I talked in the last blog about leaving Viking FM and thank you for all your kind messages. I had been hoping to get back into radio but I reckon I may have found a lucrative new career path; training medical professionals involved in looking after babies. From my experience, all you need to know is that whatever anyone asks, the issue with their child is down to a growth spurt.
“She’s not sleeping” “Growth spurt”.
“He’s constantly crying” “Growth spurt”
“She’s three weeks old and already knows all the dance moves to S Club 7’s ‘Reach For The Stars’” “Growth spurt”.
So there you are; sign up to the Jim Coulson Post Natal Academy, pay your tuition fees straight into my current account and I’ll print you a certificate using my best clip art skills and scrawl a note in biro on the back of a beer mat which simply reads “say it’s a growth spurt”. Keep that with you at all times and go off into the world with my best wishes.
Elsa is only eight weeks old and we’ve heard this relayed as fact on so many occasions that I’ve lost count and usually erroneously. The last time was at the start of this week but it wasn’t a growth spurt at all, it was …(cue dramatic music, dry ice and perhaps some lasers)… HER FIRST COLD!
If you think that there’s nothing worse than listening to your infant daughter struggle to breathe through her nose so much that simple comforts like sleeping and feeding become a torment then, sadly, you’re incorrect. The only remedy that the chemist would recommend for one so tiny was a saline drip and I was readily volunteered by Jill to be the one to apply it directly up Elsa’s nose. I figured that two months into fatherhood I’d heard every different brand of cry our little bundle of joy could muster. I hadn’t. As the salt solution hit her delicate schnozzle she let out a scream so loud that the police instantly issued a code red Banshee alert for the surrounding area.
We’re willing to try anything to help her out, we’ve even taken to having one of us shower whilst the other holds the baby in the bathroom hoping the steam will clear the passageways. If anyone were to walk in at that point it would take a fair bit of explaining. Mind you, we’d have some fairly searching questions to ask of them too.
It’s hard enough dealing with the poorly girl but it’s made worse by the fact that we’re trying to cope with very little shut-eye too. Elsa’s spluttering, weeping and inability to sleep on her back means we’re either up every half an hour or we take it in shifts to hold her upright on our chests whilst the other grabs some kip.
I did think that the sleep depravation hadn’t really affected me until I visited our local Co-op today. I filled my basket, paid the bill and wandered off home. It took me till halfway back to realise that one vital item was missing; not bread, milk nor Monster Munch…I’d left the dog tied up outside the shop! Cue me waddling back as quickly as the shopping bags would allow to find a lonely Labrador howling his heart out and pair of disapproving old women slowly shaking their heads in my general direction. There was only one way to successfully retrieve some semblance of dignity from this situation; as I undid his lead from around the railings I turned to them, face a picture of complete propriety and simply uttered the line: “sorry about that, it’s probably a growth spurt”.