…both boys are asleep, and I creep to the computer (writes Dot). Today is a frightening and momentous occasion: my first whole day looking after both at once. So far it has gone rather well. This is largely through good luck as we don’t yet have much control over Frank’s routine (let’s face it, Hugh’s is a bit chancy too); but still, I am glowing with the realisation that, given a following wind (it’s a very windy day), I can actually do this.
After an extremely demanding day yesterday Frank didn’t give me too bad a night, woke up to feed at 6.35 and fell asleep again after one breast in time for me to go through to Hugh when he woke at the surprisingly civilized time of ten past seven. Recently it has always been Ken getting up with Hugh, and Hugh was gratifyingly pleased to see me. We managed to juggle Frank’s morning cluster-feed with breakfast and showers for the rest of us and have everybody dressed and fed by the time Ken left at about nine – again, this is very good by recent standards.
Then Hugh played in an only mildly destructive fashion while I continued trying to convince Frank that he couldn’t possibly still be hungry and would really like to go back to sleep now, or at least hang around peacefully in the sling. Hugh found some violently scented facecream and smeared it in his hair. I put the baby down, put a load of washing in the machine, picked the baby up, fed him again, put him down again, just about managed to tidy all the toys Hugh had strewn around the floor, assembled clothes, and got them both in the buggy in time for Frank to start crying again as we headed out of the door. But I was brutal and kept going until he (quite quickly) stopped again. Then we headed into Dalkey to do errands. I felt as though there should be some big sign above my head: ‘Look! She has a three-week old baby and a mad toddler! And she is coping!’
Part of the idea with the errands was that Hugh would fall asleep in the buggy on the way home, but he didn’t. No matter. He played in the garden and kitchen while I put the washing on the clothes-maid and cooked lunch (cooked lunch! go me! – I admit it was ravioli). And after lunch I plonked him in another pushchair and pushed him backwards and forwards until he gave in and began his nap. And he is still asleep (at 1.40) and so is Frank. Hurrah!
By the way, we have a veritable fleet of pushchairs at present. Frank is slumbering in the Stokke, the Very Special Pushchair we bought for Hugh and which we were going to get rid of, but which has proved useful as a day-bed. I took the boys out in the Phil&Ted double buggy, but the top seat is a bit small for Hugh and he couldn’t get comfortable when I tried to make him nap in it. So instead he is napping in his scruffy old umbrella-fold Maclaren. It is a small house so the buggies are a rather dominating presence. But we are using all of them.
We have to go out again this afternoon. It’s raining heavily and after such a surprisingly unhysterical morning I fear pushing my luck. But I didn’t manage to buy nappies, and this is rather urgent. Possible updates of woe and despair later – but I hope not.