It was early June, 2009. Luca was a few weeks old and it was cold. REALLY COLD. Bone-chillingly, teeth-chatteringly cold. Well, perhaps my new-mother-neurosis was making it feel much colder than it actually was, but it was chilly. After slowly becoming accustomed to having this tiny little being sleeping noisily next to me, I discovered that our bedroom was nothing short of arctic at night. Poor little Luca Jack was dressed in at least 3 layers, with a nest of soft, fleecy blankets tucked in all around him, but still I lay awake at night, believing that the cold air would be the death of him. For whatever reason, I have a morbid fear in almost any circumstance. Fear of the dark (not sure how I could die because of the dark, but the fear is there), of floods during excessive rainy periods, of being alone, of dying … everything. So I was literally petrified into waking myself every 30 minutes at night to check that my tiny little baby was (a) still breathing and (b) warm enough.
After a particularly bad night (not bad because he was feeding every few hours at night, but because of my compulsive checking-on-the-baby-every-30-minutes habit), I woke feeling panicked. That my child would get pneumonia and end up in hospital, sick … because of our refrigerator of a bedroom. I sat on the bed in our room, with the warm winter sun finally ending the night’s icy chill. And I came up with a plan. I got out of my fluffy blue dressing gown and pink slippers (squashed flat from the weight gained during pregnancy – damn, I still love those slippers), threw on a hoodie and marched down to the local hardware store. (Not before redressing Luca in an extra-fleecy baby-grow and giving neurotic orders to Beauty to keep him warm and watch him while I was out. God, I was a pain in the ass in those early days). Anyway, I walked down the road to our local hardware store (to this day, I think that the men at Parkhurst Hardware think I am an escaped mental patient) and asked for a tube of clear silicone and a silicone gun.
Yes. That’s what I said. A tube of clear silicone and a silicone gun.
Why would I need these things? Because we live in a gorgeous original old home in Parkhurst, with wooden window frames. Wooden window frames that don’t completely seal closed when the latches are locked, no matter how hard you pull or push. Unsealed windows that I believed would be the end of my tiny little baby. So, I proceeded to silicone the all the windows into our bedroom shut, filling in the gaps with the clear, rubbery liquid. I think back on this and can only imagine what I would have thought if someone had told me they had done this, before I had my little monkey. It sounds completely and utterly insane – and actually, while I was pulling the dried silicone off the windows towards the end of September last year as it was warming up, I did have a little bit of a giggle at my own expense.
But that’s the only way to stay sane as a parent, yes? Never lose your sense of humour?
I was slowly edging toward a sense of humour failure this weekend, due to the Summer sun peeking through the curtains of Luca’s room and waking him up as early as 5 am. Not on. After a few days of this insanity (me, sitting bleary-eyed on the couch, watching Iggle Piggle and Makka Pakka, with Luca shouting “TOATS! TOATS!” [toast, toast] and terrorizing the cat, all at a ridiculously early hour) I recalled my infamous Window-Sealing-Insanity and a few hours later found myself pegging a blanket to the burglar bars on Luca’s window, underneath the curtains. It sounds odd, but it worked. The next day we all slept until 7. Sweet, sweet 7 am.
Thinking out the box: I tell ya … it’ll get you everywhere. Or at least a few extra hours of sleep.