Tired, dealing with baby

Like fools, we stayed up until midnight last night, and then this morning I had to get up at 6:15 to meet my running partner to do 15 km. Last week I’d barely managed to keep up with him; this week I was even worse, falling apart around the 8km point and never standing a chance after that. Still, by 9 a.m. I was home, by ten I was passed out on the sofa, and by twelve I’d made up most of my sleep deficit.

I think our daughter must be making me stronger – I never used to need the ability to bounce a fourteen pound weight on my knee for extended periods – but in the short term it’s hard to combine the exertions and after effects of running with full-time baby wrangling. Even after all that sleep, I was a feeble shell of a human being, better suited to eating crisps than looking after somebody else.

Funnily enough, it turns out that in the absence of any toys, our daughter can be entertained by the sound and sight of me shaking a packet of baked potato-crisp-alternatives, which is handy. Sometimes.

We took her to the supermarkets. There are two supermarkets in one of the nearby malls, Giant and Cold Storage. Giant is huge, cheap and doesn’t have very much nice stuff; Cold Storage is smaller, expensive and also doesn’t have that much nice stuff, but does have decent cheese and fruit that you don’t have to weigh before taking it to the check out. You have to weigh all your fruit yourself at Giant, and we always forget to do this, and we always end up giving up on fruit when we reach the check out and realize we’d have to trudge all the way back to the other end of the store to get a price for it.

I would have preferred her to sleep through this and not witness her parents’ abject failure to conform to the demands of the supermarket, but that didn’t happen. In fact, she stayed awake all the way there, all the way around the shops, and all the way home. On trains, on the street, in her stroller, in the baby harness, next to a bank playing ill-advised techno on a Sunday afternoon, through a crowd of smoking ladies who weren’t smoking hot, awake and aware she remained.

This was a problem because she needed to sleep, and so, in this deprived state, she had a series of high volume meltdowns for five hours, from a little time before our dinner guest arrived until after dinner, after our guest had departed, and potentially long into the night.

I did say before that babies can sense weakness, and tonight she was doing a good job of that. We tried to figure out if she was upset, if she needed swaddling, if she had wind, if it was the four days of solid waste backed up in her that was distressing her as it finally erupted from her backside, but nothing we did stopped the counterblast to agnosticism spewing from either end of her body.

Several times I bounced her to sleep, sitting atop my exercise ball, and each time she’d jerk back awake after a few minutes and howl at me. We put more milk than I would have imagined possible into her, and still she chugged on. Only when she’d fully exhausted herself, about half an hour ago, did she finally quieten down.

Still, we’d had a good day. We now have a decent non stick frying pan for the first time in four years of co-habitation. It’s a clever Tefal design where part of the pan glows red to tell you an even temperature has been achieved, and for now the handle isn’t wobbly and it scrubs up easily. We’ve had a delicious dinner of kale lasagna, I’ve brushed up on my Spanish questions, and we even had time to stick my world map back on the wall. Now if baby will just give us eight more hours of uninterrupted sleep, I’ll be a happy man.

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