Last week James kissed Matilda and then exclaimed gleefully
“Mummy, she looks like a pig!”
I was all set to say “That’s not very kind” when I realised two things:
- In Jamesworld, in which there is no finer animal than a warthog, being told that you look like a pig does not count as an insult.
- I had to concede that she did indeed look a little bit piggy on that day. (I even took a pic… yes I am a terrible mother.)
Bless her. I think it’s just that snub nose… and the fact that she hasn’t got her eyelashes yet – and her jaundice suntan has faded to the finest shade of Pinky and Perky.
She scrubs up cute though…
In fairness, I don’t think James was any less porcine at her age, though he was a little less tubby of tummy and chubby of limb. Matilda is definitely squidgier.
One thing the boybot shared was her affliction with milk spots – in fact I think he had them worse than she does. Hers tend to flare up when she’s hot, especially if I take her out in the sunshine – then they pretty much disappear again at night when the temperature cools down.
It’s an amazing thing about baby skin – how their faces can transform from spotty teenager to flawless peach in the space of a few hours. Right now she’s looking positively peachy, but I won’t be at all surprised if she goes red and blotchy again this afternoon as I’m planning to take her out for an al fresco lunch in the sunshine with daddy.
This morning I realised that she’s exactly three weeks old. If she’d made it to 40 weeks without being evicted, she’d only be 2 weeks old – though I have no idea whether that makes any real difference to their development. As it is, her eyes are open more often this week, but they’re a little cloudy looking and it’s hard to tell what she’s looking at or what colour they’ll end up being. She still doesn’t really do much apart from sleep, eat and create emissions. I think it’s at least another couple of weeks before she’ll be able to hold her head up or give us her first genuine smile.
One thing I can say is that she’s nowhere near as ladylike as her brother. Awake or asleep, life is pretty much one long audio track of snuffling, snoring and explosive nappy noises. That and some very strange squawking noises that cause G and me to wonder if we accidentally gave birth to a baby T-rex.
Meanwhile, in big brother world, little Jamesy Attenborough has been showing a disconcerting level of interest in the animal mechanics of breastfeeding. “It’s because you’re a mammal, mummy!” Having no memory of his own days at the boob cafe hasn’t stopped him from wanting to advise me at every opportunity – (e.g. by pointing to a boob and saying “she’s hungry, mummy, why don’t you give her that one?“).
Er, thanks James… (is ‘toddlersplaining’ a word yet?)
On a similarly patronising note, he came home last week singing a song that they’d learned at nursery, which has these lyrics:
I’m squashing up my baby bumblebee
What will my mummy say to me?
Yuk! I’ve got bee all over me!
At this point the poor microbe was forced to learn exactly what his mummy would say to him, as I launched into a lecture about the agricultural importance of bees and why we must never squash them. He listened to all of this patiently and then responded, with a faint air of pity:
“Mummy, it’s only a song, It’s not real life”
Well, that’s me told.
In other news, the boybot had a lovely weekend at some local fairs and events. On Saturday we went to a Gruffalo storytime with his pals and he met the brilliant Axel Scheffler who signed his book and drew a little custom illustration of the fox, at James’s request.
Then on Sunday we went to our local community fair and he had a little horse ride and got his face painted and met the filth, and so on…
Recently I’m reminded that I have to be careful what I say to the boybot, for fear of having it repeated back to me later. As is the lot of small children with siblings, all of James’s requests these days for drinks/attention/stories/activity/anything whatsoever are met with the default response “in a minute” or “in five minutes“, depending on how generous I’m feeling.
Unfortunately for James, a grown-up minute can equate to anywhere between one toddler hour or 300 toddler years, depending on the ratio of toddler urgency to parental fobbing-off. This has not gone unnoticed by the microbe, hence he asked me last week “Mummy, is five minutes a long time?” and I replied “Well for grown-ups it’s a very short time indeed, but for children it generally feels like eternity”
Since then, all of my fob-offs have been met with “But Mummy! For me that’s a VERY long time!” Ach… I’m afraid that you might just have to suck it up for now, little boy.