The boys are 6 months old today. I go back to work next Monday. I have put in place what are quite possibly the most elaborate childcare arrangements ever. Iâ€™m exhausted from planning and I havenâ€™t even started work yet. Mind you, the â€œadaptationâ€ at the creche has been just fine. They seem to love it. Whereas herself was miserable and clingy (as was I, I suppose) the boys and I are very relaxed about the whole thing. While they spend a couple of hours in the creche adapting, I go off and have a cup of tea and read the paper. I seem to remember that when the Princess was adapting I used to sit teary eyed and hunched over a cooling cup of tea counting the minutes until I could rescue her. Itâ€™s funny I go to the same cafÃ© and I remember it as glum and cheerless and this time it seems fine really and the croissants are excellent. When I go to rescue the boys, they are invariably sunny, unlike herself who was almost always weeping. Do you think that children take their cue from their parents, then? Mind you, Breda Oâ€™Brien in the Irish Times, always anxious to make working parents feel happy, has an article this weekend wherein she states that her friend who worked â€œwith children dying of Aids that they had contracted through Caeuscescuâ€™s mad policy of blood tranfusions to â€˜strengthen orphans [..] was reduced to tears by one Irish creche.â€ Thank you, Breda, that makes me feel a lot better.
The boys, however, are not faultless. They are very good little boys almost all the time and smile merrily and are generally most endearing etc. etc. but they will not sleep at night and I donâ€™t know what to do. When I was feeding Michael the other morning, I noticed salt trails in his ears from where his tears had dried without being wiped away while he howled himself to sleep in the kitchen (oh donâ€™t ask, but we do appear to have created a situation where, if he wakes in the middle of the night, he feels that he can only go back to sleep in a cot in the kitchen). I feel terrible, how miserable is that? I suppose, I wouldnâ€™t feel quite so terrible, if it were working, but itâ€™s not. We are at our witsâ€™ end. Hours and hours of crying have given us the result that maybe, maybe, both of them will sleep from 7.30 to midnight but after that, itâ€™s up more or less every hour until the Princess rises at about 6.30/7.00. Weâ€™re both exhausted. We have received conflicting advice from books and people: never wake a sleeping baby/donâ€™t let them sleep during the day, if you want them to sleep at night/they must have naps during the day, if you want them to sleep at night/feed them when they wake/donâ€™t feed them when they wake (my mother adding her mite to the general misery tells me that she asked my father and he says they might be hungry, humph), oh I could go on but Iâ€™ll spare you. What I am intimating here, is that having read two books on the topic and been the target of much advice, Iâ€™d be pretty surprised if there were anything we havenâ€™t tried and nothing is working. Oh well, this too will pass, I suppose.
And they are rather fabulous. And also starting on solids. Before. After.
I would like you to know that the end of this post would give some credence to The Onion headline â€œInternet collapses from weight of baby picturesâ€, if I could follow Emilyâ€™s instructions. Doubtless, it will come.