and if I do, it will be because I dearly want you , second child, so if you are reading this, know that this was just what I was thinking for a short period of my life, before I met you). I thought for about a week that I was pregnant, last week, and that as when I truly realised that I don’t want another child. I am totally in love with Moopet – I am besotted in a way I could never be with anyone else. I look at her al the time – I can’t look away. I get bored, and annoyed, and often anxious that I can’t do it – but I repeat the same songs over with her and it is still fun. I don’t want her to grow up, and leave me. I know the day will come when she won’t look back, and i want that day, and I want her to be so well grounded that she does not need to look back. But I don’t want that day to come.
And yet I do not want to have a second child. I feel kind of like a big wuss – like, everyone has two, so we should too. But also, I think of it like this: my husband and I have a great life right now. Families of yore used to have too many kids (8, 9, 10 kids) and the stress was too much for the family. We have jobs with no security of income. and we don’t want jobs with security of income. So maybe for us, two kids may be the equivalent of 8, 9 or 10 in the olden days. Two may be too many. We are keeping an open mind and all may be different in a couple of years and if I did fall pregnant I would be overjoyed. But I also relinquish all rights to blame and regret. Equal partnerships have no room for people who are not making decisions for themselves.
Childcare Take Two
We just got a phone call that we might have a place in family day care for Moopet. This is good news. We are currently paying more than we can afford, for nine hours of babysitting a week. There is no rebate for this, but we need it to get a minimum of work done. We have been hoping for a place in one of the day care centres which have a higher carer to child ratio, but that is not looking likely. And with the phone call, came all the attendant fears and preparations for regret. She is bigger now, and more robust. She likes other kids now. But how will she go, one amongst five? And will she get enough attention? And will she nap or will she be ropable by the end of the day? Our little Moopet, into the world without us. Too soon! My husband and I are both already sad. So we revisit our work. Do we really need to do all of this? Can we survive on less for another few years? We will look at it, but I already know the answer.
Having a baby is so much fun. Moopet does lots of cool things now.
1. She comes in for cuddles. My heart melts whenever she does and I hold her for just a bit too long, and kiss her a bit too hard, hoping that she will always want to be near her mumma, yet also hoping she will be OK without me.
2. She has words. She has a whole bunch of words, and is trying to say a whole bunch more. Moopet was always a sound and music and word baby, not a walker. She is still crawling, as a matter of fact. But she can say nom nom, for food, and nana, for banana, and pe, for pear. She just started saying no, for nose, and mo, for more, and for a long time she has said No and Mumma and Dadda. there are a range more but I don’t want to sound boastful. She is doing fart kisses like there is no tomorrow, and like her parents, she laughs at her own jokes.
3. She is really, very cute. Her hair stands up in an Astroboy peak. She sings and has favourite songs and games. She plays with her baby doll, saying “baby,” and patting it and kissing it and cuddling it, just as we do with her, which makes me feel like a (relieved) good mum. She crawls to people after a few minutes of getting to know them, and taps them lightly, before crawling back to mumma or dadda and facing the other way, sucking her thumb furiously, taking a bit of time out from all the excitement before going back for more. We love her and we tell her so and it is so easy to start a new way of loving which is open and free because she doesn’t know any other way, so we can be new too.