Hi de Hi

12108986_1830644787161951_5057780021500210958_n

The boy’s first holiday

I’ve never been a holiday-camp type of person; the idea of imprisoned enforced merriment repulses me. However, as I’ve mused on several occasions since Freddie’s arrival – being a mother changes you, and suddenly the idea of a cheap weekend at Minehead Butlins seemed quite appealing. This is from the girl [am I still a “girl” at 33? Probably not] – who backpacked around India at 18 and travelled with chickens third class on the Calcutta Mail. Should we blame hormones? Then again, third class on the Calcutta Mail isn’t exactly suitable for a 7 month old baby. My mother had kindly offered [against her better judgement too, as she’s not a “holiday camp” person either, and we have been known to argue on occasion …] to accompany Fredders and I. Poor mother didn’t know what she was letting herself in for, as we were sharing a tiny “silver room” – which was a very early 1990s chalet, complete with one of those bulky square televisions and yellow and green swirly curtains. We’d opted for the twin option, and as Fred and I co sleep, we had to put both beds together. Mine had a dodgy mattress; looked like a rhino had been its previous inhabitant. Mother got the bedside table, and was entrusted with my glasses every evening.

Saturday morning, 5am – Fred’s bottom had exploded, and I had to ask for my glasses. First the poor woman handed me HER glasses [which made me think I’d gone totally blind overnight], and then handed me her watch, before finally retrieving mine, so the bum could be cleaned. Luckily we laughed.

Freddie had a super time; we walked by the sea, we went to the Butlins Panto “Aladdin Rocks”; he went on his first fairground ride [the carousel, where he was able to sit in the carriage with me], and he developed a penchant for watermelon at breakfast. He also cut his fifth tooth, so there was a late night trip for overpriced calpol, and much dribbling. Food was chucked in all directions at dinner, and I inevitably ended up sleeping in the gap between the mother’s bed and ours.

In short, it was memorable – and it didn’t rain. Freddie’s first holiday. To be fair to Butlins, the staff were very friendly; the place was clean, the food was good – and people genuinely seemed to enjoy themselves. I would go back, but not in high season as I can imagine it would be noisy and rammed with screaming excitable children.

10501697_1832146110345152_2191792119174782206_n

Momma’s little poser

I feel like I’ve been a day behind this week; there was so much laundry! We were only away for three days! I’m still catching up with myself … and last night I actually went out; for the first time in 8 months. My cousin/birthing partner babysat, and Fredders was such a good boy. I on the other hand, need to learn to walk in high heels all over again … and had to stifle the yawns at 9pm. It’s now 18.54 and I’m already in PJs sat in bed next to le petit prince. Goodness knows what this extra hour will do to us on Sunday morning …

Throwback Thursday; the crowning moment

12074844_1826377267588703_6970948816460228828_nEvery Thursday I remember that Thursday 32 [yes, THIRTY TWO] weeks ago when I became Freddie’s Mummy. I’m sure one day a Thursday will pass without me remembering every detail … but in many ways I hope not! Whenever I see Sarah, my birthing partner; we inevitably talk about that day in early March when my life gained its purpose and the world gained beautiful Freddie. We talk about the days and night before too, and remind each other of little anecdotes; countless walks around the park, the tuna sandwich on the antenatal ward, nearly falling off the birthing ball, toppling over in the pool when the midwife first checked for the heartbeat as I forgot my huge bump unbalanced me … the “Hits of the 1990s” CD we found in the delivery room and played and contracted to through the night. It amazes me that my not so little Freddie lived and grew in my tummy. THIRTY TWO weeks since he made his entrance. Wow. When Sarah and I were pacing the park, we had no idea what Freddie would look like, what his little personality would be, and how life would change forever in that final push. The crowning moment.

This week two friends have had babies and others are freshly pregnant; it makes me slightly broody and even more nostalgic for Freddie’s birth; I hanker to press rewind and relive these glorious 7 months again. I never imagined myself to have children; at 32 I was single and possibly lacking direction. I’d always followed the cliched heart, and travelled after university. I’d done some pretty crazy things; I’d lived a rollercoaster hedonistic lifestyle, and whilst there were some amazing experiences and memories, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t some regrets, and there wasn’t a certain loneliness. Of all the things I’ve done, having Freddie, being his mummy – is undoubtedly the thing I’m most proud of, and the defining moment of my life. Still, 32 weeks since his arrival, and over a year since I knew I was going to have a baby … I look at Freddie sleeping at night, and can’t quite believe he’s mine. I never thought motherhood would happen to me, and it has … and somehow this gorgeous, chuckling, chubby cherub is mine.

It is such a responsibility, to be a mummy, to love them and give so much of yourself to them; to entertain them and allow them to entertain themselves … to introduce them to the world, and deprive yourself of sleep, time to shave your legs, evening television [aside from CBeebies bedtime hour] and clothes without stains on them. It’s as exhilarating as it is exhausting, and I just want this little boy to always feel so loved and secure; to look back on a happy childhood with laughter and imagination. Perhaps I feel this all the more intensely because I’m a single mum; because I don’t want my son to ever feel like he’s missed out on anything. Perhaps the reason I blog, is not only to share, and to store memories for when the boy is old enough to read them … but because these monologues replace the conversations I would imagine having with a partner at night when the baby sleeps; parenting philosophy, the things you’ve done during the week … Maybe one day, this Bridget Jones will find her Mr Big, but he’ll have to be pretty damned wonderful, and embrace Freddie with his whole heart.

And tomorrow, we are off to the seaside. I shall report back.

The boy keeps growing

Wow. That lone tooth turned into four in the space of a week … good work Freddo; and my nipples have survived to tell the tale. This has meant more sleepless nights, and one day in particular when I felt like I was jetlagged and hungover, minus the holiday memories. Sleep deprivation is a killer, but somehow we plough through it; and teething must be so painful for them. Last night I went to bed with Fred around 8pm, and we must’ve had a better night’s sleep as I was wide awake at 4am eating toast and drinking milk, whilst babykins was snoring horizontally in the bed. I’ve just got a Banana Loaf out of the oven, and when I’ve finished this Blog I will join Fred in the land of nod. I did manage to stay awake for the Bake Off final on Wedneday, and was very proud of myself [and Nadiya, of course].

Babies are so amazing. In the space of 7 months – YES, SEVEN months … my little boy has grown SO much. What wondrous little people they are. I feel like the past month has witnessed so many firsts – and I want to share these because one day I hope Fred will be reading this Blog and hearing about our journey together in this first year. Sometimes it makes me sad that he won’t remember all these fun things we’ve been doing … but I know that the experiences and love won’t be wasted. These 7 months have been brilliant, and I look forward to all the firsts yet to come [just wish time would slow down slightly].

So, Fred is very proud that he can clap his hands. In fact, one particularly sleepless night I had to say with a certain amount of exasperation “darling, 4am isn’t the time at which to show off your new clapping skills“! Meanie.

12096210_1827048214188275_8737899708897598967_nI found a super second hand smart trike, which you can see in this photo … Freddie has enjoyed so much our trips to the park on it. I think these are such a great invention, as when he gets older he’ll be able to pedal himself. There’s also a nifty little basket on the back where Momma can put her shopping.

You can’t see it very well on this photo because of the hat, but Fred’s hair is also growing VERY quickly! He lost all his dark newborn hair aside from a monk-like fringe at the back .. and now his “real” hair is growing, it’s all fluffy and strawberry blonde. His Dad is auburn, and I was born gingerish … so I think we could have the hint of a ginger ninja … It’s properly spiky. As a sales assistant said last week “it looks like hes been electrocuted!”

Food is going down well, and we’re now having 3 meals a day … mess, a glorious mess every meal time.

It’s incredible to think how different life was last year, and what a different person I was then. There’s some cliched quote doing the rounds about a mother being born when a child is born … and I think this is true. I love it with all my heart, but I’ve never silently worried so much … never given quite as much of myself to anything ever before. I want Freddie to be wrapped in a childhood of love and adventure, of friendships and fun, of laughter and security. Of course I question my parenting. In the early hours as I feed my boy, I realise this is one of the times when a partner would be useful – to chatter to about philosophies, and be supported or questioned in them. It’s like a daily examination of conscience; not wanting to let this little beautiful person down who has been entrusted to me …

Momma’s little Prince.