Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mesmerised

The things my 1 month old daughter seems mesmerised by:
  • The pattern of raindrops on her buggy's raincover
  • The play of sun shadow on her buggy's hood
  • The large, pale blue and yellow flowers on our bedroom curtains
  • The light peeking through the thick curtains in her nursery
  • The subtle shades of the ceiling or a blank wall
  • The play of light and shadow on the ceiling or a blank wall
  • My movement across the room whilst her daddy feeds her
  • The locks of my hair falling free and swaying in front of her
  • The dance of leaves on the large trees at the end of our garden which she watches through the window
  • The journey of her black and white Mr Woozit or orange Mr Lion toys as I move them across her line of vision
  • The water cascading over her head as we wash her hair and the light falling through the skylight above her in the bathroom
  • The warm, noisy blast of the hairdryer as we dry her thick, curly hair
  • The zig zag, black, blue and white patterns on the picture book by her changing mat
  • The bold red ladybird and the purple worm in another of her picture books
  • The big yellow sunflower face that lights up and plays tunes above her head on the activity gym
  • The rustle of a plastic bag or nappy sack
She grips my finger with her fingers now; she stretches out alot - sometimes her stretching out routine can take 15 minutes or more; sometimes she pushes and pulls at the bottle when she wants more or needs to burp; she is spending a little more time on her own under the activity gym or in the middle of the bed or on the changing unit - so long as she has something to look at (even if it's just me); her neck is stronger and wobbles less, she's lifting it higher during daily tummy time; she's slowly beginning to get more control over her limbs, though I still like to swaddle her when she feeds so she doesn't knock the bottle.
***
Right now, she is asleep and I am happily surfing the net and reading Ann Pleshette Murphy's The Seven Stages Of Motherhood and Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth. I can hear her occasionally stir in her sleep and sometimes I find myself thinking, "Oh, don't wake up yet. Give me more time to myself." When I reflect on why on earth I would think this I realise it is because I have only ever been used to pleasing myself.

Moreover, at one month old I have no idea what effect my playing and chatting and singing has on her when she's awake. I sing her nursery rhymes and chat with her and show her pictures and rattle the rattle and give her tummy time and play track-the-toy and give her lots of cuddles. But she doesn't yet smile or coo and so it is difficult to know how she likes it. Because I see no "reward" as such, play at this young age is often not very fulfilling for me as a mother. I just have to trust it is all having a positive effect on her.

Also, because she is still only a month old, my window of play and cuddle opportunity is small before she cries - a window of time that varies depending on the time of day and what is going on inside her tiny body. Then I get frustrated and try and hurry her to sleep just so I can stop her crying and, dare I say it, get back to my own life again. Her cries are distressing and stressful and I feel so much pain for her that I would rather she sleeps so the crying will stop.

It's not long now when things will hopefully get better as she starts smiling and cooing, for then I will know I am getting something back, that she is enjoying herself and that she loves me. Though my greatest fear right now is that because she cries so much, because I cannot take away her discomfort or tiredness, she may not like me and may not smile or coo at me at all. Saving her smiles and her love for her Daddy.

Oh, the highs and lows of being a newborn's mummy!

6 comments:

Bombay Beauty said...

Soon there will be many smiles, soon! And all your inputs are not wasted -- they are helping her to develop.

For the other, interesting that you mention this, but one of my best friends was very jealous of her daughter's affection for her husband. My friend did all the hard work, and her husband just got to do the fun stuff. But I'm sure you'll do better!

xoxo

BB

Planethalder said...

Thanks BB from Boston and NYC ;-) The problem is is that M spends as much time with her as one can working fulltime (and City lawyer hours at that) - the star that he is, he does all the night time (including early morning feeds). But she is much calmer with him. The way she gazes at him as he holds her is magical and when I take most of my pictures of her. With me she simply squirms and then cries! She doesn't seem to like being held too long in my arms (except to feed).

Olivia said...

For sure, all your attention is doing wonders for her tiny soul.

It's funny that no matter how much you know with your mind or how much you read the experts, doubts such as those you've expressed do not fly away. But thank you for sharing with us. Your honesty is brave and I only hope we can help you with our little comments.

Baby girls are often like this, favouring their daddies or in their absence, selecting a favoured male. My goddaughter Jada's father died when my cousin Alyssa was 3 mos pregnant with her, so she doesn't know him, but her favourite male is her eldest uncle Mike, not her grandpa, his younger brother or even her godfather. Even though they all adore her, she lights up when Mike comes to see her.

Another thing, from my own memories even, is what I think babies love about their dads is that large warmth that emanates from them, their big safe arms, the rumble of their deep voices and the strong beating of their hearts. It is said that Daddy is a girl's first love - and in this case M is setting the bar quite high!

Gosh...I miss my Pa...

Mum's time will come, don't you worry.

Planethalder said...

Hi O, Yes that makes alot of sense re "what I think babies love about their dads is that large warmth that emanates from them, their big safe arms, the rumble of their deep voices and the strong beating of their hearts. It is said that Daddy is a girl's first love". I was like that with males when I was a baby too. Thanks for reminding me.

Priyanka said...

Daughters are always Daddy's Girls, so we better get used to it ;)
BTW, 'The light peeking through the thick curtains in her nursery' - Aashna smiles or even giggles sometimes while staring at the light through the curtains, maybe Little P finds it amusing too for some reason.
Just a few more days and Little P will start smiling and cooing soon.

Olivia said...

My pleasure :)