Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: rupert (page 2 of 2)

Survival

It’s ok, call off the search party I’m alive and well I’ve just been a little busy. I’d have liked to have written a few more blog posts recently but it turns out having 3 children and a busy job doesn’t leave much time for anything else. To be quite honest when it comes to the evening I don’t have the brain power left to string words together into something intelligible and if I did most evenings have involved either carrying around a little baby or having one sleeping on me. Which is why it’s almost a month since my last post both here and on my running blog.

The past few weeks have been quite intense, Rupert has had a string of colds thanks to his brother and sister being very affectionate and wanting to share everything including their snot and sneezes. This has meant most evenings have involved a lot of pacing the house trying to settle him while he screams at us. Not much fun and very testing when you’re tired, not to mention the fact that it makes it impossible to get anything done in the evening. All you want to do is collapse on the sofa and drink a cup of tea in peace but instead you spend 2 hours tidying, sorting out the washing, putting the bins out, making lunches for the next day the list goes on.

Thankfully we seem to be making progress this week *touches everything wooden in the house*, partly I think just due to him getting older and with it being more relaxed and also wanting to have awake time, but we also went to see the Osteopath. We’d done the same with Henry and is something I’d recommend to all new parents, I’m a huge sceptic on some of these treatments but the magic that an Osteopath performs seems to have a real impact. I like it because it’s such a gentle treatment but it releases any pressure points or tight spots the baby may have. Birth is clearly a tough event for a baby so it’s not surprising they sometimes need a little help adjusting. With both Henry and Rupert the change was very noticeable, within a day or so Rupert was already calmer and happier. The screaming was mainly gone and we now get some lovely awake time full of smiles and gurgles.

Our next challenge is getting him to be willing to sleep somewhere other than on us during the day so that maybe we can eat a meal without him either being fed or rocked while he cries. I love having time to cuddle him (we had a lovely nap together in an armchair on Sunday afternoon doing just that) but it would also be nice to have the option of him sleeping in his moses basket so that the lady of the manor and I can get some time together again.

What’s interesting about doing this for the 3rd time is we know there will come a time when it changes, we know there is hope and that makes it less scary or hard to deal with. I can remember having similar feelings when Matilda was a baby and it was just so daunting not knowing how long it could continue. Not to mention the fact that we now have 20 different solutions to dealing with crying having been through it before, things you have no clue about the first time.

Although it’s still possible to send yourself mad as you come up with a new theory about why your baby isn’t sleeping, the lady of the manor is the master at this. She’ll come down in the morning and announce her new theory ‘I think he’s getting cold, let’s use a grobag’ or ‘I’m going to wedge a pillow under his head tonight because I think he likes sleeping on an angle’. You go through all those solutions until most likely you end up back where you started and then you go back through them all again. Maybe one day you will splat the rat and your baby sleeps 12 hours a night every night, then of course you can write a book about it and make millions selling it to other sleep deprived parents who are also looking for the reason why their baby isn’t sleeping.

Until then I shall just continue enjoying my cuddles while he’s still a baby and needs us so much.

Rupert

Gone in a flash

Things that are fast; Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes, Concorde, the bullet train (which apparently now levitates), Usain Bolt, Bracken chasing a squirrel, a toddler when your back is turned, the school holidays when you’re a child and your lunch break as an adult. I’d also add to that extensive list your children growing up. Rupert is now a month old. A MONTH! Holy crap did that fly by. The past month has been a blur of broken sleep, demanding preschoolers and at times paddling furiously just to stay still. It’s been hard work of course but on the whole we’ve kept smiling and positive, 3rd time around I think you’re much better placed to keep things in perspective and not let them get on top of you.

Rupert in the eveningI have a colleague who is expecting his first this week, it’s been fascinating talking to him and reliving that nervous expectation of your first child being born. All the questions he has and all the things he’s yet to experience. In a way I’m actually jealous of him, having your first is such a special experience isn’t it? The first time you become a family rather than just a couple, it’s a huge change and your life really won’t be the same again will it? I’ve been very conscious not to come into work and just complain about being tired or not having time to do anything, both very true but it’s very easy to get obsessed with the negatives of being a new parent and forget how great it is also. I want him to see that his paternity leave is going to be awesome and possibly both the hardest and best time off work he’ll ever have.

We’ve had a tough last week with Rupert who has inevitable caught not 1 but 2 colds from his ever affectionate siblings; Matilda and Henry were both spring babies so we never experienced them getting colds at such a young age. It’s really not fun seeing him so little and struggling to breathe properly and then coughing when clearly his throat is sore. It’s meant that we’ve spent probably 75% of the past week with one of us carrying him around as he wouldn’t settle to sleep lying down (who can blame him) which is quite honestly knackering. We’ve made good use of our Babasling but it’s still tiring standing up for most of that time and rocking back and forth, I did so much of it on Saturday I felt like I’d been on a boat.

But yesterday we enjoyed one of my favourite ‘firsts’ as a parent – the first bath. An amazing 20 minutes as a family that wiped the tiredness from the past few days clean away. Amazing how those parenting moments can do that isn’t it? Rupert’s first bath was a little bit more chaotic than Matilda’s with 2 siblings desperate to be part of the event and I may have had to roll out the parenting discipline big guns (you’ll go to bed with no story AND no milk) to stop them drowning him as they fought to get the closest, but it was still awesome.

Rupert's first bath

The bathroom has always been a place where he’s chilled out for some reason, most nights I lie him on the bath mat while Matilda and Henry are in the shower and he seems to enjoy just taking in the noises around him. It turns out that he’s just as chilled in the bath itself, we laid him down on the bath and he happily splashed away while Matilda and Henry ‘helped’. It was one of those moments as a family that you dream of, where everyone is happy and playing together in one place. I think Matilda and Henry are enjoying him slowly becoming more interactive and accessible which is lovely to watch. With Rupert looking like he’s going to be another water baby I think we may be heading swimming quite soon!

P.S. I also had a little look back to see what Matilda’s first bath was like, turns out it was a bit less glamorous (it was in the sink) but she enjoyed it just as much.

The party is over

This is it, the party is over, 2 and a bit weeks of glorious paternity leave are finished and it’s back to reality tomorrow. I’ll be honest I bought a few Euromillions tickets last week in the hope that maybe I could extend my time off but alas no luck and the bills won’t get paid because I’m a good dad will they? Like when Henry was born one of the best things about being on paternity leave is actually having time with the older children. Matilda and I spent so much time together while the lady of the manor looked after Henry, we walked Bracken every day and did bath time together it was just great. What dad doesn’t love the thought of waking up and playing with his kids every day?

This time was similar, most days I’d get up with Matilda and Henry to do breakfast and then take food up to the lady of the manor so she could eat and feed. Having 2 weeks holiday is always great but I think being ok with living life as normal rather than trying to have a ‘holiday’ makes it better. You just do regular activities but do them together when normally things like taking Bracken out normally get fitted around everything else. You have time (not much with a baby in the house but some at least) to do all those things you want to do at a weekend but never get around to.

We did Halloween craft and I got to join all our NCT mum friends at a Halloween party, we walked the dog, we jumped in puddles and played in the forest, we baked bread and cooked, we had many many games of hide and seek, we snuggled on the sofa watching TV when it was cold, we did jobs in the garden with nanna and gramps, we went swimming played on the swings, we went to the kids first ever fireworks display and tried candy floss. The list goes on and actually despite all the sleepless nights and moments of chaos where we wanted to scream it’s fun and I think we’ve done an awful lot.

Don’t tell the kids but we may also have taken advantage of their preschool days to go out for coffee and cake and pretend that we only have 1 small baby for a while. No need to persuade 2 children to sit still and eat their food without knocking drinks over and most of all some peace without all the questions. We all need some of that down time as parents don’t we?

Rupert is in general a very chilled and happy baby and so strong! He’s 3 weeks old on Wednesday and already is holding his head up and moving onto his side when lying on the floor. He’s also packing on pounds, at 11 days old he weighed 10lb’s vs. his birth weight of 9lb 6oz so clearly mummies milk is gold top. Still weighting to see if he ends up a blondie like me and Matilda and Henry, the lady of the manor is hoping he’s going to be a red head like her but no signs of that yet.

I’m not sure how the kids are going to react to me not being around, there are already murmurings about not wanting me to go to work, but they’ll adjust again I’m sure. Certainly isn’t going to make sitting in an office again any easier, but I do at least have some great memories to take with me. I do hope also that Matilda and Henry have enjoyed it fully too, there has probably been a few too many shouty moments born out of tiredness and frustration on my part. I didn’t run much at the start, there was just no way to fit it in and that just makes me grumpy without the broken sleep also. We’ve tried to give them lots of attention and not just focus on Rupert but it’s not easy is it? Having a newborn can be quite intense and demanding and all consuming if you let it.

As I’m falling asleep writing this I’m going to hit publish and try to get some sleep before attempting to get out of the door for work tomorrow for the first time in 2.5 weeks. An attempt that also includes a preschool drop off for Matilda, wish me luck!

A moment

Ben and Henry cuddling

A moment of peace, calm in the eye of the storm.

A moment to bond, say hello, connect.

These moments are brief but magical, full of questions.

What will you be like? Another blondie perhaps? Or maybe a fiery red head?

Little hints begin to break the surface, each ripple created sets off the guessing game.

The twinkle in your wide eyes, the merest flicker of a smile, the mellow outlook.

Some family traits holding strong, but always unique, one of a kind.

No matter what you’ll be loved wee boy, suffocating so at times, but always loved.

Welcome to the chaos, you’re going to love it.

 

Me and Mine October

This is it, the me and mine post that we’ve been building to for almost the whole year, the one where we become a party of five! It’s also the reason why I’m sat here at 10pm the day before the post goes live trying to write it after finally sorting out the chaos in the house. Rupert is now 9 days old and so far is a perfect little baby, sure he doesn’t sleep all night but no one would ever expect a little baby to do that, but he doesn’t cry much, he feeds well and he is generally a chilled out little boy.

Rupert just born

The first 9 days together has been exciting, manic, chaotic, tiring, beautiful, exasperating and testing but most of all awesome. But after a number of days at home trying to rest and adjust the lady of the manor and I were starting to get fidgety and cabin fever was definitely setting in. So yesterday we headed out for our first proper trip as a family for a walk around a lake at the Cotswold water park that conveniently ends at a great cafe that serves an amazing cooked breakfast. The first challenge was getting in the car though, you see we’re waiting for our new car to be delivered in a week or 2 (the dreaded people mover) and our current car while large doesn’t fit 3 car sits across it. Which means one child has to sit on the pop up seats in the boot, a situation I assumed Henry or Matilda would love but alas no. Instead we had lengthy negotiations before persuading Matilda that it was indeed the only place she could sit, the key issue it turned out is that she wanted to be able to see Rupert *pulls remaining hair out*. We did manage to take a good photo though even if we did look a bit crazy setting up a tripod next to the lake.

Cotswold water park sculpture

This month I’ve been mainly running a marathon and jumping every time my phone rang in case it was ‘the call’. The marathon was in York and just a few days before due date so I half expected my phone to ring at mile 16 to tell me that the lady of the manor had gone into labour. At which point of course the quickest way back would be to finish the race; that would at least give me a good excuse for being tired in the delivery suite right? I have a full race report up on my running blog if you happen to be interested, the short summary is that it was a beautiful race and a PB for me.

The lady of the manor has of course spent most of the month wishing that her baby boy would arrive, she was of course magnificent during labour and now that he’s here such a amazing mum. That’s 3 babies delivered now with only gas and air used and a small amount of swearing. She’s also very content having a breastfeeding little boy again and I think enjoying having time with me at home also. This week she demonstrated her prowess in pumpkin carving, putting my funny face to shame with her carefully crafted owl (there was a stencil involved).

Henry spent the first half of the month mainly growing despite the fact that it seems to be mainly bread and pasta that go into his mouth. However the second half since Rupert arrived has been spent being a most affectionate big brother, a little too affectionate at times when Rupert is happily asleep but it’s so lovely to see how much he loves him. The first time he met Rupert was when he got out of bed the next day and he immediately rushed over and gave him a hug and a kiss. We were a little worried he would get jealous of the breastfeeding as he was fed up to 18 months but he hasn’t seemed bothered at all.

Baby wearing toddlers

Matilda has been making friends and has her first birthday party to go in a few weeks for a preschool friend which feels all a bit grown up to me. She’s also started to trust me to do her hair which I take as a great privilege but is definitely testing my dad skills to the max. Without wanting to repeat last months comment on her she appears to have grown up another 2 years this month, part of this I think is learning new things at preschool. My favourite thing she’s learnt is counting using her fingers, she’ll hold up 2 fingers and say ‘we need to read 2 books’. Too cute. Like Henry she also loves her new little brother and is so good sitting on the sofa with him on her lap.

Rupert has mainly been coming out from his cosy home in his mummies tummy. Oh and sleeping. And pooing. And drinking milk.

And then there were five

I have now been a dad to 3 for 4 whole days, in fact counting to 4 is about all my brain can cope with at the moment after 3 nights with a newborn. I did have 4 hours straight sleep last night though which felt like heaven, funny how quickly your perspectives change isn’t it? But after keeping us waiting for 6 days past his due date our baby boy finally arrived on Wednesday 22nd October weighing a mighty 9lb 6oz’s. I shan’t give you a blow by blow birth story other than to say the lady of the manor was awesome, she also enjoyed the full spa treatment at the birthing centre with a massage before a quick pedicure (removing nail polish from your wife’s toes while she’s in labour isn’t something they teach you on a NCT course) and then a dip in the jacuzzi.

But without further ado I give you the youngest heir to the Fool’s kingdom; Rupert

 Ben and Rupert first cuddle

He’s a bit of a cutey isn’t he? Such a chilled out little dude too, cries a little when hungry or wants his nappy change but other than that just sits quietly taking the world in. He doesn’t seem phased at all by the chaos around him as his noisy brother and sister play in the noisy way that only small children know how. Certainly doesn’t seem to stop him sleeping either, I think he’s going to be able to sleep through anything given how noisy it’s been from day 1.

It’s probably a bit of an understatement to say that Matilda and Henry love him; he’s certainly not been short of cuddles and kisses from them and do an excellent job of sitting ever so still on the sofa so that they can hold him. We got home after they’d gone to bed on the day he was born so the first time they met him was in our bed the next day, Henry just ran straight up and started giving him kisses, Matilda was a little more apprehensive though. We just gave her space during the day to decide when she was ready to meet him properly, no point in trying to force these things is there after all she got her stubbornness from her daddy. It took half the day before she asked if she could hold him and then she sat for 20 minutes without moving a muscle while he sat on her lap; there can be few moments as a parent that are as happy as that.

Henry and Rupert meeting

Matilda and Rupert cuddling

We’re slowing settling into our new routines and roles in the house, finding the new balance now there is an extra person house. A little bit of trial error to find what works and what doesn’t including learning that I don’t make the lunch boxes as well as the lady of the manor. But the children seem very excited about having me home which is of course fab and I have another 2 weeks of paternity leave left (I’ve taken holiday, who can really afford to take leave at statutory pay?).

We’ve been talking about all the things we can do over the next 2 weeks, saying things like ‘we could do that when I’m on paternity leave’, but the reality is that survival is the main objective at the start isn’t it? Hopefully we’ll get a couple of day trips in but I think the kids will be just as happy with playing hide and seek in the garden followed by snuggling up watching a movie. The one thing we will most definitely be doing is grabbing a coffee with just Rupert for company when Matilda and Henry are at preschool. Going to be a while before we get that chance again.

Let the fun begin.

Newer posts