Finding The Happy

Looking for joy in all the right places



A day in the life of a snotty baby

Today’s one of those days where nothing seems quite smooth-sailing for Arddun.

She wakes up with a nose that’s running like a faucet. She’s woozy, yet energetic – one of the most lethal combinations for a baby who’s just figured out crawling, because it means she goes hell for leather as usual, and then loses her balance and twacks something. Or uses up her reserves twice as fast, and then wonders why she’s feeling weepy.

The mother of a snotty baby cannot help but get snotty herself, eventually. I used to wonder how ‘flus make their rounds in families – don’t they practise good hygiene? – but since Arddun’s come down with this runny nose, I UNDERSTAND. She’s cute, but she’s now also disgusting. I doubt she even understands that her nose is running, because it all dribbles down past her mouth and starts to drip from her chin, but it doesn’t seem to bother her a stitch. You wipe her face and it’s clean and dry, and then you turn around 30 seconds later and it’s like she’s eaten a pot of glue. Every time she sneezes – which is often – it’s like a car just went over a puddle and you’re collateral damage.

She’s happy to see you, but she’s feeling about 75% so she wants more cuddles – all the better to wipe her face on your collar bone and shoulder.  All attempts to get her to blow her nose into Eucalyptus-infused Kleenex are fiercely rebutted. But she will help herself to your table cloth. Or crawl over while you’re doing the dishes, and bury her face in your pyjama pants (left leg). And then look up at you and grin so hard because she’s SO happy she’s here, right next to you and the pyjama pants that smell like you.

She is clumsier. Or perhaps she’s soukier (Singaporeans: more manja), which is why every infraction committed by the laws of gravity now solicits the loudest howls this side of the equator when previously, she’d Keep Calm and Carry On. She bumped her head twice on the playpen grills, twice on the cot rails, and absolutely smacked her forehead on the tiled floor when she face-planted after misjudging the distance between Mommy’s Arms and the cold, hard truth. Major histrionics ensued. The face-plant, I concur, deserved the howling and some frozen bag-o-peas TLC. Everything else was a leeetle put on, I thought.

But cuddle her I did. And loved her I did. And do. And do.

And she’d laugh and giggle until naptime, where she’d howl all over again. Only to sit up suddenly and hold her pillow up to you. The red, heart-shaped one with the hole in the middle to prevent flat-head. She holds the pillow up and peers through the hole in the centre. And she thinks it’s HA-LA-RIOUS that she thought of doing that. HA-LA-RIOUS that she can see you through that ridiculous hole. And she actually laughs, “Ha! Ha! Ha!”

And you think, how could I have ever thought this child was disgusting?

Business as usual, really. Except with 2,000% more tissues.

Hypochondriacs R Us

I need to take a chill pill. Ironically, that might involve a doctor.

Okay, back up. Here’s the situation. In just 2 weeks, my girl’s got the sniffles. And then 10 days ago, her face exploded into a gazillion pimples so innumerous, they’ve sorta merged into one giant crusty, flaking mask of yuck across my offspring’s gorgeous face.

Baby modelling career over before it ever began.

On a more serious note, it’s really distressing to watch. Mostly because it just looks so painful. To add to the litany of skin-related woes, her nappy rash came back with a vengeance and now we’re talking major ouchy looking sores.

And I feel terribly guilty. Like I didn’t wash her face properly. Or keep her dry enough. Or hydrated enough. Or cool enough. Or warm enough. Or something.

Not enough! Nothing I do feels like enough. I feel like a man, and want to run out and DO something. Get a cream! See a doctor! Alleviate the pain and suffering. Except the books and websites all claim that nappy rash and colds and baby acne happen, and I should just sit tight and let it run its course. That medication at this age would be overkill. That it’s normal. That This Too Shall Pass.

Not on my watch! another part of the brain yells. And as with any extensive sleuthing on the internet, the worries grow. It’s probably nappy rash… but it could be THRUSH! Quick! Run to the chemist! Call the GP! Get Canesten! No wait, too strong for baby! No, it’s alright! Leave it alone! No, do something now before it gets worse! No, if you fiddle, it WILL get worse!

She has a snuffly nose. Or it could be… the FLU! Viral! It’s winter! What if it gets to her lungs! Quick! Get her booked into the after-hours clinic at the hospital! Turn up the heater! No wait, too hot. No wait, turn down the heater but turn on the humidifier. No wait, get the Vicks vaposteam thingamajig to menthol-ise the air! No wait – not advisable for babies! Might burn her lungs out. Or something. No wait – says it’s okay on the box…

She’s got a bad case of baby acne, but it could be… DERMATITIS! Or SEVERE ECZEMA! She could be allergic to EVERYTHING! Quick, change her formula supplement to soy! And change your diet so your breastmilk doesn’t taste of chilli. Or something. And run out and get this cream that everyone swears by – Aveeno. Or Weleda. Buy them both. But patch test first! But where! Which part of baby would you like to patch test on, so that if it goes balls up you can just say, “Phew. Thank goodness that was only on [insert body part here]”. Tell me that.

They never told me this was part of motherhood. I wish I can turn this part of my brain off.

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