(I wrote this follow up to a recent post and forgot to publish it)
Thank you for all your comments concerning the little babe and her mother in the (March) Baby Talk post. It certainly generated a lot of interest.
It was a difficult time for my friend (the Grandma) – I remember her telling me she certainly hadn’t done as was suggested in ‘the note’, had given the baby lots of cuddles and tickles and sung songs and did all the sorts of things you do when there is a babe in your arms – and was rewarded with lots of smiles and that funny coo tiny babies make.
When I next saw her, she (the grandma) mentioned she’d spoken (nicely) to the DIL on a different day about her concerns and it seemed she had a thing in her head about something she’d read about in a book – controlled crying.
Seemingly the little one cried a lot in the evening (as well as during the day)…..-not what Grandma observed the day she looked after her…. and she, the mother was really tired and had heard that if you leave them be – didn’t keep picking them up every time they cried….. they would go to sleep.
Yes, said Grandma, sometimes it works with older babes and children but yours is still really little and needs to be held.
A short while later when the mother saw the ‘nurse’ at the baby clinic she said similar things to her and as well as the baby the ’nurse’ took her (the mother)under her wing as well.
~ ~ ~ ~
That’s what happened all those years ago and even now after all that time my friend (the grandma) is still ‘annoyed, angry even’ at all the stress the DIL caused by being so pedantic in her ways. The baby continued to be ‘cranky/troublesome/tiresome’ (the mothers’s words) strangely only in their own home and it took many weeks to calm them both down.
The baby (an only child, now a young girl) has always been quiet almost withdrawn which my friend puts down to her not receiving love and attention, never knowing how her mother will react.
And then recently her son let slip they had had some really nasty fights over leaving the baby to cry but he didn’t know where to get help for the mother. Which led my friend to be upset and sad that he didn’t confide in her at the time.
I’m sure there are many reasons new mums (and babies) behave the way they do, even ‘non new mums’ have troubled days…..I learnt it’s not for us to judge, just be there if they need – or want – help. To be understanding….and kind.