Wednesday, June 5, 2013


TLOML is flying home as I post this. Hurray and hurrah for that. He's been gone for just over a fortnight, busy wining and dining clients and colleagues on the West Coast and in Argentina. In the name of building professional relationships he has probably consumed a small herd of Black Angus, a couple of cases of Malbec and several casks of Lagavulin.

Meanwhile Lady P and I have been on a sort of bootcamp, pretty much devoid of meat and alcohol. For me, that is. She was never a great meat eater anyway. Her bootcamp has included a high intensity nap training programme, and the introduction of a fairly strict schedule. The nap training involves letting her cry for a minute or two before soothing her, and repeating that cycle till she falls asleep alone. The schedule ensures she gets plenty of sleep and I'm never caught short suddenly needing to feed her, for example, on a station platform (I've done that once and don't want to have to do it again. Those benches just aren't very comfortable).

I've flirted with both this nap training thing, and the schedule, several times in the past few weeks. But there's always been a reason - we're on holiday, growth spurts, she's just had a jab, I can't bear to hear her cry for even 10 seconds etc - not to stick to it. In fact I started it in earnest by accident. It was one of those mornings when I thought she was asleep, and then heard her crying from the shower. By the time I'd rinsed the conditioner from my hair and wrapped a towel around me, she was starting to quiet down. I stood by the nursery door and listened. Miraculously, she nodded off with a sweet, sad little whimper.

I decided she was ready. No more being boobed to sleep and put down as slowly and delicately as if I were defusing a bomb. With careful use of the oven timer, set to beep after she's been crying for 1, then 2, then 3 minutes, and some steely resolve, we cracked it in a couple of days. And although it was hard to hear her cry for a minute or two, she rarely cried for three. Overall it was a heck of a lot faster than wheeling her buggy furiously round Saltburn willing her to nod off. And now I have the holy grail of early parenthood, a baby who can be put down for her nap awake and will fall asleep on her own.* What's more, she sleeps for a solid two hours at lunchtime, and is an awful lot smilier in the afternoons as a result.
The longest minutes I ever knew

So much for Lady P's bootcamp. As for me, well, as usual I've made the best of being bereft by going on a mini health kick of my own. Lots of salads, even more fruit than usual, plenty of early nights and a bit of disciplined exercise. It's not that TLOML is terribly bad for my health - he enjoys a lovely fish supper, and encourages me to go off running, and so on. But there are just a few more late night whisky and cheese sessions, and buttery scrambled egg breakfasts, and steak dinners when he is around. While he's gone I eat less, sleep more, and actually do my sit ups while Lady P's having tummy time. I guess a little bit of boredom is good for my health.
My bootcamp essentials - these and a fridge full of tomatoes
The transformative effect of bootcamp has been less dramatic on me than on Lady P, but I am definitely a little trimmer than I was when he left.

As I said, TLOML gets home today. I've stocked up on cheese and ice-cream, and am planning an elaborate dinner. Hmmmm. I'm afraid I'm going to slip into my old hedonistic ways again. Let's just hope Lady P doesn't fall off her wagon too.


*I realise I am tempting fate by writing this, after just a few days of napping success. According to the law of parent bragging, by the time you read this she'll have reverted and we'll be cluster feeding and rocking her to sleep again. Yikes!


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