Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mum's wet war

It must be a bit like what happens to soldiers after a stint in battle.

Wherever Sonny's mother goes these days, a certain detached part of her is inevitably scanning the surroundings for the enemy: Damp. She always suspects - correctly, for all we know - that something or another is wet.

Our guess is this has little to do with our now-resolved leaky pipes scare (fixed for enough to buy whole cartons of baby books, but never mind). Rather, it is surely what having to change nappies every few hours can do to you, at least if you have a delicate nervous system.

Most saliently, in other words, Mum is always catching herself wondering if Sonny's diapers are failing to 'stem the tide' and if the damp (if not worse) has invaded his clothes. Or hers, for that matter. These flashes of anxiety can come half-way through a TV show, and when Sonny isn't even in the room: They are also coming more frequently now.

You might think this passes for a minor flesh wound, as battles go. Such supersensitivity to damp might even be useful - for instance, in ensuring Sonny's comfort. But we're only six weeks into the Sonny campaign. What's the prognosis for the future: What will be the equivalent of psychological battle scars like the thousand-yard scare, or post-traumatic stress? Will Mum be jolting awake in the wee hours, crying, "Wet! Once more, in the britches"?

One obvious answer is that she'll do better with support from fellow warriors on the front line (this being code, in case he's being especially obtuse, for Pa not to forget to do his share). Mum needs to be rotated out for rest and recreation. In a couple of months' time, too, we may be handing Sonny over to a new unit - an infant care centre - for much of the day during the working week. That might help - so long as Mum doesn't start worrying from afar.

For now, at least Sonny is likely to stay pretty dry.


Pauline said...

What a great blog! I'm a former journalist and current freelancing magazine writer who is in total awe of your command of the English language. You used the word "saliently." Very impressive.
Oh-and thanks for stopping by my blog!

Anonymous said...

Enjoy parenthood. I was too anxious with my first born but more relaxed with my second. Babies are smart and they always know how to make their mommies run around..

Happy Blogging

Cloudsters said...

Thanks, Pauline and Constance, for soothing respectively our literary and parental anxieties. As for babies being smart, we're beginning to think he can be a little too cunning for his little booties.