Saturday, 30 April 2011

The Girls

Maggie and Alice this afternoon.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Friday, 8 April 2011

Sleep Debt Snatches*

There are occasions when I really think I can't do this. Those occasions are almost always in the middle of the night.

Maggie has been awake since 11.30pm. It's now almost 4am and she's still up there, still not sleeping. She's been fed, she's been changed, she's been cuddled and rocked and patted and soothed and she's still not sleeping. I wish this was atypical. But it isn't.

Over at Mama Lewis, Stacie and her husband are trying what they call The Sleep Experiment. As far as I can tell, this is essentially treating her daughter, May, as if she were just a normal little girl. That is: "Go to sleep! You don't need to be cuddled and cajoled all night!"

We need to do something similar, I think. The problem we've had with Maggie, ever since birth, is her vomiting. We've always had to be mindful of not just putting her down to sleep. Because she throws up. So there's been a lot of cuddling and patting. Plus, of course, the sheer fact of just wanting her to go to sleep after the end of a tiring day. Why would we want to sit there in the evening listening to her cry herself to sleep for hours on end?

As it is, she does that anyway - even with our constant interventions. Every evening it's the same. She's fed from 6pm for an hour and then taken upstairs at around 7.30pm when we can be reasonably confident that her stomach has settled enough for her not to throw up. Then we spend the next hour or two trying to get her to sleep. If we're lucky, we can sit down to eat at around 8.30pm. Most of the time it's after 9pm. Then we have our dinner, watch a bit of telly (because we're too tired and fucked off to do anything else) and hope that this time she won't wake around midnight. But she always does. And then it's into those dark, depressing hours where we're cuddling and patting and feeding and soothing her. Those dark, depressing hours where I occasionally think I can't do this anymore.

Tonight, at around 3am, I woke Shannon with a start because I fell onto the bed while holding Maggie. I fell because I fell asleep on my feet. Of course, Maggie was startled and off she went with all the howling and screaming. Massive fucking sigh. I say sigh but it was more anger and sadness and exasperation.

I don't want to carry on like this anymore. Night after night after night.

* Sleep Debt Snatches is the title of a great B-side by The Fall (who never fail to cheer me up).

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Mother's Day

From the Norwich Play Barn, a few Mother's Day pics:


Happy Mother's Day to Shannon, easily the best mum working in the business today. Both Maggie and Alice are very lucky to have her. So am I.

Below, some pictures of the girls taken last Sunday on my old roll film Canon Canonet (which, along with the cheap 1 hour ASDA processing, accounts for the poor quality).

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Competition Time!

There's a poll taking place on something called Circle of Moms to find the 'Top 25 Most Inspiring Families'. Our blog was selected as one of the candidates. Initially I agreed for us to be included but then asked for us to be removed.

The thing is, it's not an objective poll. Anyone can vote. Which means, for example, that I could ask my 1300 Twitter followers - plus my friends who have thousands more followers - to visit the site and vote.

And what would that prove? That this blog and our family is the most 'inspiring'? No, it would simply prove that I was good at getting loads of people to click a button. Fabulous news for Circle of Moms' marketing department who could use the increase in hits to attract more advertisers.

(If they were genuinely interested in sharing inspiring blogs with their members, they'd simply create a list of those blogs, surely?)

In itself, I don't have a problem with their tactics. I work in advertising, after all. What I do have a problem with is that it has a whiff of exploitation about it. Which is to say: I'm not having my daughter used as a promotional tool for something I wasn't even aware of 24 hours ago.

In fact, I'm not having my daughter used as a promotional tool for anything.

* Addendum: Reading this back, I can see why I might appear over-sensitive about this. It's just that I get very touchy about Maggie and, if you like, her place in the world. I know that this blog itself could be seen as 'promotion' or what have you - and even here, I'm often uncomfortable, thinking that it's us expoliting her in some way. If you see what I mean.

Oh, I don't know - maybe I just need to get a grip and calm down a bit.