It’s not the first time this has happened.
Waking up in the early hours of the morning, all bleary eyed and confused, slowly becoming aware of the sounds of rambling gibberish…
It used to be a regular occurrence, but that’s enough about my late night chats with the Mrs. This was different. This was special.
Around three and a half months ago we went to the hospital and came back with the greatest gift they could offer – which is saying something, considering those places specialise in remarkable, miraculous gifts. Her name is Penelope. Or, for today at least, Loppy.
We’d been told to expect long nights and broken sleep. That’s what we’d signed up for, everyone said so. And, to be fair, Loppy didn’t disappoint. For the first few weeks she was waking every couple of hours, desperate for the magic nipple and it’s nourishing fruit.
Despite my best efforts, it seemed my breasts weren’t enticing enough. For starters, they weren’t big enough to allow a good, firm grip (almost, but not quite) and the nipples were far too hairy. So I helped the only way I could… by rolling over and going back to sleep. It was hard work at first, but we soon adjusted. Now I’m practically sleeping right through 😌
Loppy didn’t have much going for her at first, besides being super cute. In those early days she had just three main states: Sleeping, Eating, and Crying. It sounds tough, but it made things pretty easy.
Again, with my boobs not quite up to scratch, the Feeding state fell mostly to Jen, who soldiered through with impressive determination. I seriously doubt my delicate man-nipples could have stood up to the relentless battering Jen’s have taken these past few months, and for that she’ll always have my respect and gratitude.
The Sleeping state pretty much took care of itself, which just left the Crying state. This was tackled in three simple steps:
- Try burping her.
If it’s wind, patting her on the back will help shift it. Once she’s made some space, she’ll either be ready to eat again or ready for a sleep.
- Check her nappy.
None of us like to sleep in our own filth and babies are no exception. They’ll swear blue murder at you for trying to change them, but they’ll be glad for it in the long run.
- Entertain her.
For some reason Penny seems to enjoy football chants of a Liverpool nature. She loves the Torres song for one, even though she’s about ten years too late. Her personal favourite, though, is the Allez Allez Allez song that became the soundtrack to Liverpool’s Champions League campaign. Not that she’s been crying out for it so much recently, given what happened in the final. The pain is still too raw.
That was it. One of those steps – or a combination of them – would eventually lead to the sweet spot, where Loppy would drift off to sleep once more. If not, it was probably time to feed again. Or she was cold; or uncomfortable; or tired.
Mostly, though, that was it. Rinse and repeat. Simple.
That was how it worked for the first couple of months at least, before things started to shift slightly.
Now, a bit like Skynet in the Terminator films, Loppy is becoming more and more self-aware as the days go by. She’s smiling more often, which makes you smile, which makes her smile. She’s discovered the wonders of her limbs, grabbing things with her hands and kicking out with her feet.
She chats back now, listens to your response, then shakes her head and smiles at your silliness. We haven’t had a full on laugh yet, but it’s getting there.
I think she’s still a bit dubious about my hairy mug, but I can understand that. I’m in work most of the day so I don’t see her that often, plus I haven’t got mummy’s goodies to back it up. That’s ok. I’ve got my own goodies and my time to shine will come once she’s a little older, when communication flows a little easier. And that’s not very far away at all.
She’s already on the same page as me in humour. Just the other day the wife was telling everyone how perfectly delightful Loppy is, when, as soon as the words were out of her mouth, Loppy lifted her leg and farted.
The girl doesn’t even know what comic timing is yet, but she’s got it in abundance.
Which brings me back to that 4am awakening. It wasn’t the sound of hunger or disgruntlement that woke us, it was the sound of Loppy bright as a button, chatting absolute garbage to herself. It was a sound full of joy and enthusiasm, like she was just loving life and needed to let us know.
It was probably the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard. I mean I did ask her nicely to shut her face – it was 4 in the morning. But I was more than happy to be ignored, and I’d do anything to spend the rest of my days waking up to that sound.
Hopefully, it’s just a sign of things to come.
13th June 2018