Monday, 27 March 2017

Solo Parenting Day 5 of 6

It is 08:45 and I have been up since before 5am. This morning I woke before my baby and somewhat eagerly awaited his little cries that signal his wake up. When my huzzband is around, he wakes up first and changes his nappy before he hands him over to me for the first feed of the day. When I'm handling this on my own at 4 or 5am I cheat, I first gift him one breast before changing the diaper so as to minimize the distress and screaming he so adamantly administers first thing in the morning. Hey, he's my kid after all, the hanger persists!

My huzzband has been in Thailand (of all places) since Wednesday and the morning he left he basically changed that early morning nappy and off he went to his gazillion work commitments before getting onto the transit from hell to Bangkok. So it's been me and Maksi on our ownsome for a few days now and so far, I am managing this solo parenting thing - but don't tell my huzzband that! I termed it such because it feels less single parent connotation despite Grandfaazha's insistence that if I looked up the Italian word for "single" it would probably come up as "solo"
Either way, I haven't googled it yet because who has time for that right now? I've been trying to write/finish this blogpost!

The first day went by pleasantly enough.. considering. For some reason, I decided that I would spare Deddy the charms of taking a baby for a vaccine and did this by myself. The way your heart hurts watching your baby scream from the agony of a needle, it's enough to make you not go back for the follow ups. My brave little boy! Next my baby brain decided to leave my cellphone at the pharmacy until I realized after doing some shopping at Checkers (trying to find a bug zapper - mission unsuccessful, still have no idea where to find such a thing) that I had lost my phone. Phew, imagine having to tell huzzband that I lost my phone the first day he left. I was most sad about the prospect of losing the photos and videos of my son. And would you believe, I have to update my iTunes in order to back up my damn phone. It would appear best I try and hold on to it then.

I then hung out with my schmommy (I really need to start calling her Baka but then that confuses me cuz I have a Baka too) and seester for the rest of the day before retiring back to my apartment for a delayed bath time. Ag but Maksi loves bath time. Lucky fish, I wish I had someone to cradle and bathe me 😝 we had one last feed and a beautiful early night sleep until 4:30 the next morning.

Day 2: here I attempted to leave the house to meet my new-mom-friend for a coffee/lunch (I say slash lunch because I will always eat, gosh breastfeeding makes one hungrier than the whole 9 months of gestation) which was scheduled for 2pm. Ha! Maksi had other thoughts. About 6 poopy nappies later, Maksi is still fast asleep at 13:45. And even though he's stirring, there's no ways Ima make it for this 2pm - I gots to feed him and change him if I ever want the opportunity of leaving the house. And this is a process that literally takes an hour. First breast feed then nappy change usually followed by outfit change because of open air incidents, then formula creation (maybe more on this later) then feed formula then another nappy change because of course he has pooped whilst drinking the bottle. We manage to depart the house by 14:45.

At this point, my 3 hour window is dwindling but it appears that Maksi has fallen asleep so this is a good thing. Except shame, NMF (new-mom-friend) now can't really meet him all officially. But we have her beautiful almost 5 month old to entertain us.
Maksi stirs. I want to change him - we chose Rosebank for a meeting place because of the good baby changing rooms. Alas, they turn out to be filthy.

Get home, immediately feed and change Maksi, I have wonderful friends coming for dinner at 7. By coming for dinner, I mean that they are bringing dinner to me.. How fab? I manage to finish feeding Maksi before they get there but there's still bath time to complete. Which is also nice because Kate loves babies, loves Maksi and Maksi loves bath time so it's a wonderful activity for us all.

Extremely generous Kate and Kyle prepare some zoodles for my wheat intolerant ass and Kate hangs the fresh load of washed nappies I didn't get to. Maksi stirs because before you know it, it's time for him to eat again and of course change his wet diaper. These beautiful friends of mine clean the kitchen for me. A rather successful day thanks to a little help from my friends :)

Day 3: this day I did not leave the house. Luckily I had Puleng over for a lovely visit and distraction from the otherwise overwhelming feeling of cabin fever. It's not that I don't leave the house, because I can even though it's quite the task. It's that when I come back to the house I'm faced with the chores of laundry and dishes and feeding myself on top of the dutiful tasks of parenting. I love my son but I'm now 44 nappy changes in all by myself so this loving chore becomes, well, a chore. So it's nice to be distracted by conversation topics not related to baby rearing. Talking about film shoots (gosh I miss those) buying houses, and my newest favourite #ProjectRunway.

Puleng "rescuing Maksi from the cot"
Even though there's this weird vaaib of cabin fever that sets in after spending too much time with only the additional company of the television in our lounge I think it's more the prospect of moving to a new place that's giving me this feeling. Because ultimately it's SO much easier to have people visit than go out. I'm on a very intense mission at the moment and my intentions are best served at home where I can breast feed topless if it's easier, I can express whilst plugged in (ensuring that the pump doesn't turn off out of the blue because the batteries are running low) and I have many, many nappies and choices thereof. I also have Maksi's vibrating chair (what a godsend, thank you once again all the Wolmarans ladies for this magnificence) and the big cot as spots to place him whilst I run to the toilet, make his formula etc etc.

Anyway where was I? Ah yes, Day 4:
This day, some more wonderful friends came by to bring food. This time, it was a fry up breakfast with our favorites Ryan and Yolande all the way from CT and bearing gifts for both me and Maksi. You can never have too many flowers I always say, and I love sunflowers. I love how big and beautiful they are and these ones, thanks to Yolande's water mixture, are still upright and gorgeous looking.

And what a fab brekkie/brunch was had, mimosas included! When it was time for feeding, you know, the third one of the day, these kind souls also cleaned up. I can't emphasize enough my gratitude towards these friends of mine that not only bring me something delishis to eat but then help that I don't have anything to clean up after either - it's like a dream come true in the chaos that is my usual life of dishes [and laundry - boring!]

Maksi's friends watch over me and the laundry
This is the nappy count after two days. And that's just those that made it into the washing machine.. (it's 14 of them)
Me and Maksi were invited to a braai later that arvie at Yolande's parents' place with Ryan's family. Both Ryan's sisters have kids, one is in the making and Luke is already 10 months old. Luke is enormous and so frikken beautiful. He has the chubbiest legs that makes you want to squeeeeeeeeze.

These days leaving the house entails bringing enough formula for just in cases - my intention is to only stay to use one bottle but with babies you really never know. Maksi now drinks top up formula and it's a guessing game as to how much he will drink after his boob feast. In addition to everything and the kitchen sink. I can't believe I ever thought that I was going to fit my baby's gear into the one little bric's bag we got in Munich. I now have the official [gold] baby bag PLUS that bric's bag that was meant to be my handbag in the scheme of things but ends up being the baby's handbag too.

I have the packing of the car down to an art. Well an art for me and Maksi to travel only. Pram skeleton frame goes in the boot. Maksi goes in his car seat after I wrestle with the safety harness - this is always fun. I don't know how my huzzband does it so fast, I battle for 5 minutes, fail, pack the rest of the car and come back to it. Bassinet (attaches to pram frame) goes on the back seat next to car seat. Baby bags on passenger front seat. Back to safety harness. 5 more minutes. Wipe sweat from brow and remove sunglasses that keep sliding everywhere. Click! Finally. Okay, ready to drive.

It's somewhat easier to visit another person's house than meet out. At a house, you can always change the baby on the bed, find a quiet corner with chair to feed baby, and new on the list of demands, fill a jug with hot water to warm up the top-up formula. And it's even lovelier if your baby is chilled and sleeps for most of the time that you're not at home..

Which brings us to Day 5:
Waking up to a very miserable, cold and foggy morning I feel anxious at the thought of having to go out in the cold with Maksi. I do need vitamins, prescriptions, groceries and want to stock up on formula. However, it all seems to be something I could do the following, hopefully less cold day.
And so with the weather as it was, this day, Maksi wishes to have his nappy changed all day, pee straight away on the fresh nappy that hasn't even been fastened yet and just in general demanding attention all.of.the.time.

But this meant that I had to cancel on my mother in law which was most unfortunate because it would mean that I would miss a delishis lunch. I managed to not soft boil eggs that morning and this turned out to be the most substantial thing I ate until another dear friend came to visit at 4pm bearing the wonderful gift of many, many snacks. Cheese, gluten free crackers, veggie chips, crudités and hummus. Yuuuuuuum.

Poor little Maksi continued to be somewhat unhappy, so many cramps and burps and feeding. And I just remembered that I also ate some sausages from the day before's brekkie as a snack. These were semi-spicy when we ate them hot but not so spicy when I ate them cold. My suspicion is that the spiciness may have upset my little guy.
So here's a tip and a learned lesson (at least we hope so in my case) AVOID SPICY FOOD YOUR BABY WONT LIKE IT. WHEN YOUR BABY DOESN'T LIKE SOMETHING, YOUR LIFE CAN QUICKLY TURN TO HELL.
The ultimate guest.. 
Yep, I miss lamb Rogan Josh. But not enough to want to upset my baby in such a mean way. It only ends up hurting me in the end.
And again I am thankful for generous friends. Cherice not only brought food and cleaned up, she helped rock Maksi, emptied the bath water, took the laundry down for me. Happy and most grateful sigh, I am a lucky girl.

After many great efforts, winding and feeding, Maksi finally fell asleep at 10pm. Phew. 04:30, please come slowly.. only one more day before Deddy is home and leaves his shoes everywhere but at least we can share the diaper load. Solo parenting only has the one advantage of going to bed when the baby goes to bed. I don't know how single parents do it - big ups to you, you can conquer the frikken world if you want to. Of course, only after baby's bedtime and if you really want to use that precious energy on something other than your deserving self.

Favourite spot to fall asleep is on my chest - of course.

Disclosure: this blog post was finished on the morning of day 6 of solo parenting between the hours of 05h30 and whenever it was I actually managed to publish.