Monday, April 11, 2011

Compost, little fishies and last pages.

1. Tipping a bag of compost into a new planter.

2. "This mince is really good," says Nick. "What's in it?"
I have no idea -- it came out of the freezer. And then I spot the hair-like anchovy bones. I am all about anchovies at the moment -- blame Jamie Oliver for their presence in every savoury dish I touch.

3. "I've been terrible with the booby book today," I confess to Nick. We have logged the start and finish time of pretty much every single one of Alec's feeds since he came home from hospital. It gave me a sense of achievement at the end of the day to see how many times we'd sat down together. Nick added up the minutes at the end of the day and I felt as if he now knew for sure how hard I was working. Of course, it's not about the length of the feed, because babies suck and rest, and some of the sucks are comfort rather than nutrition. But flicking through, I can see the change from the early days, when we were still learning and I found it so painful, when I gritted my teeth, cuddled my new baby and counted the minutes. The feeds tend to be longer now -- roughly the length of a Simpsons or Firefly episode. There are 4am feeds when I heard the dawn chorus and the milkman; and feeds with no end because we drifted off to sleep. There are daytime feeds marked with a query because I was taking tea with other mothers and forgot the time.
"Do you think it's time to stop keeping it?" asks Nick, closing the little notebook.
He's right -- we are much more sensitive to Alec's cycles and requests now. I am much more confident in my ability to feed my little boy. It's another happy-sad moment -- like the day Alec found his fingers and didn't need to suck ours any more. I put the elastic round the book and lay it away in his box, along with our hospital bands, the remains of his cord and the newspapers for the day he was born.


  1. What a wonderful idea to keep a box of such things for your baby boy. I'm sure you and your son will treasure the contents forever.
    I imagine it must be beautiful to be a parent. I read all your posts with such envy! :) I long for the day when I will become a mummy.

  2. Thanks Becca! I have a horrid feeling that he'll open it up and go "Muu-uum, why'd you keep this?"

    It's more for me, really. We end up with all these little bits and bobs, and I can't bear to throw them away.

  3. Hi Clare, I loved this post, particularly number 3. On Sunday I became a Godmother for my friend's little boy who was Christened at the age of 7. I wasn't sure what to get him. In the end I settled on a memory box. He loved it and immediately started putting special things in. I have recently done one for my own boys too, who are 11 and 13. They love them. The special things that make up the story of our lives can't be underestimated. Also I think your feeding journal is a great idea. I'm sure it would be so useful to share with other breastfeeding mums. In those early days when you can't see an end in sight it would be really helpful to see how the patterns of breastfeeding change with time.

  4. Thanks Sara. We're still feeding every two hours during the day -- dunno how I'd have taken knowing that in the early days! But the nights are getting longer now, which is a relief. He often sleeps through the 10pm feed.

    I do like the idea of a memory box -- I'm just aware that if it is to be Alec's, he will want to edit it himself, and some of the things I've kept hold of won't be to his taste. But I'm hoping he'll react like your boys did.


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