Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Making An Effort

So, that’s the hoovering done for another week… Or so.  It takes several hours of mental preparation, once the beach of toast crumbs, sock fluff and cotton wool remnants that covers the carpet becomes unbearable. Then it’s a matter of waiting for her to nod off before creeping to the crib and then making a mad dash to the kitchen cupboard.
Of course she woke up within seconds and began whimpering, unconsoled by over-cheerful reassurances that, “Mummy is just doing a quick hoover”, while I frantically chuck toys and baby paraphernalia onto every available surface that isn’t the carpet. Fortunately the white noise satiates her and she appears to find observing my toil quite entertaining.
It probably would have been better to do it before we attempted baby massage this morning. The experience may have been pleasant for both of us if the floor had been less gritty and the knees of my leggings left less grubby. Not that they could get much more filthy.
But I felt she was owed some soothing relaxation after that mother kicked her in the head at Stay and Play yesterday.
There were no shoes involved, only a socked foot, and she didn’t cry in pain, just discomfort, so I reassured the embarrassed guilty party that it was, “fine”.
I didn’t really believe her excuse that she thought I’d already picked my baby up, but, overwhelmed by a feeling of relief that it wasn’t me who had clumsily stood on another woman’s child, I was quite blasé about the assault.
She seems fine today. But I am dubious as to whether she will remain as contented after her next round of immunisations this afternoon.
Apart from the impending jabs of doom, today is a chance for a rest after a busy week. We’ve already attended four baby groups, a hospital appointment and an exhibition and she hasn’t done any embarrassing primal screaming in public. She was even quite charming to the doctor during my appointment, despite an hour-and-a-half wait.
It’s a relief to make it home without someone urging me to look after my baby better.
I think she was only four weeks old when the woman in Waitrose forced me to breastfeed her before I left the shop.
We only popped in for bananas but she was bawling her head off once we reached the self-service checkout. I felt I’d damn well earned my free coffee, but the overbearing Nigerian assistant kept informing me, “"Your baby is hungry. Please feed your baby!”, rather than handing over my paper cup.
Despite my insisting we only lived round the corner, I found myself being led to the stools in the window and agreeing to feed her before we left.
It was only once we were settled in that I realised she had sat us right next to the cash machine. And it was lunchtime rush hour. So I found myself making embarrassed, excusing smiles at an entire queue of people while she chomped away oblivious.
But that’s all behind us now. I have worn mascara and combed my hair before I left the house every day this week. And no one has insinuated that I am neglecting my child.

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