Was that really me?
One thing I never envisaged when I became
my mum a mum 16 years ago was the sudden loss of all common sense & rational thinking.
As soon as this little dote of a human being was placed into my arms, the old me disappeared and the new havent a bloody clue mummy appeared. From that moment forward I would never again be the same person, I was now a total worry wart 24/7.
I spent hours just staring at her hardly believing she was mine. Who would have thought 16 years later I would be telling her to get out of my sight…a lot!
A good nights sleep and lay in’s became a distant memory. I spent my nights mainly crawling up the stairs to bed, not becauseI was pissed, I was exhausted.
I literally slept with one ear open, every night, listening waiting for any sudden change in breathing.
Some nights I would convince myself I couldnt hear her breathing so would get up and check, unsure I would poke her, instantly regretting it when she cried; only to repeat it all again later.
And on the rare occassion when I woke up after the sun had risen, my blood would run cold believing something awful must have happened to her as she hadn’t woke me up.
Looking back I can see how the phrase ‘helicopter parenting’ was coined, that was me morning, noon and night, unable to let go, always hovering just in case.
Every rash had me carrying out the ‘glass test’ never quite sure if it actually disappeared or not, so to be sure would head off to the Doctors. It was no different if she coughed, sneezed, had a cold that seemed prolonged, it would all have me in a state of fearing it was something more sinister. (see NEUROTIC).
Everything had to be right. I lived by the book of new motherhood chapter by chapter. Focusing on the ‘NEVER EVER DO THIS’ list such as;
- NEVER re-heat bottles (especially in the microwave).
- If dummy/toy/book hit the floor you MUST sterilise before giving back.
- You must not take any notice of this shit book (see REALITY CHECK).
That was me; first time neurotic mummy wasting endless hours sterilising dummies and any toys that hit the ground. I would gasp in horror if another mum suggested I cut corners, fearing this would somehow damage her in the process.
Even my parents stories of their survival as babies with no parenting books or sterilising kits!! (See BINNED THE BOOK & TOOK PARENTS ADVICE with second child).
However, visits to the Doctors surgery were regular. The routine baby checks were my favourite. It gave me a chance to ‘show her off’ swelling with pride at her development and seeing my shiny red book fill up nicely.
All other questions such as, is she talking – err yeah of course, can she count from 1-10? not quite but we are working on it, is she toilet trained? were plentiful… hang on, sorry scrap that bit, those were the Nursery Gate questions, wrong story!
I KNOW HOW THIS SOUNDS BUT….
On one routine visit, my Doctor asked me how much Ciara weighed at birth; it would be worth noting I was shite at maths (see NEVER LISTENED AT SCHOOL).
I proudly informed him she had weighed 350kg. Waiting for the unexpected laughter to die down, he composed himself before asking if I was sure, feeling the pressure, clearly this figure was wrong, I hastily changed it to 35kg,
“whaaa…t why you laughing” I asked puzzled. With it glaringly obvious maths was not my strongest subject, especially weight, he suggested maybe it was 3.5kg, I went with that, after all he was the Doctor he understood kilos better than I did.
It wasn’t until I recited this account later to my brother, it become apparent what had been funny, I had given the weight off something more in line with a baby elephant! (see SECOND BABY).
IT GETS WORSE
I am fully aware of how this might look, ‘how stupid could someone be’ but hey, that was me, first time mum and all that, the kind of mum who wanted everything right for my first, along with buying anything gadget based.
I remember buying a Motion Swing intended to rock baby gently, saving on any un-needed arm-ache giving you time to have a sit down and cuppa.
Walking through town box in tow with his nibs moaning about the price. I was delighted when a woman approached us to champion how good the swings were, and how we would just love it they were, apparently brilliant.
Feeling smug and repeating this to his nibs several times over, the smug table turned the day we put her in it, she hated it, cried solidly.
Consequently the swing ended up in the loft along with all the other waste of time purchases & parenting manuals, along with his nibs muttering “told you it was a waste of money”.
“No Doctor, you don’t understand she isn’t like any other baby” I would tell him as I graced his room once again with Ciara sneezing, “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t important” blah blah blah.
Imagine my horror, when one morning after just feeding Ciara, I noticed she began to roll her eyes, a lot.
Only slightly at first, but then moving on to real back of the head rolling. Watching her I could feel the panic rise, as I battled with how to reset her eyes to the front position.
Deciding to try the just stare really, hard and long I let out a mighty roar to his nibs
“quick, come here, something’s wrong with Ciara”.
“Christ, now what?” he asked.
“I think she might be blind” with a loud sigh and some mumbling of ridiculous and stupid I carried on undeterred
“seriously, she’s rolling her eyes, it’s not right, I’m ringing the Doctors”.
Pressing redial calling the surgery I waited until the threatening tone of the Doctors bouncer answered. Answering the compulsory questions knicker size, what I had for breakfast, is it life threatening, do I think its acceptable to waste Doctors time?
Look my child might be blind I said “ooooooooookkkkkkay and what makes you think that?” she
“she’s rolling her eyes back in her head and they aren’t refocusing”, with a reassuring “oooh I’ve never heard of that before you best bring her in…….” I scooped Ciara up.
Throwing her in the mumobile (not literally for any anti-throwing kid’s campaigners out there) we raced off tyres screeching.
Parking in our ‘spot’ I rushed in wearing my slippers, this was urgent. Ignoring all the staring faces I hoped we wouldn’t be waiting long.
Several scenarios started playing through my mind, what type of dog would we get? were there any braille classes locally?
The crackle of the speaker came on, holding my breath so I could hear, a voice said “Sharon, Room No. 4 please”, detecting a hint of ‘what now’ in his tone, I carried on regardless. It sounded like we were now first name terms, I kinda liked this personal touch!
“She’s blind” I announced flinging the door open and walking in.
“Take a seat Sharon”.
sitting down I braced myself as he took, after a long, long time, okay maybe a few seconds he asked “what makes you think she could be blind”?
Could be! Are you kidding, she’s rolling her eyes right into the back of head so much so I expect her to start chanting lines from the exorcist, her iris literally disappears!
“Ah right, ok I’ll have a look”.
Turning his back a tad, I sat boring my eyes into his head. Was he shielding me from some upcoming doom?
After an eternity he asked “Sharon, have you ever thought she might have wind”?
“Wind!” errr no I hadn’t. Apparently it was very common for some babies to roll their eyes when full of wind. That was a new one on me I didn’t recall every reading that in any of my shit mummy manuals.
Looking back I have great admiration for my Doctor. If it wasn’t for the fact that he left some ago, not long after we took to visiting him (just coincidental) I would thank him in person for putting up with the ‘then me‘.
Anyone else have similar stories?……..no, really?! just me then eh?