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Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Family Dynamic

Our baby was born on a Wednesday. That same night her Granny flew up, the days that followed were interesting as I've mentioned in a previous blog. She stayed until the Saturday morning, at which time my parents (Mum & StepDad, here on in to be known as Nanna & Donno) flew in for shift change.
Since arriving they have firstly been an enormous help. My son thinks they are wonderful and so far I haven't had to cook a single meal, lucky, because I'm fairly sure they would be sick of beans on toast by now if I had.
However they have started to take a few liberties as the days wind on, Donno finds it virtually impossible to sit still unless he is watching the news and even then he likes to talk through it, discussing current events with us and lamenting the state of the world. Otherwise he can be found playing with my son (good, excellent even), or wielding some sort of power tool in his hand hoping to hang something. So far he's put a mirror on the wall (no problem, although next time Donno DO NOT start the drill whilst the baby is sleeping or serious harm could happen upon you), he's hung some hooks on the door, curtain rods up, floating shelf on the wall - my spare room is looking fantastic. HOWEVER please do not drill into my wall to hang 1) a tea towel holder or 2) 4 coffee mug hooks or 3) a towel rail. These are not necessary. You guys can live without these things. Find something else to do.
Then there is my Mother, the wonderous Nanna. She was made to be a Nanna, all cuddly and soft and fun. We do have one issue though, that issue is food. It runs in my family that to go without food for over 3 hours results in low blood sugar, very short tempers and cranky pants. My son has inherited this from me, just as I did from my Mother and so on and so forth. So Nanna continually feeds my son, healthy food so it's not too much of a problem. The problem lies with my new baby and my Mothers insistence that whenever she is unsettled, or crying or heaven forbid sucking on her fingers that she is hungry. Possibly starving. I am reaching into my realms of stubborness and refusing to feed my baby more than once every 3 hours. This means at least 4 times a day, just as things are getting slightly stressful, bub is fussing and I'm in a constant state of tiredness, the call comes out. 'Just put her on the boob Clare', 'Shes probably hungry love', 'Shes sucking her fingers, must be time for feeding' . I find it terribly hard to argue with my Mother, we are lovers not fighters in that bloodline, so instead I'm finding it quite effective to merely 'Shhhh' her, short and sharp and mostly effective.
The ironic thing is my Mother talks up the fact that she fed each of her 3 children until we were 1, she always had milk and all we had to do was cry and her breasts would be spurting milk for us to lap up. I say ironic because to this day all 3 of us battle various addictions, the 3 main ones being nicotine, alcohol and food (it's my frenemy). Could this have anything to do with us being shoved on a breast to soothe us at the slightest cry? I won't say as much to my Mother, but I'm smug with the thought of it.
In the meantime my baby can cry for that long 1/2 hour before feeding and I'll listen to it and enjoy the fact that shes able to tell me something is the matter. Eventually I'll feed her and enjoy the fact my breasts aren't lactating machines, they are doing an effective job of supply and demand. Well actually they are lactating machines, fairly efficient ones and I am the firm, but fair, boss of them.

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