Thursday, 1 December 2016

An Everyday Day

A few weeks ago, I took the plunge and notified my employers that I will be returning to work in January. Given that it's now nearly the end of November, and that two weeks of December will be filled with festivities, it suddenly seems as if there's not an lot of "normal" time left of my parental leave. I want to remember what this period of our lives was like, so I've been trying for ages to write a post detailing what happens in an ordinary day. But each time either something happens which makes the day less "ordinary" or I end up running out of time to finish the post, then I forget what we actually did. So here I am trying again, and hoping that today will be the day that it actually gets published!

10am: SCB woke up at 8 this morning, which is much more civilised than the 6am starts she was imposing on us for a while. She's been waking a lot in the night recently, often 3 times between 7pm and 6am, due to teething, the cold or some other unidentified only-baby-knows-why reason, so a little lie in was a relief! I fed and changed her, then she played on her playmat while I ate breakfast, then sat outside the bathroom door on her bouncy chair while I had a shower. I dressed her, and by 9:15ish she was already starting to get a bit grumpy, so she had some more milk, then I put her in her cot for a nap. (I still find it weird that it's normal for babies to need a nap so soon after they get up in the morning, but SCB rarely lasts longer than 2 hours before the eye-rubbing and the grizzling starts.) Some days she settles happily with very little fuss but today she cried a fair bit and it took a couple of attempts before she settled.  I should be using this time to clean the kitchen and do some childcare related paperwork, but as usual I'm having an indulgent bit of internet time first. Often we have an activity planned (physiotherapy for me, baby group, shopping trip, meeting a friend in Paris for coffee), but there's nothing in the diary today, so I'll be making it up as I go along.

12:30pm: After blogging, I tried to fill in some paperwork for the CAF but couldn't finish it because I didn't have all the information I needed. (Unlike other several other administrative services, which have been made significantly more user-friendly over the past few years, the CAF is still stuck firmly in the byzantine era of French bureaucracy. The joys.) I washed some dishes and was just settling down to figuring out my Christmas shopping list when SCB woke up. We got as far as the changing table before a serious teething crisis kicked in, so the next hour was filled with trying to dress her and me and administer Doliprane while all the time she would only stop screaming if I held her in my arms and walked around. The medicine seems to have taken effect now though, and she's playing happily on her playmat while I cook up a chicken curry for lunch.

4pm: The Doliprane effect lasted for about an hour, then poor SCB was once again screaming in pain. Luckily, I was dressed by this point though, so was able to go for the standard emergency response of putting her in the sling and going out for a walk, and she fell asleep almost immediately. I started off with a trip to the toy shop, where I bought my nephew's Christmas present (which was always going to be the easiest one to find!). Then we went for a stroll around the park and sat on a bench to admire the view. It 's a gorgeous, cold, sunny day today, with nature on the cusp between autumn and winter, so we were able to enjoy being out for a couple of hours. The cold air seems to have finally cleared out my sinuses, so I'm celebrating the return of my sense of taste with a cup of coffee and some Christmas gingerbread biscuits from Lidl - completely justified given that it's now the start of December (and let's not talk about that fact that I'd actually already eaten half of them before the end of November!).

Christmassy-looking berries in the park

Mummy feet and baby feet in the park. I usually think festive-themed clothing is totally naff but I found these booties in a bag of second-hand stuff we were given and I think I might have to make an exception for baby clothes!

8pm: SCB had one last bout of teething pain at around 5pm which required lots of rocking and soothing and finally resulted in her falling asleep in my arms. I wasn't going to take the risk of moving her to her cot, so that turned in to an hour or so of one-handed internet surfing time for me :-) When she woke up, it was bath time and she suddenly cheered up. I always lie her on her changing mat on the floor while I run the bath, and tonight she entertained me greatly by moving herself off the top end of the mat (lying on her back, but head first) by pushing with her feet. Unfortunately she didn't quite manage to repeat the stunt when I rushed to get my phone and film her, but I did get some sweet videos of her doing gymnastic poses and sucking her own toes. After bath time, she had more milk and, to my surprise, given the long nap at 5 and the teething, fell asleep fairly quickly afterwards. Fingers crossed we're in for a good night!


  1. An interesting look at what a few months down the road could be like. ;-) All the days blur together now, I can barely remember how he slept yesterday or what we did unless it was truly wonderful or truly catastrophic. Good idea to write it down!

    1. Hopefully Paddy won't suffer quite so much with his teeth - apparently not all babies find it as agonising as ours seems to be!

  2. Oh no... I'm sorry to hear teething is so painful for her. And you, obviously, because sleep issues are tough in parents too :-(

    The feet picture is super cute. Baby feet are cute. Scratch that--babies are cute.