Category Archives: Newborn

Survival tactics

The Buggyboard, the electric pump and the tumble dryer.

If you took those things away from me right now, I really would fall into the abyss. You know, the one whose edge you dance around as a new mum? Yesterday morning I was clinging onto the edge by two fingernails, with sore boobs, red eyes and a pickled brain, having had three broken hours sleep. I’d also STUPIDLY had a curry the night before so every feed was making KD crankier and crankier. I didn’t get near the shower until midday – and even then he was in the bouncer seat by the toilet wailing.

THANK GOD for the electric breastpump. I had only found the window to use it three nights previously, having finally pried off the limpet that is my second son, so three bottles of that white gold were sitting in the fridge. And they were non-curry flavoured. A bottle of that, as my hair dripped all over him, was the magic cure, so that he actually lay quietly in his pram while I whipped up scrambled eggs and ate them. Hot! AND put the dishes in the dishwasher afterwards.

Of course I then realised I had nothing to wear. I’d been so busy washing baby clothes in non-bio, towels and sheets for visitors and the Wee Man’s soiled clothes separately (the potty training has reversed since KD came along, though it is improving every day) that all my laundry was still heaped in the basket. I pulled on a pair of joggers that bit into my 6 week post natal belly – a cruel reminder that ‘getting fit’ was yet another thing to add to my endless list. I pulled all the leggings out the basket and chucked them in a quick wash, then tumble dried them, delighted to be able to breathe properly again.

The final trial of the day was collecting the Wee Man from nursery. The rain had eventually stopped so, mindful of the Jogger Incident, I walked up to collect him. I had dreaded this task throughout my pregnancy. He is always knackered after nursery and likely to scream, throw a tantrum or just plain run off into the sunset. I’d tried every bribery tactic and restraining gadget in the book (and often just driven the 500 yards) when turns out all I’d needed was a Buggyboard. Now he kisses KD, jumps on the board and yells “BRRRRRROOOOOOOM” all the way home. I bought it for £25 from a woman on Gumtree who’d never used it and it even came with a little lead to clip it up and out the way. Amazing invention. I’m grateful for it every day.

Oh yeah – and there is one more thing you couldn’t ever take away from me. I mean I suppose I could manage without those three things, if there was a power cut or something, but this thing must always be in my cupboard. There must also always be the two things that go with it, otherwise I’d just end up sitting in the corner rocking and mumbling “twinkle twinkle”.

Lime.

Diet Pepsi.

Golden Rum.

Best buds

Best buds

Leave a comment

Filed under Aberdeen, baby kit, health, Newborn

How far I’ve come…

Last night I sat breast feeding my four week old and watching The Devil Wears Prada.

I had been feeling pretty good – I’d managed a shower that morning and was wearing my Hollister trackies and hoodie, smug that they fit again. Yeah. That smugness was short-lived.

I trained and worked as a journalist, and while I never worked on a fashion mag, this movie had always struck a chord. The deadlines, the networking, the desire to exceed everyone’s expectations and try to look glamorous while doing it. Now here I was, mum of two, off work, looking forward to getting back into my exercise plan and shifting a stone of baby weight. “Andy”, the main character, was a sharp reminder of how far I had to go.

But as she had to bend further and further backwards to please her cruel boss, I found myself smiling. I was so far past that eager-to-please stage. I’d been there aged 26. I’d made myself ill over it. Eventually I’d snapped. handed in my notice and scared the shit out of my boss, who was left with two magazines editor-less. I’d set up my own business, gone on to have two beautiful children and was now a much wiser 32 year old. I may be a bit squishy round the middle but, in the words of Cheryl, “I don’t care”.

Coincidentally, I had also just popped in to the office to show off KD to my co-workers. They had been lovely; excited to meet him, complimentary and genuinely interested. The conversation had turned to when I was coming back and the projects that were waiting. They were nothing but supportive, so I didn’t have any guilt about taking the time away from work or feel any pressure to rush back. I know the time will come when I’ll want to get back to work – but for now I’m happy to relax into motherhood which, by the way, is a much harder job.

I can look forward to the time when fashion will matter again, when I’ll get a buzz from networking and hitting deadlines and exceeding expectations – but I know it will be on my terms. Just figuring that out has given me confidence. I can appreciate how much I’ve learned since those miserable days just before I handed in my notice. The challenge is to remember all this when I’m sleep-deprived, frizzy, trying to keep my patience with a truculent three year old while the baby cries and wondering how the hell I’m going to organise dinner…

Maybe I’ll just read this blog.

Figuring out what's really important...

Figuring out what’s really important…

1 Comment

Filed under Aberdeen, fashion, Newborn

Best friend’s arrival

The wee man’s best friend was born on Thursday.

second generation of hell-raisers!

It sounds a bit premature (the wee soul’s not even a week old yet) but Rod and I are both lucky enough to have several life-long friends. We’ve even known each other since I was five and he was eight (he babysat me once, but that sounds creepy). When it came to drawing up our wedding invitation list, a lot of arguments were avoided by the simple fact that our groups of friends merge. We could almost go on Jerry Springer with the number of pairings-up and intermingling going on in our various crowds. So if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s the value of friends who’ve grown up with you and shared hospital visits, avoided arrest and generally raised hell – and then met friends of your friends who’ve done exactly the same thing.

We are so excited to see these two grow up together and blaze their own trail. Their daddies know every trick in the book and their mummies are unshockable – but I’m pretty sure they’ll still give us the run around!

1 Comment

Filed under Newborn, other people's kids

Code brown situation

“Do you remember becoming a bit obsessed with poo when I was born?” I texted my mother the other night.
“No because I’m squeamish” came the swift reply. So mum, I hope you’re not reading this, because I’m about to tell the story I wanted to tell you two nights ago.

As Grimsvotn was spewing volcanic ash into British airspace, Rod was experiencing another eruption on our living room floor. The wee man’s favourite trick is to do just enough to alert you to the fact his nappy needs changed then save his best efforts for the exact moment his bum is bare. I tried to warn Rod, but he was too gung ho. It became gunge-ho. He used a whole roll of kitchen towel, wipes, two nappies and a little bit of carpet cleaner.

The weirdest thing is that we were both delighted. The frequency of newborns’ bowel movements can be a real cause for concern. I know this because, on three separate occasions, I have discussed baby poo at length with a friend of mine who’s also just become a mum. When we were pregnant we discussed much cooler things. But she totally trumps me (sorry) and she is remaining nameless so I can relay her story.

The first time she changed her tot’s nappy when she got back from the hospital the baby projectile pooed all over the wall. That, and her husband’s face, made her laugh so hard she wet herself.

Now that’s some funny shit.

2 Comments

Filed under health, Newborn

Change in the air

Welcome to sunny Arran

A year ago, if you’d put me in a room with five children under four, there would have been a Kim-sized hole in the nearest exit. Neither would you have caught me anywhere near a cinema at 11am nor heard me discussing personal issues like breast feeding on Facebook. As my friend Michelle commented “Boob chat before 10am? Kimmy you’ve changed”

It’s true. I have. It’s sneaked up on me and I got a bit of a fright when I saw it for myself. The first clue was when we took the wee man to Arran for the first time on Sunday. We met up with Rod’s sister and her three boys (aged 3, 2 and 6 months) and her friend and two year old daughter at the Auchrannie. Looking round at us all, I must have had a real face on me because my sis-in-law laughed and said “life’s changed, huh?”

Then there was the Newbies showing at the Odeon. I’d been desperate to see ‘Water for Elephants’ and knew I’d never get there unless the wee man was with me, so I braved the mum and baby showing. I was very pleasantly surprised – the place was nearly empty and all the mums (no dads, sadly) were very quick to settle their kids if they cried. I saw nearly the whole film!

I've always wanted a private cinema

I was beginning to accept that yes, I had changed and life had changed but actually it was all for the better… When the single most embarrassing incident of my life occurred.

I had arranged to meet an old work colleague to introduce her to Little F. We had swapped the pub for the coffee shop and the wee man obligingly slept for the first hour, despite the din, so that we could swap gossip. When he woke up and needed fed I bravely pulled out the muslin, draped it over my shoulder and started to feed him as if nothing was amiss. My friend even joked she’d be a human shield. Well, she failed. When a wee old lady came up to me saying she wanted to see the baby I tried to head her off with “He’s feeding just now” Either she didn’t hear me or didn’t give a shit cos she carried right on and, grabbing the muslin, said, “Let me just see his face” and there was my boob for the whole cafe, and my old boss, to see.

So I guess some things will never change – Glasgow will always be full of nutters and they will always find me.

2 Comments

Filed under Newborn

A word on sleep

sleeping like an angel!

In the years BC (before child) I never had a problem with sleep. I crossed the Andes in a rickety old bus full of Chilean children and managed to nap while my friend Dionne sat wide awake and crotchety. (To be fair, a fat Argentinian kid kicked the back of her seat from Mendoza to Santiago.)

Little F is, God bless him, generally a good sleeper. I’m tempting fate by telling you this, but he usually sleeps for six hours straight once we’ve settled him for the night. He also usually takes a long snooze in the afternoon, allowing me that all-important window of opportunity to do stuff. Like have a siesta. His sleeping pattern has been the main thing keeping the balance in my new life as a mum.

I know this because the wee man developed colic over the weekend and the pattern went out the window. For three days he fussed and cried, only sleeping for short bursts as I wheeled him up and down our street. I’m not too proud to admit some of the times I cried right along with him – out of sympathy for his distress, frustration at my helplessness and loneliness. There are few things more isolating than being alone in a room with a screaming baby.

The good news is that it only lasted three days. On Tuesday I fell in love with him all over again as he returned to the sweet-natured baby I had known, who obligingly napped for hours at a time.

If the colic comes back (which it probably will) I’ll be ready for it. I’m prepared to break my ‘no dummy’ rule in such an extreme circumstance – his sleep (and mine) are too important.

Leave a comment

Filed under Newborn

Like father like son!

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I had always secretly thought that newborns looked a bit like prawns. I could never understand when people said “Oh he’s got his daddy’s nose” or “Gosh – he’s got your eyes mummy” – to me they all just looked the same. Everyone’s been telling me little F is Rod’s double – and I’m happy to believe them, although I never saw it myself… Until now. I have just found this photo, I think I took it a few days ago, and look at the smiles! I stand corrected – he is his father’s son!

Double trouble

1 Comment

Filed under Newborn