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Hazy Baby Days

By Catherine Sim - 1st June 2010

Now the kids are all at school it’s easy to forget what it was like to have 4 aged under 6. But watching a neighbour struggle with a couple of babies reminded me of those hazy times. Hazy because I can’t actually remember too much about them. I don’t think it’s early onset dementia (although I am having keys/wallet/glasses issues!).

Not an awful lot happened on those at-home days. They were filled with minutiae. Tiny moments. Small things. I trawl around for a while in the memory bank and what seemed like an interminable and relentless workload at times, becomes in hindsight charming and peaceful.

Those days were incredibly precious and even though I did appreciate them at times (mainly at 9pm with a glass of wine in my hand) I now yearn to slow everything down again to the walking pace of a toddler.

Here are some of my favourite timewasters during the “God!-How-many-more-hours–can-this-day-have?” period.

Hang the clothes out. Baby can suck on pegs and lie under the tree. Toddlers can sort pegs by colour and hand to me, Start a line at their height so they can help but don’t expect those things to dry! Don’t forget to bring baby in. 1 hour.

Tidy their room. Baby watches the activity. Toddlers find toys under their bed that they thought they’d lost. 1hour.

Make biscuits then clean up hideous mess on floor and on dog. 1hour.
     
Walk around block. Baby sleeps in pram. Toddlers walk and pick up sticks, leaves rocks, (“Put that down! Yucky!”) Talk to old lady in 36 that has lived here all her life. Pat dog in no. 6 but not in no. 8. Look for cats under cars. (you’d be surprised how many there are) 1 hour.  

Go to library. Baby will hopefully not cry. Toddler number 1 will run around and disturb library patrons and hopefully not crash in to a stool and split his head open, shortening the visit and disrupting story time. 1 to 4 hours, depending how busy they are in Casualty.

Fill up a bucket of water and put things in it. 1hour

So there was a day, filled with small and trivial stuff but no doubt important to a little mind, trying to make sense of it all. I asked the children this morning, what they remembered about those early days. “Lying on a blanket under a tree getting squashed by a dog,” one said.

Could be worse.

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Comments (1)

YvetteVignando's picture

Missing Those Days, a bit

They were exhausting those days - but also precious. There are certain conversations that always stand out in my mind. One was a day I was at the hairdresser with two young toddlers. I must have looked a little harried or tired (imagine that...!) An older lady having her weekly curls and hairspray turned to me gently and said "Oh, you are so lucky. These days are the best days of your life, believe me". Every day is potentially another great day, but now I know how quickly that gorgeous baby and toddler time disappears, I know that making an effort to savour every exhausting day is a worthwhile goal.

Disclosure - I had many rich and wonderful days in the park with Catherine Sim and our young kids - thermos of coffee or tea, packs of crackers and bags full of nappies and wipes, I can now honestly say those "Hazy Baby Days" were a beautiful thing (mostly).

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