Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: babies

Tired

The lady of the manor and I are tired. Knackered. Exhausted. Done. If we were a steak we’d be well done, left on the coals until slightly shrivelled. We’re physically tired but also mentally tired. Tired of not having evenings without needing to resettle Rupert at least 3 times. Tired of the big ones waking up at 5.30am every day and having a meltdown if we tell them to go back to bed. Tired of needing all our energy just to tread water and not ever make progress. Perhaps most importantly tired of not having time for us, we don’t go out in the evening because we don’t want a baby sitter to have to try to resettle Rupert.

I love my crazy gang and I LOVE being a dad, my favourite moment of every day is opening the door in the evening and hearing the shouts of DADDY as Matilda runs to meet me, but this past few weeks has pushed us close to the edge. Rupert has had the triple whammy of reflux, teething and a cold. We’ve average 4 hours sleep a night for the past week or so and it has not been pretty. Going to work and trying to engage my brain to deal with meetings and email has been a challenge, although I’d say it was an achievement not to have nodded off at any point.

Clearly none of this is Rupert’s fault, I’m sure he’d much rather sleep all night than waking up gagging with the acid from his reflux, but when you spend 40 minutes rocking him to sleep it doesn’t always feel that way. I found myself a few times shouting at him in the middle of the night ‘just shut up and go to sleep’. How ridiculous is that? To be shouting at an 8 month old baby who most likely has no clue what you are saying. When he did finally drop off I’d creep back to bed racked with guilt for being such an uncaring bastard.

The face of innocence

The face of innocence

The glimmer of hope right now is that last night was better, we actually got a block of 4 hours sleep. 4 hours! Hilarious to be celebrating such a small amount of sleep but it really makes a difference. He is now the proud owner of 2 big teeth (4 months earlier than his siblings) and his cold is abating, who knows when his reflux will go away. Although if one more person tells me it’ll stop when he’s eating I’ll shove the leftovers from his 3 meals a day in their face. Same for the ones that say ‘he’s a big boy, bet he sleeps well’, such old wives tales.

If anyone has any top tips for dealing with reflux please keep them to yourself.

Me and Mine – May 2015

This months edition of the family photo project should be subtitled ‘crash, bang, wallop’ for as you will see it has been a month of accidents and visits to various medical professionals. But all’s well that ends well and all that. Writing these posts can sometimes feel like Groundhog day but mainly that’s because when I think about what we’ve done in the last month it’s all a haze of sleepless nights and feeling tired. The lady of the manor and I often wake up in the morning and struggle to piece together exactly when and for how long Rupert and therefore us, slept. Because of that it’s also hard doing much more than just getting through each day, let alone find the energy to tackle the long to do list of household chores.

But May has been a good month I think and one that’s ending with a positive outlook if you ignore the weather forecast. It’s also been one where we’ve been making use of our National Trust membership and this months photo was taken at Lacock Abbey, one of their properties.

On the lawns at Lacock Abbey

This month I’ve been mainly getting into the triathlon groove; April’s coastal runs were the spark I needed to get back into proper training as was the realisation that it’s now 12 weeks until race day! But quite honestly I’ve been loving it, especially the cold but beautiful 6.30am Saturday morning swims in the lake. Once you get over your breath being taken away by the cold it’s quite exhilarating swimming in open water watching the fish swim through the weed beds below (if you don’t believe me you can read the post on my Running blog about it here) . I’m enjoying the feeling of training and pushing my body again but it’s hard work getting out in the mornings after 5 hours broken sleep sometimes. I’ve also been enjoying firing up my pizza oven again, nothing like cooking on fire to make you get in touch with your inner cave man.

Ready for my first OW swim

The lady of the manor has also stepped up her training in May and is now up to 7km in her runs, she’s also taken the plunge and entered a half marathon in September. No stopping here what’s she’s determined to do something! She’s also been making an awesome birthday cake for Henry who turned the grand old age of 3 in the middle of the month.

Aside from turning 3 (and at the same time seemingly growing up overnight) Henry has spent May getting himself a nice bump on the head when he decided to use his forehead to break his fall out the front of the pushchair. He’s such a happy little dude though and after a trip to the hospital to have it glued he was back to his usual self, climbing on chairs and generally being a boy.

Bob the Builder cake

Matilda has also been in the wars, always rushing and competing to be first meant that this week she managed to roll her balance bike into the road and fall off. Nothing more serious than a banged elbow but frightening nonetheless. She’s become fascinated by numbers and letters this month, asking me to read the summary on the back of books as well as the book and making me point to the words I’m saying. It’s fascinating watching them develop isn’t it? I’m a big believer in letting them take it at their own pace though, support them but don’t push them, enjoy the process.

As for Rupert, well he is still the happiest smiliest baby you will ever meet, but he also holds the world record for the baby who sleeps the fewest hours. It’s rare that he sleeps for more than 2 hours at a time and most nights we’re up 5 or 6 times at least. Pretty exhausting but we now have some hope having gone to the GP and pleaded for help. We’ve been referred to the hospital to get treatment for reflux and have some Ranitadine which after a few days seems to be having an effect (I’ve only been disturbed once this evening while writing this). The GP in her referral letter to the hospital said ‘please treat as urgent, the parents are clearly exhausted’ sounds about right. On a cheerier note he is threatening to crawl any day now, always up on all fours and occasionally move his hands forward a little.

3 in a bed

Finally Bracken, who decided in May that escaping from the garden was good fun. The first time he did it we came down from putting the children to bed to a phone call from the vet to say he was there. We didn’t even know he was gone! But he’d made it 1.5 miles away and was found in the middle of the road in the town. Scary to think what could have happened to him. He got out again 3 more times that week some how evading my temporary barriers on the one section of low fence but thankfully we found him much quicker those times. He hurt himself one of the times and had pain killers for 3 days to treat a pulled back muscle. Just what we needed!

We’ve a lot to look forward to next month; a wedding, camping, a weeks holiday and maybe some warm weather? What did you get up to in May?

Easy as pie

A week ago Rupert had never had anything to eat other than breast milk, today he had 3 solid meals. Last week he was showing the signs of being interested as he intently watched every forkful of food from plate to mouth. He’s 4 months old this week so we thought we’d give him a little taste and see how he got on.

He liked it.

A lot.

Rupert smiling and eating

This morning for breakfast he had a whole bowl of baby porridge, for dinner half a sweet potato. Quite clearly he is a food monster and growing fast. There is also very little mess with every last drop of purée sucked off the spoon each time. He’s even started shouting at us if we don’t feed him quick enough.

I always knew he would start earlier than the other 2, he is after all already as heavy as Matilda was when she was 1, but we’ve gone from no food to regular meals awfully quickly. It’s one of those milestones that make you realise how much your baby is developing and we’re clinging onto each one for as long as possible because we have no plans to do this again. It feels odd writing that down, I’m not tempted at all by a 4th child but for the last 4 years our life has revolved around babies and toddlers. Knowing that we are on the path (albeit only on the very first step) towards having children rather than babies is strange. Right now it’s hard to remember a life without children, a time when we could just pop out at the weekend without having to plan around naps or take a suitcase worth of things with us. Life was simpler and most definitely easier then but it wasn’t half as much fun.

Rupert in Stokke eating porridge

For now though we can enjoy an immediate future full of messy bibs, purées, plastic cups and bowls and most likely needing to repaint food stained walls. Incidentally my top tip for anyone going through the weaning stage is to get a dog, makes cleaning up after a whole lot easier when the canine hoover has been sat under the high chair. I Imagine we’ll also be getting through quite a few sweet potatoes and bananas over the next few weeks also.

We have also been hoping but not daring to say out loud that maybe, just maybe he might decide to sleep for longer than 2 hours at a time. That perhaps the combination of some solid food and him coming out of the development phase he’s going through could mean he wakes just 2 or 3 times a night? Would that be too much to ask for? Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Oh and if you have any great suggestions for meals we can offer a 4 month old then let me know. We did baby led weaning with the other 2 so didn’t really get involved with the mush.

My relationship with boobs

I am a man.

I like boobs.

Revelations worthy of Newsnight right?

But there is a serious point here, I promise, so hold on while I try to get there and not get distracted by the thought of boobs. The lady of the manor most definitely does not disappoint in the boob department, I would say that they are awesome but both my mum and my MIL read this so best not.

So to recap, I like boobs, the lady of the manor has great boobs. All looking good right? That is until one teeny tiny event happened that changed everything. Can you guess what it is?

A little boy was born and promptly set up camp in MY spot. With his feeding issues he was almost permanently there, guzzling away and turning into the not so little boy he is now. King of his domain and defender of his territory.

So what is a man to do? Where once I saw fun and excitement I now see Henry’s pit stop, his happy place. It’s changed and I think it’ll be a while before it feels the same again. That’s ok, I’m not bitter it’s just another part of being a dad, part of the adventure.

But I can’t just push him out can I? He does love it there and the lady of the manor definitely enjoys the cuddles with her little boy. Plus have you seen his face? Could he be any cuter with that big fat cheesy grin and naughty chuckle.

I guess I’ll just have to become a legs or arse man.

Henry screwing up face