Saturday, 23 June 2012

Happy birthday my little man

Yesterday was the little man's birthday. Two years ago I was lying on a hospital bed, feeling a bit like I had been hit by a train, with this tiny scrap of life lying fast asleep next to me. I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't even think of changing his nappy until a midwife came along at 11pm, a good 15 hours after he arrived into the world, and asked me if I had yet. She offered to do it for me, that lovely angel of help, and I watched over her shoulder as she gently tore off the velcro strips and bathed him.
When it came to babies I really didn't have a clue, apart from what I had read. I had never changed a nappy before but it was reassuring to know I wasn't alone in that packed maternity ward. As I dozed in my bed recovering, I listened through the thin curtains as the new parents in the next cubicle engaged in high level talks on how best to change their tiny offspring's full nappy. Later on, as I shuffled to the nurse's desk in the early hours of the morning in search of painkillers, I passed by a midwife patiently showing a very young new mummy how to do the same. She must have been a good 15 years younger than me but, despite our differing life experience, we were the same. New mums and completely clueless.
Now I can change a nappy while the little man stands up, jigging about singing nursery rhymes to me. I know how to quickly distract him if he falls and begins to cry. If he isn't eating his dinner, I know the exact book to give him to read so I can shovel a few more mouthfuls in and make sure he doesn't go hungry.
Then again, at times I still feel as clueless as that first night in hospital. Like when he won't get in his pram and has a proper tantrum outside the shops. Or if he wakes in the night and he is still bouncing around wide eyed when all my tricks have been used up to coaxe him back to sleep.
I can imagine that the learning curve never straightens when it comes to being a parent - and who would want it to? I love this journey that I am on with my beautiful growing son. Neither of us have done this before and every day is an exciting new challenge with endless possibilities. And just think what I will be able to achieve when he reaches his third birthday, and his fourth. I can't wait. Happy birthday my lovely little man.

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