Friday, 10 June 2011

Four children, two adults, ten days.

Well.  Here we are. Ten days in. I have been discharged from midwifery care.  We're officially on our own. Flying solo, just me, B, the children (it's very odd not being able to say "the girls" any more) and the tummy bug.

Oh?  Did I not mention the tummy bug?  It came to visit about five days ago and has cut a swathe through the girls (see, I can use it, but only in very specific circumstances), though so far has avoided B, me and, thank everything, M.   While I'm grateful for that particular small mercy, I will confess that the clearing up of midnight vomit is not made better by the knowledge that you'll be up again at least once more before morning, whether anyone's sick or not.

Other low moments:

Tantrums.  Lots of them.  Not sure if it's being 2 1/2 or being a big sister or being ill, but the combination of all three has resulted in a lot of screaming. And that's just me.

The new shower screen shattering into a million pieces all over the plumber (who is fine, but shocked), meaning we can't move back into our bedroom this weekend after all.

The discovery by A and S that they can get out of bed.  On their own.  Whenever they like.

And the discovery that this gets more and more fun the later you do it.

The discovery by A and S that this skill is also useful during the afternoon nap.

Losing S's Piggy. Admittedly it was the spare Piggy and we have now found it, but it was a moment of sheer panic. For both of us.

B and I, both very tired, both fed up of clearing up sick and forcing recalcitrant toddlers back into bed, both at the end of our tether with being shouted at, nearly, but not quite, reducing each other to tears through sheer rattiness.

And the highs:

Paternity leave. Thank you, thank you, thank you Tony Blair.  I could not have got through the last ten days without B who has been utterly utterly fabulous in every way.  I never expected to have luxurious lie-ins with just my baby asleep in his crib beside me, but I have had them, every day since he was born, while B gets up with the lark (and the girls), gets them dressed, gets them breakfasted, even does their hair... It's six years tomorrow that we said "I do" and I couldn't be happier that I did.

Sleep.  I know, that sounds ridiculous, but when the girls let us, we are actually getting some sleep. I realise that I am dooming myself by even admitting this, but M is letting us have six hours between feeds at night which at 10 days old I couldn't have hoped for and am more than happy with.

Breast feeding. And breast feeding just one.  Don't get me wrong, I am delighted for both me and the (little) girls (see, it gets confusing, doesn't it?) that I fed them myself, but it was rarely anything other than functional:  strap on cushion, lower self heavily onto sofa, roll baby up arm onto cushion, repeat on other side, feed...  With just one you get all that lovely post-feed cuddling, the incredible lightness of a newborn against your shoulder as you wind him, the weird lopsidedness of having one full and one empty.  I'm loving all that, I really am.  And even better, he's regained his birthweight so I feel like I'm doing a good job too.

Big sisters. We've had our moments (see above), but there is something so incredibly heart-warmingly magical about how they want to stroke his head, or change his nappies (aka hold the nappy bag), or choose his clothes.  I know there will be fights, and arguments, and tantrums, to come, but when it works, it's amazing.

And us.  We are complete now. This is our family, and there hasn't been a day since he was born that I haven't, if only for thirty seconds, looked at the six of us, walking down the lane, or transfixed by Octonauts (well, maybe not all of us) and felt a glow of pride, and luck, and joy.


  1. congratulations on the safe arrival of baby m... welcome to this beautiful world, m - may you experience all the wonderful things that it has to offer. as a mummy contemplating number 3 it is great to hear your highs and lows and your sense of joy and love for your now complete family. may the baby sleep gods continue to be with you and here's to being a family of 6 x

  2. kelloggsville said (I only seen to be able to post anonymously these days thanks to blogger):

    first thank you to Blair I have ever read, he'll be pleased! Once the sickness has died down it will all get a bit more normal then you'll be able to fathom out where normal is (just before it shifts again!)
    It all sounds wonderful. Strokey feety :)

  3. That is BAD timing for a tummy bug. And as for the rattiness, I know it well. Just try to remember the times when you'd both had enough sleep. They will eventually return. I keep believing in them, anyway.

  4. The good parts sound good, but I hope the tummy bug leaves swiftly. My parents had the same thing happen with their shower screen - it was one of these double sized curved glass affairs and it shattered over the plumber. My dad thought the plumber was having a heart attack when he found him, and ended up getting the guy to lie on the sofa for an hour or two till he felt well enough to go home.


  5. Bad luck about the tummy bug. That's horrible.

    Otherwise, what a lovely picture you paint.

    Keep on the case of getting A and S to stay in their beds. You really don't want that developing into a long bad habit. We gave one of ours a sweetie first thing in the morning, if he'd stayed in bed all night. Terrible parenting, you might say, but it only lasted a week before he forgot about the sweetie, and a week of sweeties in the morning seems a small price to pay for nipping the out-of-my-own-bed-and-into-yours-in-the-middle-or-the-night habit in the bud.

  6. Oh nasty tummy bug go away and let my friend enjot the first days with bliss. I dont remember having a blissfull feeling with the boys at the beginning at all!

  7. Yay yay and yay !

    Well done all of you and I hope that things only get better and better from this point on

    Congratulations on the new addition and your beautiful family xxx

  8. Wow - just reading your last few entries on the birth and stuff. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!
    So happy for you. Well done you.

  9. Also just catching up on your birth - congratulations and welcome Baby M! He is a gorgeous little fellow. And you sound amazing even with all the x factors!

  10. Tummy bug, little girls out of bed, tantrums - not so good, rest of it - wonderful. So glad you are feeling complete. The bit about winding a light newborn on your shoulder...makes me feel nostalgic. Hope you have more good bits than bad bits. x

  11. I just found your blog, as others have said sorry for the tummy bug and glad you're getting some sleep......the post feed wind bit was utter bliss....enjoy xx

  12. Six is THE most perfect number, may you enjoy utter bliss once the small (ahem) matter of sickness and night feeds and tetchiness are replaced with family fun. Great post! Kim xx

  13. Hey - congratulations!
    You sound so so blissfully happy it is brilliant.
    Sorry it has taken me so long to turn up here.

    So much love and all my thoughts. Congratulations!

  14. My goodness! Many congratulations. I hope the bug has moved along by now and you are still feeling the lovely glow. Boys do that I think, or at least my one did for me. When you have a female heavy house the introduction of a boy is fabulous. Enjoy it all.

    MD xxx


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