Thursday, 21 April 2016

Why Your Baby's Sleep Matters

Well, this week I broke one of my own rules and read a book about baby sleep! Sarah Ockwell-Smith of Toddlercalm fame sent me a review copy of Why Your Baby's Sleep Matters, and I have rather enjoyed it! I have felt for a while that expectant and new parents have been fed some serious misinformation about infant sleep, and the result of this is that their expectations as parents of babies are unrealistic. Sarah's book gently presents parents with the science and facts behind how babies sleep, and why they sleep the way they do. She discusses the cultural reasons we expect babies to sleep in a particular way, and what lies behind our beliefs, founded and unfounded. I was so pleased to read this, and I will definitely be putting it on my list of recommendations for expectant parents. The safety information alone could save lives, saying nothing of what a better understanding of infant sleep could do for parents' sanity!

My jumper for Husband continues in the "black hole" of knitting and knitting with no perceivable progress. Our wool anniversary has, of course, been and gone. I don't feel too bad, since husband presented me with a hand drawn card and a cup of tea in bed a day early! We have two of those memorial cross stitch pieces on our bedroom wall, both with our wedding date on. Fortunately we love each other including our failings!

I did manage to finish my recipe socks, and have worn them already. They're a bit disappointing, but they are my first proper socks! I think I need a different heel pattern, I don't really have any heels on my feet. Any suggestions?

Apart from that I have a little secret knitting going on, which I will share with you in a couple of weeks. What are you working on at the moment? Read any good books? Survived infant sleep? I'd love to hear from you!

Do pop along to the yarn along to see what everyone else is up to! And pop back on Friday for a little Real Nappy Week surprise!


Friday, 8 April 2016

Love, Love, Love

I finally found the time this week to finish reading Mama: Love, Motherhood and Revolution by Antonella Gambotto-Burke. I have flipped and flopped over how I feel about this book. The book contains "conversations" about attachment and motherhood with some of the current leaders in the field, including Michel Odent, Laura Markham, Sheila Kitzinger, and Steve Biddulph. What these luminaries have to say on the subject is absolutely fascinating, but I cannot get my head around Gambotto-Burke's style. It isn't an interview as such, but part casual conversation, part therapy for Gambotto-Burke, who has a tendency to talk where the interviewee might, and to introduce random tenuous anecdotes from her own life. Having said that, her choice of conversationalists is spot on, and the chapters in which she talks honestly and openly about her own experiences and opinions are rather beautiful, even if she does occasionally run to the saccharine (her description of her daughter at two and a half seeing a television for the first time and asking "mama...what's that box with pictures in the air?" rings particularly smug and false. Had this child really never been to a doctor's surgery, or a friend or relation's home?). Gambotto-Burke's own story within this book is a sort of tragic love story, framed perfectly by the discussion of bonding and attachment. The love story is multi-generational, and speaks of the lack of attachment and failure of love in her own childhood home and youth, and in the family of her husband. Their union seems to be one of love, and they certainly feel strong attachment with their daughter, the product of this loving relationship, but tragically they cannot overcome the demons of their past, and again love and attachment fall apart. At the end of her account Gambotto-Burke and her daughter seem like the survivors of some shipwreck, clinging to each other and drifting in a sea of emotions, while her husband and other family members float further and further away. Part memoir and part complementary exploration of attachment and maternal love, what at first I found annoying I came to find beautifully and poetically tragic. 

After what came to be a bit of a tear-jerker, my next book is short and practical, and now I have my computer up and running again I will tell you all about it next week!

My second pair of socks for the Marigold's Loft 2016 sockalong are my first pair of socks actually knit in sock yarn. The only pattern is the Yarn Harlot's sock recipe, the basic principles for knitting a sock. I'm enjoying it as an exercise in knowing the basic construction of a sock before I start some of the exciting patterns I have lined up! The sockalong is supposed to be a pair a month, but I'm a busy mum and I'm aiming for a sock a month, six pairs for the year. I'm closing the gusset on the second sock, so I think I'm doing OK in that regard! I keep them in a locker in my car, and work a few rounds when Bob falls asleep in the car before the school run. Yes, I'm that crazy lady sitting in the school car park an hour before the children come out, knitting!

My main knitting at the moment continues to be this textured sweater for Husband. It's supposed to be a gift for our "wool" wedding anniversary, but at this rate I might possibly have the back finished in time. Fortunately I think he'll be around to see it finished! I was worried that the texture wouldn't show in the dark yarn, but actually I think it's just perfect for Husband. Understated.

Don't forget to pop along to the yarn along at Ginny's to see what other bloggers are up to. I confess I find most of my blog reading there these days. I see Ginny is knitting for her expected baby girl, it's enough to turn a mother of only boys green! Thank you for popping by, and I look forward to hearing from you,