Monday, December 2, 2013

There's no party and I'll cry if I want to: You're at home, baby

BEFORE I had my baby, I imagined that my nine month long maternity leave would break down something like this, as I discovered a flurry of new, improving activities in between feeds. The feeds, of course, would work out at exactly four hour intervals so I could do a bit of light scrapbooking, interspersed with yoga.

1 . One quarter undertaking successful home baking
2.One quarter undertaking breathtakingly fantastic DIY projects and sourcing vintage fabrics, possibly learning a new language with Rosetta Stone
3. One quarter discovering "new stuff" (I mean, I've never had this much free time!)
4. One quarter "looking after the baby"

In short, I thought I'd be swanning round the house in an array of neat little outfits, gaily and effortlessly flitting between jobs, crafts, the sweet waft of home baking and praising smiles from a gurgling infant.

Funny how that changed when the gurgling infant came home.

In reality, the day goes something like this:
  • Baby wakes up
  • I wake up
  • Baby breastfeeds, thrashing head round making task v difficult
  • Baby bottle feeds, sometimes with an eruption which requires the feed to be done again
  • I make sure baby is strapped down somewhere safe, and have a shower. Dash upstairs to make sure baby hasn't pulled a cloth over its face
  • Baby is alive. I bath the baby, holding my breath as I pull her out of the bath. Slippery little so and so.
  • I get dressed, while watching baby (sometimes in old Maternity clothes, but kid myself they look okay with a cardigan. I will not, however, resort to leggings, Ever. Though last week, in error, I went to town with a dress which had baby sick down the back. I hoped people thought it was a pattern.) anyhow.....
  • I dress the baby
  • Despite vowing not to, I turn on the TV and feed the baby again
  • I enter the daily competition on Lorraine/This Morning, typing one handed while holding the bottle up with my chin. Wi fi fails just as my entry is received. Or not received. Who knows? All I know is at I haven't won the Range Rover. Or the cash prize.
  • I envy Holly Willoughby's outfit and think about having an adult conversation with someone. 
  • Google Holly Willoughby's outfit, then realise once I have found it on, I don't have he money to buy it. Not even on lay away.
  • Miss my friends.
  • I find a hairbrush and scrape the last of the Clarins moisturiser out of the pot. Need to use an economy one from now on. There's just no money, honey. Look at the clock. Where's two hours gone?
  • I am seized with the sudden knowledge that millions of women are logging on to EBay to buy Maternity clothes and, in a fit of enthusiasm, take photos of my never worn nursing bras and horrible lime green maternity dress and post them up to make money to buy Holly Willoughby's fab frock.
  • Make cup of tea
  • Feel odd. Remember I have not had breakfast. Have toast and crisps. Feel better.
  • Change baby
  • Change baby again
  • Go to supermarket. Note baby's hungry, puce face. Return home quickly.
  • Feed cat
  • Check Ebay. No bids on my second hand tat.
  • Do washing
  • Check EBay again. Still no bids. Why does no one want it? It might be a lime green dress, but it's Isabella Oliver, for God's sake! £25. Reduce to £20.
  • Take baby out to town. Lug buggy and baby to car, succeed in getting both in after 15 mins. 
  • Get to where we need to be, and the Bugaboo frame sticks. I can't make it come loose. End up thrashing frame wildly against the ground and, eventually, it works. Drop the connectors which connect the Maxi Cosi car seat to the frame. Feel pulse double.
  • Get into town, do jobs. Put buggy and frame back in car.
  • Come home
  • Repeat above tasks
  • Have dinner
  • Check eBay. No bids. 
  • Sleep
Once I'd figured out that my days weren't going to be spent merrily whipping up gingham pinnies to sell at the local Farmers' Market and tempting passers by with hedge verge meanly grown in my window box,  life got a whole lot easier, and for a while I discovered 60 Minute Makeover and The Real Housewives of Orange County. So, inspired by those intellectual programmes, I thought I'd give Journeaux Towers a spruce up. 

That's how I ended up in the mother and child parking space at B and Q, agonizing over paint to give the kitchen a "new look" then forgot I'd bought it. Every time I walked into the hall, I and the Bugaboo gaily tripped over a pot of Dulux Wild Primrose (Endurance) and wondered who the fuck had brought such junk into my house. Luckily, four months after buying the stuff, and moving it around a bit to denote progress to my husband, I completed this project, which was difficult.

I doubt Michelangelo had the distraction of a six month old when he was painting the Sistine Chapel. Maybe he had to flatter the odd patron, but I will wager he never thought: "she's gone quiet. What if, despite the fact she can't walk, she's made it to the grate from the chair she was strapped in to, and
has lit a fire?"

Thus, every 20 minutes I would break off from the painting and go and stare at baby J round the door, paintbrush in hand, to ensure that a campfire was not burning brightly in the grate.

I think I'm over projects now.

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