Tag Archives: husband

Daddy’s Boy

A lot’s been happening this week. The wee man caught a heavy cold and a stomach bug, I landed two new clients and Rod worked six days late, once having to stay overnight after an 18hr shift.

Yes I am sitting here with a gin and tonic.

Two extremely tight deadlines, a poorly baby and an absent husband meant I wasn’t going to sleep well anyway and the wee man agreed. He was up during the night every night – his best performance being the 1am – 4.10am shift on the night Rod was away. His eating habits regressed to the fussiness that inspired this post and I resigned myself to relying on Calpol to get us through the week.

Then it all changed.

Last night he slept 12 hours straight. Today he ate porridge, toast, yogurt and an orange for breakfast; two slices of toasted cheese and an apple for lunch, two oaty bars for his snack and three fish fingers, a bowl of boiled potatoes, a load of peas, another yoghurt and a banana for dinner.

You know what did it? Daddy.

Daddy bathed him, gave him his milk and put him to bed. Daddy played with him, took him for his first haircut and gave him all his meals. Daddy was there when he went to sleep and there when he woke up and that’s what made the difference.

I’m not bitter about this. Trust me – I got a good night’s sleep and I could stop worrying my child was going to waste away. It’s more that I’m intrigued. The wee man has always adored his daddy, they are very close and I’ve always loved that, but this seems like an extreme reaction. We all want our parents when we’re ill, so I’m sure that had a lot to do with it. And I know he loves his mummy too – his reaction when I pick him up from nursery proves that. It’s just amazing to me that a 17 month old can have these kinds of thought processes. Rod is going to be working this way for another couple of months so we’re going to have to come up with some kind of timetable to make sure the wee man gets enough Daddy time. In a way I’m quite pleased this has happened – it’s so easy to give in to work demands and let family come in second. This has reminded both of us where our priorities lie.

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Filed under health, work

Mum & Dad time

“I should have brought my big camera,” I said, as the sun came out and lit up the hills.

“Nah, it would probably get wet,” Rod said.

I froze. Where the hell were we going? The camping jokes had gotten old really fast and the casual mentions of the Arran ferry were transparent but this comment threw me.

“AH! My wellies are in the other car!” I gasped.

“Oh…. Well, they’ll probably provide everything we need,” he said, then pointed and made to turn into a field filled with trailers and what looked like a circus tent.

“JUST KIDDING!” he cackled. I wanted to cry. I didn’t like this magical mystery tour and I was beginning to get seriously worried about where we’d end up. Then suddenly I saw a sign that made me cry out in relief.

Stobo Castle – Scotland’s only destination spa

I should have trusted him and I should have remembered what a wind-up merchant he can be. Luckily the wee spud had excelled himself – the receptionist said some truly magic words:

“Your suite will be ready in half an hour so you can go in and get ready before your spa treatments.”

Even spending thirty minutes waiting in the bright atrium with a freshly squeezed juice and nothing to do but sit was a treat. We couldn’t stop smiling at each other.

Our suite was stunning – I felt like I was on the set of Downton Abbey. Two sets of patio doors led out onto a terrace with stone steps curving down to the lawn. Two enormous plumfy beds were against the wall opposite, the views in the morning would be stunning.

Room with a view

I noted the large bathtub (I love a deep soak) and a huge TV (Jessica Ennis, Tom Daley and Ussain Bolt were on Jonathon Ross that night) as well as a sofa buried under cushions and a beautiful fireplace. But there’d be time to enjoy it later, we had to slip on our robes and pad through to the spa.

The treatment rooms were minimal in their design and a lovely cool temperature. I lay for an hour in that suspended state of consciousness while the therapist eased away all the knots and tension spots. Afterwards I clutched my glass of water and sleepwalked out to meet Rod, who also had that dazed look. We rounded the corner and flinched as the sunlight poured through the glass wall that was the entire side of the swimming pool. With its infinity edge it felt a bit like floating at the edge of a waterfall at the top of a green wooded valley. Eventually I couldn’t stand it any longer and suggested we go back and enjoy our terrace. Rod agreed.

Living the high life

We lay with magazines, beers and sweeties for two hours uninterrupted. I’m just going to say that again, uninterrupted.

After a long bath and a lovely dinner we took a walk as the sun set. There was no traffic noise and very few other people -just fresh clean air and the reflection of the pinks and greys in the loch.



We woke up early (old habits) and breakfasted on smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and fresh fruit in the dining room. A breeze came through the half-open window and Rod spotted a hot air balloon on the horizon. We wandered back to the room, tidied up a bit and dressed but it wasn’t even ten o’clock, so we went out to explore. The Japanese garden was a wonderful surprise – as was the warmth of the day. We followed a path and came across a waterfall, a little wooden bridge and stepping stones, all beautifully designed and maintained. I loved it.

We wandered through the rest of the grounds, sat with a capuccino for a while and then had a light lunch back in the dining room before tearing ourselves away. We had a little boy waiting for his mum and dad to come home and we couldn’t wait to see him. What a brilliant 30th birthday present.

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Filed under hello World, travel

F for First Birthday

I thought I’d be a glass case of emotion, crying and snottering for days. In fact the overwhelming feeling this whole week has been relief. Weird huh? Not at all what I expected on such a milestone as the wee man’s first birthday. Everyone kept saying “God it’s been a quick year, hasn’t it?” No, I really don’t think so. I have never learned so much in such a short space of time. I’ve never had to adapt more completely to a new situation – and I’ve lived in two foreign countries. All the cliches about becoming a new mum are true and so I reckon the feeling of relief is down to the fact that I feel like I’ve passed. The wee man is thriving, the house is still standing, my business is still going, my husband hasn’t been completely neglected and my waist is actually 2 inches smaller than it used to be! I’m doing OK. The precarious balance of our new life as responsible adults feels sturdier every day. And man am I smitten. I’m sorry, but I have the cutest baby in all the land. He never stops smiling! He sleeps all night, naps regularly, eats well and entertains me from the minute his wee pudgy arms reach for me and wrap around my neck until his wee thumb goes in after his teeth are brushed at night. So Happy First Birthday angel, thank you for turning our lives upside down, the ceiling is much more fun.

The Wildlife Park was a big hit for his birthday treat!

Big cuddles for Fun Aunt Lis at his party

Hanging out with his girfriend Ruby


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Baby’s first swim

First dip in the water

Sporting a very fetching baby-trunk borrowed from our neighbour's wee boy who's too big for them

Distinctly unimpressed with the experience

And slept like a baby afterwards!

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Filed under sport

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!

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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.


Filed under health, Newborn

Is breast best?

Sometimes you have to hit the bottle

So breast-fed babies are less likely to have behavioural difficulties according to a new study. Add to this the health benefits we already know – a boost for baby’s immune system, protection against some cancers for mum – and it seems breast must be best.

While these are all the reasons I chose breast feeding in the beginning, they’re not what’s made me stick with it. Six weeks in and, although I love the closeness with my wee one, I have to be completely honest; the three main reasons I’m continuing are that it’s helping me lose weight, it’s free and it’s less hassle (I keep burning myself with the steriliser).

Because here’s what they don’t tell you – breast feeding hurts. It’s uncomfortable. It can be embarrassing. It can be inconvenient. I have a very hungry baby boy who sometimes wants fed every hour. Bearing in mind that you time the feed from when they begin suckling, not when they finish, you can end up sitting there with your boobs out for half the day.

Although I know I have to sit properly with my back supported and my feet flat on the ground, sometimes it’s easier to hunch a bit to keep him attached. I know I should freely feed in public and the hell with other people’s insecurities, yet it can be embarrassing to open your shirt in a cafe. And I know I could wear normal clothes and just pull my top up, but I don’t particularly want to show off my not-yet-flat belly, so everything I wear has to button down.

The health visitor tried to discourage me, but I’ve opted to introduce one formula bottle in the evening. It gives me a rest and allows my husband to take over for a few hours. He baths the wee man then gives him his bottle and really enjoys having him to himself for a little while after work. Even though the health visitor warned it could disrupt my milk flow, I don’t feel it has – and it’s not going to affect that other huge advantage of breast feeding: no menstruation.

The breast feeding rate in the UK is really low – only a third of mums do it – but I can understand why. If I had to go back to work full-time after a couple of months I don’t think I’d continue. If I needed to share the baby care, bottle feeding would be much easier  – it’s a hell of a pressure to be the only one who can give a screaming baby what he wants. Plus I was lucky that I had a very straight-forward delivery, if I had been ill or was suffering from post-natal depression I think breast feeding would have pushed me over the edge.

So while I, personally, have made the choice to breast feed my baby I totally support the mums who don’t.


Filed under health