Saturday, 15 September 2012

There's an app for that

Becoming a parent for the first time exposes some character traits you didn't know or necessarily want to admit. My husband might tell you otherwise but I hadn't realised that I might, possibly (ahem) like a bit of control. There I said it. Surely there's nothing wrong with wanting to plan a little and prepare for things?

When our little one was born we were impressed - and I don't just mean by the overwhelming love, joy and pride for him - but also by his communication skills. When he was hungry he wouldn't cry, he would just make a little quirky noise that we called 'The Count' (after the character from the 70s kids' TV series: Sesame Street) which we found hilarious and genius. In fact, he had (and has) so many little 'isms' it's so amazing that such a little being can have so much personality already, anyway I digress.

Mrs Control here thought she had it down to a tee, knowing exactly what he wanted and when. I even remember asking people in 'week 3' how to get them into a routine (yes I now know that it was impossible to have a routine back then).
Then suddenly, 'week 8' hit and it all changed - eek. No longer were the cues and signs but here was one cry that meant hunger, tired, trapped wind and all the above, plus more. Sucking his hand now meant he was tired instead of hungry and his feeding habits changed every three days.

So I found an app. Excitedly, I rang my husband one day and said 'I've come up with a new app idea!' - another silly invention or money-making scheme of mine. Then I discovered many already existed that timed and graphed feeding patterns, I was a bit disappointed I hadn’t got there first but equally grateful that there was something that was ‘the answer’. Of course, it didn’t make a blind bit of difference, nor did the white noise app that was rated 4.5 stars in getting bambinos off to nodding-land. But psychologically it helped me feel in control and my iPhone became everything from organising my social life to googling every baby related question out there - what did we do without them? 

Secretly though, we love the fact that he has a strong-willed personality and keeps us on our toes. I know, I can hear you say; ‘He is just a baby and that’s what they do’, but we like to think he already knows his own mind (just humour me).

And so I’m learning with babies; just when you think something is working and you have it sussed, it all changes. And as much as I try to have our little routine, I have to be as flexible and fluid as possible and sometimes [read weekly] you get thrown a curveball and you can’t control everything…not unless you've found an app for that?

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