Something magical has happened in the last couple of days. Violet is not a cuddling baby (unless she's being nursed), she loves being held but likes to be able to see everything that is going on around. For the last two days I've been doing something I never do anymore, taking her out for the whole day. The first day was a semi disaster. I wanted to go to this particular thrift shop and playgroup in the afternoon so I waited until we had had breakfast and a morning nap for Violet before packing up blankets, one million snacks and some emergency formula in a bottle (in case I was somewhere I'm uncomfortable breastfeeding in which happens frequently). We set out and all was well. It took about an hour to walk to where I was going, including finding an ATM to get money from, and Violet was happy as a clam the whole way. Until we got to the door of the shop, where she started screaming like woah.
Of course I tried everything to calm her down, we went for a walk, I took her out and rocked her (she was tired again, I discovered), I sat in a gutter and shoosh shoosh shooshed her, we walked some more, I found a playground with a bench and nursed her, we walked some more and then I started directing our walk towards home. Well, she cried all the way to the corner of our street and the closest main road. A 7 minute walk from our house after 40 back from the shop. She fell asleep there. Just as I was about to cross the main road, she just stopped crying and when I peeped inside she was fast asleep with red eyes.
So I stood there thinking about whether to accept the defeat I felt after having had my guts in knots for the last almost hour, every time someone passing us gave me a filthy look (clearly I was neglecting my child) or the slight twinge of fear I had felt at the park when the creepy guy had stopped to openly stare at me for a full minute while I was breastfeeding (this happens surprisingly often, always scary looking men) or the pit in my stomach telling me that A. I was a terrible mother for not being able to calm my child, B. I was a terrible mother for not having read her better and stayed home in the first place and C. I was a terrible mother for feeling disappointed about not having been able to do what I had wanted. I have no idea why but i decided to not go home, so I turned around and walked all the way back, then I walked further down the street to more shops and when Violet woke up we found a cute cafe I'd never been to and shared some avocado on toast (and a mandarin flavoured fizzy drink for me). A girl I sort of know was working there and she gave me some great wedding tips (hers was 2 weeks ago) and Violet was being the most content, sweet little baby the world has ever known.
Then we turned around and went to playgroup in the park with all the thrifted treasures I'd found. Violet was being so sociable and crawled all over all the babies and mummies, she stole everyone's food as usual and was still in the best mood I've seen her in. And most magically of all, every time I picked her up to hold her on my hip she snuggled into me and rested her head on my chest. This is something she has not done since she could hold her head up on her own. It was the nicest feeling I can honestly say I've ever felt, my heart was so full of love and joy. My little girl wanted to cuddle with me!
The next day (yesterday) I had planned to have an early coffee with my old boss and go to meet Rob in the city. He's not working at the salon yesterday or today, he's doing hair for the Myer 2012 autumn/winter fashion launch. We met at something similar to this and so both know the people running it quite well, meaning that it's fine for me and Violet to come down and be with him when he's not actually styling hair (there's a lot of down time). We are welcome to hang out with him while he works at the salon too but it's so busy there and he works so hard that we actually don't get to see him other than to look at him. Anyway, there was an overwhelming amount of people in the small room he was working in, models, make up artists, hair stylists and Violet was a little shy. She spent most of the time cuddling into me or her Dad. Not only giving me cuddles but Daddy too! Who is this baby? I like it so much! We were out of the house from 10am until 8pm, she had just one nap but she was still the happiest baby and those cuddles, sigh. My heart is so full that I'm drunk on those cuddles.
This morning when her Daddy left for the fashion thing she cried and cried and tried to crawl out of our bed to get to him. I don't know why this feeling of being wanted is so much more appreciated than the feeling of being needed but I can honestly say that I'm happier these last two days than I can remember being in my whole life.
Something else that warms my heart: