Wednesday, May 13, 2009

First Road Trip

Phoebe is three months old tomorrow and today she was really unsettled. She spent a lot of time crying and it was difficult to settle her at times. I think she was overtired and that led to a lot of problems but I also swear that she grew, taking up more room on the change table this afternoon than she did this morning. She'd get hungry but be too tired to feed properly. I'd offer her food and she'd think she didn't want it but then a few minutes later she would, then she seemed to get a pain. She seemed happiest when lying without her nappy on (even though her nappy rash is cleared up*), lying across my arm and being jiggled or walked around, but nothing seemed to keep her happy for long.

She was a bit iffy this morning but things really got bad when I took her from her cot and put her in the car twenty minutes into her lunchtime nap. It had been a bit of a mish to get her to sleep anyway and I thought she'd sleep in the car but she didn't really and it all went down hill from there. Amazingly, she was fine at Gymbaroo. She got quite into the activities on the equipment and did really well with her tummy time and once again loved the dancing. She'd had enough by the time we did the parachute at the end though and missed it for the second week in a row. The parachute is a huge fabric parachute with all different colours on it. Babies lie on mats and mums stand and swirl the parachute above them. She loved it for the first couple of weeks but has been too tired since then. She then fell asleep on my arm whilst I was packing up so I took the long drive home via the beach. I somehow managed to turn a fifteen minute drive into ¾ hour. The things you have to do when you're a mother.

Once home she still wasn't quite herself and after another feed and change I somehow managed to get the pram out of the car and ready to go with one hand. Quite an achievement. I couldn't quite manage to get my shoe laces tied though and had to put my poor screaming mite down for a few minutes. Once off to sleep in the pram she slept for two hours!!! Unheard of. The closest we've got to that before in recent weeks has been 1 ½ hours and that was only once. Meanwhile I trundled off to the chemist to get some Brauer Colic Relief, a homeopathic remedy my friend recommended. At her next feed she pulled off and seemed to be in pain so we gave her some drops and she's been fine ever since, except for the usual crack-up whilst dressing her for bed.

Her first road trip to Toowoomba to visit family went well. We left at her bedtime on Friday and she was all ready for bed, bathed, fed etc so she slept the whole way. Our attempt to seamlessly transfer her from car to cot didn't go so well though. As soon as the front wheels hit the In-Laws' driveway she woke up and started screaming and kept going until I fed her. I then showed her around the house and let her sit on Grandpa's lap for a while before attempting to put her to bed. She was fine and slept through until morning then. In hindsight it was a bit unfair to expect her to just go to sleep in someone else's cot in a house she'd never visited before. We took her cot sheet, wrap and blanket, and her cot book for familiarity and she adapted really well after the initial shock.

The drive home was less successful but we expected that as we were on the road during the witching hour around 5pm. We learnt that the art of successful travelling with baby involves lots of patience and some tolerance for screaming. We fed her twice on the way as she generally feeds a lot around that time. The second time we probably didn't give her enough activity time and when we got back in the car it was dark so she couldn't see any of the interesting things we'd provided for her to look at (mirror, dangly toys etc.). I think she screamed for about forty minutes, midway through which I insisted that Toby pull over so I could give her a cuddle. She calmed down until we put her back in the car but it made me feel better that I'd at least told her I was there.

Two funny things happened today. The first was this morning after her feed we were sitting in the bed staring at each other (we do that a lot) and I started making funny noises, which she seemed to find amusing. I was so tired that I yawned and did one of my audible yawns (I get that from my Dad). Poor Phoebe got such a fright that she burst into tears. I suppose it is a bit scary and it was probably a sign of the day we were about to have.

The second thing was that I found Zadie lying on Phoebe's activity mat (Monty did that the other day too, the little *&%$*s!). I couldn't really yell as I had Phoebe but I gave her enough of a wallop for her to understand that was not somewhere she should be and she scooted off. Well, when we got home today she was on the mat again. She thought she'd got off before I saw her but she kind of made it obvious that's where she was so I chased her around the house, trying to kick her out. Phoebe was due a feed and was in her weird mood anyway so she was screaming in my arms. Zadie ran to the laundry, me and screaming Phoebe following her at a somewhat slower pace (you try running after a cat with a screaming and hungry baby in your arms), only to find that the back door was shut and she couldn't get to her cat-flap. So she ran back out again, scooted past us as fast as she could and into the lounge via the kitchen. So I went into the lounge via the hallway and met her coming the other way. Ears flat and tail low she heard us before she saw us, panicked and turned back to the laundry only to remember on arrival that she couldn't get to the cat-flap and so ran back to the lounge. She seemed absolutely terrified of this howling two-headed monster following her around the house, tormenting her with its screams as punishment for daring to sit on its mat. The whole act was repeated a few times until I found it so funny that I stopped being angry and decided to settle on locking her in the laundry instead.

And to end I'd like to say that I had a wonderful first (Australian) Mother's Day on Sunday. I shared it with Toby's mum and we went to the Chocolate Cottage near where she lives for coffee and cake. Toby and I then chilled on the picnic rug with Phoebe before ordering tea and scones. It was such a lovely day and the next morning Phoebe surprised me with a home-made card, flowers and grown-up bath toys (i.e. a loofah and scrunchy thing). She's very advanced.

* Phoebe got nappy rash after we went out all day on the May Day holiday and forgot to change her nappy. Bad parents!

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