Ok, that’s a pretty negative title. This isn’t a negative post. I promise.
It’s been a long day.
It’s the first day when I have parented solo from start to finish with both children. No big deal, I suppose. I’m well aware that some people do that every day.
However, I’m very very tired. Astrid is just 17 days old, and I have not recovered quickly from giving birth 17 days ago. Every part of my body aches with weariness and my stitches are tight and painful.
We haven’t slept, Astrid and I, the last few nights. She’s still got a cold. The cold now includes a nasty cough that wakes her up regularly and makes her cry. It’s heartbreaking. It’s also exhausting.
All possibly caused by Iris coughing and sneezing all over her, but what can I do? The very last thing I want to do is make this transiston harder for Iris by pushing her out. If she wants to get close to her new baby sister then I have to let her. It’s only fair. She has to share us with this tiny person, the least we can do is let her get to know her.
Thankfully Iris is on the mend. She never lets a cold hold her back for long, and she’s plenty old enough for the occasional dose of Calpol if she needs it.
Astrid isn’t so lucky, and she’s really suffering.
I’m so very proud of how we’ve done today.
In late pregnancy I was sitting up late at night unable to sleep and then sleeping half the morning. This is the preferred sleep pattern of Iris too. She’d gradually turn nocturnal if I followed her lead, I think. Now though, I’m working on changing it. We miss the best toddler groups if we stay in bed, and they’re essential to me surviving this. I need conversations with other grown ups. Iris needs to tear about and let off steam with other kids too. So we’ve been gradually and gently moving her around the clock a bit, by waking her up earlier, getting her to nap earlier in the day, and putting her to bed earlier. It’s working pretty well.
By 9am this morning I’d showered and all three of us were dressed and had breakfast. A few weeks ago we wouldn’t even have been out of bed. Had we planned to go to playgroup we would actually have made it on time. I can’t quite believe it! It was just a practice run, but it turns out that if I make sure bags are packed and clothes are out ready the night before we can actually leave the house at a reasonable hour. Go me!
We didn’t actually have to be anywhere until 12:30 though, so I even got some housework done. There is no longer any dust or dog hair under our sofas. The laundry basket is empty and the dishes are all done.
As it came up to 11 it was clear Iris was ready to nap. But Astrid needed a feed and we needed to go soon.
I averted disaster by getting Iris ready and strapped into her stroller. With a beaker of milk, I put her in front of CBeebies while I fed Astrid quickly and put her in the sling. We were off. On the bus just after 11. Success! Iris fell asleep as soon as the bus moved, and Astrid nodded off soon after.
This obviously meant I was in town ridiculously early, but I needed to ask the optician to mend my glasses and I had a few bits to buy too. This filled the time, and I got to the cafe just slightly early.
After crochet club we returned home in the pouring rain. Astrid cried much of the way to the bus station and I feared I may be about to experience a disaster. But she stopped and fell asleep. Phew.
Back home I entertained Iris with some glue, pompoms and feathers while I drank a cup of tea in peace. Well half of it anyway, because Astrid woke up screaming the place down and I had to feed her. Meanwhile Iris wanted to get out of her high chair, of course.
Anyway, we got through it.
Until dinner time. Astrid just wouldn’t calm down. I fed her and burped her over and over but she wouldn’t settle for a moment. By the time she did, dinner was late and Iris was cross. Iris likes food. I had to find a distraction for her to free me up for cooking.
Pipe cleaners and the cutlery drainer! I’m a genius.
She poked pipe cleaners through the holes for the whole time it took me to make her some pasta. And then she ate the lot.
Somehow I managed to bath Iris and wash her hair, get her pyjamas on and play dolls house with her all in the time Astrid slept. With her teeth brushed and milk drank, we woke Astrid to change her and all headed up to bed.
This is where it went a bit wrong.
Halfway up the stairs, I noticed that Iris was crawling up in front of me wearing soaking wet pyjamas. I can only assume she sat in the dog’s water bowl while I changed Astrid. I grabbed a clean nappy and pyjamas, while Astrid screamed the house down, and stripped Iris off. Before I knew it, I had a stark naked toddler lying in Astrid’s cosleeping crib laughing while Astrid screamed and went red in the face. Bed time was not going well.
Somehow though, twenty minutes later they were both fast asleep. At 8:15. Which is the earliest Iris has gone to sleep in months and months. And she only had one tantrum.
All by myself.
Poor Trevor is still somewhere on the M4.
I did it!