I liken the magical three month mark to the mythical creature known as the dream baby. Who by the way, I am yet to meet.
Sure, I’ve met babies who sleep everywhere and don’t cry (guess what, sometimes so does mine) but I’d still like to think that behind closed doors that Mum/Dad still needs a break, that washing still isn’t getting done, that tea is at times cold (or still frozen!) and Mum is probably still instagramming the best of an untidy house and the happiest of a grumpy baby.
This parenting gig is no cake walk.
For the past 3 months, it would be fair to say that Costa has been the ‘teacher’ while we have been the all-too-keen students. Trying our utmost to interpret his needs and win his affection with as few ‘fails’ as possible and while it hasn’t always been easy, I’ve enjoyed it enough to think that one day, I might even want to do it again!
Here’s what I’ve learned in all my ‘3 month’s’ of experience:
DAYTIME TV: Before baby I thought daytime TV was ‘a bit rubbish’. At first it served as background noise in a quiet house. Now I find myself laughing along to Ellen, getting excited about The Chase and tossing up whether or not to buy a Bambillo. Oh, the irony!
HELLO BICEPS: Yes you’ll be riding out pins and needles in your arms and they’ll ache like crazy but soon you’ll be buttering toast with one hand and eating it with your feet (just kidding about the feet part) but your arms and reflexes get better. Plus, you’d do it forever if it means a child asleep in your arms.
THE ART OF THE SHUSH: Hell hath no fury like a woman whose baby just got woken up.
THEIR WINS ARE NOT MY WINS: I’ve learned that if their baby is doing something wonderful at a certain point (like sleep through the night) to take it on board but not wait for it to happen. I know that it can happen and that it might happen to me. Then again it might not.
LOVE CHANGE: Just when you think you’ve got a good thing going on, baby can and will switch it up and your husband miffed, will say something like ‘but he wasn’t like this last night?’ And as right as he is you don’t have the heart or the energy to remind him that babies don’t stick to a plan. But yes, it was all going so well.
THE SLOW TRAIN: I board it daily. Forget about getting anywhere in a hurry, its overrated. Have patience in all things. Slow your Mum game down and you won’t miss all the growing, changing and smiles that are flying at you around about now. If you’re late well you’re late and you have a pretty good excuse.
DORKY IS ‘IN’. The lawnmower, the running man, the funky chicken. If it’s good, bad or horribly awkward they will love you for it or at least find you really really hilarious. Soak it up because I hear they do not appreciate it as much when they get older.
YOU WILL CRY: Because it’s all so unfair and so hard and you will cry because it’s all so perfect and so beautiful. You will cry at songs and at movies or news segments like never before. I like to think its because babies teach us to ‘feel’ harder.
HE KNOWS: He sees you hiding that phone in your lap. He sees you pretending not to watch MKR and he wants all your attention. In fact, he may not resume feeding until your eyes are locked on him at all times. (at least this has been my experience).
NEW WEEK, NEW BABE. Where did all that hair come from? And why does that vest look like a crop top? As happy and sad as I am to accept it, with all the drinking and sleeping comes rapid development. In other words, a thinking, feeling, changing person who now likes the feel of the ground on two (aided) upright feet.
SNIFF THE PANTS. This is a funny business. Like who does that right?! Parents of babies do that’s who and while it may seem highly inappropriate I’ve decided that with a newborn you’re on to something if you’re sniffing pants. Why? Well you need to know when that nappy is soiled or about to be. Because nappies as it turns out, can’t always handle their job either.
LICK THE TISSUE: Oh no not that classic Mum trick that you swore you wouldn’t adopt. Where mum licks the tissue and then wipes your face urghh!. Yes, in my moments of being caught short, I too have done this and yes, it gets the job done!
EYES ON. Yip track them, keep one eye on them at all times because they can and will move, even if that move is a caterpillar shuffle, it’s a fast shuffle. Yeah, this is happening.
YOU MISSED A SPOT: (Because they are all about the rolls now). Clean clean. Ears, skin folds, the wall. Clean everywhere, leave no stone unturned. Then check yourself.
FREEEEDOOM: He loves to be nude, like loooves it and sometimes, he just wants to be ‘free’.
TAG, YOU’RE IT: Okay, so Dad’s idea of washing the dishes is your equivolent to rinsing them but in parenting, you are not always the best person for the job. You are a team and two heads and four hands are better than one (and two, respectively). If Dad can do the best sounding fart noises and run around like an aeroplane faster than you. Let him.
The three month mark, feels in some ways like 3 years and in others, 3 seconds. You know that woman who was up with the moreporks, she’s gone (at least for now) and while I’m glad about that, I’m still not sleeping through the night but I am getting more sleep. I suddenly have some kind of method to this madness. I have sort of worked out the cries and I pat myself on the back every time I get it right, failing this I use a simple technique called the process of elimination.
I don’t have it all figured out, I don’t imagine I ever will. And while I wouldn’t say that the 3 month mark is magical, I would say that the ride that we’ve been on and the boy I get to watch grow faster than a mushroom, is pretty gosh darn magical.