Saturday, 26 January 2013

My Hero

Sitting here at 6am, and I'm already an hour and a half into my day, courtesy of an extra-super-special early wake up call from Brendan - aw, thanks son!

Anyway, as my semi-human, gargoyle-esque form is huddled on the sofa, hoodie up over my head, sock shop heat holders on my feet, and a cup of industrial strength tea slowly working its warming way into the depths of my sleep-deprived soul, I can't help but thank the special man in my life for his continued support during these trying times:

Fireman Sam.

For his teeny tiny retro stock animated self is doing what I am struggling to do right now: entertaining my child. And not only is he a super-amazing-fabulous babysitter, but his community spirit is endless as he pushes Fire-Fighter Penny round Pontypandy in a charity bed-push before rescuing the sponsorship money from Bella's bonfire. (Oh Bella, how I love your italian accent).

I think we could all learn from him. Pontypandy is full of half-wits and morons (a Canadian mountain ranger who causes avalanches by laughing, for example) and yet he goes about rescuing them all from mountain wells, broken ladders and burning bins (ooooooh!) without completely losing his rag and transferring to Cardiff Fire Service in a huff!

So I'd like to dedicate this entire blog to him. He's cool and calm and always there for me (at the touch of my Sky Plus button). Fireman Sam, you really ARE the hero next door!

Friday, 18 January 2013

A Stolen Moment

I want to get Brendan's haircut. We've only trimmed it once and it was one of those DIY "bowl cut" classics that we each have pictures of from our own childhoods. It also really wasn't very much fun at all, and so today when we heard that swimming was cancelled, I decided to take him to a barbershop that had been recommended to me by a couple of local mums.

Brendan doesn't have a nap until well into the afternoon and so I hoped that setting off straight after breakfast would mean I'd catch him at his brightest, and subsequently there would be less screaming, howling and general trashing of the place.

As we approached the barbers I peeked into the buggy to find him out like a light, completely sparko, despite him sleeping through the night for the first time in weeks. This NEVER happens. Brendan could have the most disrupted night's sleep on record and still keep going, like an irritable Duracell bunny, until gone lunchtime.

To be honest I have come to rely on that, to make sure we're home for his nap time so I can do my chores in peace and then enjoy a little bit of "me-time" with a cuppa. Ask any mum or dad: "me-time" is the Holy Grail of parenthood and there are days I'd gladly swap a kidney for just five minutes more.

At first I was thrown and more than a little miffed that I'd be losing out later. "Nooooooooo!" I thought with increasing hysteria. "When am I going to find my P60? What about the ironing? I need to book Brendan's appointment with the ENT specialist! AND WHAT ABOUT MY "ME-TIME" FOR CRYING OUT LOUD???"

Then I realised my son had given me a little gift. If we were at home right now I'd be up to my elbows in laundry and admin while Brendan snoozed away unawares. Instead, I'm seeking refuge from the snow in the Hilton lobby with a lovely pot of English Breakfast, some posh biccies, chillout music and my iPad. Bliss.

Keep sleeping, Son!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Welcome to the Mothership

It has been over fifteen months since my son Brendan was pulled and dragged into the world in the early hours of a surprisingly warm September morning. Fifteen of the most amazing, terrifying, fulfilling, and frankly mental months of my life.

When I was pregnant I planned to keep a diary of my experiences of motherhood.  I imagined myself sitting at the dining table with my new-born swaddled in a Moses basket next to me. I'd be sipping a hot mug of tea (decaf obviously) whilst pouring my thoughts and feelings into my laptop like a little stream of precious nectar.  My baby would coo and snuffle.  I'd look at him and smile, and he'd gurn a gummy smile back before closing his eyes and falling into a perfect sleep.

Okay, okay, you can all stop laughing now.

Because as it turns out motherhood is really rather hard. At the beginning you're lucky if you manage to find your way out of your "at home clothes", which to be honest barely fit you anyway.  Later, when sleep deprivation has a firm grip on you, you can't even fill in a repeat prescription form at the doctors, let alone string together a sequence of words that forms a coherent and meaningful sentence.  Leaving the house just once a day becomes a goal, rather than a matter of course.

You and your partner will communicate in monosyllables... that's when you remember to communicate at all.  Eventually a fault line will give and you'll have the most phenomenal argument about breadcrumbs and kitchen worktops and you'll throw slices of toast at each other before slamming some doors and waking up the baby you've just spent three hours trying to get to sleep.

And so my laptop gathered dust (along with everything else in the flat) while I focused on  coping, and as the weeks and months passed I coped better and better.  I got into my stride a little, tackled the cleaning (every now and then), the laundry (every damned day) and ventured forth with Brendan into the big wide world of baby sensory groups and NCT coffee mornings.

I met some amazing women and recognised the same look on their faces as on my own. I laughed with them, cried with them and on a couple of occasions got blind drunk with them.  We all coped together, convening throughout the week to share our daily anxieties and joys.

Fast forward fifteen months and here I am on a train to the office.  I work part time now and have re-entered the real world relatively successfully.  And still I've yet to write a single word about it all.  Until now.

And so I hope you enjoy my musings, little snippets of my new reality.  If you've got kids I hope you find something to relate to. If you haven't yet, probably best to ignore everything I say... It's a doddle, really!