Baby T is 5 days old today and he’s already the boss. He knows what he wants and he knows the best way to get it is to scream. Something Priti Patel knows only too well.
The last 5 days have been a bit of a blur and yet it already feels like I’ve being doing this a lifetime. After a few tentative nappy changes, a few messy bottle feeds and some awkward holding, Fatherhood strangely feels like second nature. Baby T is now well into a routine. It’s a 3 hour cycle at the minute, most of the time anyway. He wakes and cries to be picked up. Once up, the crying stops and his mouth opens and he cranes his head in search of a boob. Once he’s fed and burped, he gets his nappy changed. He then like to feed and burp a little bit more before falling asleep. Sleep, wake, feed, poo, feed and repeat. It’s quite the life.
The first night he was home he cluster fed, small and very often. Basically he lived on the boob all night. Sal was knackered come the morning. He just wasn’t happy off it. Sal was still producing only Colostrum as her milk wouldn’t come in for a few days yet. The midwife said the cluster feeding helps regulate Sal’s hormones and helps with the milk production. I actually went out the following morning and called in at Tesco, bought some Cow & Gate first milk, hoping it might fill him come the next night. He didn’t need it and we had a much better night.
3 days on and Sal’s milk is in. We have used the Cow & Gate milk occasionally, usually if when Sal hasn’t been able to express enough. It does help. She has been breast feeding the whole time and as a result her nipples are quite sore. Last night Sal could only express 4 ounces before bed so I used that and then the Cow & Gate. I did all the feeds and changes last night to give Sal a rest, so this morning I was hanging. He’s still on his 3 hour routine but it takes a good hour to warm the bottles, feed, burp change, feed, burp and get him to sleep again. I daren’t tell Sal I’m tired, she probably throw something at me.
The good thing about this routine in the day though is that I’ve had plenty of time to read and write. I’ve been working on two things, which I really shouldn’t do but, you know. I’m writing a short story, a parody, based on the current and ridiculous situation we find British politics in. The second is my long suffering book. I say long suffering as I’ve been at it for years and keep jiggling it about and rewriting large sections of it. Reading wise I’m currently on ‘The Future of Politics’ by Frankie Boyle, started this morning so can’t really comment on it yet. I have just finished the ‘The Killing Floor,’ by Lee Child. It’s the first book in the Jack Reacher series. It was really good and well written. Child’s has a very descriptive writing style and it’s one of those books where the images vividly play out in your head as you read. The only problem is I can only see Jack as Tom Cruise, who is the size of a dormouse, when in the books Jack is 6’5”. The series is something I have always talked about reading but have never gotten around to it. The Discworld by Terry Pritchett is another.
Changing a baby’s nappy is an art form. It requires speed, nimblility (If that’s a word) and patience. Last night I changed Baby T’s nappy 3 times and 3 times I had to change his whole outfit. He woke at some hour in the morning I hadn’t seen since my early thirty’s. I picked him up, took him out the room and downstairs to warm a bottle. The whole time he was making the big O boob symbols with his mouth, implying he was ready for the tit. You can’t really explain to a 5 day old that the daddy doesn’t pack that kind of equipment. He merely had hairy moobs and bad jokes that you’ll learn to hate… Thus he’ll will have to wait for the bottle to warm. Not prepared to accept this, Baby T takes into the screechy crying. 5 minutes later, he has a bottle in his mouth and all is great in the world, until he falls asleep, sharts and you undress him to check his nappy. Then the world is suddenly an awful place and that hairy milk-less gorilla is making you cold. Queue screechiness. Now this where I was referring to the changing being art form. Baby T is most unhappy at being naked from the waste down. He’s squirming like mad as you try to wipe his bum. 5 days in, he’s moved from black tar poo to yellow rasping poo. Now many things can go wrong here for the baby bum wiper, usually just as you remove the dirty nappy. It can be when the new nappy is beside you on the changer or just as you’re putting it on. There is sometimes a large rasp and the yellow river of shat bursts it’s banks. The poo either goes all over the new nappy or onto changing station. New nappy is easier, changing station runs everywhere and wriggly baby will try and swim away in it. Now this isn’t always poo. It can be a wee, the sort of which would have put of the Great Fire of London, or the intermitted chunder so evenly spaced, you’d be convinced it was tidal. If he is swimming in any of these, you can guarantee his hasn’t abided to the unwritten rules of conventional swimwear. This means you have to fully undress him, which requires gentle restrain, many wipes and patience of Job. He of course is most unhappy about full naked time at this cold hour in the morning. The screeching intensifies. You can sense the neighbours going for their phone to ring social services, so you panic. Less hast and more speed. Rummaging abound for new vests and baby grows whilst restraining the now enraged baby. Restraining because Baby T has had it with early morning nudey camp and is trying to end it all by flinging himself off the changing table. You find the vest, he’s doing the YMCA trying to avoid going into it. You persevere and somehow manage so attempt the baby grow. He’s now breakdancing, legs everywhere but in the grow. Again, you persevere and the legs go in, followed by the arms but you now have to do the buttons. He’s now doing the worm. Your buttons are all misaligned but you think ‘Bugger it, it’ll do’. You pick him up, he’s stops yelling and again looks for you to magically grow a set of milk producing lovelies. Meanwhile you intensely listen for the sound of the police who you are expecting to kick your front door in any minute. They don’t so you grab the rest of his bottle. He gulps it down like nothing has just happened, gives a good burp on winding then falls asleep, leaving you wondering if this event really just took place or if you’re hallucinating. He sleeps for 3 hours, you lie in bed awake the whole time with mild form of PTSD.
The dog thinks about moving out.