Monday, 13 April 2009

Molly at Easter

Molly came to stay for a couple of days this Easter weekend and it was good to have her here again. She was a bit unsettled at first because Sally had had a bad Good Friday journey with a major hold up in Grantham and nearly three hours in a baby seat in the car had made Molly a bit grumpy but she soon settled down and after a few tears found her normal placid temperament and was her normal delightful self and we were able to go out for a late lunch at the Thatched Cottage in nearby Sutterton. It’s not my favourite place but it is open all day so we knew that we would get served there. It is an old pub that is owned by an elderly couple who have spent a fortune on the place and obviously don’t want it messing up badly so when we arrived with Molly and asked for a table we had to wait for a while as they checked their insurance policy details and then put down emergency plastic sheeting and covered the furniture to make the dining room baby-safe and to protect against little accidents.

After we returned home it was time to feed Molly and I was staggered at the range of baby food that there is to choose from these days, it is so much more imaginative and diverse than when my children were babies and on the menu was a choice of fisherman’s bake, cottage pie, tomato in basil sauce or spaghetti Bolognese. Spaghetti Bolognese? She is barely six months old and eating Italian food already. Apart from Heinz spaghetti on toast I didn’t really discover the delights of pasta for at least the first twenty years of my life. How things change because when I was born in 1954 there was still wartime rationing in place and choice was a bit limited. My parents were actually issued with a ration card for me but never had to use it because thankfully it all came to an end three weeks after I was born.

After the Bolognese, followed by mango surprise, Molly was completely content and settled down to play with her favourite toys, the hungry caterpillar and one of the Tombliboos from the Night Garden on the BBC, which seems to me to be the 2009 equivilent of 1950 Andy Pandy when I was a boy, or Rainbow, which in the 1980s I had to sit through episode after episode of on video with my children. Interestingly Andy Pandy has been brought back this year and a new series started last month with actor Tom Conti doing the narrative.

Molly is very inquisitve now and she seems to be experimenting with the sense of touch as she tests things all the time with her slender little fingers and wants to experience the different textures that she is discovering. It’s great how modern baby toys cater for this and the caterpillar in particular is designed to stimulate her little fingers and her curious mind.

After a long day she was tired and went to bed early but still slept right through and I was up before her next morning. After half an hour or so I heard some sounds from the bedroom and went to investigate. She was awake and was trying to attract attention by kicking her legs in the air and banging her heels on the bottom of the cot to make a sort of ‘come and get me’ banging on the floor sort of noise. Downstairs on the carpet she was a proper little live wire and this was something else I had forgotten in twenty years – just how much babies move and wriggle, how difficult it is to get them dressed and how they always fill their nappy just when you have got all the little press studs fastened up in the right places.

Nappies are something that I have noticed have improved tremendously in twenty years. In the 1980s they were quite new and after the first pee the filling would go all wet and soggy and disintegrate quite quicky but with modern ones the wetness seems to completely disappear and babies skin stays nice and dry. Another improvement is the fastening straps which I am pleased to see seem to be 100% reliable. They did’nt use to be and I can remember getting really cross when they use to tear off or refuse to stick, usually because of a microscopic grain of talculm powder or the tiniest smear of sudocrem. When this happened I was naturally reluctant to waste the nappy and would resort to sticking them together with sellotape or old fashioned nappy pins. You don’t seem to have to do that anymore and despite the fact that 400,000 tonnes of used disposable nappies are sent to landfill every year, which isn’t very good for the environment, they really are a brilliant improvement on the old terry nappies that we used when Sally was first born.

Later we went to Springfields and Molly sat patiently while Sally shopped and I took charge of the push chair. Molly liked being around people and sat looking cute and fishing for compliments and entertaining other shoppers with the occasional smile or odd raspberry. Actually, I got the biggest compliment when a nice old lady asked if I was the father. I really liked that lady especially after I explained that I was the grandad and she said that I didn’t look old enough. Some people are just so nice.

It was typical Easter weather, cold and grey, and that meant that there was little point going out for the afternoon so we spent the rest of the day back at home and Molly sat with us and joined in the conversation and we entertained her with baby games and an episode of the Night Garden. She was tired by seven o’clock and had another early night and then woke early the next morning. After a flurry of breakfast and getting dressed activity she was gone as Sally took her home and I missed her and it took me all of the rest of the day to get used to a return to normal in a house that suddenly seemed abnormly empty and as quiet as an empty cathedral without her.


Sandra said...

Hi Andrew,

Your Molly is such a sweetheart, I just can`t wait for my new grandaughter to be born, hopefully any day now.

Things have certainly changed since we were children in the fifties and still some since our own children were born. personally I didn`t mind terry nappies at all though I don`t think they were particularly comfortable for the baby. I wouldn`t have minded today`s diposable nappies as they are so user-friendly, mind you there is the big problem of actually getting rid of them!

Love Sandra x

John said...

Sounds like you hada great time with your Grand daughter.Those moments are so precious.And then the quiet house returns.Sometimes thats a good thing and somethings you get to really missing them
Take care