We made it. Rory turned one. And despite face planting some concrete 20 minutes before our guests were due to arrive, he styled his Birthday party out in typical Rory fashion. With shades and a giggle! I feel quite emotional writing this post. I’m not sure how we managed to get here. But he seems happy, and healthy, and I’m so very grateful for that. I still haven’t found the manual for baby care. And after 12 months ‘they’ seem to cut you loose. I say ‘they’, but I guess I’m referring to the support and guidance you receive in that first year. It’s like a pass. If you fuck up, then at least you can say “I’m just learning”. Now ‘they’ expect me to know what I’m doing. I don’t. Simon asked me how long I was going to breastfeed for now we had reached the 12 month mark. He asked me if I felt I was doing it more for Rory than for me. It made me mad but I did understand his curiosity. And I did think about his question. Just because Rory has been here for a whole year, he still can’t read a memo saying he should think about giving up the booby and moving onto cow’s milk (which he hates). He feeds morning and night and maybe once or twice more if he’s upset or teething. See? I’m making excuses. Why am I doing that? I suppose I feel that after a year people start to judge more. And that’s o.k. I’ll stand up against any judgment and do what I think is right for us. We both enjoy the experience and I’m not hurting anyone so I don’t see an issue. Every baby is different and that’s the beauty of it. I don’t know how this story goes. I just know I’ve finished a chapter. His personality makes itself more apparent every day and if that’s anything to go by then this could continue to be an interesting read.
As we were splashing away another Mummy held her baby aloft, exiting the pool declaring “she’s done a poo. I’m sure of it”. The instructor congratulated her on her keen bond with her child. “Well done on spotting it! A Mother just knows, don’t they?” Do they?
The class finished and Rory and I dashed into the shower cubicle. It’s always stressful trying to get him ready after the class so I thought it easier just to whip off his nappy, give him a quick shower and get him dressed back at the poolside. So there I was, trying to adjust the shower to level between scalding and ice and wrestling off his skin tight swim shorts. If only I could just get this last leg out….
It was then it happened. That scene from the film. You know the one.
The force of my nappy removal caused a ricochet effect which sprayed the phantom shit straight up and across Rory and I. Both of us. Head to toe. In actual shit.
I immediately panicked and switched the shower on to full icy cold mode which made Rory go mental and me to drop the shower head which then sprayed water over us as we screamed and clung on to each other in shock.
It literally couldn’t get any worse so I just hosed the worst of it off, shut the door on that cubicle and advised the cleaner that she might want to give the shower “a little disinfect” for good measure.
I threw my clothes on and we got out out of there. I returned to the car and messaged an update to my Mummy friends and Simon who all thought it was hilarious.
Simon is taking Rory swimming in Monday. Let’s just hope he doesn’t put in a repeat performance!
“Baa baa black sheep have you any……” You know the drill. Little did I know that not only would I have to sing this specific tune to Rory to gain permission to brush his teeth, but now I need to sing almost EVERY BLOODY THING I DO! Now he will not allow me to change his nappy (nap nap) unless I am singing “the wheels on the bus go round and round”. I have gone to extraordinary lengths in terms of creative licence on that bus, and now we have several animals on board to eek it out a bit. “The birdies on the bus go tweet tweet tweet . Tweet tweet tweet tweet” etc etc. I kid you not, I actually shaved my legs whilst vocalising the action to the tune of “God Save the Queen” I mean where does it end? It certainly doesn’t end with Shaggy. “They call me Mr Boombastic” was used to hang out the washing and as for making a cup of tea! Well that can only be achieved whilst giving a running commentary alongside “Alice the camel”. I actually feel like I sing my way through the day. It’s more worrying when Rory is at home and I’m singing “Mummy put the potatoes in the bag” whilst in Tesco as startled shoppers look on.
I think I definitely need to up my game and get some more creative tunes so the go. After all “Stop. Wait a minute. Mummy puts some prosecco in it” isn’t an ideal tune as you wander round the aisles. But there are only so many tunes I can think up in a day. I’m exhausted. It’s just a phase though. Surely. Isn’t it?…
We were at Emma’s 1st Birthday Party and the house was chaos. Little children were there. Small and crawling. And then there were bigger children. Bigger children with feet and hands. Kicking feet and dirty hands. Lizzie was taking it totally in her stride. “It can all we washed off” “I’ll hoover that later” etc etc.
I on the other hand was clinging onto a wriggling Rory and trying to avoid a panic attack whilst children wiped pizza and banana into Lizzie’s new sofa. And then the smell. The unmistakable odour of a dirty nappy. I thrust Rory into Simon’s face. “It’s definitely not him. You smell? It’s not. Is it? It’s so overpowering it’s confusing my senses. No, it’s definitely not him. I’d recognise it”.
Jesus. What had I become? The shit detective?
Eventually the owner of the dirty nappy was identified. Even after that bum was changed the smell lingered. It lingered so bad. We had some cake which was yummy. But now the air smelt of sugar and shit. This, my friends, is the combination of fragrances to sum up a child’s party. Sugar and shit.
My friend who had a 1st Birthday for her daughter last year confirmed what I thought may be another pitfall, “It’s all well and good until the wine comes out Karen. Then they take their eye off the ball and houses get trashed and toys get broken”. Now whilst this was not the case at Lizzie’s, I could totally see how these things could go spectacularly wrong. Needless to say my wise friend hired a hall with entertainment for her daughters 2nd Birthday. No booze allowed. Genius.
Despite my misgivings we too are holding a little get together in the house for Rory’s Birthday next month. I’m praying we can all get out in the garden and the children can crawl around on the grass whilst the adults eat sausage rolls and drink prosecco. I mean, what can possibly go wrong?
It was always going to be a challenge. I long suspected when the invite popped through the door inviting Simon and I along with Rory to a family wedding that things would not go to plan. It wasn’t local either so we had to factor in potential car journey disaster recovery plans.
Simon put on his suit. This was his first mistake.
“Right, you change Rory’s nappy whilst I load up the car”. Five minutes later Rory was handed back to me to reveal Simon’s crotch covered in Sudocrem. “Oh great!! Well done you. I mean seriously babe. It was madness to even think about getting dressed until we actually had the church in our vision. You know how hard that is to get off. Oh well, too late now”. Simon looked at me wearily as I bundled Rory into the car, still wearing my pyjamas.
We arrived in Edinburgh. We had planned for an hour for me to get changed and feed Rory in a cafe so we were all set to head to the church. But since it had taken us forty minutes to find the entrance to the bloody car park, we were now in dangerous territory time wise.
I decided it was more important that I turned up to the church dressed than Rory eating a fish pie, so I got dressed in the back seat of the car. I then fed him in the car. Yes. Cold fish pie. Yummy.
He seemed happy enough at first. Then he got angry. So angry that within a nanosecond he had pulled the spoon back and catapulted fish pie across my face and down my dress.
As I dabbed at myself with a wet wipe I thought of how things used to be. A glamorous new dress, high heels and carefully applied make-up all accompanied a wedding day invite. Not now. Now I was febreezing myself in a train station car park to avoid smelling of fish, half my make-up was off I was putting rice cakes in my bra so they were ‘handy’ in case Rory cried in the church. My my, how times had changed…
“Did he drink it? How many ounces?” Yes babe, he took about half the bottle. He was fine.
Now, I’m not sure how I feel about this. I’ve really enjoyed being able to breastfeed but I know it’s advantageous that Rory is able to take a bottle as well if I need to leave him. It makes me sad though. Really sad. Sad and happy. Sad that he doesn’t need me to provide for him and happy that he’s growing into an independent toddler. Mixed emotions that my position of CEO of bedtime routine is now under threat.
“Did you brush his teeth? Did you sing both verses? I’m sure I only heard you sing one verse!” Yes, I sang both verses. He’s fine, really he is!
It’s been a battle to get his teeth brushed but I found that by singing Baa Baa Black Sheep whilst doing it, it seems to make the whole process easier and helps him associate it with a routine. I also enjoy a wee sing song whilst I’m doing it!
But did you zip him into his sleeping bag properly? Was he actually holding his blankie? I’ll just nip in and check….
Karen! Rory is fine. Trust me. He will be asleep in a few minutes. Just leave him to settle.
So here I am. Downstairs, listening intently to the monitor to see if he might need me. But I’m sure he won’t. I’m turning into a clingy Mummy and I need to let it go. It’s just another step further into the world of parenting and I’m sure there will be many more happy and sad times to come. Mummy needs a wine now…
“Is anyone Jiggying tomorrow?” asks Lizzie. The response from the rest of the girls suggest that two of them are. Donna is on holiday, so she has an excuse. Now, for those not familiar with this, “Jiggy Wrigglers” is a parent and baby group which plays loud music whilst an extremely enthusiastic woman jumps about with puppets and toys to entertain the children. The pull for my Mummy group seems to be that it’s often not your typical “baby” music. Apparently a few weeks ago had a space theme which lent itself to some Babylon Zoo and the week prior had dropped in some Prodigy amongst ‘Head, shoulders knees and toes”. This had piqued my interest enough to warrant the £3 charge. Up until now I haven’t attended any baby group I needed to pay for. Purely as I felt there were lots of free groups to go to when he was still small and not really bothered about what was going on. Lizzie had also mentioned that they had a tea hatch. Anywhere which has a “tea hatch” gets my vote! So here I was. It was absolutely mobbed. This was for under 1’s which was a relief. Not too many bambino’s on the move as yet!
Rory sat with his mouth open, staring at the jumping woman in front of him. All I could think was how horrendous it would be to do her job with a hangover. Is there a job worse than this when you are fragile? I would think not. She was great though. Very engaging with every one of the children and full of beans as you would expect of a children’s entertainer.
Would I go every week? I’m not so sure. Will I go this week? Probably. It’s strangely addictive. And it has a tea hatch….