Their Bad Mother

Their Bad Mother


The Swaddle Diaries

posted by Catherine Connors

Day 77…

Night before last, swaddle intact. Last night, busted out once. I think that the score is just about even.

Ha. Who am I kidding? I lost the battle of wills with my daughter about 10 seconds after she was born. But I soldier on, as I must. She at least has to THINK that I’m in charge.

Did some research on swaddle-weaning. Turns out that most swaddlers never wean – they just keep on swaddling ’til they lose the battle, ’til, presumably, Baby’s will to be unswaddled defeats her own dependence on the swaddle (and, presumably, Mommy’s will to swaddle.)

This baby still needs the swaddle. Despite her determination to free herself, it is absolutely essential to her sleeping comfort. The minute she frees herself, she’s miserable – she’s like an escaped convict who’s hit the other side of the wall and immediately collapses in fear, sobbing until the guards come shackle her up again. (I know that that doesn’t happen in real life. I think. At least, it’s not going to happen on Prison Break.)


Yes, I’m the guard in that analogy. Note that I’m not even the warden. I don’t know who that would be. Not my husband. Maybe one of the cats.

Anyway. The swaddle – her prison – is necessary to her sleepy well-being. But she clearly doesn’t appreciate it (as with all good/necessary things in childhood/adolescence, I suppose.) I can hear myself already – and it’s shrill – “It’s for your own good!!!

Other things I can hear my future self say:

“I carried you for over 10 months!” (41 weeks. That last week was a whole new circle of hell. Or so I thought, until I went into labour…)

“I was in labour 36 hours with you!” (And the experience will still defy description 16 years from now. Lucky her.)

“I breastfed you for — months!” (Still counting on that one. I’ll probably exaggerate this number. I won’t exaggerate the numbers above – in the first case, because if she’s half as clever as I think she’ll be she’ll never believe that I carried her for, say, 16 months. And in the second case, because 36 hours stills seems perfectly respectably hellish to me.)

“I was up all day and all night with you when you were a baby!” (See previous postings. This is maybe something of an exaggeration. She’s a good sleeper. If I’m up all night it’s because I’m obsessive about her breathing, her spitting up, her swaddle, her future, etc, etc…)

“I changed your diaper!” (Oh did I ever. And believe me she is going to hear about the turbo-poo. As will all of her boyfriends. Yes, I know that I’m going to mess her up. My mother did me. Fair is fair.)

And so on. All of which will be followed by – “and this is the thanks I get!?!?”

————-

Do not…

… be fooled by the very adorable, peaceful, unswaddled frog-pose here. Moments after this picture was taken, her arms and legs flailed out into sky-diver pose, and then immediately retracted into a spectacular head-punch. Scored a 9.8 from the Canadian judge.

Originally posted at Her Bad Mother, 2006. Copyright Catherine Connors 2006 – 2009.



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