Is he a good baby?
(What on Earth do you mean by good? No, he’s evil. I had an affair with the Devil and spawned a monster…)
Yes, he’s pretty good. Thanks.
How’s he sleeping?
(On his back with his mouth open, for about forty five minutes at a time, an hour if we’re lucky. If we go out for a walk, we can push that time to 90 minutes. Getting him to sleep involves an intricate dance that involves bouncing, rocking, white noise, cuddling, swerving the pushchair so frantically that on coming pedestrians jump into hedges for safety, or, as one friend recently commented, pushing and pulling in such a way that it looks like we’re trying to mow the lawn with the pushchair. Now, don’t you dare, dare, dare ask if he’s sleeping through yet.)
Okay, you know how it is with babies.
Is he sleeping through, then?
(Oh you went there, didn’t you? No. Well, yes, actually, he did once or twice. Although technically he woke up and banged his legs on the mattress for ten minutes, but we ignored him. Then he started waking up every three hours again. Then the next night just once. Then through again. So I’ve got no idea which way is up and every night it’s like lying in the room with a time bomb. I mean, do you always sleep through the night? Does anyone judge you for not staying asleep for a full eight hours?)
Sometimes which is great. We know we’re lucky there.
Oh, he’s crying, what’s wrong?
(I don’t have a bloody clue. It’s not like I enjoy the persistent screaming and keep the solution hidden up my sleeve for emergencies only. That question implies that I have a clue about what I’m doing when actually I am just making it up as I go along and trying not to get caught out.)
He’s probably hungry.
How are you coping?
(I’m not. Last night I ate half a box of dry cereal directly from the box because I didn’t know what else to do. I haven’t shaved my legs in three weeks, which is why I am wearing tights in 25 degree temperatures, and my spare room is a dumping ground for all the things in our life so that the living room at least looks tidy when people come over. Oh, and yesterday I cried because I couldn’t get the pushchair to collapse.)
Pretty well, thanks.
Don’t you just love watching them sleep?
(HAHAHAHAHA! In the space of a twenty minute nap, I can wash up, empty the washing machine and take a shower. If I’m having a good day, I can drink a cup of coffee whilst it’s hot. Watching them sleep…)
I know, it’s precious.
Do you love him enormously?
(Oh yes. I love him so much that it hurts, I could talk to you about him for hours and hours and hours. I love the chunky rolls on his legs, the way he looks at me and his papa, the way he tries to copy our faces, the way he…)
Oh yes. I love him more than anything.