Joshua’s arrival has changed my perspective in lots of ways. For example, I hadn’t realised how exciting it would be just to see him roll from his back to his front. There are plenty of milestones to go before full mobility – but Jen and I discovered that this little step was worth celebrating!
Then there are the new skills needed in looking after a baby. There are the obvious ones – managing wee and poo to name two – but there are others that I hadn’t expected. For example, how do you pick something off the floor with your right hand while holding a baby on your left shoulder? It’s quite tricky! It seems to require either the butt-out, knees forward procedure, or the down-on-one-knee manoeuvre. Success is achieved with picking up the item with baby being largely oblivious.
Putting baby to sleep seems to be a common problem – and while Joshua doesn’t think much of daytime sleep, he tends to sleep well at night. For this, we have an agent. Like all agents, he looks friendly (a cuddly owl) while concealing some clever electronics. Thus, shortly after Ollie’s arrival, we needed to switch him off, at which point Jen told me to ‘press Ollie’s left foot twice’.
Ollie has a number of tricks up his wings. If I press his left wing once, he emits lullabies; twice provides the sound of rainfall. Pressing his right wing gives access to the white noise – and with this comes an ‘intelligent cry sensor’. The white noise lasts 20 minutes; but if Joshua cries, Ollie starts emitting white noise again. The term ‘intelligent cry sensor’ is slightly inaccurate as Ollie is also triggered by other things, such as a door closing, or one of us sneezing or burping. (Oh alright, that’d be me in each case!)
I’ve also found myself having strong opinions about nursery rhymes. The ‘Three blind mice’ doesn’t set a good example of how to treat animals: “they all ran after the farmer’s wife, who cut off their tails with a carving knife”. The RSPCA clearly should speak to the farmer’s wife about this. I’m also a bit concerned about Old MacDonald’s animal husbandry skills. With a moo-moo here, and a moo-moo there, everywhere a moo-moo – there are clearly cows all over the place. It’s the same with the sheep and goats and everything else: they’re all mixed up together! Worse still, whenever anyone checks there’s a different array of animals and birds every time. It’s clearly chaos on the farm. Meanwhile, I must admit to having a favourite nursery rhyme: “Five little speckled frogs // Sat on a speckled log // Eating some most delicious bugs…” Which one Joshua prefers, though, we have yet to see.
Meanwhile, Jen’s had a radical change of hairstyle (at least for the time being)…
Jen’s following the example of Rachel Linham in Ashcott, and is sending her hair to be made into wigs for children who have cancer. (here)
Meanwhile, Joshua finds the piano quite fascinating – press a note, and a sound comes out. Press a different note, and a different sound comes out. (That’s about the limit of my musical knowledge; it’s over to Jen from now on…)