‘Thanks, now would you mind minding your own business?’

A slightly weird but definitely infuriating thing happened to me and hubs today.

Set on enjoying the bank holiday we got Wills ready and were out the house by 11:15 am (only and hour and a quarter later then planned score!) We began the day by looking at kitchens we couldn’t hope to afford but have optimistically booked a ‘design visit’ where I fully expect to have to scale back our expectations and sell one of my lesser organs. After traipsing round the vast showroom and drinking overpriced coffee in the café, hubs and I decided to head to the Fargo Village Beer Festival. Fargo Village is a new development for the city of Coventry, which has a bit of a reputation for being fugly. Mainly because vast areas of it are.  The Luftwaffe kindly flattened most of the city in the forties so bang went the medieval charm and up went some pretty revolting concrete buildings. Anyway the council have begun ‘tarting up’ the place Fargo Village is a fashionable development with a brewery, and other crafty/vintage shops including barbers shops and vegan food outlets. But most importantly there is a brewery.

Hubs and I were surprised to find the place pretty much deserted, the brewery was open (huzzarh)) but other then that it was very quiet. It wasn’t hot but we sat outside because it’s May and that’s what the British do. In other countries I’m quite sure people would be sat in coats on days like today, but we’re out in pub gardens, with shorts on, freezing but acting like there has been some sort of heatwave. I kind of like it, we NEVER waste sunshine in this country. Even if it’s bloody freezing, if the sun is shining we’re out, lighting barbeques, having picnics cramming  ourselves into pub gardens and wearing the shorts we brought four years ago but have only worn six times. (Unless of course we went abroad on holiday.) Anyway, I digress. We sat outside; Hubs with a beer, me trying to calm a tired William (whom I suspect is having a poo this very second, yep, please excuse me a tick.) Tired William was balling so I decided to placate him with a bottle, when he’s had enough I popped him in his pushchair, but he started a protest in the form of wailing at the top of his lungs. Ahh the naptime fight, a battle of wills with Wills. It doesn’t happen every naptime but when the little foghorn is fighting sleep you sure do know about it!

As he wailed I uttered soothing phrases and  pushed his chair back and forth.

‘Excuse me’

‘Err, yes?’

‘Maybe if you sat her up she’d stop crying, I don’t think she likes that’

He is actually very tired, he is fighting sleep, that’s why he is crying.’

‘Oh is it a boy?’

(No I just call her him for shits and giggles yes it’s a fucking boy, he’s in blue corduroy dungarees!) ‘Yes it’s a boy.’

‘Oh, and is he your first baby?

(What the fuck does that have to do with anything?) ‘Yes, first baby.’

‘I hope you don’t mind me saying?’

(Of course I fucking mind, who in the name of arse do you think you are? creeping up behind me and giving me advise I neither need or asked for!) ‘Not at all, thank you!’

 

Thank you!! I fucking said THANK YOU. I didn’t mean thank you, there was nothing about that situation that I was thankful for!! You see, when you have a baby you sort of become public property whether you like it or not. Sometimes it’s nice that strangers say nice things about your baby, but sometimes it crosses a line. Like the woman who asked; ‘… and are you feeding him?‘ The temptation to reply: ‘No, I refuse to offer him breast or bottle, we send him out into the woods to forage for his own food…’ To the people that ask ‘Did you have a natural birth?’  What comes out of my vagina is my business, and although I’ll happily talk through the process to preggos, that particular question is posed in a way that suggests anything other than natural is sub par. And it absolutely isn’t. There are babies and mammas that wouldn’t be here today without the marvels of modern medicine. So you can stick your natural birth question up your arse.

I’ve never had such an intrusion before. Perhaps this person thought they might combust if they didn’t intervene. But what if I was having a bad day. What if it had been one of those days when I’ve doubted my abilities. The days when I’ve cried, thinking there are a million women who’d be a better mummy. Women who never get tired and make only organic home cooked food. Who attend every baby group going and keep an immaculate house. If this had happened on one of those days I can’t tell you the damage it might have done.

But today has been a good day, I’m looking over at my little boy who is sharing a rusk with Captain and I feel all warm and proud. And I’m wondering how I’m supposed to get rusk off the cat.

I may not be a ‘supermum’ but I’m doing my best. If I want or need advice, I promise I’ll ask for it. If you don’t hear me asking, keep it to yourself.

In other news:

There is a black cat coming into the garden that my black cats are hell bent on terrorising. It’s not always easy to distinguish which black cats are mine form a raging ball of hissing and clawing.

We’re off to a wedding in a couple of weeks. Going to get Wills a suit, hoping I can keep it clean for longer than five minutes…

I’ve started a diet. Hubs is looking for sanctuary somewhere, any offers greatly appreciated.

 

 

Working and working at parenting.

I am on my third week back at work. The first two were a breeze. This week, not so much. I put this down to two things:

Firstly- the novelty of being back at work is starting to wear off and I’m realising ‘this is my life now’

Secondly – daylight sodding savings. My alarm clock may have said six thirty this morning but I think we all know it was actually half five. I was present in body only today. I also forget where I work… whilst at work which wasn’t great as I was on reception.

I also had a slight wobble after loading Wills into his dad’s car this morning, as I looked at him through the window, he looked all wide-eyed and sad. I didn’t want to leave him, but I had to, ‘my son looked a bit sad this morning’ is not a valid reason not to go in. So gave him exaggerated smiles and waves as his dad drove off and cried on the journey into work.

With gallons of coffee and fizzy drink I made it through my working day, (and three bags of crisps), popped to the shop for nappies and got home, to put the dinner on. After tea hubs and I prep for tomorrow. Then Wills goes to bed and we vege out on the sofa. Tonight Wills decided sleep was definitely not on the agenda. When his wailing showed no sign of abating I retrieved him for some cuddles on the sofa. This was going swimmingly until he smacked me in the face with his monitor. I’m still not sure whether this was an accident or his way of voicing his disquiet about the sudden life upheaval he’s experiencing. What I do know is the inside of my mouth is swollen and my tooth is now moving.

William has very recently started crawling. It is quite literally amazing how they go from crawling a few tentative paces to all over the sodding place. Naturally he finds the most dangerous things to crawl to.  And his new found mobility has meant a huge rise in bumps, usually gained at the exact moment you take your eyes off him. It’s also meant he can indulge in his favourite hobby of following Captain around. I’m okay with this as it helps both of them burn off some extra energy. I’m not okay with William eating cat biscuits so the pursuit often involves Captain, Wills and Mummy.

Hubs and I are slowly getting into this new phase, our parenting has to be different now, all the rules and routines have had to adapt with him and now we’ve thrown working into the mix. We now need to consider childcare, dropping off and picking up, making enough food to send with him (he doesn’t stop eating!) I’ve said it before, every time we think we have this parenting malarky down, he changes and we are back to square one.

In other news:

Captain continues to steal things from the neighbours house, his latest crime was witnessed by said neighbour.

Marms has eaten a couple of meals at our house, but she growled at me when I stroked her. (The cow.)

My first Mother’s Day was lovely! Flowers, a mug and the promise of a night out for cocktails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The witching hour.

Wills is in bed, his chunky form has been securely zipped into his sleeping bag, he has been lowered gently and silently into his cot, his tiny chest rising and falling with each sleepy breath, floppy rabbit placed near him, a comfort should he wake. Peace.

Until the shitbagging cat marched in for an impromptu, (full volume), miaow-a-thon. At least Wills was delighted to be woken and find a cat in his room. Mummy was decidedly less impressed. Thankfully he was two feet into the land of nod and settled quickly. I now find myself in the witching hour, the time the house takes on a silence it never seemed to have before Wills. The time when I try to cram in resting/catching up on hobbies/ self maintenance/drinking wine.

As hubs is out enjoying himself at a beer festival I decided to cook myself a Chinese, thank you, Mr Gok Wan. I can’t tell you how much I’d rather have ordered one but I’m yet to find a nice one close by and just ordering for one doesn’t qualify for delivery and picking it up is not really an option with a baby. So far I have managed to burn the rice, something I seem to do with alarming regularity at the moment. But I did buy a huge bag of prawn crackers so I won’t starve.

I did intend to sit in my clean and tidy living room and enjoy an evening by myself but after an earlier emotional crisis and a couple of hours spent sulking in bed I’ve managed to hoover. That’s it. The sofa is covered in ironing, the carpet in biscuit. Wills’ toys remain scattered about and the draining board is stacked with washing up. Luckily I’m too exhausted to care, I’m sat on the floor, the cat on the sofa (he’s in my spot).

So it’s ten to nine, I’m sat on the carpet drinking wine, in a messy house, starving but thoroughly enjoying my witching hour!

In other news:

The boy crawled today, it turns out Captain was all the motivation he needed.

Hubs has assembled a work bench today, he now feel like a fully fledged dad.

Wills noisy habit of blowing raspberries for hours on end has returned with a vengeance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The greatest adventure you’ll ever have.

When I was heavily pregnant and resembling a space hopper on legs hubs and I went for a coffee. This isn’t unusual for us and I have to say it was a much easier thing to do without a baby in tow. As we drank our coffees (caffeine free for me) an old lady, who was sitting on the next table, watched us rather intently with a half smile on her face. As we got up to leave she touched my arm, asked if this was our first, and told me ‘This will be the greatest adventure you will ever have, enjoy every second, there is no feeling quite like the one you get when you are a parent.’

Naturally this made me blub, and it took an awful lot of self control not to have a full on pregnancy hormone induced meltdown in the middle of Costa’s.

Thinking about what she said to me I’m left wondering ‘When will it feel like that?’

Mostly as well as tired, lonely, guilty, fed up, inept I feel like I’m already failing our son. I have no idea what sort of parent I’m supposed to be, but having said that I’ve got to 31 and I’m not sure exactly what sort of adult I am. As I type this, one of my hands is blue because I came into contact with a leaky pen, I had hoped I’d be a much more presentable person. Not much chance of that as one of my favourite t-shirts has a cartoon picture of Little Red Riding Hood kicking the Big Bad Wolf in the nuts on the front. I was distraught when the key ring with the same image broke last week.

So where is my adventure? Is this it? Yesterday I had to stop Wills eating biscuit crumbs off the carpet. I also had to intervene when the threw up on the carpet and proceeded to play with it. This is a new thing, if he doesn’t keep it in his mouth to chew to it, he plays with it. (I would like to take this opportunity to point out he has lots of toys, but apparently sick is much more appealing.) All in all, day to day life doesn’t feel very adventurous.

But perhaps I’ve hit a slump. I’m faced with returning to work next week and although I crave adult interactions and not being at the beck and call of a tiny human, I am dreading it. I don’t feel I’m ready. I don’t think I’ve prepared William yet. (Although how I’d do that, I have no idea!) I don’t feel I’ve got this mothering thing down, so how can I go back to work when I’m not a ‘proper mum’ yet? And also, why don’t I feel like a proper mum? What the deuce is one of those anyway?

And then I think about the old lady in a coffee shop. She’s been there, I imagine her children ate biscuit off the carpet, she craved a cup of tea in peace and cried often. But there she was, smiling, genuinely excited for me.

So maybe I need to think a bit deeper.

How about the first time I heard him cry? When hubs told me we had a boy, our first shopping trip, first walk on a beach? (Well carry, mummy was walking), our first swim, first night in his cot? First solid food? First time he reacted to his name? The absolute joy those moments have brought.

So maybe it’s a lot of tiny adventures that are ever so easily overlooked by overtired parents.

And maybe, one day, I’ll be an old lady in a coffee shop smiling at a ginormous space hopper lady and her husband.

In other news:

I fear that Marms has abandoned ship, to pursue a life with the neighbours. Heart is officially broken and I still call the furry little traitor every night.

The remaining loyal cat is becoming more interested in interacting with the tiny human. These moments are usually extremely cute.

Three more sleeps and I’m back at work.

 

Postpartum nights out.

Recently, hubs and I indulged in a night out. Graciously, hubs took the role of designated driver, nanny came round to babysit, I purchased a new dress all systems were go!

Here are some observations on how nights out have changed post baby:

Pre Baby:

Spend time selecting outfit, shoes, matching underwear and jewellery

Spend hours getting ready, bath, exfoliate, hair make-up

Shave everything

Drink excessively

Take selfies with friends and random people you meet in the loo

Discuss current events, who you hate at work where you want to go on holiday etc.

Drink even more excessively

Stagger into an eating establishment you wouldn’t touch with a barge pole when sober

Stumble into a taxi two to three hours later than you said you were going home

Get home, begin seduction of partner with no regard for noise or furniture

Wake up late morning regretting food and alcohol choices from previous evening, spend all day watching Made in Chelsea drinking coffee and eating nutritionally questionable food

Post baby:

Pick whatever dress is clean/fits from wardrobe between bathing/feeding and entertaining baby

Have quick shower when hubs gets home, shave only what will be on show and only if it’s excessively hairy (noticeable from a distance)

Tuck saggy tum into ginormo pully-in pants wear whatever bra happens to be clean(ish)

Try to keep safe distance from infant to avoid getting chunder on only clean dress

Greet babysitter, apologise for the mess (carpet is mostly rusk) feel pang of guilt as you leave your tiny person

Get to drinking establishment, one which is decidedly more sedate than where you would have frequented before baby, talk mostly about your baby

Text babysitter for update on condition of offspring

Show friends/bar maids/bouncers pictures of your baby

Text babysitter for update on condition of offspring

Drink quickly, you’re out; need to make the most of it

Text babysitter for update on condition of offspring

Feel fine until you get hit by the air sniper, find taxi go home

Attempt to appear sober and responsible in front of babysitter

Have big ideas with regards to seduction but pass out on bed before you’ve even kissed

Get woken early by offspring intent on ensuring your hangover is a torturous as possible

Put episodes of ‘Hey Duggee’ on repeat in desperate attempt to keep offspring content whilst you drink cold coffee and put together a lunch

Drink copious amounts of coffee throughout the day and wonder why the hell such an insignificant amount of alcohol has caused a hangover of monumental proportions.

Wake up the following morning with all the symptoms of a hangover…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is the first thing women tell newly expectant mums a birth ‘horror story’?

Right, I saw something on Facebook the other day that annoyed me. There was an innocent enough post about what would you advise someone put in their hospital bag when going in to have a wee one.

One of the comments was from a young woman voicing her annoyance about how the first thing she’s usually told is a birth ‘horror story’.

Before having William, I felt much the same. But then I had him. And I hate to say it ladies (and gents)….

Birth is traumatic.

Bear with me, please. Now I’m by no means saying you are going to have a horrible experience. Birth is both beautiful and traumatic. But it is traumatic. It hurts, you’re tired, you don’t have a bloody clue what’s going on. Because no matter how many books you read, how many classes you go to in order to prepare, it never pans out quite the way you think.

No-one had told me about all the blood. I thought I was dying. I didn’t know it was normal, I thought William was bleeding! I was tired, things hurt. They took me away form my husband and my baby into a rather sinister looking part of the hospital, to stitch up the alterations Wills had made to my downstairs with his ginormo head. I was frightened, It had been explained what was happening but I was exhausted and fuzzy from drugs. (Hospital drugs, to be clear). There were lots of people, I didn’t know who they were.

It was scary and beautiful, and for all the horrible bits I enjoyed giving birth. I’ve never felt more empowered or strong, never have I been more in awe of my body and what it could do.

Yet, it’s like were not supposed to talk about it. Like it’s a taboo. You will talk about it with mum friends, my NCT mummy friends gave very detailed accounts, and after having William it was fascinating to hear how different everybody’s birth was. But if you mention too often, to too many people, there is a collective grown ‘Oh god, here she goes again…’

Chances are she’s just trying to make sense on it.

If you are an expectant mummy, not enjoying all the horror stories, I promise you the closer you get to your due date, the more people you will ask about the whole birth thing. I asked my sister to go over in very fine detail. Friends of hubs made us dinner fairly early in my pregnancy and I wanted someone to tell me EXACTLY what it was like, and they did, with an amusing trump story thrown in! (Just to be clear, ‘trump’ means fart in the UK).

I also promise you this, the moment, the very instant that baby is placed on your chest, none of it matters, the pain, the blood, the alarming number of people that have seen your foof…

But still, talk about the birth. Get it off your chest. Discuss every gory detail, why shouldn’t you? Tell your partner/friends/relatives, it was tough and I need to talk about it.

But maybe go a little easy on expectant mammas…..

In other news:

Apparently Captain is a kleptomaniac, he piece of cord the neighbours child uses to play with Marms, dropped it on the carpet and proceeded to growl at it.

Spending some long overdue time with the sisters and madre today.

Had hideous nightmare that Marms became super muscly, she had the face of a cat but the body of a Staffordshire bull terrier *shudders*

Swimming

 

I took William swimming on Tuesday.

 

I have always found public swimming pools traumatic. The hygiene in the changing rooms is usually questionable. The walk from the changing room to the pool is always just a little longer than comfortable for walking around with very little on. And the pool itself is essentially a bath you share with people you have never met. A bath that has the occasional plaster floating about in it…

 

*Shudders*

 

Anyway in my mission to do absolutely everything I possibly can with Wills so he doesn’t forget me when I go back to work, I figured swimming is a fairly cheap but fun thing to do.

 

After having a baby I needed to buy a new, larger swimming costume. I remember being very upset when the one I bought, that looked massive stretched out on the hanger in Sports Direct, not only fit, it was a bit tight. I seemed to have acquired new fat bits after pregnancy including two weird lumps on the top of my thighs.

 

Why do most swimsuits have such high legs? The kind an 80’s aerobics instructor would be proud of. Even my maternity one was high legged, why in the name of arse? When I bought it I hadn’t seen my bikini line in months and I was going to a hen do. Not wanting to be known and forever after referred to as ‘ the one with all the pubes’ I had to rope hubs into sorting it. (If someone is popping your offspring out of their vagina, a bit of bikini maintenance is the VERY LEAST you can do.)

 

Anyway, bikini line acceptable (from a distance) I tucked my saggy belly into my new costume. Surveying the damage in the mirror, the belly was not my biggest problem. I think my new nickname is probably going to be ‘back fat’, unfortunately I couldn’t reach those bits to do any tucking. After getting dressed I chucked a few swim nappies in a bag along with Wills’ swim body warmer thingy. As I purchased it form Amazon I keep getting emails ‘Can you answer this question..’ it’s usually size related but the last one was ‘is it a swimsuit as well as a floatation aid?’ I felt it was my moral duty to reply swiftly and make it absolutely clear that although it is described as ‘swim vest’ it in no way aids floatation in any way. Its sole purpose is to keep a baby warm. I had images of a poor baby being chucked into a pool at Centre Parcs whilst it’s parents disappear to the bar ‘It’s a floatation vest love,  he’ll bob back up to the surface, voddy and coke?’

 

That’s my good deed done.

 

Anyway we arrived in the changing rooms and they were as grim as I remember. Didn’t particularly want to put William down anywhere and the mass of clothes left in plain sight signalled a school was in for a swimming lesson.

 

 I covered a grotty changing table with a mat and got Wills ready took my clothes off to reveal new trusty one piece and made my way to the ‘learner pool’.

 

The learner pool was nice and warm, Wills seemed immediately delighted and spent the whole time we were in there squealing and smacking the water. (We were the people other people were avoiding.) The boy made a pretty impressive splash zone. We poured brightly coloured watering cans (Will tried to drink from them) and swan after footballs (Will tired to eat them), Wills found a squirty crab (tried to eat that too) and it was lovely. The sheer delight on his face kept me grinning like a mad woman! I saw two women with a baby girl, both in bikinis, both with gorgeous tummys, I’m sure one of the slender tummed women was a mamma, and I felt pure unbridled envy at such a lovely tum, which was interrupted by Wills pulling the front of my swimsuit out as far as it would go. I spotted a couple of mums in the same swimming suit as me, I couldn’t decide if that made me like it more or less.

 

We exited the pool, I swaddled William in a towel and carried him past several bored looking lifeguards into the changing room, which was freezing. So I wrapped him in my towel too. I took him into a cubicle with a changing table and removed my suit. He took the opportunity to squeal and smack my boobs. Not that there is ever a good time for a fire alarm, this would have been a really, really bad time. By the time I’d got him dressed I was pretty much dry. I tried not to feel too much dismay at my now pendulous boobs and saggy belly as I tried to stuff myself back into my clothes. Although on the bright side, the tum isn’t always saggy. Whenever I have a postpartum monster period, it fills up, so it’s a big roundy belly that leaves people wandering if I’m expecting or not…

 

Will fell fast asleep in the car and I put him straight to bed when we got home. Any activity that makes him nap is good in my books.

 

When I went to retrieve him some time later, he was licking the bars of his cot. Make of that what you will.

 

In other news:

 

It snowed for the first time in William’s life yesterday. I excitedly picked him up and took him to the window. I don’t think he could have been less bothered.

 

We’ve had some lovely pictures of William taken today. So I’ll be busy getting them put on to mugs, mouse mats, magnets, clocks, cushions, wallpaper, curtains etc.

 

We’re off out to celebrate hubs’ cousins birthday tonight, and I’m not driving… see you all in hangover town…