Back to work blues.

Let’s be clear, I’m not going back to work just yet. However, hubs returned today. We’ve had him home for a whole week and now it’s back to normality. (If there is such a thing.)

William has noticed a change in the force so has been loudly voicing his disquiet before participating in a dirty protest this afternoon.

For Christmas hubs brought me a book about Hygge. It’s a Danish way of living happy and enjoying the many little things that happen daily, such as a hot drink or some classical music. It’s about enjoying the company of others and yourself.

My husbands motto is ‘happy wife happy life,’ I’m pleased to say he pretty much lives by this,  it occurred to me today that I should probably work on the happiness too. I’m sure he’s fed up of me being so sodding moody all the time.  So I have embraced the book. I have classical music playing, atmospheric lighting (it’s pretty dark)  a nice hot drink, scented candles (scented candles are not considered hygge because they are artificial, but with the smells our darling child has been omitting I’m pretty sure I’d be forgiven) and blankets strewn about. TV has been off for most of today.

I have to say it has been a bit of a struggle:

Enjoying a hot drink- after the Costa coffee incident Wills has developed a keen interest in all cups and mugs, the H&S repercussions of this are massive.

No TV – I enjoy having the telly box off, however this mornings scream-a-thon was quelled by Hey Duggee, lazy parenting yes but I can’t see what’s wrong in postponing the inevitable nervous breakdown.

Time to yourself- I shower  with Wills in the bathroom, occasionally I have to poke my head round the curtain to amuse him.

Pets – I love a good snug with the cats, Wills adores them too, it’s a shame  that his squeals of delight upon seeing then sends them fleeing from the room.

This afternoon our darling son did a stealth poo that rocketed out the back of his nappy. All over his new Sesame Street vest and dinosaur top. Once again I uttered a silent prayer to whichever GENIUS designed vests  so that they can be removed downwards as well as up. I’m pretty sure without this feature I’d forever be washing poo out of his hair. After wrestling the nappy bag containing the dirty nappy out of his vice like grip (this made him cry), whilst rinsing his soiled clothes in water so cold I’m pretty sure I was at risk of frostbite, I reflected on how much peace you can actually have with a baby.

In conclusion:

Not an awful lot.

But that’s okay, I think it takes a bit of chaos to appreciate the calm. Watching him pull the birds off his jumperoo, seeing the surprise on his face when he farted his morning and the smiles and giggles he doles out with reckless abandon  are worth it.

Hygge can be an after Wills has gone to bed thang.

In other news:

The cats appear to have called a truce (I imagine it’s temporary) they have even been sleeping on the same bed, separated by mere centimetres!

Christmas decorations are down sod twelfth night.

The relaxing classical music is starting to get on my nerves……

 

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Weaning Woes.

Wills is six months old (well, a week off) so it’s time to think about weaning.

Talk about a can of worms.

In my attempt to be a responsible parent, I’ve done a bit of research. It seems that ‘baby-lead’ is the current trend and apparently all other methods are likely to cause some sort of mass implosion.

As I read through the (quite frankly) bewildering amount of information available it seems that the general consensus is that if I cock this up Wills will be a picky eater/obese/destined for a life of crime. No pressure then.

What I have found beyond frustrating is the fact that everything I’ve read contradicts something else. The sources of information I’ve consulted are:

Books

Websites

Weaning apps

Health visitors

NHS pamphlets

EVERY SODDING SOURCE SAYS SOMETHING DIFFERENT! Start with sweet things such as carrot or sweet potato. Don’t start with sweet things start with broccoli. Just give them whole food and they’ll get the hang of it. Mash food first. Puree. Don’t puree. Start on baby rice. Baby rice was invented by Satan.

Etcetera.

We’ve tried Wills on a few things and he hasn’t seem too impressed with any of it. I made him porridge this morning and he did his best impression of a Victorian orphan eating his daily portion of gruel in the workhouse. I told him porridge was the food of his ancestors but that didn’t sway him. Maybe he’ll prefer it when he can have a good dollop of jam with it.

The MIL has advised I go with my instincts. I think she’s right, I’ve watched Dr. Ranj’s tutorial on ‘what to do if an infant is choking’, so with that in mind we’ll just go for it.

I’m pretty sure if the way I wean him doesn’t screw him up for life, I’ll find another way to do it.

In other news:

Wills decided sleep wasn’t for him last night, who needs a quiet, relaxing evening anyway?

Whilst writing this post Will threw up on me. Three times.

He is now desperately fighting sleep. This involves a lot of screaming. It’s nearly wine time right?

 

New years resolutions?

As the new year draws ever closer the pressure to make some sort of resolution that will magically transform you into a better person continues.

As parents hubs and I repeatedly feel like we’re failing somehow, if ever we feel like we might actually be quite good at this parenting malarkey, Wills throws in a curve ball. The ego of the new parent is most definitely a fragile one. Last night we had a fun journey home from my parents with Wills screaming hysterically in the back of the car. I still couldn’t tell you why he was in that state. I cried too. I’d tried singing to him, twisting round to stroke his head all sorts, if anything he got worse as the journey continued.

Often I tell myself that for the upcoming year that I will be more organised, swear less eat better, keep a tidier house. Does it last? Never. At what point should I accept that I am who I am? I’m not the most organised/slimmest/tidy person and you know what? That’s okay. I gave up trying to compete with others a while ago, that’s not to say that I’m defeatist or that I don’t notice the ‘story toppers’ or the ‘Tommy Two Sheds’ as my sister so amusingly calls them.

The moment you become pregnant you are vulnerable to competition. For the best/worst/longest/most dramatic pregnancy and delivery. Who brought the best pushchair/cot/travel system. Who had the best baby shower. Who had the best looking baby. I imagine as they start school this will undoubtedly get worse. My sister was told at a baby group that she had picked a ‘common name’ and that my niece had ‘a large forehead.’ How she didn’t tell this woman to sod off is beyond me. As I fumed my sister was quite calm about it. (MUCH calmer than I was!)

Having a baby makes you feel vulnerable, and don’t for a second think we don’t know you’ve been discussing any parental short-comings you might feel we have. (I do so adore the remarks from non-parents. Oh really you read an article on buzz-feed so now you’re a sodding expert?). Feeling vulnerable, judged and continually like you are failing in some sort of way leads to some quite extraordinary behaviour.

Comparisons.

Of babies.

‘Well we must be doing okay because little Tommy can’t do that yet and our baby has been doing for weeks!’

Or ‘Tommy is counting now and we caught our baby eating the cat’s food what are we doing wrong?’

STOP.

Just stop.

Comparison is the most dangerous thing you can do. Babies develop at different rates this doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong or there is anything wrong with your baby. It might be that the more annoying the parent, the more insecure they’re feeling. And do you really want to be the ADULT that puts a baby down to make yourself feel better about your parenting/child’s development? What a shitty thing to do!

Let’s make the ‘parent club’ a supportive place. There is nothing wrong with pride or encouraging your child to do well, but putting others down to make yourself feel better is a really, really shitty thing to do.

And if you find yourself in the presence of a truly obnoxious parent, consider whether or not they’re struggling before you write them off as a horrible human being.

I am fortunate to have a group of mummy friends who are supportive. We share our whoops moments, the times we forgot vital baby equipment, the times we lost our shit, the times we struggle, because it’s okay to struggle.

Now, I really must go, Wills has had a poo explosion and I’m told it’s reached his shoulder blades….

The post Christmas, pre-new year limbo.

I am writing this trusting you all has a lovely Christmas.

We did.

I have to say, I did wonder if Christmas would be one of those times when I feel like a uterus on legs, If I haven’t mentioned this before, when you have a baby, nobody cares about you anymore. Sometimes I think hubs and I could wonder in somewhere with our hair on fire and no-one would notice This is not to say we begrudge the adoration that s piled onto Wills, we absolutely don’t! This year we decided to have Christmas at home, just the three of us. You see as much as a big family Christmas is most excellent, having a young baby throws several problems at spending Christmas in someone else’s house:

The absolute shit- tonne of paraphernalia that is required in order to transport said tiny human, for even the shortest of visits

The fact that drinking dangerous amounts of fizz followed by pretty much every other kind of alcoholic beverage (‘Oh go on, it’s Christmas after all…’) is not really something you can do when you have to look after a baby. (You could of course have a designated drinker, but from personal experience you tend to watch them getting merrier with each glass as you sip your fourteenth coke plotting their death)

Despite the fact that you have your baby all day every day, after a while of watching him being cuddled and passed round, you want him back. And if you’re like me, worry about offending anyone so sit quietly with an ache for your little one.

We gave family members a window of opportunity to pop round, as our intention wasn’t to keep anyone from seeing Wills we just  wanted to have a relaxing day. And we did! The cats even joined us for dinner! (The furry little shitehawks.)

Boxing day was spent with family and there are still more people to see. We are currently in the limbo that is the week between Christmas and New Year. This time raises many questions; Is it still socially acceptable to drink as early/as much as I did on Christmas day? Shall I make a new years resolution? What shall I resolve to do? Is it acceptable to adopt the ‘I’m going to tell more people to fuck off’ resolution I found on Facebook? Perhaps I shouldn’t worry about offending people but I’m pretty sure there has to be some sort of line…. (If I cared less about upsetting people, I’d probably have more of a ‘bugger the line!’ attitude. I can’t decide if that would be a good thing or not)

After returning from Kev’s parents early this afternoon I decided to do some clearing out, we have lots of lovely new possessions  that need a home and too much crap. Both hubs and I have a tendency to hoard, so it’s good to keep sorting so we don’t up on one of those TV programmes I find so fascinating.

So that’s what we’re dealing with.

In the blink of an eye our very first Christmas with a little  one was over, Wills had a great time smacking all his presents and trying to eat wrapping paper, hubs enjoyed taking the reigns on a not quite so traditional beef wellington for dinner and I can’t wait for the next one!

*wonders if it’s too early for a glass of wine*

*Decides it probably is*

*Probably*

In other news:

Marms has been sick on the lawn. Makes a refreshing change from the carpet.

Wills can now get his foot into his mouth he seems very pleased with this new found flexibility

Guess who brought their son a ‘First Christmas’ card and forgot to write it out….. Yep, but he’ll never know we wrote it after the big day.

 

 

The latte of human kindness. Or: Why I’m never taking our child to a coffee shop again.

Today started like most days, Wills awoke, I changed his nappy before feeding him, all hell broke loose because of the delay in getting milk down his neck. Wills serenaded me whilst I got changed (wahhh wahhhh WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH), we got in the car I silently  cursed my husband for not lengthening the car seat straps before removing Wills from it, thus preparing it for the next journey, (in his defence I’ve not asked him to this, hence silent cursing). We arrived at our shopping destination, I got the push chair out, found hubs had taken the bag for life that was in the bottom of the pushchair, cursed him out loud.

First stop: Pet shop, Marmite and Captain’s crimbo presents and festive dinners purchased. (Basically just forked out for more expensive cat food)

Second stop: Boots, I had vouchers for a free sippy cup and baby weaning book. Boots had neither in stock.

Third stop: Marks and Spencer, because we’re not farting around making dauphinoise potatoes Christmas day when we can pay over the odds for ready made.

Fourth stop: Card shop, because the cousin and niece cards we brought for Sofia had the same sodding picture on them.

Then came the fifth stop, seeing as I am a strong independent mummy out and about totally in control, on top of the world and suchlike, lets have a coffee! Wheeled Wills through the assault course that is Next, I mean why make it easy for pushchairs/wheelchairs/anyone with hips to walk through the shop when you can put hundreds of clothing racks in random positions and make it nigh on impossible to get through without ramming into something?  Got to the coffee shop, located in said clothing store. Stood in rather huge queue hoping there would be a table free, the kind lady behind the counter offered to bring my drink to the table, fabulous! I can start feeding Wills. Sat down, feeding baby latte arrives all is well. Mum in control, enjoying being out, makes up for lack of sleep previous evening.

Wills finished his drink, so I sat him up or a burp.

Now somehow, and I’m not sure how, Wills arms are approximately fourteen meters in length, and as I prepared to pat him and sing the ‘burpy song’, Wills pushed my drink over.

It went EVERYWHERE.

Table, floor, his pushchair.

I frantically threw his binky onto the small ocean that was cascading off the table onto the floor, a man, who was queueing with his son, called for blue roll and a lady at a nearby table leapt up to help me clear up. The tray on his pushchair was brimming with coffee and his cosy toes was soaked through, I was trying to help but it was tricky doing that and holding Wills, a lady on the next table offered to hold him and because I have a fairly laissez faire attitude towards who can hold my son (she looked respectable and had children with her) I gratefully handed him over praying to all the gods that he didn’t throw up on her.(She was one of those stylish women I envy and her clothes looked expensive.) Wills immediately began a charm offensive much to the delight of his now captive audience. (So charming the small boy with them decided he wanted a little brother.) A lady in the queue asked what my drink had been and it was replaced, free of charge. (It seems most people waiting had been watching us, I fear if staff had insisted I pay for a replacement, they would have been lynched!)

Table mopped up, (and floor and push chair) new coffee received and son retrieved from stranger, we sat. Wills was extremely wriggly (apparently the stranger was preferable company to mummy) I started slurping the coffee like a mad woman because I was so bloody embarrassed I just wanted to leave.

None of this was William’s fault. I should have made sure the coffee was further away, it was an accident. If he was fourteen and had thrown the coffee and mooned the staff, I would have been cross. I wasn’t cross just extremely self conscious. Wills was already eyeballing the new coffee and I couldn’t drink it fast enough.

He then did something completely out of character.

He screamed.*

Loud, curdling screams. And I couldn’t soothe him, people were looking as I desperately rocked him and sang ‘Daisy Bell’ (He loves this song lord knows why). When I finally soothed him, drank the coffee like I was in some sort of speed drinking contest, put him in his buggy, wrapped in my coat as his cosy toes was dripping wet and hastily exited hoping no one would see the wet patch on my trousers from sitting in spilt coffee. I could feel myself welling up in the lift. Getting out of the shop quickly was a logistical nightmare but I made it unscathed and had strapped Wills into his seat before I burst into tears.

This is why I struggle to leave the house some days, all the ‘What ifs?’ all I can say is thank god all those people came to my aid, without them I simply would have cried with an audience. So if you’re out and about and you see a similar situation, help. Or at least offer to. It really makes a big difference. So thank you to the man in the queue, the lady that helped mop up, and not half heartedly, she really got stuck in! The family that kept Will entertained during the clean-up and the woman in the queue who got me a replacement coffee. Talk about the season of goodwill.

In other news:

Hubs is not going to approve of the joint present I got the cats.

I have FINALLY got round to buying smaller knickers, I was still wearing the giant ones I brought for pregnancy and they were just rolling themselves up, it looked like I was trying to smuggle things in my jeans.

We took Wills to see Santa yesterday. Waited for well over an hour. He was fairly unfazed, I nearly burst with excitement.

 

 

 

* Turns out there was a small but hard poo nugget in his nappy, I’m quite sure this is why the poor lamb screamed

Passive aggressive communication.

Wills is still poorly but thankfully well and truly on the mend.

Our first clue that he perhaps might not be as well as we thought was him waking at five past midnight and screaming. No gentle build up, no moaning, quiet whimpers and then crying. He went from silent to apocalyptic.  And the boy is loud. Attempts to soothe him were drowned out by his inconsolable balling and we were forced to bring out the big guns:

Duggee.

Hey Duggee is Wills favourite TV programme (incidentally the only one I let him watch because it’s super cute  and I enjoy it) Duggee worked his magic and a little after 1 am we plonked him back in his cot where he began happily chewing his teddies.

Hubs and I don’t generally argue. That is not to say this makes our relationship superior in any way to those who do, we get mad at each other, annoy each other at times, I mean we’re only human.

Babies bring massive amounts of stress, especially when they spend the evening crying. Sometimes when I feel stuck at home and Wills is being an almighty pain in the arse,  I seethe. I imagine hubs at work drinking hot drinks,  talking to adults enjoying his lunch, not having to change shitty nappies.  And I convince myself he has it easy. He still gets to be Kevin and I only get to be mum.

But what about his point of view? Nine times out of ten when he’s leaving for work I’m still asleep.  I get to spend all day with our son, I don’t have a commute on a busy motorway twice a day. I don’t have to get dressed if I don’t want to. I don’t have to worry about office politics or being nice to colleagues I don’t particularly like.

Competing for ‘who has it worse ‘ could lead to a very miserable existence.

So after being well and truly fed up of mum duties and being less then helpful at bedtime hubs uttered a passive aggressive remark, (which I heard as I’m quite sure that was his intent), I was quick with a passive aggressive retort which he either didn’t hear or purposely ignored. Although not very adult, the knackered, fragile part of me nearly staged a full blown tantrum telling him exactly why it’s not fair and he has no idea how shitty it is being ‘stuck’ at home and I’m still tired etc etc…

Today I got a ‘are you going to leave the broom outside all day?’

I held back a retort of ‘no, I’m about to stick it up your arse’ because I decided better to keep peace.

I think the recent increase our passive aggressive comments is simply we are so tired all the time, and the added worry of a poorly baby leaves tempers shorter.

I don’t think we need marriage counselling just yet….

In other news:

The Christmas decorations are still up despite some rather sterling efforts form Wills and Captain.

I brought some ‘winter spice’ scented bleach to festive up the loo. It smells just like regular bleach.

Have introduced Will to Eskimo kisses.

A poorly baby; continued.

So after copious amounts of vom and a trip to the doctors, the weekend hailed yet more vom and a good measure of poo. The low point was scrubbing poo off the living room carpet. (Makes a change from cat sick I suppose, I can’t have anything nice.)

After another impressive impression of a water cannon on Sunday evening,  I decided another trip to the local medical centre was in order.

Wills’ nanny works at the surgery,  so he enjoys a sort of celebrity status. He is a massive flirt and adores attention (any change from boring old mummy and daddy) which often makes it seem he is more well than he is. Which in turn can make me appear to be one of those neurotic mothers who rush their children to the doctor at the slightest sniffle. After seeing the doctor (Wills held his had whilst he was listening to his chest and proceeded to have a tantrum when we put the thermometer in his ear as appose to letting him chew it.) we were prescribed rehydration salts and asked to provide a stool sample.

In my infinite ‘mum wisdom’ I thought blackcurrant flavour rehydration salts was the way forward,  a new flavour might encourage him to take them. Couldn’t have been more wrong.  I’ll just add it to the ever growing list of mum fails I’ve perpetrated. Monday was perhaps the most frustrating day because our little foghorn refused all food.

I’ve never really felt helpless with him before, but I did that day. My cousin said to me on Sunday ‘if you could have one wish it would be that you could be poorly for them, just take it away and deal with it’ (He is the proud daddy to three beautiful girls, who have all been poorly and, from what I can gather, are using him as their personal sick bucket. I’m not laughing.  That’s a lie. I am.) I have to say, I agree. A far cry from when I was pregnant, after being told I needed the whooping cough jab to protect the baby I asked why can’t we wait until he’s born and give it to him?  (I’m probably on a list somewhere.)

The good news is that there is finally light at the end of the poo smeared tunnel.  Wills has been eating again,  huzzah!  Tiny amounts but it’s going in and staying in!  Though I may be sporting giant eyebags and garments that most definitely have  a little bit of sick on them somewhere, our little man is on the mend!

And I think I’m getting what he had.

Balls.

In other news:

Wills has his first library card, good news for mummy because he doesn’t get fines for late returns!

The Christmas decorations are up in the Warwick household.  Captain seems intrigued to know what fairy lights taste like.

After being unable to remove Marms from under our bed, I assured hubs that if we let them roam they would definitely not disturb us. A soaking wet Captain climbing on him in the early hours proved me wrong…