Hush little baby

11 Feb


I have two sisters, both older. My oldest sister and I have three children each. My other older sister just had her first.

He’s very cute. He was sucking his hand, already hungry. He did that newborn quivery cry when the nurse gave him is first needle. His nappy is so incredibly small. I can’t wait to hug him and kiss him…and hand him back to his mother and send them on their way.

Becoming a mother is such an abrupt shift in your universe. As I looked at my new nephew I just kept thinking…”Thank goodness my kids aren’t babies anymore.” It was such a blur of feeding, pain, bleeding, discharge, vomiting, urinating, eating biscuits and watching my coffee go cold because it was just out of reach of the chair I chose to breast feed in. I am very happy for my sister though. She has always wanted this and I love watching her become a mother and I am happy to give her advice and help. It’s so fun getting to play with a baby and hand them back. My kids actually sleep now. My kids tell me when they are hungry and thirsty. I don’t have to guess, consult books, ring the hospital or midwife for urgent advice…I know what I am doing, they know how I roll and we are a well-oiled, busy, chaotic machine.

My youngest is turning three this year and she is an advanced little Miss. She thinks she’s much older than she actually is and she is quite bossy when it comes to her brothers. Love for her is us pandering to her every whim. And because she’s cute she gets her own way eighty percent of the time. My moody four-year-old even indulges her. She is the only one he will hug on a whim. When I speak harshly to her he says, “Say sorry Mum”.

My oldest, Philip, turns eight this year and while I love them all equally (I actually do) I enjoy his company the most. We have the most interesting conversations and I love listening to him try and figure out his world. He’s an solemn little man and he tends to think disturbing thoughts about people and the world. I comfort him as best I can at the same time as trying to be honest with him which can get quite tricky. For example, while brushing our teeth one night he said, “Mum, I’m going to be so sad when you die.” I was the same when I was his age. I was obsessed with death and so worried about my parents. I told him I most likely wouldn’t die for a long time and even if I did he has lots of family who love him and I would still be watching and sending him rainbows as often as I could. Noticing the freaked-out look on his face I pointed out that I was thirty-six and both my parents. He seemed happy, then he started talking about how sad he would be when his Nonno (my father) died seeing as he is the oldest in our family and the most likely to go.

Life is a journey and being a parent is definitely the most rewarding part. When my sister’s fiance came out to see us after his son was born this morning he had clearly been crying. His eyes were red and watery and I understood the expression ‘grinning from ear to ear’.

I’m so happy for them and their little family. I’m so happy to have another nephew. I’m so happy my kids are older now and they survived their first year with me figuring it all out as I went along.

And I have the perfect gift in mind to bring her during her stay in hospital, items no-one thought to bring me but would have been invaluable…nipple cream and chocolate.

La Dolce Vita – Jo Abi

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