Tuesday, March 25, 2008

We spent the Easter break in Worthing. Lisa’s family were all in America meeting the new arrival, and we spent four days catching up on friends and sleep.

I've come back a lot more relaxed - even though I've been tired and still am, I'm working out slowly how I can deal with the changes in work - it's good to pause and get a bit of perspective.

I've been working too hard - or at least too long - recently.

Thursday night, I dreamt that the fire alarm was going off. When I woke up I couldn’t work out weather it actually had gone off and I’d made it into my dream, whether it was just the dream or whether I’d heard George crying and dreamt it as a fire alarm. Not happy with keeping us on our toes when he’s crying, George is now making us dream that he’s crying when he isn’t.

Dressing George in the morning, I noticed a tag sewn into his baby-grow. It read: “keep away from fire”. I’d kind of hoped to do that anyway, but thanks for the advice….

Miles is a Quiet baby
There’s an advert on behalf of the NSPCC at the moment in which a sad little child is pictured along with the phrase “miles is a quiet baby – he’s learnt that nobody comes whether he cries or not”.

I’m sure that wasn’t intended as a piece of childcare advice, but we’ve taken it as one. In an attempt to get him to sleep through the night, we’re leaving him when he cries - obviously we’re checking he’s OK first, but we’ve had him crying from 4am solidly until 6:30am – that’s our record so far.

It seems to be working – slowly. He’s beginning to learn to comfort himself and get back to sleep on his own.

Curiously, he’s also becoming a quiet child… Or, at least, he’s not crying as soon as he wakes up. He’s not leaping about and fighting for attention every second of the day and he’s able to occupy himself (at least for a while) if left to play on his own.

I think the NSPCC are onto something.

We decided over the weekend to buy him a musical mobile thingy to help (having decided that it’s probably not great for the ipod to have it playing all night every night given their reputation for breaking down). We went into Mothercare and looked at various devices.

Having found nothing that really fulfilled the requirements, we finally decided that the problem was what we were really after was a magic button that would make him sleep through the night.

The machines we encountered didn’t offer that… in fact,they seemed to be designed simply to instil recognition of Disney’s various brands by repetitive hypnotic suggestion while your baby sleeps.

We plumped for a Winnie the pooh model which plays the winnie the pooh theme tune over and over whilst projecting images of the bear onto the ceiling whenever George makes a noise in the night. If you wind it backwards, it repeats the phrase “Satan is lord” in a gruff demonic voice.

Still, it keeps him quiet.


We’ve only had it for 3 days and yet I’m already associating the Winnie the Pooh theme with sleep. By the end of the week, I’ll be able to fall into unconciousness just by hearing the first few bars. Mind you, anything repetitive will do that for me right now… music, Midsommer Murders, fire alarms…

George is enjoying his food more and more – wolfing down pear, apple, squash, carrot, curry… ok – we haven’t tried curry yet, but he seems to like everything else.

We had dinner with Suzanne and Richard on Saturday – they find me tough to cook for because I don’t eat meat and they don’t eat anything else – and had lunch with Anne Swaybey on Sunday. Anne is always great fun and is single-handedly responsible for the scouting movement. Right now she’s opening a new Brownie pack and teaching the girls about the inequities of world trade with some clever games…

I think the movement has moved on a lot. And a good job too - all I remember is swearing allegiance to the Queen (of all people) and spending nights learning to tie knots when the scout master couldn’t think of anything better to do with us.

Actually that’s not true – I remember a lot of other things – most of them a lot of fun. I had a good time with the cubs until I decided I didn’t much care for paramilitary organisations…

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