Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: new baby

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.


I think it may have finally sunk in that we are having a baby in less than 8 weeks (or thereabouts), which I know sounds a little silly because I of course do know we’re having a baby but it doesn’t feel that real when you’re not the one carrying him around in your tummy. This little breakthrough for me came at the weekend, I was snuggled on the sofa with Matilda and Henry watching the videos on my phone. It’s one of their very favourite activities and also probably one of the few times they both actually sit still.

Matilda picked a video from last year just after we moved into this house, it was from a day when the lady of the manor was working and I was at home with the 2 of them. The video showed a crawling, babbling Henry and a small barely 2 year old Matilda running around like a crazy thing. Then it dawned on me; I’m really excited about having a little baby in the house again.

Matilda just born

I’ve always told myself that the baby stage didn’t excite me that much and that it was when I could start having a proper interaction that I really started bonding with them properly. But looking back at those videos has reminded me how much fun it was to have a little wriggling baby. To have those days where you watch them ever so slowly figuring out how to roll over by swinging their legs and then getting that pesky arm out of the way.

I’ll be honest though I’m not so excited about weaning a baby (although Bracken is excited about the food that will be coming his way) and sleepless nights obviously aren’t something I’m in a rush to experience again. But this is most likely the last time we do go through all the firsts again which I didn’t think I’d get sentimental or emotional about but actually I think that’s starting to hit home a little.

It’s amazing how quickly you forget all those things which actually happened only a couple of years ago but feel like a different life time. Life with children is crazy and hectic and often about getting through the day, it’s hard to stop and remember the little things. That’s actually one of the great things about being a blogger and of course one of the reasons I started this blog, you have a ready made reminder of your child’s development. Although I’m not sure I believe my two were every this small.

Matilda and Henry lying down

Now I think I’m going to have a little lie down as I come to terms with all this very mature emotional stuff. After that is the small matter of planning a home birth, but more of that later.


A toddlers view of pregnancy

This is the first pregnancy where we have children old enough to understand what is happening, or at least understanding as much as a 2 year old and a 3 year can. Matilda was so young when Henry was born that she probably can’t really remember what life was like as an only child, But it does worry me a little how they’ll adjust when they can’t get mummy’s attention so much and how they’ll cope with just me doing bath time most nights. After all a toddlers view of pregnancy is very different to ours.

So we’re spending some time talking to them about it, that the baby will be a boy (very important for Matilda who is desperate for a sister) and getting them to bond him as much as possible. Every night they now give the bump a kiss and say goodnight which is far too cute, but quite a simple step to getting them used to there being someone else to share mummy with. Henry however also takes the opportunity to say goodnight to the lady of the manors breasts as well, he gives them a kiss and says “night night boobies”. Clearly 18 months of breastfeeding developed a strong bond with them, not sure what he’ll think when his little brother starts feeding there instead.

Silence just means they are thinking of more questions

Silence just means they are thinking of more questions

Note also I say share mummy here, it’s abundantly clear who they miss the most. If the lady of the manor goes out there are tears and many promises that she’ll be back soon. If I go out I get a cheery ‘see you later daddy’ and a hug from Matilda. Not that I’m bitter of anything.

When it comes to baby names the conversation has been a little more interesting:

Me: So Henry what do you think we should call the new baby?

Henry: (without a second thought) MR TUMBLE

Me: Okaaay, do you like any other names?

Henry: NO!, Mr Tumble

Me: What about you Matilda? What should we call you new little brother?

Matilda: I think we should call him Thomas or James.

Me: You mean like the tank engines?

Matilda: Yes or we could call it Iris

So there you have it, people name their kids after all sorts of famous people right? So why not Mr Tumble? If anyone has any better suggestions for boys names then do let me know as we’re struggling. For some reason we’ve always found choosing girls names much easier, or at least choosing ones that we agree on rather than wielding the veto.

I’m also imagining there are going to be a lot more interesting conversations to come when the baby actually arrives like “how did the baby get out of mummy’s tummy? Why is its tummy button sticking out? and why is his poo black?”. The answers to these questions are of course; magic like Mr Tumble does, because he hasn’t eaten all his breakfast and too many blueberries.

A party of five

HEAR YE, HEAR YE, this fool is pleased to announce that he has again demonstrated the prowess of his little swimmers and our crazy little family is going to be getting a new addition.

The alternative version of this story is that the lady of the manor finally wore me down with her arguments for a large family. We compromised on 3 children as a happy middle ground between her wanting 437 and me wanting to stick at 2. Now I have to come to terms with the children outnumbering the adults in this house. Scary stuff.

Today we had our first scan which confirmed that there was only one baby (phew), it has all the right limbs etc (awesome) and it’s a fidget arse (just like its dad). Having moved last year we are also going to maintain our record of having each baby in a different hospital. Although the lady of the manor is talking of having a home birth, not quite sure about that and just have visions of Henry diving into the birthing pool while our backs are turned.

Third time around feels very relaxed, especially now we’ve had the first confirmation everything is ok. But that moment when you first see your baby squirming on the scan screen never gets old does it? First time it really becomes real for me given it’s not growing inside me, feel a bit more connected to the pea now that I’ve seen it. Before now it’s all a little surreal, you know it’s happening but it hasn’t really sunk in. Now it’s definitely real, I’ve seen the baby wriggle!

The pea is apparently due on 16th October, which is going to be interesting as I’m running the Yorkshire marathon on 13th October. Might have to run that one with my phone just in case.

So here’s to being a party of five (plus one dog), to being outnumbered and to having to buy a people carrier. But most of all here’s to the lady of the manor who makes the most amazing babies.

The Pea scan photo


The big announcement…..

The lady of the manor and I have always liked a challenge; in 2005 in the space of 2 months I graduated from university, started a new job, moved house and we got married. In 2009 we bought a house in a town that we visited for the first time when we viewed the house. In 2010 we started renovating said house with zero DIY experience or skills and bought our first dog. In 2011 Matilda was born and the day before she was born we ripped out the bathroom. Not forgetting of course going to New Zealand this year for 3 weeks, in a camper van, with a baby. So with all that completed we were getting itchy feet and needed something new to keep us busy.

I’m therefore pleased to announce that on May 26th (or thereabouts) I will become a dad for a second time. Yes that’s right just 14 months after Matilda was born we’re doing it all again. We had our 12 week scan today and I’m therefore pleased  to introduce you to Baby Sprout for the first time.

DSC_0109We always planned to have a larger family (although how large is still subject to approval by the management team) so there is no point hanging around is there? This was a little sooner than we had planned though, but turns out you only have to do it once. Who knew? Thankfully we did consider the next child when buying things for Matilda, we have a pushchair that will take 2 babies for example. Plus if it’s a boy he’ll just have to like wearing pink.

So my lovely blog readers, here’s to an exciting year ahead of us, to the chaos that will reign, to the laughs and the tears that will no doubt come and most importantly to family. Who could ask for more?