A weekend away.

We have just returned from a weekend away. ‘How lovely’ I hear you exclaim. Well yes, it was, really lovely but I have to say weekends away with a tiny human are tough.

The first issue to tackle: what to take. We needed to take EVERYTHING. Both hubs and I drive Ford Fiestas. We like them and they are perfect for our day to day commuting/shopping. There are not quite so perfect for weekends away.

We have a growing boy, I am continually surprised and alarmed at the rate in which he is growing. We have had to buy him a new car seat as he as outgrown his newborn one. This is a huge and frustrating contraption that takes up a lot of room. In order to adequately fit said seat in-line with various laws/safety regulations the passenger seat has to be pushed as far forward as it will go and tilted forward enough to leave an arm width between the two seats. Why this has to be so, I have no idea, but not being one to question rules and regulations I spent the entire journey feeling that in comparison to the space I had, economy plane seats are a roomy luxury! In addition to clothes and toiletries for myself and hubs we had to pack enough outfits for Wills factoring the number of times he chunders all over himself and needs changing. We needed bibs for him, two towels (incase he wees on one of them) nappies, wipes, baby toiletries, calpol, teething gel, baby thermometer, baby bath thermometer, bouncy chair, play mat, toys, baby carrier, bottles, bottle cleaning brush, bottle steriliser, perfect prep, formula, spare formula, nappy bags and blankets.

Not forgetting of course his lullaby night light, sleeping bag and monitor.  We made the executive decision not to take the pushchair as that in itself takes up the entire boot. (Trunk).The car was rammed. Hubs had utilised all his tetris skills to ensure no space was wasted.

We arrived at a beautiful, converted threshing barn. I was worried that William would be unsettled in new surroundings but I think he decided it was a definite upgrade to his usual surroundings and he seemed pretty unfazed.

Here comes the second big change to weekends away after baby: trying to maintain some semblance of a routine. As the festivities got into full swing we were putting a baby to bed, one that has recently decided he’s not going down without a fight. We couldn’t help but feel a tad left out when excited partygoers opened the fizz whilst we were in a darkened room with a crying baby.

Having family around was fantastic, and I count myself lucky that my little boy is surrounded by so much love. Life is busy, not everyone gets to visit as often as they’d like, so it was great that they got the opportunity this weekend to get dribbled and thrown-up on.

The third change: sleep. Holidays of old we could both get shit faced and sleep it off. Now despite getting shit faced we had to be up, although I noticed we tend to take it in turns to get really drunk, the more sober one will entertain Wills whilst the other  can wallow in self pity for a teensy bit.

The fourth change: Intimacy. You can’t really sneak off for a cheeky afternoon bonk when you have a baby to look after. Nothing kills intimacy like your baby waking in tears before you’ve *ahem* finished.

Hubs and I have spent most of today recovering from some over indulgence. Gone are the days when we could drift in and out of conciseness, our only worry the impending return to work. But as we sat, I cradled our little boy. He slept, face buried in my chest, cheeks rosy from teething, snoring like a warthog and I’m okay with the overstuffed car, the continuous lack of sleep and missing out of some of the adult fun. He is totally worth it.

In other news:

Captain, pleased at our return, has spent today alternating between me and hubs, at present I am the subject of his affection, I’m typing whist he claws my legs.

Wills has found his feet, he likes to grab them as often as he can.

Marms is completely indifferent to our presence in the house.

 

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Remembrance day reflections.

Today is Armistice Day (National Remembrance day), marking the end of WWI in 1918 and a day to reflect on those who have fought, lost lives and are still fighting today. It is tradition to hold a two minute silence, I had the TV on so I could listen to the chimes of Big Ben and marvel at how the busiest cities fall silent.

Since having William I have found I am a much more emotional person. I cried during the silence, looking at my little boy I can’t but think that all those who have lost their lives were someone’s children. They were waited for with excited anticipation, brought into the world and cherished. Did their parents delight in their smiles as I do in his? Did the fallen think of their mothers in the last seconds of their life? I torture myself with these thoughts. I think of all that conflict robs from us: sons, daughters, fathers and mothers and I feel a mixture of anger and sadness. My instinct is always to protect William, and I feel such utter sadness for the women whose little boys went away to war and never returned, who were unable to comfort their babies in their last moments. I went to France to see the graveyards of the fallen. The sheer number of white headstones is astonishing. Each simple stone marking the spot where someone’s little boy sleeps forever.

I think since having William I start to consider things I have previously never had any notion of. It’s not enough to love him, as his parents we need to teach him to love and be tolerant.

Because thinking of what has happened in the past and what could happen in the future I think the world really needs a bit more love and tolerance.

We’ve survived another week of parenting…

Survived being  the operative word here.

Sunday was a day of great joy in the Warwick household as Wills rolled over. Our clever little man. He naturally waited for the 30 second window when neither of us were with him, we entered the living room to see him on his front looking ever so slightly bewildered. We might have cried a bit.

This week has been busy, I’ve had something to amuse me most days, hubs had an extended weekend so we had a jaunt to a park. Where we were swarmed upon. By ladybirds. There were hundreds of them. Crawling all over us and Wills. It was horrific. I’ll tell you what else was horrific.

My period.

Something else new mums aren’t really given adequate information on, post partum periods. In the FOUR I’ve had since giving birth (not including the fortnight of daily bleeding) I’ve noticed they are now incredibly painful (like labour but without the fun of gas and air) and very heavy. In addition to worrying that if I sneeze, I might drown someone I seem to be experiencing hormones like never before. Hubs has started hiding anything pointy and avoiding eye contact.

Sodding hormones.

So this the lowlight of this week was definitely not coping with Wills incessant screaming and telling him I didn’t like him.

I said those words.

I don’t think I’ve ever regretted anything more. I cradled him, told him I loved him more than anything and cried. Repeating I’m sorry I’m so sorry through sobs. And that’s what hubs came home to. His wife holding his now quiet son, crying almost hysterically.

And I cried when I told my sister what I’d done. And my mum. I feel sick thinking about it. How could I say that to him?

You see the problem with people bleating about having children being the best thing in the world and telling people without them ‘you don’t know what love is until you’ve had children’ (Something I will never say to the childless), is that no one thinks to tell you how absolutely shit having children can make you feel. How absolutely inadequate you feel. And like you are the only parent on the planet who is completely fucking it up. Yes I love my son, I adore him. I know every contour of his beautiful face, I know his scent , his cry, I know the exact smile I’ll get from him in the morning. I know which of his toys he likes the most. But even with all the love I feel for him, sometimes coping with day to day life is incredibly tough.

Parenting really it taking the rough with the smooth, sometimes the rough greatly outweighs the smooth.

In other news:

Both the cats have taken an interest in William. Wills seems to enjoy a combination of smacking/grabbing Captain. Captain seems to enjoy this too.

Wills has had his last set of immunisations until he’s one. *sighs with relief*

Sophie the Giraffe is officially William’s favourite toy.

 

A serious case of ‘Can’t be arsed’.

The clocks went back last night. This marks the start of a fair few months where we’ll be getting up and going to sleep in the dark. As much as I love summer, I like that in winter the evenings are clearly distinguished from the days. A chance to really embrace unwinding.

Or it was until we became parents.

It is Halloween on Monday,  I’ve purchased a pumpkin, pumpkin onesie for Wills and some lollipops should we get any trick-or-treaters. I daydreamed about our first Halloween, dressing up Wills, dressing up ourselves, carving the pumpkin together and watching Hocus Pocus as a family. So far the pumpkin has remained uncarved and last night once Wills was asleep hubs and I stared at our phones whilst ignoring each other I’m surprised we had the energy for it. Friends had wild parties, and I envy them being able to enjoy uninterrupted hangovers today.

The thing is all the good intentions didn’t take into consideration how bloody tired I’d be. There is no real opportunity to catch up on missed sleep and my long afternoon naps are fast becoming ancient history. Today we will carve the sodding pumpkin, I don’t care how crap it looks it’s happening, and we’ll take a picture of Wills in the vicinity of said pumpkin so when he’s older it will look like we made more of an effort….

You can peak too soon, no danger of that here.

In other news:

Marms has acquired some sort of spiky lump on her face here’s hoping it drops off. (The lump not her face.)

It’s quarter past three and getting dark already.

It is bloody freezing in this house.

 

Roll on bedtime.

Today has not been my favourite day. Wills woke at half five coughing and spluttering. Then he wanted feeding. He does this ‘fun’ thing at the moment, be pushes the bottle out of his mouth then screams. So feeding time is now battle time. My milky mamma friends have said they are having similar problems. Must be an age thing. After feeding, he screams and stiffens his body. This goes on… and on. It’s exhausting. That coupled with the alarming frequency in which he throws up on me, has made me quite emotional. Rather ironically he sat silently in his bouncy chair as I cried in the shower yesterday.

It’s very hard to ignore a crying baby, especially as in terms of decibels they are on a par with road drills. It’s so unbelievably frustrating when you have done EVERYTHING, fed, changed, cuddled and the tiny human is STILL screaming. Today I had to put him in his cot and walk away. (Helloo mum guilt), he eventually fell asleep under the watchful eye of Captain.

The worst thing you can say to a frazzled mum or dad when holding their now placated offspring is along the lines of; ‘Well he/she is alright with me!’

Fuck off.

You are not the sodding baby whisperer, if anything my baby is too exhausted to play up now. I don’t want to hear how you think you have magical powers with  our child, I want you to be sympathetic! How about; ‘That sounds awful, kids are like this sometimes, but you are doing an awesome job.’

One of those phrases will have a mum weeping in secret feeling like her child hates her, the other might just prevent those tears.

But just in case you need reminding;

Your baby loves you. No one can replace you in your baby’s affection. You are a fantastic mummy and baby is lucky to have you.

In other news:

Part two of the Mousehole  cat will be tonight’s bedtime reading.

The house panthers have been celebrating National Black Cat day.

We will be carving out first family pumpkin this weekend!

 

 

Who am I again?

Autumn is here, although it’s one of my favourite times of the year I can’t say I’ve been out and about in its chilly golden glow.

I’m finding leaving the house harder and harder. Leaving the house means washing, getting dressed, trying to make my now very thin and greasy hair acceptable and then packing a massive bag of assorted baby crap. I then have to park, assemble buggy (stroller) remove baby from car put into buggy, attempt to strap in child who is now doing best impression of a plank of wood, bag of assorted baby crap is then attached to buggy handle via intricate Velcro system, blanket placed on baby some sort of toy chucked in for good measure and then off to navigate shops that clearly have no notion of pushchair access because they’ve put shitty piles of crap in the middle of isles already too narrow for buggies. Then I have try and find somewhere to feed my child because he’s screaming blue bloody murder only to stroll into Costa or similar to find that the only sodding clean tables have some dickhead sat with laptop and a latte pretending to be intellectual.

So I order an expensive coffee I can’t drink before it’s cold because I need to feed the foghorn and sit there getting ‘looks’ because, despite my best efforts, the pushchair is in the way. If you’re breastfeeding you have the potential added bonus of people with no idea what boobs are actually for chiming in. Thankfully so far all my milky mamma friends haven’t encountered anything too awful but do get the odd stare.

No thank you.

To top my already incredible mood, Wills has been so fussy it’s untrue. The sound track to most of my day is him crying. It’s exhausting. Yet if we see anybody he’s an angel so they think either I’m a liar or a moron. Ha! I too have been fooled by this, I thought looking after my nephew overnight qualified me in some way to ‘know what it’s like’ to be a mum. What a fucking idiot.

Like I have said before, I am no longer ‘me’ I am ‘we’ and I bloody adore my son but I feel almost bereft. I feel I’ve lost the me I knew and I’m still figuring out who I am now. I’m trying to get used to a whole new set of things to be anxious about or annoyed by.  (There are many.)

I fear that the more upfront slightly ballsy woman I promised to be is turning mousier and mousier, retreating, pyjama clad under a blanket watching crap, mind numbing TV whilst the world passes by.

 

In other news:

‘Don’t stand on the baby, Captain’, is the phrase of today.

Am baffled by Tesco’s notion of a ‘large’ pumpkin.

The baby is crying. Again.

 

 

A battle of wills with Wills.

I think perhaps the title of this post sounds a little more dramatic than it is. Basically, I have been attempting to up the amount of milk Wills has each feed so that he can go a bit longer between them.

He’s have non of it! He’s quite happy with small amounts frequently.

They day after I got out of hospital a midwife came to visit. This is standard procedure in this country, they come to your home to check that you are your baby are both well and your infant isn’t sleeping in a sack on a bed of nails. I remember sitting on the sofa wincing at my tender downstairs hoping to all that is holey that I wouldn’t need to poo until I was a million percent healed and feeling fuzzy from lack of sleep and about a gazillion antibiotics. The midwife asked simple questions; How many wet nappies has he had? (I had no answer to this, I looked at my husband panicked, how the hell should I know? Are we supposed to count them?) Hubs and I made an educated guess and as the midwife wrote our guesstimate down without looking alarmed I figured it was an okay total. The next question she asked me was how often was I feeding him? A little confused by this question I replied ‘Well, when he’s hungry,’ wondering if this was a trick question, ‘So you are doing baby led feeding?’

‘Err yes baby led feeding…’

As it happens I’m doing baby-led sleeping and eating and showering. Yep consider me baby-led.

In my naivety it hadn’t occurred to me that there were other ways. It seemed to make sense to feed when hungry. And this is not to say I feel there is anything wrong with a feeding schedule, a friend of mine who is a mummy of two can tell me what time her little one is getting fed. And her baby is both beautiful and beautifully content.

I can tell you what time my cats  will get fed. (Well ish  they have got very patient with us now we have Wills, pretty much through necessity.) Wills can sometimes feed and go for hours before he wants more, other days he’ll feed and in what feels like four seconds want feeding again. My vain attempt at altering this haphazard approach to nutrition has made me reflect on my haphazard approach to life.

I am not organised, I am not a list girl, I rarely plan things in advance. I will be the mum the school has to chase for permission slips. My sons lunch boxes will fester in his school bag much the same as mine fester under my desk at work.

Can I change my disorganised ways?

At 30, probably not.

Fortunately hubs is the yin to my yang, the list maker, the lunch maker, the lunchbox chaser upper, the sorter of important letters, the man that remembers to take re-usable shopping bags to the supermarket. Yep, thankfully he still finds my casual approach to life-admin amusing.

There are much worse things to be than disorganised, (probably not what an organised person thinks) and I’ve managed so far. So I think instead of trying to change, I’ll just accept I am me, there will always be room for improvement but who has the time?

Now I really must go, my child wants feeding.