Every mothers' group has one. You know, one of those really unruly babies who squirm and wiggle, try to jump, arch their backs in protest and yell and scream and babble very loudly and incessantly while all the other babies behave like cherubs as they happily sit on their mother's lap. The sort of baby who gets into everything especially your handbag, empties it to find your car key to chew on (even though there is a teething ring in there).
The sort of baby who grows up to be one of those ratbag children who run around like maniacs. The sort of child whom other parents look to its mother with pity while old folks and the childless look at with disgust for not being able to control her child. The one who creates havoc at mothers' group for stealing another baby's lunch or someone else's toy and then snub that baby when he tries to hold hands. I guess Mothers' Group Mayhem is inaccurate. It's more like a One Man Show starring Bubby. Yes, Bubby is one of those babies and I am the poor mother. He seems to be always putting on a show. Today at our weekly coffee meet he was being very loud while eating his biscuit. I suppose at least he seemed happy enough to be strapped into his pram. Other mums said he's so cute but really they're just being kind to me. They're really feeling sorry for me as I struggle to keep my little rascal from hurting himself. I know I would feel sorry for another mum in my position. Later on Bubby was trying to jump off the seat he was standing on and tried to play with a knife when nobody was looking. Even Little T who earlier spilt cappuccino all over himself and his mummy was laughing at Bubby's antics as if he's thinking "You're so silly, Bubby." I am comforted in the fact that Little T is not far behind Bubby in the precociousness stake being quite cheeky and active himself. I see the twinkle in his eye. He and Bubby will be in cahoots soon enough.
Yesterday we went to sleep school. Well, it's not really sleep school it's a parent/child organization that runs programs which help parents with child/parenting and health related things but settling is probably one of their biggest areas. I was referred by my local early childhood centre a few weeks ago when I was struggling with Bubby's frequent night wakings. I was going to cancel the appointment since he's now pretty much sleeping through the night but never got the chance to and figured I might get something out of it. By the time we got there and had the initial chit chat with the nurse it was way past Bubby's nap time especially we were up extra early that morning to make the 9.15 appointment (ideally Bubby should be in bed by that time). I went through our bedtime routine and left Bubby to self settle. Well, it's a new environment with lots to see and plenty of new sounds (construction next door, main road, sirens from ambulances going to the four major hospitals just down the road), so naturally he didn't want to sleep and didn't want to be alone. He put on quite a tantrum. We listened to it in the room next door. He let us know exactly how displeased he was. When we went in to resettle, the nurse patted the bed while Bubby was sitting and watching her. He then started laughing and patting the bed too. I was trying hard not to laugh myself. We left and waited to see if he'll put himself to sleep. He continued his whining, alternating grizzling, crying, listening and waiting and yelling "WawawaWAAA" and his usual vocalisation. All the while the nurse was saying that he's a very determined baby. This went on for 45 minutes and the nurse decided it's time for us to go in again. We can't see him so I don't know what he's doing (at home I always watch him on the video monitor) but he sounded like he was winding down. When we stepped in he was already lying down sucking the bedsheet. I knew he would be asleep shortly but before I could say anything and to my dismay the nurse was already shh-ing and Bubby realised we were there. In the end the nurse said he's been upset long enough and is already overtired (No sh!t Sherlock!) and that I should put him in the pram to help him sleep. Really?! I gave up my morning and Bubby's morning nap so I can torture him and put him to sleep in his pram. If he was going to end up asleep in his pram anyway I could have just joined my mummy posse at the park for a good walk and coffee afterwards. So that's how Bubby failed sleep school. Actually it's more like how he broke sleep school. Now why do I feel proud about that? It was a bit of a waste of time since self settling is not our issue. He settles and puts himself to sleep without a problem, it's just that he still occasionally wakes up. On the upside at least I'm reassured that I have been doing the right thing and just need to continue to be consistent. Perhaps because she couldn't break Bubby, the nurse wanted us to go to the residential sleep school to help with the night settling but I'm thinking "Thanks but no, thanks." I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing in my own home with my son in an environment he feels safe, secure and comfortable in, where he happily plays in his cot once I've tucked him in until he's ready to lie down and sleep.
With all his quirks and cheekiness, he is such a funny and lovable baby despite being completely unruly and a total rascal. Today he started giving real kisses not the 'I'm going to eat your face' kisses. He loves to watch his Brainy Baby ABC dvd. S is his favourite letter and he knows it comes after R because he would pay attention as soon as it gets to R and squeal when S comes on. He smiles his biggest smile when the narrator says "S, sss, sss, smile". I wish I could post photos of his beautiful smile. I'd have my little devil over a cherub any day.