We got in from a long day visiting family (including my dad in hospital). Joe had barely slept all day (and Joe usually sleeps for at least – at LEAST – four hours a day) so I wanted to get him to bed fairly swiftly, but he also needed to eat something.
The previous day, he’d had some mixed berries that I’d mixed with some of his cereal. And he’d loved it. So we made it for him again and he wolfed it down. I kept him up a little longer to give it time to digest. He got the hiccups. Once the hiccups had gone, I popped him in bed and all was quiet.
“Bless,” David said, “he was so tired.” And then he went to check on Joe and I heard a plaintive cry (from David, not Joe). I ran upstairs to find David, looking panicky, cudding Joe, who was smiling away, despite the fact that both of them were covered in sick. Very berry-looking sick.
David stripped Joe off while I ran him a bath (Joe, not David). While I bathed him, David took Joe’s bedding – sheet, blanket, sleeping bag, sleepsuit – and put it in the wash. Once Joe was all clean and happy, we got him dried, dressed, in a new sleeping bag, back in bed.
I put Harry in bed and then went to check on Joe again. He was in his sleeping position (basically the recovery position, which is how both Harry and I also sleep), thumb in his mouth, just drifting off. But I thought I saw something near his face, so I reached in… yep. More sick. I lifted Joe out to find a huge pile of sick behind where his head had been. It was down his neck, inside his babygro, all over the back of his head, in his ear. And he’d been just about to go to sleep anyway, bless him.
Another full change and he was back in bed, with David and me checking on him about every five minutes.
And then the guilt started. Were the berries too rich? Isn’t he supposed to have berries yet? Are we not washing his spoons and dishes well enough? Should we still be sterilising them? (Rather than just, you know, licking them.) (Not that that’s the *only* way I clean his spoons.) (Most of the time.)
And then, during the night Joe woke up about every hour. I breastfed him, he cried, he flailed about, he chewed his fist. We realised, yes, it was the teeth. And then I remembered that when we went on holiday a few weeks ago we had a couple of nights of Joe crying and flailing and clearly teething and also, yes, throwing up. After which I’d felt all guilty about what he’d eaten and whether his spoons had been cleaned properly and whether I should be sterilising stuff, etc.
And so this column has a moral. Oh yes, a moral. And that’s to trust yourself. I didn’t question anything I was feeding Joe or anything I was doing until he got sick. And then I questioned everything. But it wasn’t my fault. And (for once) it wasn’t even my husband’s. It was just one of those baby things that come along and surprise you. Every single sodding time.