Phew-ee. So that’s it, latest Netmums book delivered. The Ultimate Baby & Toddler Q&A is finally complete. Well, that’s to say, the first draft is complete. At some point soon the manuscript will be returned to me, scarred with the wrathful comments and myriad queries of the copy editor, and I’ll need to summon the will to look it in the eyes again.
I also have a new book to start, as of right now, which is all about….yep, babies. Meanwhile, looks like I have a ten-minute window to post something on my pathetic excuse for a blog. Last updated four months ago, I note. This is not committed blogging, is it? I’m working on that. Honestly.
It’s been a while since the Misses P were wearing nappies and existing on a diet of milk, and I had to scratch around deep in my memory to recall many of the issues whilst researching and writing the UB&TQ&A (snappy acronym, no?) I suspect that – as with childbirth – nature ensures we cast the difficult moments to the very back of our minds, in order that we are not forever put off making babies, causing humankind to grind to a halt. But certainly, the highs and lows of the baby days came flooding back during the writing process.
New babies. They're squidgy and they smell.
And now I think about it, how can any of us ever forget the extraordinary experience that is mothering a baby? That luminous poo, so explosive sometimes it seeps from the top of a sleepsuit; those red raw nipple weals that persist whilst you seek to get the effing latch-on correct; the all-consuming anguish that throbs in the pit of your stomach as you climb into bed at night, because you know you’re going to be getting out of it in an hour and a half to provide the first night feed. And dear God, the interminable, unfathomable, inconsolable ‘colicky’ crying. Both the mini Misses P cried for their country. I still don’t know why and although it doesn’t actually matter anymore, I can’t help but wonder WTF that was all about. Pain brought on by immature digestive system? Perhaps. Cranial stress caused by large head being squeezed out of comparatively small hole? Maybe. Sensory overload induced by shock of life outside womb? It’s possible. Simply picking up on tension vibes from mother? Almost certainly.
Still. Underpinning everything, there’s the wonder of it. The living, breathing, little alien thing that exited your body is yours to keep. And sure, they shit, they cry, they refuse to sleep. But they do have their plus points: highlights for me include the tiny finger nails, the early smiles, the scrumptious smell of the skin, post-bath, and the way they chomp so keenly at invisible feeds whilst sleeping.
Anyhoo, enough nostalgia. Better get on with some work. Proper, like.
Picture: Timeless Photography