Thursday, April 29, 2010


Today Sticky Baby and I embarked on a new chapter of our mama-bubba life together. He spent the day with a nanny....

The facts are as follows:
  • Sticky Baby and I have not spent more than 4 hours apart since the day he was conceived
  • Aside from his father and I, Sticky Baby doesn't really spend much time with anyone else. No grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins to hang out with.
  • He is forming habits FAST and getting less and less 'adaptable' with each new quirk he cultivates. The way he naps, the way he drinks his bottle, the way he sits in his high chair - this child LOVES a routine, which is wonderful in so many ways, but I fear that in the long-run he may struggle with change if we don't slowly and gently introduce him to new people, new situations. 
The infamous Separation Anxiety that you hear about has definitely begun rearing its ugly head in the past 10 days. Both for Sticky Baby AND I. When I leave his side, he begins whimpering, clinging to my leg like a jelly fish in North Queensland. I was told that at around 6 months of age, babies begin to realise that they are separate beings to their mothers. Isn't that cute? They actually think we are 1 person until now. Bless them! 

There have not been any major meltdowns as yet. I'm hoping to detour that destination all together. We've always insisted on Sticky Baby having 'alone play time' at least a couple of times a day - in his play pen, on the rug, in his baby car. But I want to continue encouraging his independence and personal growth, and the fact that we live such an insular life means that little Sticky Baby doesn't often get the opportunity to mix with new people and adapt to new situations. We get out a lot together - community mum groups where he can play with other children, visits to friends' houses, etc. But aside from that, he and I are never apart.

Some of you may say, "That's the way it should be!" And I agree. But we must also consider my mental health here! And Lord knows I could do with some 'alone play time' of my own! I am a firm believer that a balanced mum makes for a better mum, and it's fair to say that I need to rediscover some equilibrium to rest, recoup and refresh to be the best mother I can be.

I dropped him off this morning just after 8am. Nanny B and I had agreed that it would be a good idea for her to give him his breakfast, so they could bond over a meal and get further acquainted. We had already done a trial run last week. 1hr spent together, the 3 of us, with me slipping out the door at one point to leave bubba and nanny alone for 45mins. He did great. Big tick.

I was teary last night packing his bag. Emotional as I prepared his little lunch box. Oh God!

So here I am, my first day baby free in nearly 8 months. I hardly know what to do with myself. I've had 2 showers thus far - not sure why. But the appeal of having a long, uninterrupted, un-rushed shower was just too much to resist. So, 2 showers, a jog this morning which was heaven, a lovely hand-in-hand walk to the markets for lunch with my husband, a nanna-nap on the couch, an episode of 'Real Housewives of NYC', coffee with girlfriend, and now some blogging action!

I have thought about my little boy nearly every minute. And I've wanted to call the nanny every hour. I've cried watching some show about the birth of sextuplets. Random. I've walked the tight-rope between extreme elation at having a day off and extreme anxiety at being separated from my baby. I know he's going to be fine. In fact, he'll probably make me proud by playing nicely in the sandbox with the other babies.

The set-up is ideal. I couldn't have hoped for better. Nanny B, a young part-time nurse, is the daughter of a very reputable family day-care provider here in our village. Unfortunately, this lady was above quota and couldn't add Sticky Baby to her kiddie clan. I had been drawn to her immediately when I discovered that she performed puppet shows for the children in her care, took them to the library to read books, as well as daily excursions to the park and tours of her back-yard fruit and vegie patch and mini-zoo (hens, geese, rabbits). There are 3 other children in her care, all around Sticky Baby's age. So this lady couldn't take our little boy on, but her daughter, Nanny B, who lives up the road from her, was happy to adopt Sticky Baby once a week for us. He eats and sleeps in the peace and quiet of Nanny B's sunny, lovely loft apartment but also spends part of the day at Nanny B's mother's house, benefiting from the company of his peers and participating in all of the activities. Such a perfect scenario.

(I got these pics from the lady's website. Photo of Nanny B and Sticky Baby coming soon! But for now...1) At the library  2) Geese in the b'yard  3) Eggs collected and presented to parents. So sweet. And the 1st photo in the post is from this morning, Sticky Baby and I on his first day of 'school')

I picked him up at 4:30 this afternoon, nearly an hour earlier than we had agreed on. Silly, I know, but I just couldn't wait! I am bowled over by the result of this big, first day. Bubba ate all his meals, drank all his bottles, and slept like a trooper! He played with a little girl his age, went on a pram promenade, and simply put, had a ripper of a day! RELIEF!

And the cherry on the cake after this emotional milestone...The sweetest cherry I have ever little boy gave me his first REAL hug this afternoon, once we got home. Two little cherubic arms, tightly locked around my neck. Not only that, but his angelic little head, nuzzling my neck for a solid minute. A REAL hug, I tell you!

Papadada and I are bursting with pride and so pleased with our decision to welcome lovely Nanny B into our little tribe, once a week, to nurture our little emperor and show him a different side of life. A golden opportunity for me to relax and rediscover 'me', and a safe and warm weekly adventure for our growing boy.



Adriana said...

wow, what a lovely story Lise!! glad you have some alone time....definitely a fantastic idea

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