Gosh, what to write? Or what to write first?
I’m definitely out of the milk worry phase. Ivy is pretty much formula fed, and olive pretty much breast. That’s just how it has evolved. Ivy has really really caught up (3.26 kilos or about 7lbs – a lovely chubby chin) and is strong enough now for the breast here and there. However she is a very temperamental little darling and so she can end up furiously screaming if I don’t pick exactly the right moment between hunger and famishedness, while Olive is otherwise engaged or not just about due her feed.
Ivy spends a lot of the time either asleep or screaming. I’m not sure, but I think she is ‘colicky’. Time will tell. So far it’s really just been a few days when her screaming has reached fever pitch and she has been inconsolable right through the evening.
AW’s auntie is living with us and helping. She is absolutely amazing, and is keeping everything in the house ticking over perfectly and it means so much to us to have a family member involved. In lots and lots of respects, it’s really really great, but there are some things I need to iron out with her with AW’s help. Most of it is due to my expectations as a British mum, and hers as a Thai mum, and the clashes that must be addressed.
Firstly, I’m not a huge TV fan, full stop. I do watch things on DVD or that i have downloaded (often watched in a marathon (or that was the case when i was pregnant and pretty much incapacitated)) but that removes all adverts and obviously is my taste in TV. From 6pm-ish, there are about 2hours of excruciating Thai soap. This is the babies’ bedtime (or what it will be when the routine is possible later down the line; the time we are trying to establish as bed time). Imagine cartoon sound effects, non-stop loud ‘atmospheric’ music, unbelievable gender stereotypes and gratuitous violence. My parents were visiting (miss them!) and in the second bedroom (where we have the second TV) so I assumed once back in her bedroom would watch in there sometimes. Not so far. I don’t really know how to broach this. It isn’t what I want for the girls, but also it’s not what I want for my own evenings from 6-8 either. But she is staying with us, is family, and i want her to feel as though it’s her home. I have several times *not* put on the western TV as i know it excludes her. But this evening peace-shatterer needs to change – I’ll find it even tougher once I return to work. I know that loads of people from loads of cultures have the TV on all the time without even watching it, but I really don’t like that: if the TV is on I want it to be suitable for / directed at the girls, or on when they are not around, and sometimes in the last instance, something I want to watch.
I didn’t know what my parenting style was before I became a parent. It turns out though, that I like to carry the babies and feel close to them, have them in the bed with me at night etc. It seems to be turning out that auntie doesn’t like this during the day, and prefers them to be on the floor all the time, asleep. I think carrying is actively a good thing for babies and carers. I think that if not now, then very soon their being asleep on the floor will no longer be suitable, because i want them to have lots of stimulation, playtimes, chat, and books. This really needs explaining i think.
Due to the feeding set-up we now have, the number of arms I have (two, in case you are wondering), and Olive’s general reluctance to sleep, she is getting carried a lot and Ivy is spending lots of time asleep by herself. I want Auntie to try the sling but she said she’s too old and her back will hurt.
When I go back to work, I need to be sure that the babies are active and getting lots of stimulation, but also lots of body contact while I am gone. I plan to have both babies in our bed fir the forseeable future and i’m not sure that night set-up will be compatible with a cry-it-out daytime on the floor. I suppose before long they’ll be moving about anywat, so they won’t be asleep on the floor, they’ll be doing stuff on the floor?
This is the first time I am actually articulating this in any way. Blogs are so great for setting your head straight.
We couldn’t do without auntie- she is so so great; experienced, patient and kind – but I need her to listen to what’s important to me as a mummy, even if it sounds silly to her. I need some help from AW to explain this stuff in Thai- mine won’t stretch this far! It’s tough- I really don’t want to sound critical or ungrateful, but somehow, I need to get my position across.
On a positive note, it is wonderful that she accepts our relationship and situation. She is a lovely lovely woman – we are just coming from different places. Both girls are sleeping better and crying less. Last night, olive slept a 7hr 25 min stretch. Wow, right? I bet it will never happen again.!!
Love to all