Not the mama

It’s 6.30 on a Sunday morning and I’ve made it to my desk for the first time in what feels like weeks. I’ve been here during the week for other things (house admin and the like) but to sit and write? It feels like never. Part of my resistance is the clutter that’s everywhere. Piles of books that don’t fit onto the bookshelf. A couch filled with paper. There’s the fax machine, scanner, camera, printer, a box of books for the charity store, a replacement heating panel, a picture that needs to be hung on the wall. This is not a restful room. This is a place that reminds me of things not done and things still to be done. It’s a daily subtle criticism of my lack of good organisation skills. My desk chair is missing a wheel and it’s impossible to replace it (or it seems so) but the chair itself is comfortable enough that I don’t want to replace it. So we carry on with four out of five wheels.

I’ve got several good books on the go at the moment but I don’t want to mention any of them until I’m finished. I’ve already had to revise my estimates of books read this year. Halfway through the year and I’ve finished a total of eight books. That’s less than one book every three weeks! So what have I been doing rather than reading? Well there’s the small matter of the pie 🙂

And speaking of the pie, yesterday I was just lamenting the fact that Baby F hardly every smiles at me anymore. She’s four months old and sleeping through the night like, well a dream. We put it down to her being a girl. She feeds well, sleeps well. And while I’m sure that she smiles and gurgles to L much the time, yesterday she was looking at me as though I am someone she does know but she’s not sure what value I bring to this whole enterprise.

L said something sensible about how we don’t have kids to get things back from them. And Baby F does give me those heart-melting little laughs of hers. She’s taken to blowing little milk or saliva bubbles. When you make lip noises back to her she thinks it’s hilarious. But at other times she will look at me with these big serious eyes as if to say “Who are you again?” And then I’ll do a little tap-dance and smile and laugh a little manically and sing a little song and she will look unmoved.

“You’ve got to do better than that, whoever you are with the odd face that isn’t Mom’s and no boobs.”

I keep remembering the little dinosaur baby going “Not the mama! Not the mama!’ before braining his dad with the frying pan.

“It’s me, daddy!” I plead. Nothing. A raised eyebrow perhaps. A slight frown.

But it’s true that most of the time I don’t need anything from her. I’m not in this for smiles and giggles. I do love that baby smell and the feel of baby hugs. And even when she drops her lip in a little pout it’s sweet. But knowing that she’s healthy and well looked-after is good enough for me. And I need to take whatever opportunity I get to just sit with her (or walk with her) and read to her. Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl. Christopher Robin. The Gruffalo and so on. Last Saturday I got a CD of nursery rhymes from the library as well as “Daddy Hug” which has the wonderful sequence: “Daddy squeak, daddy chirp> Daddy hiccup, daddy burp!” which was the perfect excuse to let rip with a belch myself. If it’s good enough for Baby F, I thought, then it’s good enough for me. The first few times L laughed as well but then she’d had enough.

“Please don’t do that out of respect for me!” was L’s comment yesterday. She didn’t need to add that I’m not the second baby in the house and so I shouldn’t expect a “Good one!” in response.


9 Responses to Not the mama

  1. Grad says:

    Daddy Hiccup, Daddy Burp! Now there’s poetry! They just don’t write ’em like that anymore, Pete. Baby F will soon be exploring the room in order to catch a glimpse of your face. There will be times when only Daddy will do. Burping, belching, hiccuping daddy – the best cuddly toy ever.

    • Pete says:

      LOL Grad! Yes, hardly poetry but it was pretty funny. And as for exploring the room, she’s already taken to throwing out an arm and grabbing daddy’s nose or chin. This week is my turn to baby-sit (when I’m not doing ‘errands’ like blogging).

  2. litlove says:

    Just wait til you’re the favourite (and it will happen). Then you’ll be wishing you were the forgettable one so you can have two seconds of peace and quiet together! Oh and don’t worry about your desk – I get more disorganised as I get older and more accepting of it. Everything that needs to get done does get done, somehow.

    • Pete says:

      Well that’s reassuring about the baby-bonding and the study. Pie’s latest trick is letting out a shriek and then she’ll lie back with a contented smile on her face. It never ceases to get an impressed reaction from us. Yesterday she was on solids for the first time (just a taste for the first week). So many milestones to get through!

  3. Courtney says:

    I wonder if baby F will take after ours…E had relatively interest in Sam as daddy until just this weekend when all of a sudden it was like “Oh! Hi!Hi! Hi! Hi!” – I don’t know if that’s because she’s getting bottles from him now or because he spent so much time with her on our weekend away or what but suddenly, like turning on a light, Evangeline is ALL about her daddy whereas before she was pretty dismissive of him. I think that is actually one of the problems with breastfeeding – the mom spends SO much more time with the baby in the first few months that the dad simply can’t…

    • Pete says:

      Hey Courtney! Yes, I’ve noticed that some days she seems fascinated by whatever I do. Other days she tolerates me. I think feeding definitely helps. And just spending time with her. I’ll have to go to your blog tonight to read up some more on Evangeline. She sounds delightful.

  4. DoctorDi says:

    Ha! Loved this post, Pete, I have a goofy smile on my face right now! God, your office sounds like my whole apartment – I am going NUTS with the lack of space, lack of storage, abundance of paper and books and things in frames that have no spare walls on which to hang…. AAAARGH!!! We love reading here too – and I am quite sure the little pie is simply trying to master ‘Da-da’ so she can spring it on you as a lovely surprise. So glad she is a feeder and sleeper. I don’t think it’s gender related, for the record. It’s just who she is, and doesn’t she sound delightful?! Master J waves hi.

    • Pete says:

      Hey Di! If Baby F could wave then I’m sure she’d wave right back at Master J. 🙂 That will be a very cool day indeed when she says “Da-da”. If she didn’t already have my heart wrapped around her little finger that would definitely do it. As for the office mess, I am on ‘leave’ (aka pie-duty) this week so I have some time to attend to it. But I don’t think stolen half-hours are going to cut it somehow.

  5. That disorganizational office pile up? Three kids in their teens and still having trouble staying on top of it.

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