And then he was five months old. Smiling, chatting, rolling over and learning to sit. The colic is gone along with the long nights of tears (mine). Just a few minutes ago we were in hospital, getting to know each other after nine months of waiting. Nine months of being closer than any other two people can be. And a few minutes before that I was feeling you kick my tummy from the inside and you were giving me the worst heartburn ever! People say time flies but I don’t think it’s more evident than when you have a baby. Except when you’re in labour. THAT time certainly does not fly. In fact, THAT time stands still.
These five months have been the most wonderful of my life this far. But they’ve also been the most difficult. When Charles Dickens said, ‘It was the best of times. It was the worst of times’ I’m pretty sure he was talking about the first five months of parenthood with two children. Indeed, A Tale of Two Cities was probably a metaphor about two children. (Come to think of it, the French Revolution was probably started by toddlers). I love my children so much it’s sometimes painful and I’m often in awe of the amount of love one heart can feel and express. But that doesn’t lesson the Armageddon that is my life. I am not in any way exaggerating. Ar ma geddon. Let me describe the mornings.
Alarm goes off at six. Husband turns it off. 6:45 husband hurls himself out of bed shouting, ‘It’s bloody 6:45!’ I respond, yelling, ‘Why the hell did you turn the alarm off?’ Mini argument ensues. Five minutes later he’s hurtling into the bathroom and I’m sprinting down the passage with brother Eli bouncing up and down in my arms to wake sister Holly and get her ready for school. This Herculean task brings me to my knees every morning (literally as I have to get shoes out the bottom drawer and figuratively because my four year old makes me cry from frustration):
Me: ‘Holly Baby! Wake up. It’s time for school’.
Eli: ‘Ggggggggg! Bluuuuhhhh!’
Me: ‘Do you want to wear a dress over your tracksuit pants?’ (Holly
goes nowhere without a dress.)
Me: *puts Eli on bed and begins to dress Holly under the covers*
Holly: ‘Noooo Mommy! I’m too tiiiiiyeeeeeerrrrd!’
Me: *grunting and sweating as I wrestle pants onto a seemingly drunk and definitely floppy child* ‘Yes well. That’s what happens when you go to bed at 10 at night’. (True story.)
Eventually the four year old Stalin is dressed. Albeit like a schizophrenic homeless princess. But she is dressed. Then there’s hair and teeth to brush. The teeth brushing takes place in whatever part of the house (or garden) she happens to be in. Watching Peppa Pig? No problem. Doing a puzzle? Sure. Jumping on the trampoline? A little more tricky, but ok. We’ve learnt not to fight the shrinky. Not because she’s a spoilt brat who isn’t disciplined, but because we’ve chosen our battles and to develop her budding leadership skills. And because we have a five month old who cries when his sister cries. So in order to keep the peace at home, she tends to be allowed to push boundaries a little further than she used to.
And when the hair and teeth are brushed, the vitamins swallowed and the tears wiped away (mine), I kiss the husband and the four year old good bye and wave as they walk down the garden path. Then it’s my special time with the baby getting him ready before I walk the 1 metre to my office and start my day. Only to begin again the next morning… And so go the days of our lives.