I get to go back in the new year and I’m definitely looking forward to it. But as much as I want (and need) that part of my life back, I’m also dreading missing a single second of M. Dreading only getting a few hours a day with her. What if she says her first word or takes her first step for someone else? Or forgets who I am? Or develops abandonment issues and ends up dealing drugs or running away or voting Tory?
That’s the funny thing about having a baby though. It seems to create endless paradoxes.
Getting M to nap is one of my primary concerns. I’ve become one of those sinfully boring people who sticks to (and talks about) a routine. But at the same time, as soon as she’s down, part of me wants to wake her up so I can cuddle her and sniff her and kiss her fuzzy hair, and try and get her down for her next nap.
Then there’s the length of the nap itself: there is a very fine line between ‘oh dear god, how are you awake? I JUST put you down, do you have coffee in there? Redbull? What?’ and ‘Oh god. You’ve been asleep so long and are so quiet you have almost certainly died. Clearly you and a burning eagle are locked in a swirling deathgrip and I just didn’t hear anything over the baby monitor’.
Or there’s the milestone paradox, whereby I simultaneously am desperate for M to be doing all the stuff my weekly email from babycentre says she should be, yet I also look wistfully through her boxes of outgrown clothes every time I have to add something to them, and wish that she’d be a teeny little newborn again.
There are many, many more which I could list (‘Really? Poo again?’ vs ‘Why haven’t you pooed?’ or ‘Let’s have time for us as a couple’ vs Now we’re alone, let’s talk about baby poo’). However, the baby is sleeping, which means I have to go obsess over whether her sleepsack might have magically unzipped itself and migrated over her face and smothered her.