Friday, April 10, 2009
Lucy turned three months old this week and I went back to work.
There's no point dwelling on how awful it is to be away from her. It is what it is. It's like when people ask how you manage to get out of the door in the morning with two small children. You just do it because there's no alternative. Having said that, picking her up at the end of the day is like Christmas, and I am so happy that my friend Jen is able to look after her right now so I can't really complain even if I wanted to. Even though she's still so tiny, and still breastfeeding, and probably still needs her Mum, and in any other country this would be considered unnatural, and, good Lord stop it.
So no, not quite over the separation thing yet.
Rather than talk about the sadness, I'll choose to write about the good stuff. I'm aware that I haven't written much about Lucy. Quite frankly, it's a little hard to when Anna tosses 3 year-old gem after gem your way, each one better than the last (this morning she said "*sigh* the chuffing gardeners have left the sprinklers on again"), where she got that from I have no idea.
Lucy is lovely. I'm completely head over heels. She has two types of smile, a tentative half-smile and an explosive grin so large it takes over her entire body so she flails her arms and legs with the joy of it.
I loved my maternity leave, particularly the three days a week when Anna was in school and I could devote all my time to blogging, er, I mean bonding. With Anna I felt so pressured to educate my tiny fleshy blob. I would dangle plastic keys in front of her and recite 'this is a RED key, this is a BLUE key, this is a YELLOW key' while she quietly emptied her bowels. This time I embraced Lucy's pupae stage. We snuggled. I sniffed her head and nibbled her toes. I blew bubbles at her and tried to remember not to balance my cup of tea on her head whilst engrossed in 30 Rock. This time round there was no moving house, no anxiety about dealing with an infant, no horrendous rending of flesh during the birth, no living in a partially renovated apartment with open sewer lines and piles of boxes everywhere. This time seemed like a piece of cake and I loved every minute of it. Our time together was a gift. Thanks Mum and Dad.
Lucy and I took long walks all over town in an effort to rid myself of the eleventy billion pounds I seemed to retain after her birth. I enjoyed the sunshine and she would sleep in the stroller or wake up and quietly watch the world go by. People would dash over to say hello and look at the baby and Lucy would respond with a spit bubble or a fart, however the mood struck her. I only ever had to stop once because she was crying, and even then after a quick boobing she soon shut up. She is such a brilliant walking companion. Anna would scream after about 10 minutes (fair play to her, she was probably hungry, wet, tired or upside down - I hadn't exactly perfected my parenting skills at that point), and later on Anna would not. stop. talking., asking why Santa Barbara didn't have any monkeys, or whose mailbox is that Momma? and whose mailbox is that Momma? and whose mailbox is that Momma? Lucy just smiles and I turn up my iPod to maximum volume and continue my Motown shuffle up to the Mission.
She is already so tall and strong. In the 97th percentile for height, but only the 50th percentile for head circumference which would lead me to believe California's in for another leggy dumb blonde. Except she looks smart, and by that I don't mean she's pig ugly. She is so alert, constantly watching. With the peculiar tufts either side of her head and her unblinking eyes she reminds me of a little short-eared owl. In a pink onesie. And that's another thing. With Anna we chose not to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. Consequently all but two or three of her first six months of outfits were gender neutral. Ducks or frogs. I sometimes wonder if Anna's princess obsession is a bizarre reaction to too many yellow baby-gros. Lucy on the other hand, there is not a hue of pink unrepresented in her wardrobe. She has some white clothes, but they will be turning pink soon as I'm pretty rubbish at laundry. I wonder if she'll grow up to be a tomboy as a result. She reserves her biggest smiles and limb-flailings for bathtime and I caught LK whispering in her ear the other day 'are you going to be my surfer?' (when Anna gets her face wet she screams 'I NEED THE BIG TOWEL').
Lucy is lovely and we are lucky. Yes she finds sleeping a bore, farts like a Yorkshireman and likes to puke on my work clothes, but we're counting our blessings. Which is why this quote made me laugh:
From 'Things I Learned About My Dad (In Therapy)' a brilliant book of blogger essays edited by the inimitable Dooce, and given to me by my friend Fussy who authored one of the chapters.
"No-one ever says, "My first baby was an angel, and the second one was even better!"
That made me laugh out loud, and then cross my fingers, because baby you seem too good to be true.