Bout of blue
Today I shouted at a baby. Mine. He had been shouting at me for what seemed like eons (the clocked indicated 48 minutes but it needs new batteries) and so, in a moment of pure frustration, I yelled back. I’ve always liked yelling; cathartic cardio.
This was horrible though. There was a moment of silence, as he looked at me through eyes bright with tears, cheeks red with the effort of extolling my failings, before his efforts were redoubled, reaching previously unheard decibels. Layered into the faux-anguish was the outrage that I had dared infringe his aural domain sprinkled with what could only be interpreted as shock and fear.
Having tried both options I can tell you that crying with / at your baby is less upsetting for everyone involved. It’s been that sort of week really. Things I thought would make me feel better proved to make things worse while things I dreaded turned out less burdensome than anticipated.
I dreaded my paediatrician visit to assess L’s lungs post-discharge from his second bout of hospital-inducing pneumonia. My recollections of the doctor were tinged with the unease and fear hospitals engender and my dealings with her office had been a protracted dance of me trying to assert that the visit would be free in the face of paperwork that suggested the opposite. In the end the visit was both free (thank you Medicare) and painless; the doctor was congenial and friendly (neither of which were traits I remembered from our previous interactions), L was on delightful form and I managed not to tell her that my baby’s first food was whipped cream.
I rounded out the day with my overglaze class. Wednesdays are a bit of a marathon effort as J and I swap parental duties midway through our fullest shared day of university. They’re a bit of a marathon effort for L as well who comes to pick me up from the studio at 6pm (which is his bedtime on any other day), all tired eyes and wobbly mouth.
Heading to Melbourne for our first weekend jaunt (and first plane trip) as a family of three for J’s niece’s Christening (I think she’s pretty much my niece too? Like you don’t have niece-in-law’s? Do you?) we were all a mix of nervous and excited. Nervous on J’s side because he’s an anxious flyer and on mine because as much as I love my in-laws (and I do, they’re nearly as mad as my own adored bunch) its not easy slotting into a full family agenda with a small infant who is both thrilled to meet and greet and unsociable (wicked witch melting style) if deprived of sufficient sleep / downtime.
Fittingly, in this week of chaos and misalignment, my expectations were unfounded – L was a radiant beam from morning till night (kid didn’t even stir from feeding either way on the plane) and the whole weekend was chockablock stuffed full of family and love and really good food. It was amazing.
But Thursdays are what I dread above all. J has class all day and works all night, which leaves me riding solo with L for some 15 hours, or more. This is sometimes fine, mostly bearable and occasionally a complete shit-show. It is a day I usually get through with a lot of decaf coffee and amounts of chocolate not seen since law-school exam period but this week I resolved to nix the chocolate with the hope of soon reintroducing myself to a wider array of my old pants. The upshot was that I drank even more faux-coffee, ate L’s custard and watched a lot of Netflix. At the beginning of Thursday I often commit to creating stimulating homemade educational toys for L to help expand his mind but by day’s end I just congratulate myself on not putting him in the garbage.
Thursday isn’t bin night anyway