Baby J is now one month old, which feels both quick and extraordinarily slow, considering I have been awake for almost all of that time.
Adjusting to life as a family of five has been an eye opener. You have to think through the logistics of the entire day ahead and who will be picking up which child when (T & B are at different schools), and meal times. Endless, endless meal times.
My whole life now seems to revolve around food. Either expressing every single feed for the baby (the Supplementary Nursing System didn’t work for us), or cleaning up the delightful by-products of said feeding, or washing up the ludicrous number of breast pump parts, or my own extraordinary hunger, or my surprising inability to give any thought to feeding anyone other than the baby. C might ask me what I feel like for supper, and I can only stare at him blankly. Luckily C’s mum is staying with us at the moment, and has quietly taken over the family’s mealtimes so no one will starve.
We’ve also learnt just how rapidly things can snowball out of control now there are three small children on the loose. The other afternoon, J was cluster-feeding which made the girls’ supper time late, so they started a whirlwind game loosely based on Sheriff Callie and her trusty donkey, Sparky. As the baby’s screeches for more milk escalated, so did their game, despite our warnings that it would end in tears (a phrase from my own childhood).
At the precise moment that B tripped and split her chin, J decided to dial up the drama and vomit milk straight up in the air, which then cascaded back on his own face. It went everywhere. I literally had to tilt his head to pour milk out of his ears.
We were both so drenched in hot, sticky milk, I decided the easiest thing was to get straight in a bath together. Trouble is, you cannot secretly run a bath in this household, so both girls rushed in screaming with excitement, stripped, and clambered in too. So J’s first proper bath was with all four of us, the girls intregued by his naked body, B nursing a bleeding chin. It was quite an experience.
This week’s Highs & Lows:
- My parents flew out last week to meet their new grandson. Hadn’t seen them since Christmas, it was so exciting. So all the grandparents are here; it’s brilliant to be part of an extended family again. It’s something I’ve really missed as an expat
- Getting back in touch with a lot more friends from home, now that I’m on Facebook Messenger throughout the night. I’ve embraced social media a lot more with this baby, and am addicted to The Archers (snarling about Rotten Rob Titchener) and the MumsNet ‘Am I Being Unreasonable?’ message board. Marvellous stuff
- Replacing my English politeness with the New York no-nonsense attitude. I’m now far more demanding; if a shop doesn’t have something I need, I get them to order it and deliver it to my apartment that same day… for free. Downtown Pharmacy on William and Beekman Street is particularly great at this. Thank you for being so nice to me.
- Hearing B whisper privately to her brother, “Baby J, I am your big sister B. I will protect you.”
- Being so tired the other night, I suddenly got a fright that I hadn’t felt the baby kick for ages. It took a few beats for me to remember that I wasn’t pregnant any more
- Another night, slept walked into the kitchen and started filling the washing up bowl. I plunged my hands in the soapy water and was confused to find it empty – all the bottles and breast pump parts already washed up and long dry on the side, and baby J fast asleep. Ridiculous
- On the same day our kitchen sink started leaking, a can got too cold at the back of the fridge and exploded frozen shards of coke zero over everything. I had to empty the fridge to get it all out, and made the happy discovery of two large tubs of chocolate icing that had been sitting there since B’s birthday in March. I have been eating them with a teaspoon during night feeds… and when I wash up breast pump parts, or make a cup of tea, or pass the kitchen in general… Actually, this may be a High, not a Low