Tonight is the first night I’ve spent alone with Ted in the six months since he was born. He was a little bit unsure about the lack of Daddy but I found that I quite enjoyed a bit more time together.
I was surprised to discover that Ted’s routine is so well set that he was genuinely unsettled by Mummy not being Daddy at bedtime.
Since BabyDaddy had to go back to work after his two weeks of paternity leave he’s given Ted his bath, given him a massage, read him a story, done his last feed and put him to bed. It was their special time after a long day apart.
Tonight BabyDaddy’s at a uni-friends meet-up and staying with a friend so I got to do Ted’s bath. It was lovely. He’s always loved his bath and tonight was no exception. He splished and splashed and giggled away, and then we had a big towel-wrapped cuddle. Lovely.
But as soon as we got to the bedroom he realised something was wrong and he let me know about it. He screamed as I dried him, as I (briefly!) massaged him, as I got his pyjamas on, as I gave him his bottle and especially when I did his story.
BabyDaddy tells him The Gruffalo every night. When he does the voices Ted smiles and when he says “there’s no such thing as a Gruffal – oh!” Ted laughs. It’s lovely.
But tonight, when I got to that part, Ted’s scream was the loudest of the whole night. I was not his Daddy (and I was no doubt getting the voices all wrong).
Luckily he wore himself out, promptly fell asleep and I didn’t hear another peep from him. Not so much as a whimper.
Until an hour ago.
Last night, like tonight, Ted woke up around 3.00am for no apparent reason. As he usually sleeps through, and has for a long time, it was a bit strange for him; but two hours later the reason became apparent when he had explosive diarrhoea.
Tonight he seemed much chirpier. Perhaps too chirpy, as at the time I sat back in bed and started writing this he was singing.
I had been in, put his dummy in and rocked him for a good twenty minutes – far longer than I ever normally would but as BabyDaddy’s not here I don’t get my extra half hour in bed in the morning.
It worked a treat, he fell asleep, I put him to bed, he grabbed his blankie sleepily and started lightly snoring. Adorable. Then he woke up again. Just like that.
So it was time for plan B – put his projector-mobile on until he whinges sleepily and I can pop his dummy in & rock him back to sleep.
That’s when the singing started.
The thing is, his singing is adorable. It’s lovely. It makes my heart swell. As does his big grin when he tries to get me to play instead of putting him back to bed. And when he blows raspberries to get his dummy out it takes all of my strength not to laugh.
The thing with Ted, and I guess babies in general, is that we love them so much that it doesn’t matter when they do those little things we love about them, we’ll find them adorable all the same.
Would I prefer to be asleep? I usually think so as I stumble to his cot (and I look back bleary-eyed in the morning and wonder the same) but actually I love these times. Everything is quiet but my singing boy and I love him an indescribable amount.
Was I anxious about him waking up tonight while I’m on my own? A little. But it’s okay because I get him all to myself.
Oddly enough plan B has worked in a very different way tonight. On the first cycle of the projector-mobile he’s not only stopped singing but, it seems at the moment, dropped off to sleep. Whether he’ll stay that way remains to be seen, but at the moment I love him even more for it.
Because, yes, I love the moments of cuddling and soothing and even hearing him sing; but of course I also love the moments when I put my head back on the pillow when the show is over.