A Rock and a Hard Place

Piglet is now three months old and still basically nocturnal.  He is sitting in front of me on his bouncy chair now, sucking his thumb.  His thumb is his latest new discovery and one I have mixed feelings about.  On the one hand, I now feel less bad about denying him the dummy which various people (for “various people” read “my mother”) keep suggesting.  To be honest, I can’t logically explain why I’m so against the idea of a dummy.  I just think they look bad, like something that’s been shoved in the child’s mouth to shut them up with no thought for what really might be bothering them, and which stifles their freedom of expression (God, now I sound like one of those dreadful middle class mothers who grow their sons’ hair into Harry Styles ringlets and allow little Milo and Harriet to race around gastropubs on scooters, pausing occasionally to doodle on the walls to express their creativity).  In other words, I enjoy listening to little Piglet’s gurgles of happiness and shouts of reproach and don’t want to plug his mouth with a plastic contraption in case he NEVER EVER SPEAKS, like Maggie from The Simpsons.  

However, the thumb sucking is not without its reservations.  As I try to manoeuvre his thumb into his mouth for the umpteenth time in the hope that he will be able to settle himself to sleep and not need me to rock him for several thousand years or provide him with unlimited nipple until it falls off, I do wonder if I am unintentionally giving him buck teeth and a childish habit that will last until his university days.  At this precise moment though, I will take anything that potentially helps him to settle himself to sleep.  So far he has been completely inept at sleep in general, and right now seems to prefer sitting in his bouncy chair looking at his hands to settling into a nice deep slumber.  At least he amuses himself.  The hands seem to be an endless source of fascination for him.  At the risk of sounding far too earnest for my own liking, it is fascinating to see him discover such essential body parts as hands, and realise that they belong to him and aren’t just things that randomly flail about on either side of his eye line.

Another thing that Piglet has recently taken an interest in is his collection of muslins.  This morning he was so enthusiastic in his play with one of these that it ended up covering his eyes and he didn’t know how to move it out of the way so that he could see again.  Again, this is something I have mixed feelings about.  On the one hand, I am thrilled that he is happy to play with something so simple, that we already have so many of, and which is more aesthetically pleasing that the reams of multicoloured plastic tat that are usually marketed as toys.  On the other hand, I am terrified that he will now end up like the friend of mine who screamed for the entire duration of the Year 7 French trip in 1992 because she forgot to bring her comfort blanket and couldn’t sleep without it.

Motherhood.  It really is a choice between a rock and a hard place.

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