Sunday, July 11, 2010

Carry on regardless

In certain cultures it is customary that babies are not put on the ground for the first year of their life. Trust me on this - I'm a bit shaky on the details, but I have Metro-level knowledge it happens in Bali. Maybe it works in extended families, but three months into Hackney_Child 2.0's life, it is getting pretty wearing for the distinctly nuclear Holiday family.

He is a pretty massive wee thing and doesn't take that kindly to being put down. This can mean carrying his impressive bulk around for hours on end while he dribbles down your aching left arm (I favour that side). I fear I will end up like one of those lopsided crabs that develops a massive claw to compensate for the loss of the other one.

As well as refusing to be put down, he also doesn't see why you should sit down on duty. What difference it makes to him I cannot tell, but the moment bum touches seat, his back starts to arch and he squirms and squeaks until you resume the upright jiggling position. It's like handling a large and chubby eel. I remember when I was a kid my dad told me that the only way to stop an eel wriggling was to make a cross in the ground and lay it on the axis. As I recall it didn't really work that well on the elver we'd caught, but the thought remains.

It's beginning to affect me physically. Today I found myself jiggling involuntarily when he started crying even though I wasn't carrying him. People look. I'm also developing a rather splay footed dad walk that is partly designed to rock the bairn and partly aimed at slowing down my progress as Number One Son is usually dawdling some distance behind complaining of having 'empty legs'. This means swapping lumpen baby for his older sibling, who usually regains his energy levels once perched on my shoulders and commences to try and compress my neck into my chest by bouncing up and down on it. The only compensation is that they are both growing at such a rate that one day soon, they will be carrying me.

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