Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nine tenths

Today, for the first time since Little Planet was born, I cancelled a friend who wanted to visit me and her. I felt really bad about it, but assured him we could rearrange in a few weeks. Two weeks into her new little life, nine tenths of my brain is consumed by baby thoughts, nine tenths of my talk is consumed by baby talk, nine tenths of my attention is consumed by the baby monitor.

I know this is perfectly natural and I wouldn’t, as yet, have it any other way, but having other people around the house is distracting in these early days, and to be honest I do not want to be distracted as I need all my wits and concentration to look after a newborn. As yet, it isn’t second nature. Moreover, no matter how much people assure me they understand, I can’t help but be stressed at the nine tenths of my attention that cannot be focused on them. I feel guilty and then angry at myself for feeling guilty. And I'd rather, at the moment, do away with the constant internal battle and focus 100 percent on Little P.

My parents are with me this week, helping me by cooking my meals as well as spending quality time with their only grandchild. They are wonderful in many ways, not least because they put up – and have always put up – with my hot, stress-induced temper. I can take out a little of my stress on them and on my husband because they are not going anywhere and they love me and they truly understand. So although I would like nothing better than to be perfectly alone with Little Planet, working on our own daily routine and life together (next week, next week)... I know they don’t mind me devoting only one tenth of my thought, talk and attention on them.

This morning, I skim-read both the weekend FT and Observer newspapers from cover to cover as Little P had a long 3.5 hour stretch of sleep (she has many of these, we are actually quite lucky). That felt good... just like the old days, except with one ear and one eye on a newly born little person upstairs.

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