Tuesday, 19 October 2010

In which Mr B proves himself not bloody, but bold and resolute

Part of the amusement of quoting the Bard in relation to Mr B is that in comparing him with Lady MacBeth, one could not light on a character more ludicrously unlike his own. Lady M is wholly evil, obsessed with power and unwomanly in the means she will adopt to pursue her ends; while Mr B is mild to a fault and far more interested in caring for his bairns than furthering his career.

Nonetheless, mild though he be, he took bold advantage of my absence last Thursday evening coinciding with a period of wakefulness on the part of the Inexhaustible, to convince that hitherto unregenerate baby that sleeping is indeed pleasant and agreeable. Furthermore, it is a state which he (the Inexhaustible) can attain all by his little self, without interventions of milk or rocking from Mamma. He informed me that it took some 40 minutes and involved much determination and going in and out of the room to reassure the Inexhaustible that he hadn't been deserted. To Mamma's almost boundless amazement (and relief) the Inexhaustible has now decided (on the eve of his first birthday) that he does actually find himself to be rather fatigued by the end of the day and that sleeping through the night is the best cure for this. Picture to yourself my amazement yesterday when I was able to put the little man down in his crib some few minutes after seven in the evening, with only two sleepy, lukewarm protests which he didn't have the spirits to persist in. And as for this morning when he only woke at ten minutes past seven, words cannot express the blend of astonishment, gratification and relief I experienced.

This would of course lead one to assume that Mr B and I enjoyed a peaceful night's repose. However, for only the second time ever, the Infant Phenomenon tumbled out of her bed with all the covers at four of the clock and set up the kind of unearthly howling that one really would associate with Shakespeare's blood boltered tragedy. Having thoroughly frightened both her parents, she peacefully went back to sleep, leaving us to struggle fruitlessly to regain our slumbers.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

In which the Inexhaustible Baby exhausts his Mamma

Borrowing again from Mr Dickens, this time from Our Mutual Friend, I find an appropriate name for my son, now nearing a year old. He is a perfectly splendid baby in many ways (like little Johnny Bold in Mr Trollope's Barchester Towers he takes his food with a will and doesn't have fits) but I cannot pretend that his sleeping is other than erratic.

This, as I woefully tell myself, is no more than can be expected from a baby - inexhaustible or not. What I find inexplicable is his ability to go through an entire day with a bare half hour of sleep and still be full of energy, while other babes will sleep for three hours (to the great relief of their fond mammas). While I am aware of those nursery authorities who would castigate me as a bad mother for not imposing an iron discipline on the Inexhaustible, I am simply unable to arrange the day in such a manner that both the Inexhaustible and the Infant Phenomenon sleep and eat at the optimum (and different) times for each. I suspect that I am sadly disorganised and wonder whether the redoubtable nannies of the fictional past, ruling with absolute authority over well-organised nurseries, really existed or whether, like so much in fiction, they are something that we would like to have had, but which never really existed.

Mr B, loving and considerate spouse and parent that he is, has been striving to the utmost to help, nonetheless his avocations in the city of London render his help but part-time. Hence five nights out of seven, it is Mamma who has to deal with the Inexhaustible during the hours of darkness. His vagaries are now exacerbated by the usual seasonal ailments and I find that an occasional night passes when the only means with which he can be persuaded to sleep is if I sit up in bed supporting him in an upright position to render his breathing easier. While I have a relatively felicitous arrangement of pillows to support both head and neck, this cannot be considered a comfortable attitude for repose. 

I fear it will be a long winter.