Friday, 10 August 2012

Pitter Patter

...So I've been absent for like a year, but you knew this would happen. I have an excuse, as ever, but it's a slightly better one than usual. This excuse weighs about 10lbs 9oz, and has a tendency to projectile milk with surprising accuracy.

Yes. I had a child.

I joke, I joke. But there IS a baby! At 21, I have become an older sister for the third time. Before I start going on about how cute he is (awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww-), I would just like to get all the terrifying maths out of the way. Yes, when he's 10, I will be 31. When he's 21, I will be 42. By the time he's 30 I'll be over half a century @_@ I have kind of almost somewhat come to terms with the fact that my family, which had just about settled down, with me and brother at uni and younger brother midway through high school, now has to start all over again. All our memories and nostalgia are going to be meaningless to him, we have to create a whole new set of memories for this tiny little bundle that has arrived in our house.

And yet, it's totally lovely. Our home, which was getting quieter and quieter what with two of us away at uni and one teenager increasingly confined to his room, is now filled with the kind of warmth and light and noise that only seems to come with a baby. I've been lucky enough to have holidays for the last 3 weeks and the next fortnight, and I don't think I can bear to leave him and go back!

He is a total Bear, seriously. Five weeks old now. He snuffles and sneezes (in twos, always) and whimpers and scrunches his face up and frowns, and occasionally cracks a huge, adorable, toothless smile. He is the new centre of our lives and we are all totally smitten by him. I didn't want to put a proper photo because I'm wary of plastering his face all over the internet, but just so you can appreciate his adorable bear-ness and babygrow...

So the reason I Kept That One Quiet is that my mum was very unwell for most of the 9 months, and we weren't actually sure it'd work out. Thankfully it was all good, though the last few weeks have been horrendous, as my mum has been bedbound for a lot of it. Since her recovery has been so slow, I have had to step in for a lot of the baby-care-related-things. This has been...educational...

Things that I have learnt, then, having acquired a new baby brother and been mostly in charge of him:

  • Nappy changing is a dangerous, dangerous game.
  • The care one takes to avoid certain projectile nappy situations (see 'strategic placement of baby wipes over certain areas of anatomy') is directly proportional to the likelihood one will be hit with a jet stream of wee. 
  • Emergency baths, following projectile nappy situations, will start out as a careful procedure involving smiles and shampoo and baby moisturiser, but after the 94th emergency bath, will consist of repeatedly dunking the baby in question into a large bucket of water like a giant biscuit.
  • I can now make bottles of formula milk on autopilot, to the point of walking into the kitchen half asleep, and coming to as I'm walking back out again with a bottle all made up. Totally Bourne.
  • Babies need to be winded. A lot. Like, a lot a lot. 
  • Nappy rash is the most horrific ailment known to mankind. And Sudacrem is the saviour.
  • I have established my own baby talk. It disconcerts certain people, ahem, but it's established now. Nothing I can do about it. 
  • If one discovers that a certain gesture makes baby smile, one will never tire of repeating said gesture, however much slapstick self harm it involves. 
  • I have new respect for new mums. I see them in the street and feel the urge to wrap my arms around them, saying 'It's okay, I know.'
  • I WANT a papoose.
  • A 21 year age gap means that people are inevitably going to assume that this baby is my child, whenever I am without my mum. I find myself being repeatedly congratulated in shopping centres, and getting 'aww bless' smiles from old women. I'm not complaining, but the subsequent explanation tends to get a little awkward.
  • That baby smell ^_^ awwwwwwwwwwww
  • Our house is no longer a coherent house with rooms separated by function (kitchen, living, dining) etc. Every single room has become baby oriented. The Room for making Bottles, the Room for Changing Nappies, the Room for Emergency Baths...
  • Baaaaby clothes....Oh my god, so cute! I melt every time I'm shopping. 
  • Forget feminism, I wish to give up everything and just be a stay at home mum. Seriously. I want one. It's ridiculous.
There are many other things I've learnt, but I'm conscious that I am rambling, and that not everyone wants to hear about the adorable little things that babies do. Even if it's all I'm going to talk about in this post. Ahem.
 Don't get me wrong, it's been the most stressful time of my life so far, all this anticipation of baby, then mum's health scares, then mum in and out of hospital, me having to take time off uni, then mum being in a bad way. It all added up. But he definitely makes it all worth it. And my mum is improving, and so it's all good!

So yeah... It's been one of those major life-trajectory-changing events.. We're all re-evaluating where we stand in light of this new development. I keep worrying about not being present for a big part of his formative years- after all, I'm just about flying the nest! Yeesh. How can I make time to be around and spoil him?! And how am I meant to stay all hip and cool when I'm 21 years older?! What the hell man. But we'll make it work. I guess it's just that we lack a blueprint- I don't know of anyone else who's been in this situation. But just because it's unchartered territory, doesn't mean it has to be a bad thing. We've never been more happy or more thankful, especially because we know how touch and go it was for the last 9 months.

So..I guess, in conclusion: Welcome to the world, babybear. It is so lovely to finally meet you.


  1. Oh all this baby talk was just a way of getting nice comments =P
    But woo on being a 21-year-old sister! So glad everything worked out fine and your mother is doing well =)
    I am still finding it difficult to make baby milk for the nephew. So I do not do this. But woo for winding! It is amusing.
    But woo for you being hip and cool...ahem. Let the new memories begin =)

    Yay again! And yay on passing 3rd year med school!


    1. How dare you! What was I meant to do, not mention it?!
      Thank you, I am glad also :D
      Seriously?! You need to step it up and start dealing with nappy and milk situations!
      Woo indeed :)

  2. I am 17 years older sister! It will work out the best way possible, you have more than enough love for him and that's all that matters.

    1. Ah, 17 seems like an acceptable upper limit, lol! Just feels weird when it passes the two decade mark.. but you're right, he's going to be massively spoilt by us all.
      Thanks a lot :D

  3. OMIGOD!!!!! *squeals* Congratulations on being a big sister :D!!!! I'm kind of flabbergasted which may account for the following comment being completely incoherent and rambling.

    I was going to offer consolation by saying something about how my cousin is about 16 years older than her brother, but then I remembered You've Got Mail has probably the best example of ancient-but-with-it siblings EVER: Tom Hanks aka Joe Fox is at least 30 years older than his little brother Matt, and he is exceedingly cool. Also, it's the parents that are uncool, sisters are always cool, even if they're secretly uncool. Am I making sense to anyone?

    Also-also, just because I am a giant Bourne nerd, I finished watching Supremacy five minutes before reading that you are the Jason Bourne of Baby Formula, and am currently listening to the soundtrack!

    Anyways. Yes, THE BABY SMELL!!! It is incredible. It's like Milky Bar chocolate! I don't know how they manufacture it, but I'd like to trap it in a bottle and carry it around with me to periodically sniff. I realize that sounds odd.

    Sorry to hear that your mum wasn't doing so well through the pregnancy but I'm so glad she's on the mend now! You sound like you're being not only a great big sister but an amazing daughter too :)!

    I was just reading Emad's post and OMG CONGRATS!!!! on the book!!! Is it weird that I feel slightly famous for kinda knowing a published author?

    Best post ever :D!

    1. THANK YOU :D it is indeed very awesome! I can understand any flabbergasted-ness, lol, I didn't exactly let on :P
      Okay clearly now I need to watch You've Got Mail! Like I needed another reason to watch it. One of those films I've never got round to seeing, dammit. And I bloody hope I'm cool despite the humongous age gap...!
      LOL at the Bourne co incidence :P I did think of you, knowing your nerdness in this area.
      It kind of IS like Milky Bars! I'll never see them in the same way again @_@ But yes, the whole sniffing-babies instinct is a little odd, and something I identify with wholly.
      Yeah mum's muuuch better thanks! *stop it*, Not that amazing a daughter, lol, just had to step up to the plate a lot, since there was nobody else! But it worked out :)
      Oh, and thanks on the book- It's not all that great an achievement, was just lucky enough to be approached by a comissioning editor for Bloomsbury who heard of me through winning a writing competition. She wanted an Islam-themed short story for kids, for a series on World Religions. It's on Amazon, woooo! :D So yeah. Just a folk tale, nothing special :P But thanks again, it is cool, and yes you may feel famous despite my own lack of fame, lol.
      Essay reply, woo! :D

  4. Beautifully written for a beautiful baby, whose addition to the family has sent us all weak at the knees and completely smitten! Congratulations sweetheart on your new baby bro and your up and coming career as an amazing author! Sooooo proud of you! XX You owe us all fellow bloggers and followers a virtual night out!

    1. Aww, *stop it*, he is rather beautiful isn't he :D Thank you thank you! And what up and coming author career?! :P Fiiine, I shall take you for virtual..mocktails? lol xxx



  6. I will second that Emad you've got mail is brilliant and I could watch it over and over! I so want to run a book shop in New York!!

  7. I know I'm a bit late to this but WATCH YOU'VE GOT MAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One of my alltime favourite films :D
    Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!! Firstly, on your adorable baby brother. I'm an older (half) sister too, by 20 years, so I get it. Blueprintless lives are the best (watch The Adjustment Bureau), and whatever happens you'll be an amazing big sister :D
    I know I've already said this, but HUGE congrats on being a bona fide published author :D And yes, virtual mocktails all round!
    Glad your mum's feeling better. Really hope she stays well. But yes, you do deserve congratulations for stepping up to the plate. Like everyone else has said, you're an amazing daughter :)
    *waves* *hugs for you...and for the baby :D *