When people talk about their favourite moments as a parent, it usually involves them gushing about the first time their kid says ‘I love you’ to them or some other cute milestone. But that’s not the same as the most satisfying moment – the times when you want to leap in the air and scream “YESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!” with a real sense of achievement. Looking back over the week, here are my “Yes” moments…
1. Picking Mishty’s nose successfully – babies have an innate ability to produce a continual stream of snot which then dries up and combines with food that has been accidentally shmushed into their nostrils. The resulting bogey will taunt you with its huge size, dangling by a tiny fibre, popping out with every breath but whipping back in just as you think you’ve got it. Then your baby will swat you away and wriggle until you manage to pin him down and squeeze it out with a triumphant, “AHA!!!!” and then resist the urge to show if off to everyone. [NB. Removing runny snot can be just as satisfying if using a snot sucking contraption where you can noisily suck the snot out (there is a filter so you don’t swallow it), I thoroughly recommend getting one.]
2. Rescuing naptime – Sometimes Mishty will go for a nap and 15 minutes in I hear the depressing sound of a tiny cry starting, usually just as I’ve sat down with a coffee to watch a Kardashian reality show. I rush in and gently pat him back to sleep, praying he doesn’t wake up fully and then do a little excited jig when he goes back to sleep. Getting an extra half hour of naptime feels epic.
3. Getting Mishty to lie still – Changing Mishty’s nappy is like trying wrap water with clingfilm, only harder. He will let you take the nappy off but then decide it’s more fun to roll over and leap off the changing table instead. The more you lie him down, the more he’ll roll over. To distract him, I give him the closest thing to hand which is usually wildly inappropriate and adds an element of danger to a normally mundane activity. If I manage to change his nappy without having to turn him over once this is truly a ‘YES’ moment. It is also spectacularly rare.
4. Peeing in peace – Separation anxiety has well and truly kicked in now. In the morning I can’t brush my teeth or pee without hearing a wail of dismay that I’m not in sight. It’s worse if I am a little blocked up, because I then have to strap him into the bouncer and bring him in just so he doesn’t wonder where I am for twenty minutes. Having an audience while I gurn and strain does not help. It also makes me wonder whether I am giving him mental scars. Once I just left him in the hallway with the door open so he could still see me, only for him to crawl in with a cheerful hello and try to get a closer look at where he came out from. Aside from that, there have been a precious few times when I’m able to leave him without him noticing. Then I can pee in peace and feel smug about my stealthy moves. Moral of the story, you have to be sneaky if you want to pee.
5. Being a superhero – Mishty is crawling and pulling himself up to standing at every opportunity. This new development is exciting but also mega scary. DANGER IS EVERYWHERE! I was filming him stand while holding the sofa and called to him so he’d look at the camera, but as he turned he lost his balance and boom – fell smack onto a plastic toy and started crying. Oops. But while I have caused a few incidents, I have also carried out more impressive saves than the German goalkeeper at the World Cup. Stopping Mishty from rolling off the bed (admittedly I failed this twice), leaping off the changing table, flinging himself backwards towards a wooden bookcase, pulling big and heavy things towards him, chewing on live wire, wriggling under the table and getting stuck under chairs is all in a day’s work. Saving him from cracking his skull open or getting flattened is a satisfying moment. It makes you feel like a superhero to have such quick reflexes although having some Inspector Gadget style arms would probably be more beneficial…
6. Cutting nails – When Mishty is sleepy, he starts sucking his thumb while stroking my face and sticking the other thumb up my nose. This is sweet but can get painful when his nails are long and the stroking turns into attempts to pull my nose/lips off and scratch my eyes out. Therefore it’s imperative that I cut his nails often. Most people do this when their babies are asleep but as Mishty sleeps in a variety of awkward positions in the dark, I find this quite tricky. Instead I try when he is awake and then it is akin to picking his nose except this has the bonus of me not being in pain once it’s done. Sometimes I manage to do one finger, sometimes a whole hand. If I can do both hands – JACKPOT BABY!!!!
7. Sleeping through the night – Mishty can sleep through the night if he is in bed with us. If he is in the cot he will wake up between 2 and 4am and stand up and look at me like, WTF? This is not my bed. Your bed is my bed. I am awake. Look at me jumping to show you how awake I am. I will now shout loudly so you cannot ignore me, da da DAAAAAA! If he sleeps through the night this is the most amazingly satisfying moment ever multiplied by a million squillion. But this hasn’t happened yet so this is actually wishful thinking. Boo.