- 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
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!