To walk, perchance to sleep

Blogging with a newborn baby to look after turns out to be a little less easy than I’d hoped. How naive of me – second time around I really should know better.

Sophia actually sleeps pretty well at night (touch wood, fingers crossed, quick offering to the gods of Baby Sleep), but the days are a little trickier. Up until about week 10 she would normally fall asleep when I fed her, and I could gently lower her into her Moses basket afterwards, or alternatively she’d drop off in the pram on the (very short) walk to collect Anna from school, and with a bit of luck would stay asleep once we got home. This freed my time up wonderfully for treats such as putting a load of washing on, stacking the dishwasher, putting clean laundry away, making a start on dinner or doing Anna’s reading book with her.

Suddenly, a couple of weeks ago that changed. Sophia got wise to my ploys. Five minutes after I slid her into her basket her eyes would snap wide open as realisation that she was no longer on mummy’s breast dawned. Similarly, the minute the pram was over the doorstep she’d be wide awake, and no amount of backwards and forwards pushing or jiggling would do the trick.

She’s generally a happy little thing, and wakes up quite content and ready to play, or cuddle or just sit in her bouncy chair and watch what her sister is getting up to. But if she doesn’t get enough sleep during the day, then come The Witching Hour, 6pm – the time before my husband gets home, when I am trying to make Anna’s tea, get her things ready for the next day, bath her and put her to bed, Sophia suddenly becomes hysterically inconsolable with tiredness. Mummy holding her and bouncing her up and down whilst singing might fractionally alleviate the awfulness of the world temporarily, but that isn’t particularly conducive to getting anything else done, and leads to some fairly stressful evenings. Therefore, getting her to sleep for a decent length of time during the day is now my number one priority.

Walking the streets whilst pushing the pram generally does the trick, but not only does it not leave much time for blogging or anything else, it is fraught with difficulties, and my tolerance levels for fellow human beings are fast decreasing. You see, it appears that there are, shockingly, people living and working in Walthamstow for whom my baby’s nap is not a primary consideration. I know. Outrageous. They therefore do things which make a noise. And so, quite simply, I hate them. Some of the individuals who have invoked my rage are

1) Anyone on a motorbike.

2) People who load/unload their vans noisily. Do not drop things in, place them carefully I implore.

3) In fact, I’m not mad keen on anyone with a motor vehicle actually. They’re noisy, and they mean that I sometimes have to stop pushing the pram to cross a road, thus breaking the pushing rhythm.

4) People who commission building work on their houses. Massive house price increases mean that my neighbourhood is now Loft Conversion Central, and whereas I can understand people wanting to make room for growing families without the astronomical, probably prohibitive, cost of moving, I am staggered at the selfishness of them doing it now, when I have a new baby.

5) The designers of supermarkets and shopping malls. What is with the ridiculously smooth floors? I need traction, dammit.

6) Groups of teenagers laughing, chatting and teasing each other on street corners. What’s that all about – I thought they were meant to be inside playing computer games these days, not out in the fresh air socialising.

7) Other people’s children crying or laughing or talking too loudly. I mean, you’ve been here parents. Don’t you understand? I’m not asking that you gag them permanently, just for the next few months or so. Or, you could take them somewhere else to play, I’m not totally unreasonable.

8) People who phone me. Yes, I know I could put my phone onto silent. But I’m tired and I forget. And I don’t want to hate myself because that would augur an unhealthy lack of self-esteem, so I hate the callers instead.

This list is not in any way designed to be exclusive. There are many more offenders, but I hope that this gives a flavour, and some indications of what to avoid if you’re anywhere in my vicinity.

sleeping SophiaAt the end of the day, though, I may have blistered feet and anger management issues, but this little face makes it all worthwhile.