8 Jul 2015

Coping with two?

I started to draft this post weeks ago on my phone. The pictures above document the first day I 'flew solo' with Dexter and Delphi, when Mr W returned to work: 28th May 2015. Well, we survived. I studied the relevant chapter from 'Coping with Two' the night before and we managed to do a supermarket shop, park visit and walk to the village for ice creams. It feels like a million years ago now. 

Delphi is eight weeks old today. I am due to take her for her immunisations this afternoon; Dexter is at pre-school. I never did get round to sharing surviving the first post-paternity leave day on here. A month and a half on, I'm wondering why I built it up to be such a big deal. Instead, inspired by one of my new favourite blog reads, 'Mother of all Lists' (v.funny), I thought I would list the things I have learnt/realised/discovered/accepted since becoming a mother of two.

Disclaimer: by reading this list, you will learn absolutely nothing about actually coping with two.

1. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Aside from the disruption to sleep, newborns are pretty straightforward. To quote my dear friend, Hannah, whom I met at NCT classes the first time around: 'What were we so SCARED of?!'

2. Some days, simply surviving is both okay and an achievement. To quote another lovely buddy and fellow breeder of two, Stella: 'As long as you are all alive at the end of the day, you've done a good job.' Preach.

3. I've found my own rhythm as a mother and don't feel the need to justify myself. Delphi is bottle-fed out of necessity and personal choice. She has slept in her own cot in her own room from five weeks. Dexter knows the code for my iPad. He often watches it in bed, pre-story, while I sort Delphi out.

4. I am still amazed that nobody has questioned the fact that I seem to be allowed to be in charge of the welfare of two tiny people. Yet.

5. Sibling bonding is not immediate but just heart-melting when it happens. We went from this... this. Dexter asks, 'Can we keep Delphi?' almost every day.

6. Matching pjs are never NOT cute (see above).

7. I am NEVER in control of the washing.

8. My kitchen floor is NEVER clean.

9. I am always hungry.

10. I imbibe sugar, caffeine and wine almost exclusively.

11. I only ever have one glass of wine at wine o'clock, just to take the edge off. The mere thought of an actual hangover fills me with horror.

12. Waitrose is still my happy place.

13. A newborn's car seat weighs more than me - even without a baby in it.

14. Delphi spends most of her life in her car seat. One of my biggest fears is that she will grow up in the shape of an actual car seat.

15. Our pram does not fit in my car.

16. I still put the pram in my car.

17. I can have me and the 'Double Ds' (fabulous friend, Sazzle's term for Dexter & Delphi) dressed and ready to go out in the time it takes for Mr W to have a shower. During this time, I have probably also emptied the dishwasher and loaded the washing machine.

18. Without Mr W, the rubbish would never go out, nothing would be recycled, the garden would not exist and our finances would be in complete chaos. Oh, and Team Wayne would be incomplete!

19. My own finances are in complete chaos.

20. Some days I would gladly be at work.

21. Some days I don't want to leave the house.

22. Sunny days with the two smalls and great friends & family are priceless.

23. I lost the 'baby weight' immediately (sheer luck). People are unable to fathom this.

24. My post-partum hair is horrific. Fortunately, people do not comment on this in the same way as above.

25. I rarely put make-up on any more and I have no 'school-run' uniform': my goal is to not be in pjs/naked. Oh, and to have brushed my teeth. Maybe.

26. People love a baby and like to stop and coo/chat.

27. Most of these people think Delphi is a boy.

28. My brain fell out with my placenta.

29. I fear I may never read an actual book again.

30. I can only cope with following the 'plot' on 'Love Island'.

31. I will probably never send a thank-you card again.

32. The four year gap works for us. I would never have been able to attend all of the transition and settling-in sessions for Dexter's school apart from anything else. Also, he was REALLY hard work as a toddler.

33. Keeping Dexter in pre-school three days a week was a really, really good idea.

34. I have the fear about the summer holidays when Dexter's wonderful nursery closes FOREVER.

35. I can leave the house with little more than a brilliantly handy nappy bag, no bigger than a handbag, made for me by talented seamstress and fellow mother of two, Jo.

36. When your husband goes on a five day stag do to Barcelona, the world doesn't fall apart, largely due to marvellous mates (cheers, Cathy, Stella, Becka & Sara).

37. I'm not sure how I feel about the proposed annual revival of the above.

38. 'Shout' is a far superior stain remover to 'Vanish'. Thanks, Mum.

39. I can only remember everything by writing it on one of those multiple column family calendars that my mum has always used.

40. I am turning into my mum.

41. Beyonce was right: girls run the world. Well, without the putting out rubbish part.

42. I have only opened my 'Your Baby Every Day for a Year' book, twice.

43. I have become obsessed with storing food in plastic tubs in the fridge in a bid to appear organised and to always be 'picnic-ready'. Possibly more of this in a future post...

44. Dexter regularly requests a 'picnic tea' (chopped peppers, fruit and popcorn) eaten in the car (from underneath the pram) on the way home from nursery. I see this as the epitome of multi-tasking and it means I don't have to sweep the kitchen floor AGAIN.

45. Internet shopping is a dangerous thing. PayPal is a complete enabler.

46. Social media is both a massive, heavily filtered lie and a place of huge community spirit, kindness and support.

47. I somehow think it is an acceptable sartorial statement to wear a huge bunch of keys on a lanyard around  my neck in the manner of a PE teacher/caretaker/prison officer.

48. I do a head count every time I get in the car - even if I am travelling alone.

49. There is not a single printed photograph of Delphi/us as a four; there are approximately 8 million digital/Instagram pictures.

50. No matter what, they will always, ALWAYS be my babies.

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