Where’s the baby ?… Here’s the baby !!!

1 Sep

From the day we are born until a certain age we are taught and incited to play. Our rooms are filled with toys, books, games of all sorts. Playing is part of our evolution, our education, our growth.

Just like we teach our animals to sit, lie down, roll over or play dead through games and treats, we teach our kids the same thing.

This got me thinking… Why do we become so serious and stop playing ? We reach a point in life where playing seems “childish” and we forget to enjoy these rare and relaxing moments. I’m not talking about gluing yourself to the iPad, iPhone, Nintendo and any other brain numbing machine. This probably kills braincells faster than vodka !! Nor am I talking about any competitive games where you end up wanting to beat the crap out of your opponent and where your self esteem is wracked if you loose.

Now that I have a baby of my own and that I am dedicating my days, aside from boring and numbing housework, to play games, make noise with rattles, pretend to be a frog and a princess whenever I shake that finger marionette in front of an hysterical baby, play with weird looking animals that make noise, I admire his innocent smile and ability to enjoy a moment that we would (and that we do) consider silly and a waste of time. He will, for the next 4-6 years, learn “life” through games. Hold (highly important) conferences with his toys. Play loud instruments that people (other than his parents of course) will be offering him. Learn what’s a tree and an apple through books and puzzles. Swing for 15 min on a rusty swing in the park and have the time of his life…

At what point do we wake up in the morning, look ourselves in the mirror and think that this is it !? That we are now too “old” to play (and optionally enjoy ourselves) !? The more important question is – why ?…

Simply on vacation

18 Aug

Being new in this business called “parenting”, I’m not yet so familiar with all the To Do’s and Dont’s of this profession.

One “To Do” that I would highly recommend to every new (and older) parent out there would be to make some time for you and your man or you and yourself every now and then. Leave the baby with its grandparents or some friends, enjoy your time and try not to feel guilty about it (I’m good with that but apparently it’s not always so easy). You have no idea how good that feels and what a boost it gives you !!

I’m on the plane back from a 4 day (surprise) w/e in Croatia. It’s the first real get away w/e with hubby since Hugo was born 5 months ago and a little extra. We have left him once before and we try to make time for an evening off at least once a week, but this w/e was a truly one-to-one time for us and only us. The atmosphere was relaxed. Our smiles made their way back to our faces. Time for a SPA massage back into my schedule. Not running after time only enjoying the one we were catching up with. I’ll do it again in no time (so badly I was ready to stay behind a little but longer…)

So really, you need to do this. You need to take time for you or you’ll loose yourself in all that hectic every day obligations that life is imposing on you.

And visit Croatia. It’s worth it !!!

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What is time ?

10 Aug

When you have a baby or an older kid I imagine, the concept of “time” is no longer the same. As a parent you must dedicate most of it if not all of it to your offspring (although somehow it may be more of a female thing as I have noticed that men manage to make time for themselves for whatever activity they are interested in whenever they are interested in it… One hand on the video game while the other is holding the (baby) bottle. Both hands on the video game while the baby is sitting in his chair waiting for his bottle,…) Don’t get me wrong, men are great with kids as well, but their priorities don’t seem to be the same as for us, mothers… At time suckers (when we decide to exchange a beauty treat for a house cleaning session while the baby is asleep)

After a birth, men (and some women, but I’m still looking for them) go back to work where they talk about business things, take important decisions and sign elaborate contracts. They wine and lunch out practically every day, sitting calmly at the round table of the working knights, making jokes and taking it easy for a full hour or two.

At home for the one who’s on his full time baby-shift it’s a different story. A baby has a particular notion of time. Time means : “feed me”, “play with me”, “there is something wet taking over my body.. Have I peed ?”, “I’m tired, I want to sleep but I don’t know if I can and oh look, there is a lion smiling at me, I must smile back and taste his fur”, so your time does no longer exist. I’ve been talking to mothers around the world and it makes me feel good to know that I’m not the only one not having time for a shower until a ridiculous hour in the day, to do my nails when they no longer look like dignified lady nails, to finish my breakfast before it’s lunch time etc. We take time for ourselves whenever we can rather than whenever we want… A wise man once said : “we must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right” (~Nelson Mandela) My time is ripe right now to go home and bath the baby…

Insouciance

4 Aug

When you have a baby, that you stop working for a few months to be a mother and a “housewife”, especially when you’re not used to (either of) it, as the days go by, each day seems like the day that preceded it. You do the same things over and over again. Your conversations seem dull compared to your working friends. Daily entertainment limited. Intellectual level low. Weekends seem like week days and you find yourself day dreaming more and more of holidays in far away lands under coconut trees with cocktails in your hand and George Clooney sitting by your side…

Life is not boring, don’t misunderstand me, only so (oh so) different. And by the time that you get used to it, you’re back to work, you see your kid only for short periods of time in the evening and the weekend and before you know it, poof, he’s off to college !! (Well, Hugo has a few 17 years and 6 months left before packing his bags, which is a relief I must admit as I’m telling myself I’d like to see the outcome of my constant diaper changing). I do realize, as so many keep telling me, that I’m lucky to see him change and grow (and when I think of it, 5 months ago he wasn’t half of the baby he is today) Witness his first laughs, see him catch objects, turn on his stomach, then fight his way back on his back. Talk baby talk. Grow from 0M to 3-6M old cloths…

In the meantime, I have lost my job. The company I was working for shut down and so far, no job to return to. I know I’ll miss Hugo as of September as he’s the only thing I’ve known since March, but at the same time, I know I’ll be happy to find some sort of independence again as I truly need it !!… Did I mention that “very much” !?

My mom told me not so long ago she felt like there was an elastic band holding us together when I was a baby. She could go that far without me but at some point she was being pulled back to her “duties and responsibilities”. I understand that feeling only so well now. In no way do I question the love that I feel for both my baby and my husband, but this situation can feel like a burden at times…

Tonight I went out for drinks with a dear and old friend of mine I haven’t seen in a real a long time and what seems to be a former life… All my men were left at home. Just me, my friends and cocktails. This reminded me I should be doing this more often… Would every night be ok ?

Summer heat and a baby

18 Jul

Those of you in Paris have probably noticed that it is really hot at the moment. More or less 30 degrees C… And if you’re here next week, we’ll gain some extra 10… Add cars and tourist groups and you’ve got yourself an oven !!! French people don’t like air conditioning. They rather suffer and have something to moan about… That’s the only rational explanation I’ve come up with so far.

A baby can’t talk and tell you he’s slightly unhappy with the weather and so he cries, fights sleep, moves a lot… And so you move more then you should and end up wishing you could give him away, move to Iceland and get him back for winter.

Have you already taken your baby for an X-ray during a heat wave ? They lock you up in a tiny room and make you undress, strap, hold down your baby until the picture is taken. Obviously there is a bug or 2 on the way, the baby keeps moving, twisting… Also, obviously, again, there is no air conditioning in that tiny room either and you come out of there looking as if someone dressed you up in wool cloths and just for fun, dropped a bucket of water on you to see what happens…

Our life as mothers (and probably fathers too in Sweden) during a very (very !!!!!!) warm day with a baby can look something like this ; your house is probably as warm inside as it is outside and if like me, you don’t own a fan (a small USB MUJI fan doesn’t help I’m afraid) you’re pretty much screwed !! You shut your blinds and open your windows in hope for some air. Your baby wants to be carried around, played with, fed, changed, bathed all through the day… In between you wash a bit, clean a bit, prepare some lunch, clear the lunch, fold, clean up… When you decide to go out for a walk because staying in will just turn you into a depressed alcoholic, pushing around 10kg feels like a punishment !! By the time you make it out the door with your baby, the stroller, your bag and his bag you feel you need to go back up for a shower or go for a spiritual retreat somewhere far far away. In reality you simply go anywhere where the air conditioning is turned on… Mainly shops, shopping malls, supermarkets…
What we want is just to cool our brain down and love life again while you probably think we are creatures of leisure and shopaholic. Obviously, in shops, shopping malls and supermarkets, we do shop. It’s our compensation !!

Not heat related but – the frustrating thing about spending your days with a baby is that you don’t have much to say about your day. You’ve taken care of your baby, played with your baby, cared for your baby, gone out for a walk with your baby, bought a top for yourself, some carrots, milk or a shirt for your baby…
When I read myself, I’d love to have a baby every year !!! It sounds like its all fun and games.. But the reality is not as sexy and on the contrary, quite exhausting !!!

The good thing is that I get to see this baby grow… Starting with that shy smile during his sleep when he was born, his big smile nowadays whenever he sees me and obviously recognizes me, his hysterical laugh whenever I tickle his foot, his victory smile as he manages to flip over on his stomach all by himself…

Once upon a time Thursday night used to be all about drinking champagne and discovering new cocktails… Now, I’m just hoping I still have a few diapers for tomorrow !!

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