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» One Touch Football - Archive » World » "And if that diamond ring don't fit, Daddy's going to buy you an Arsenal kit . . ." (Page 1)

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Author Topic: "And if that diamond ring don't fit, Daddy's going to buy you an Arsenal kit . . ."
wingco
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Sukhvinder and I took delivery of Alisha this week. That makes her sound a bit like an IKEA flatpack, which isn't an entirely inappropriate comparison, given the chaos and confusion she has visited upon our household - spreading discombobulation where once there was combobulation. Extraordinary, really, that this little half-portion of humanity whom I could just about squeeze into my rucksack, could involve so much bloody stuff - you'd think we'd adopted an entire infant school. And, of course, you can never find anything when you need it.

Actually, though, she's as good as gold, all things considered - ie that Sukhvinder is her third "mother". Her foster carer became very attached to Alisha, and having to collect her from her in Rushden, Northampton felt faintly Kathy Come Home-ish - we more or less had to bundle her into the back of the car and vroom off before the scene became too agonised and protracted. Rushden is pretty much Chavtown - everybody supports Man Utd and knocks about in England shirts and shellsuit trousers. And I'd have probably sneered "Chav" mentally if I'd have seen any of Alisha's foster family in the street. Shame on me. There is such a thing as salt of the earth.

Anyway, Alisha's been living at our house for about 36 hours now and has settled in remarkably well. Like many of these modern girls, she's more obsessed with the label than the product (well, they're easier to chew) and breaks into huge grins when I say "Guchi Guchi Guchi Guchi" to her. We ride her around in what we call the Fuckoffmobile (though that's not how it's named in the catalogue) a black, New Zealand-made buggy straight outta Bladerunner capable of negotiating post-holocaust terrain, let alone Blackheath Common. It's the scourge of dawdling senior citizens on narrow pavements. There she sits, serene and burbling as the sun shines, birds chirrup and emergency services vehicles charge around, sirens wailing on post 7/7 fool's errands.

As a first-time parent I've discovered, belatedly, that far from being the inscrutable little creatures I'd always taken them to be, babies, like sergant majors, leave you under no misapprehension as to what they want. Only trouble with Alisha is, just now (and this is only her second night) she has great difficulty getting to sleep. She has a Dylan Thomas-type attitude towards going gently into that good night, raging against the dying light of her Horsey and Hippopotamus lamp. Tonight, I read her The Little Engine That Could three times, each time in an increasingly soporific voice, till by the last "I thought I could", I sounded like John Major at 17 rpm intoning on the subject of subsidiarity.

Anyway, apologies for this egregiously mushy burst of "no one's ever had kids till us" whimsy from a first time parent. At least I'm not receiving a huge cheque from News International or The Scott Trust for this guff. But while I'm in this mood, I should point out that every time Alisha smiles one of her toothless ones at my latest "peek a boo" witticism, robin redbreasts gather in the dozens of the branches of my soul and twitter merrily. Also, that we had our first father-daughter bonding moment on Friday evening; Alisha sitting upright next to me on the sofa, chewing messily on a biscuit as we watched The Simpsons together. Hmmm . . .

Just one question of the more hard-boiled and experienced OTF parents - short of mixing Johnny Walker into their Cow & Gate, how do you get the little fuckers to sleep?

[ 23.07.2005, 23:01: Message edited by: wingco ]

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Alderman Barnes
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Congratulations Wingco and well done. Little baby daughters are the best thing ever, aren't they? How old is she?

Can't give you any tips as to getting her to go to sleep, apart from getting some sort of a routine going. Obviously, the first couple of nights are going to be tough, given the unfamiliar situation. She'll get used to it, don't worry.

[ 23.07.2005, 23:04: Message edited by: Alderman Barnes ]

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Femme Folle
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I'm not a parent, but I'm an auntie and a long time babysitter, and sometimes you just have to leave them alone and let them cry. The worst thing you can do is to keep checking on them, because they then learn that if they cry, you will come. They're training you, in other words. I remember my sister crying because her first one was crying and her husband wouldn't let her go check on him. Turns out, the husband had the right idea. As long as you know they're not ill or that anything else is wrong with them, it's okay to let them cry, as hard as it may be on you.

Your post brought tears to my eyes, once again. Please write more, any time you feel the urge.

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Billy Casper
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Heh. It's currently 'nap time' at our house for my two year old and my eight month old. The two year old is currently shouting for cuddles from his bed, and the eight month old is on the verge of crying (again) and playing with his sock, so this advice clearly doesn't work every time

Something that worked quite well on the older one until he was about eighteen months was the 'Froggy Position'.
Lay down on your back, put Alisha face down on your chest (with her face to one side or the other obviously), and pull her arms out from under her body so she can't prop herself up. She should then look like a grounded frog.
You can then pat her nappy reasonably hard (not so hard that her skull dislocates your jaw, but hard enough that you can see slight vibrations in her body). Couple this with the fact that her ear will be pressed to your chest hearing your heartbeat, and you might find success!

If it doesn't work, don't worry about it. Keep in mind that she isn't refusing to sleep just to spite you, and also that she will sleep eventually - babies just don't go 24 hours without sleep.

(You don't actually say how old Alisha is. If she is in fact fifteen years old please ignore the above advise. Especially The Froggy position bit....)

Congratulations by the way.

[ 24.07.2005, 06:11: Message edited by: Billy Casper ]

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Defensive-minded
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How old is Alisha?
Babies don't cry for no reason at all, the problem is that they can't express themselves. Especially in your case, it might take her some time to settle in and you will need to confort her.

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Femme Folle
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DM - You're right they don't cry for no reason at all, but sometimes the reason they cry is simply because they want to be cuddled. If you cuddle them every time they cry, you'll create a situation where you'll be cuddling them all the time. They're very clever manipulators, these little people. You'll know when something is really wrong.
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Alderman Barnes
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Also, babies have an innate and perfectly reasonable dislike of being threatened with a lifelong attachment to Arsenal. That's enough to make anyone wake up screaming.

Having said that, mine's got a Gillingham teddy. I just hope social services don't find out.

[ 23.07.2005, 23:55: Message edited by: Alderman Barnes ]

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Willie1Foot
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Do you give her a feed just before bedtime? If so, make sure she's well winded (burped, whatever you want to call it), otherwise she might be suffering from mild reflux, which we all know is very uncomfortable.

If she's being burped well, perhaps FF's advice is best; let her cry for a while. She likes your company, and if she knows that you'll appear every time she starts girning, then she'll keep doing it. Babies are not stupid.

Oh, and well done to you both. You're doing a great thing.

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wingco
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Sorry, I should have said. Alisha is eight months old. Some excellent advice here - but of course, coupled with the regular vicissitudes of bringing up tinies, the fact of her (double) upheaval has to be taken into account. We'll see how it goes over the next few days. It's really not such a huge problem - I think she's doing brilliantly, personally. Still, if there are any tricks . . .
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Femme Folle
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Well, you can try not letting her nap too late in the day, or else she simply won't be sleepy when you try to put her down. Or you could try letting her fall asleep on your chest while you watch TV or read, then once she's sleeping place her in her crib.
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G-Man
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Ah, you'll be all right, wingco. Beautiful post. Family bliss, eh? Can't beat it.

[ 24.07.2005, 01:49: Message edited by: G-Man ]

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Femme Folle
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I just thought of something else. You mentioned reading to her three times--it could be that you're stimulating her and that's why she won't go to sleep. Try reading to her earlier in the day, and when you want her to go to sleep, stick to less stimulating activities. You could sing (or even hum) to her softly or gently rock her until she's asleep in your arms. I think once she's settled into her new environment and you've established a routine for her, she'll go to sleep on her own and at the same time every night.

G - I'm glad you edited that.

[ 24.07.2005, 03:02: Message edited by: Femme Folle ]

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What's the rumpus?
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I tend to skim a lot of the stuff on here, but I couldn't help but go back to every one of the words that wingco put at the top of this page.

It is the best post I've read. Congratulations on everything.

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William Foster
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Everyone who's said to let her cry a little on her own is spot on. It's tough to do, but it's only for about a two-week period and she'll quickly learn that going to bed and going to sleep isn't such a bad thing. I know this because the missus and me did the exact opposite. Anytime the young one cried we were there. Now she's got us under her control and - eh ? what's that honey ? a bottle ? uh - sorry you guys, I have to go.
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Defensive-minded
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I think you have to find a right balance. But at the moment with the new environment I would not let her cry for too long. You can take a more stricter approach once she has settled in.
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