What’s a bit of shit between friends?

For those of you who’ve been “with me” from the start of this Blog; you will understand what I mean when I say that I’ve treated Potty Training as I viewed childbirth in pregnancy. It was an inevitability; positive, was probably going to be a bit messy and uncomfortable, but would bring with it amazing results. It’s 20.59; I’m on my second [large] glass of Sauvignon Blanc. I’ve been awake since 5.03am. We’ve got through 7 pairs of pants [well, boxer shorts actually, as I don’t think Fred’s a Y Front kind of dude], 3 loads of laundry, and only one shit on the carpet. My most used phrase of the day has been “Do you need the potty Freddie?”, followed by “tuck your willy in” [Fred, I sincerely apologise if you are reading this in years to come. You’re doing just fine, Mummy’s little prince!]

“The potty” is an all singing all dancing Thomas the Tank engine one. When excrement hits the pan it plays a lovely Thomas song, and Freddie shrieks with excitement “I’ve done a poo” he exclaims; although he doesn’t actually know the difference between wees and poos, and the only poo we’ve had today has most definitely been on the carpet. It reminds me of when I worked as a care assistant in a busy nursing home, and forgot to put the “pan” under Mrs X’s commode one night [only second to Mr X, asking me to “rub cream in my balls” as part of the bedtime routine ….]

I’ve imposed “lock down” for the past 36 hours … we have watched Postman Pat the Movie; we have painted pretty pictures, made minion cupcakes, played football in the hall, and eaten lots of chocolate buttons as a treat for “performing” on the marvellous potty. Tomorrow we must venture out … potty and all. Another milestone …

After the week from hell, this is my greatest achievement; even if I had to drag my 2.5year old to the shop on the corner for the aforementioned wine in his pyjamas!

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A letter to Freddie

Dear little boy,

14079518_1984626361763792_8126995669735762084_nIn the early hours of tomorrow morning you will be 18 months old …  a whole year and a half in the world. On the one hand it seems like yesterday – I still yearn to press rewind and relive it all again …. yet on the other, I cannot imagine a time when you weren’t here. How much fun we’ve had and how much you’ve grown. I find it very strange that if you’re reading this one day, you won’t remember any of the things we’ve done in the past 18months. Of course, Momma knows that nothing is wasted and that everything you’ve seen and felt and done has contributed to the vivacious happy little boy you are today. I’m so proud of you, and I don’t think I’ll ever truly believe you’re mine …. I’m such a lucky momma.

Today we collected Percy Pickle kitten, our first pet; and you were very excited about playing with him. Momma has had to teach you to be gentle when you pick him up, and to let him sleep when he needs to sleep … but before we came to bed you gave him your Iggle Piggle, and I hope you grow to be good friends. I think it’s important children grow up with a pet; and Percy Pickle will be a buddy to get up to mischief with! Please don’t eat the cat food though darling …

We’ve just had a lovely week away with your friend Atticus and his Mummy to Bluestone in14183771_1985326771693751_456552263184359963_n Wales. It was a real joy to watch you play together and learn from each other. Whilst Atti picked up your very sweet and constant “Momma Momma Momma”, you learnt to say “tractor”, or “Tacdaw” as you so cutely put it. You’ve made sandcastles on the beach, eaten sausage and chips by the sea, seen lots of animals at Folly Farm, and had a blast swimming in the Blue Lagoon with your new arm bands. You had a really fun time, and Momma’s a little sad that it’s back to work tomorrow ….

Sometimes I lie here watching you sleep at night, stroke your little face, and hope that I’m getting this parenting business right. I want to be a gentle, fun mum … I want to say yes as often as I can; and I don’t want to be a shouty nag. You’re a good boy, Freddie Worthington-Phillips … and you light up my world.

Eighteen months …. from my 7Ib 9oz newborn, to my little boy … just think of all the adventures we have to come. But now, my dear one, your Momma is going to snuggle down beside you [at 20.25] because quite frankly I’m exhausted! Can’t take the pace these days …

Lots of love,

Momma x

My little bit of perfect …

I’m sure I dropped a not-quite-toddler off at the childminders this week and collected a little boy five hours later; a little boy who was sitting playing cars, interacting, smiling, and very proud of his new shoes. Oh time, just let me press pause for a little moment; let me catch my breath and savour it all a little bit more. Surely it was only yesterday that I watched in amazement as those blue lines emerged on the pregnancy test …. and soon that little cluster of cells will be walking …

Miraculous; this thing called life. We should never get so bogged down by the mundane that we neglect to appreciate the miracle. I still look at my sleeping babe and wonder how I made him; how my womb carried him, how my ladyparts expelled him, and how my breasts continue to feed him. I wonder how I’ve survived on so little sleep; and yet realise how these precious days will not be remembered for tiredness, but for all the memories and moments they contain.Sometimes I need reminding of this at 2.34am when I’m on the third feed of the night … [I have  been known to utter profanities, and then worry that Fuck will be his first word …]

My little boy is nearly 13 months old, rosy cheeked from the eruption of yet more molars. He’s at that “I want to feed myself yet can’t quite manage it” phase, which often results in my culinary labours being hurled across the kitchen at speed. I found myself reasoning with him last week “darling, there are starving children in the world who would love momma’s Spaghetti Bolognaise”. As I said it I heard echoes of my own childhood responses … “send it to them then, I don’t want it!” Please eat it sweetheart. Momma worries if you don’t eat …

It often feels that my greatest daily achievement is getting us both out of the flat dressed, washed and fed, by 8am. By the time I sit at my desk at work, I am just grateful for a hot cup of tea which I can drink with both hands. I can even go to the loo without an audience.

No one could’ve told me how hard this would be and yet how wonderful. I worry that this Blog has become a cliched melange of fromage – but my sleep deprived brain means every word. Single motherhood is a path no one would choose; and yet it is something of which I’m proud. We’re doing this, and we’re doing this well … even on the days when it feels like the treadmill is going too fast, or the lack of sleep is going to destroy every last brain cell.

20.47; I’m sitting in bed wearing mismatching pyjamas and drinking a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc, Fredders snoring beside me. My little bit of perfect.

My cheeky chubby cherub

21 weeks old

21 weeks old

20.07, sitting in bed with a cup of [decaf] tea, freshly showered, smelling nice [for a change], feeling quietly pleased with myself that the flat is all clean and homely [I even gave the windows a once over with some windolene!] AND there’s a sleeping Fredders beside me, also freshly bathed, full to the brim with milk. When I last blogged it had been a LONG sleepless week, and I’m pleased to report [whilst clinging onto the wooden bedside cabinet so not to jinx myself!] that sleep has improved. One glorious night my boobs were only required twice! Sleep is such a wonderful thing!

Freddie is 21 weeks old today; twenty one weeks. It will sound cliched, but I never thought I could love as much as I love this roundy doll [he is such a roundy doll!]. Even when I’m exhausted and in “Mombie” mode, there is so much to savour, to treasure; and so much to look forward to. I still sit here looking at him sleeping, amazed that he’s really mine, that I created and cooked such a cheeky chubby cherub, not to mention pushing him from the ladygarden.

We’ve had a jolly week, beginning with a rainy Sunday at a Heavy Horse Show, where Freddie met some piggies for the first time. We’ve been to a Beach Party at a local children’s centre where Freddie used a crayon for the first time [needless to say his creation is blue tacked to the kitchen door!]… and yesterday we went to baby yoga, today Moo Music. It’s none stop in the life of a baby!

Freddie enjoying playing with Thomas in his big boy seat!

Freddie enjoying playing with Thomas in his big boy seat!

When I last wrote, I bemoaned that it’s bloody hard work being a single mummy … and yes, it can be. BUT the flip side is evenings like these, when I sit here quietly proud of myself that Freddie is a happy baby with a happy life … that this time last year I hadn’t even viewed this flat, and now it is very much home. For fear of blowing one’s own trumpet [tut tut, we’re British you know!] – I’ve created this myself … and it is a satisfying feeling. I’ve never been so tired, but I wouldn’t swap any of it. I remember an old University lecturer telling us that we ought to be able to cope alone, always … and I think it is a very good skill. I am a tougher person since having Freddie, because I have to be, and because when he was born, so was my inner Tiger Mother! There are times when I would love someone to walk in through the door at 6pm and cook me dinner or entertain Fredders whilst I indulged in a long shower … or bring me a cup of tea at silly o clock … but no one has perfect … we all just have our fleeting moments of perfect.

All I want, from now and forever, is to be a good Mummy to my boy; for Freddie to always know that his happiness is the most important thing … at the moment his chuckles and smiles tell me that I’m on the right track … I just wish time could go a little slower …