So 7 months post baby, I’m breast feeding, and I’m gaining weight. One of my main motivations for breastfeeding was the additional calories I would get to consume for free (oh and of course all the bonding, antibodies blah blah blah… ) so feeling pretty cheated by Mother Nature and my sweet tooth, I decided to take myself to fat club before things get out of hand.
It turns out I have 18lbs to lose. So I get on board. I stay “to group” as this will definitely ensure I instantly shed a few pounds. I do instantly shed 18lb as The Boy is whisked away and passed around the room. He happily offers a ‘batwing’ work out by jumping around on the attendees knees, grinning at the round smiling faces and grabbing hair, glasses and double chins galore.
The first discussion is on how best to eat chips without gaining weight and I’m a convert. This is my type of diet and essentially provides an hours free child care where my hands are free to do such things as drink tea, pick food debris from my clothes and yes, of course, I take full advantage and achieve that moment of bliss much desired by parents of little ones the world over. I peed. Alone.
So I leave the meeting, psychologically prepped for a big week of slimming, I’ve got a book full of recipes, an app and a small portion of anxiety regarding mounting the scales next week.
However, I return home to half a pack of cherry bakewells and an open bottle of wine. Phil’s on call (again), the kids are finally in bed and I don’t have work in the morning….Diet day one; fail.
It’s 5am and after listening to the 7month olds “singing” for 20 mins I give in and enter his room, knowing my exit attempts will be more challenging than an automatic lock in on the crystal maze. The offer of a dummy is met with grinning and laughing in my face so I succumb and give him an early first breakfast of boob milk, in the dark, being entirely silent in the hope of inducing sleep again. It works for one of us, despite the thumping of my chest with his tiny fists I doze in fits and starts until finally I’m released by The Boy doing an excellent impression of a sleeping baby. I attempt the transfer of said tiny person to the cot and sneak back to bed. Immediately I hear the baby chat starting again, but then, just briefly, there is silence.
So of course, the alarm goes off. It’s 6am, so it’s Phil’s “first alarm”, the alarm that says “you don’t actually have to get up yet, just letting you know that in 20 mins you do. So I’m just going to trade some of your restful deep sleep for lighter broken sleep accompanied by sighing and tutting from your wife because she is pretty hacked off that you insist on setting the alarm unnecessarily early and really wishes you would just set one alarm and get the hell out of bed”
But before I can begin to vocalise my already well known (but ignored) feelings, I hear through the walls, the dulcet Brummie tones of our angelic 3 year old – “I need a wee!!!! Why is my clock not yellow?!! Mummy!!!! Daddy!!!…. I need a wee NOW!!!”
So, with the alarm already having gone off and bearing in mind I’ve only just got back into bed I think it would be reasonable to assume that Phil will spring out of bed to attend to our little darling, but instead he waits for me to huff and sigh and roll over (in a manner suggesting I’m about to get up – but actually have no intention of leaving the bed as this one is definitely all his) before he finally takes the hint, gives in, and heads out the door.
I hear the negotiations taking place to convince The Girl to get back in to bed – trying to get those extra 5mins out of her. It’s futile, we all know who’s winning this one. Of course this process also ensures that The Boy is wide awake and ready to play. So within moments my attempted slumber is well and truly destroyed as The Boy is delivered to the bed and makes an immediate attempted to crawl off the side (again), The Girl marches in (complete with blanket, metallic and fluffy unicorn, clucky ducky and a pasta necklace) and just to really guarantee we are all wide awake Phil’s sodding alarm goes off again.
Phil, realising his presence in my company is entirely unwelcome, busies himself getting ready for work, delivering me a guilt cuppa and heading out of the door. Once at a safe distance he reminds me he has clinic this afternoon which reliably doesn’t finish until 7pm and there is, for the 4th time in as many days, zero chance he will be home to see the kids or assist with bath time.
So I am abandoned, with the 3yr old screeching for my phone (to play the CBeebies game on) and the 7m old practising crawling by humping the metallic and fluffy unicorn with such vigour he proceeds to vomit on the freshly changed bed linen.
Good morning everyone it’s 7am, and in the most grateful way possible, I’m counting down to bedtime, or to my return to work, or to gin.