Saturday, 28 September 2013

Nighttime Feeding in Six Easy Steps

It's a wondrous thing having to be fully alert at two in the morning. Just as I'm about to fall asleep, the little lady decides to wake up with a zealousness that would have been much more appreciated during the day. You know, my sweet girl, the time when normal people are up?

But having endured several nights of waking up at midnight and not actually getting back in to bed until 5am, I've perfected the steps that must be followed for me to attain some kip.

1. The Hula Dance
Once feeding has finished, I let bubs rest in my arms for a few minutes (read: half an hour or before I nod off and I hear a thud as the little one rolled out of my arms (NB. that has never happened, so step away from the phone to call NSPCC or Childline)). I walk to the crib in a swaying motion as if on the beaches of Hawaii and Israel Kamakawiwo╩╗ole is strumming on the ukulele, so as to keep her lulled.

2. The Friends
This is taken from the episode when Ross gives advice on how to stop cuddling in bed. You're with me right...the hug and roll. Still swaying I slow down the rocking and then give her a quick hug and gently place her down on to the mattress.

3. The Hover
She's in the cot, still asleep - but no celebration just yet as there's a slight whimper. Thankfully, nothing more. Still I watch, hovering like a hummingbird just in case.

4. Tip Toe Through the Tulips
This is my walk from crib to bed. I place my feet on selected areas so as to avoid any creaking floorboards lest I wake her and Hubby up. Around 3.30 in the morning, the tip-toe may become a trample as I'm too tired to care.

5. The Slide & Pull
My maneuver of getting back into bed without waking Hubby; in one swift movement, I slide into bed and pull the duvet over me. A hint of a smile as I sink my head into my pillow...

6. Ninja Stealth
I'm finally in bed, yet can I fall asleep? No is the simple answer. Instead, like a martial arts expert on a mission, I lie awake waiting, expecting the beginnings of a whimper to turn into a cry and then a short shriek. At this point, I will leap from the bed, throwing the covers over Hubby, stomp over the tulips and lunge at the crying child to start soothing or more likely change her nappy.

The great thing about these 'steps' is that they can be repeated countless times of no detriment to the little one...only perhaps to my sanity but that's not important is it?

Oh and when I said 'perfected' it is - in my mind. The reality is I am a slave to her demands and sometimes none of these techniques work. Ah who needs eight hours of sleep a night? Not me, I'd be happy with just two...

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


As I enter the world of motherhood, I find myself missing Mum more and more - she was the one that I would have called and asked 'am I doing this right?' Having said that, when I had to asked Mum a question (some months ago) she responded, 'how old are you Shalini? Well, that's the last time I looked after a baby, I can't remember...' but that didn't stop her from passing on a few words of wisdom.

It's been a couple of months since I heard the phrase, 'Mum has died'. Three words I, perhaps naively, didn't think I'd hear for a very long time.

A calmness surrounded me when I heard. Yes tears were shed, but essentially I was calm. Did I think I would be hysterical, beat my chest wailing if and when I would hear the terrible news? Perhaps, but I'm rarely that demonstrative and the truth be known, I was more at peace with Mum going than I thought I would be. On that day, having been told that Mum had gone into hospital, I didn't panic or start to fret like I normally do but I simply said to myself, 'she's in your hands now God'.

So many ordinary things make me think of her and it's amazing that despite the tantrums I threw and the arguments we had, all I remember are the times we had a laugh, when we would just share a hug or work quietly together in the kitchen preparing dinner. As I think about how I will be as a mother, I hope to pass on a few things that Mum taught me such as how to treat other people, having faith, a good sense of humor - as well as my own little nuances...

Some people call their mum/dad their best friend, but I never saw mine like that, she was just Mum. And it would be easy to be upset at not being her best friend, but I'm proud to be just her daughter. She knew everything about me even when I said nothing. She knew what made me tick, how I would react to a situation. As I got older, got married, our conversations changed and she talked to me as a grown woman - but still as her youngest.

A stylish, hard working woman who could make the most delicate sugar-paste flower to wallpapering an entire room single-handed, what ever she turned her hand to, it worked. She had a great sense of fashion, loved her 'bling' (her middle name should have been Swarovski) and wherever Mum went, she made a friend and had a smile for a stranger.

So as I tend to my daughters needs, I'm both excited and sad. There have been many little things I know I would have called Mum to tell her about for me to hear how she would have handled it or her experiences with raising me, my brother and sister; it's very bittersweet.

But as Hubby said, our daughter wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Mum because she had me - so there's a little bit of her in our little girl. It's a comforting thought and I can't wait to tell our little one about her remarkable Grandma.