Thursdays, however, with no classes and all friends in work/at nursery, are a potential nightmare....
Thursday 21st January 2015.
Harry woke for feeds at midnight, 3am and 6am. I remember sleepily glancing at my phone clock as I laid him back to sleep at 6.38 and then looking at it again at 6.51 as I was woken by Ollie thumping his way up the stairs. Someone has left the stair gate on his bedroom door off, possibly me, so suddenly he is in our room, hand full of small hard Schleich sea life creatures, climbing into the bed and loudly saying "want to watch max and ruby please mummy". Possibly biggest parenting regret is allowing him to watch cartoons on YouTube on my phone one morning whilst in extremis with morning sickness with Harry- which led to daily request ever since (and normally allowance) of cartoons being watched.
Struggle out of bed and start trying to find clothes to wear. Husband is already downstairs about to leave for work. Harry wakes up and simultaneously does massive poo. As I change Harry Ollie runs off and goes downstairs* to his room, then brings up more sea life creatures. Gets cross when I won't enter into role play pretending to be a dolphin because I am now breastfeeding Harry again. It seems poo has opened up more space to be filled with milk. Ollie stomps into our en suite, climbs on loo seat so can lean into sink and fill it with water to "wash" his octopus. I eventually intervene when Harry is finished and somehow get downstairs with both children, grabbing clean clothes for Ollie en route from basket of folded clean washing, which is now not folded and crumpled as had to dig into it to find socks.
Ollie goes down stairs on his bum faster than me and due to sock-search delay, I find him in kitchen pouring cereal into a bowl which is overflowing onto floor. Remind self to move cereal onto high shelf in the pantry cupboard.
Put Harry on play mat, gazing happily at dangling jungle creatures, and sort out cereal for Ollie, whilst also clearing up kitchen mess from night before that went untidied. Get phone call from husband who is now at work and Ollie speaks to him for a bit as I laboriously load the dishwasher.
Manage to convince Ollie to allow me to dress him as he is momentarily subdued by substantial quantity of cereal, then put on 'the Gruffalo' (recorded from bbc special at Christmas) whilst feeding Harry AGAIN and discussing with Ollie what we shall do with the day.
Decide to go and get Harry weighed at local clinic first thing, so take approx half an hour forcing both children into layers of woolly clothing and hat scarves etc, then car, packing change bag with endless paraphernalia in under 30 seconds, getting into car myself to realise am wearing one thin cotton top under my Barber- which is actually not warm whatsoever and has cream cheese finger prints all over it from Ollie's friend Emily who sat on it whilst eating her lunch yesterday.
Look in car mirror to check appearance and see have last night's mascara and sleepy dust caked under eyes and a coldsore! Joy! Try to rub off mascara smudge so as not to appear too ridiculous in front of health visiting team, whilst driving to clinc. Get there and negotiate with Ollie to wear reins and not pull me over into busy oncoming traffic as cross precarious busy road outside health centre, holding sleepy Harry (now awake) with one arm.
Inside health centre leave Ollie to play with toy kitchen, telling everyone in the room that he is making pizza and chips in the oven (disapproving glances as clearly they think that's all I feed my child). Get Harry weighed and dressed and trudge back out to car. Try to get Ollie into car whilst holding Harry one handed which results in him scrabbling into front seat and pretending to drive car and honk horn whilst I strap Harry in.
Then drive to local library. Again have to park on main road and negotiate safe exit from car onto pavement. Drag sleeping Harry along in car seat this time and return massively overdue library books. Can't pay fine as have no cash but persuade librarian to allow us to borrow some more books. Choose seven books in childrens section whilst Ollie interrupts father spending quiet time with his one year old son, positioning himself between them and trying to loudly join in with story telling.
Borrow books from library using weird computer system that keeps beeping at me whilst Ollie presses buttons inappropriately and tries to shove receipt back into machine.
Get back to car, buckle them in etc, and drive to local garden centre with soft play 'area'. This time realise enough is enough and get pram out of the boot and transfer Harry. It is 11 but Ollie tells me he wants lunch. Haven't brought a snack so decide to just get early lunch for us from garden centre cafe. Ollie won't wait in the queue and runs over to our table and starts climbing on it. Grab him, tell him off, lose space in queue and start again, holding wrestling child under my arm. Order myself a bacon and Brie sandwich and hot chocolate as a treat and get Ollie a child's meal of ham sandwich, yoghurt, orange and cookie. Return to table and Harry who was abandoned, asleep, in pram (within view at all times!) Ollie refuses to eat sandwich and wants to eat cookie first. Have lengthy discussion about best order to eat food in and eventually succumb (weak mother).
After enjoying food and warm drink with Ollie strapped into high chair and distracted by food, feel quite relaxed. Call husband and say hello. Then let Ollie loose in soft play room which I am seated right next to so can see in through the glass. Have discussion first about what the rules are for soft play.
Me: " what are the rules Oliver?"
Ollie: "no hitting the children mummy" (as though they are all imbeciles and he is actually 20.)
Watch with pride as Ollie plays nicely with other children, popping in and out when fear his 'dinosaur impressions' (ie making loud ROAR noises whilst going down the slide) are frightening other children. Realise he has buddied up with an older boy who is telling a Chinese Grandmother who is sitting in the soft play bit, supervising her granddaughter, that "she isn't English. He hates French people". Stand there shocked and not sure whether to intervene. Grandmother tells boy she is not French but Chinese, as is her granddaughter, and he says "she's not my best friend, he is" and grabs Ollie, who is loving the attention. Grandmother scowls at me as my two year old child is now clearly racist by association. I mutter "let's all play nicely", separate Ollie from older boy and encourage him to get into ball pool bit.
Then realise Harry is awake and crying and alarmed parents are trying to get my attention through the glass. Bring Harry into the soft play and sit in the ball pool trying to subtly breastfeed. Start being talked to by over-keen mother who is pregnant with her second and is amazed by Ollies speech. He clearly knows he is being talked about and starts showing off, asking her questions about her red handbag. Then Ollie suddenly (still showing off) runs out of soft play room and door closes behind him. I yank poor Harry off my boob and run after him.
Boob is flapping under my top as I run after errant child who is squealing with glee and sprinting across garden centre which is filled with obstacles, such as tables stocked with glass vases and a million garden knomes. Harry is, quite rightly, very pissed off at being disturbed and now lurching all over place as I run, so sicks up entire feed all over me. I finally catch Ollie by doors to the car park. Realise he has done a poo. Take about half an hour to take self and children and all belongings from our table to toilet. Can't fit buggy in so have to ask nice looking grandmother to watch Harry outside loos, whilst feeling like dreadful mother.
Eventually leave garden centre feeling fraught. Drive home and pray ollie nods off en route. Get back and park in drive. Ollie not asleep. Tell him it's time for a nap and just sit in parked car waiting. Miraculously after about 3 minutes he is asleep so unload car and Harry and take Ollie upstairs to bed, managing not to wake him whilst removing his shoes coat, scarf, hat, jumper, trousers.
Then bring Harry upstairs and get into my bed with him. Give him a feed, a burp, another feed, burp, new nappy, and watch him fall asleep on my side of the bed surrounded by pillows. Gleefully anticipate bring able to nap as both children asleep but get distracted by texts on my phone I haven't had time to reply to. Suddenly realise Ollie will wake soon so close eyes for a nap...and then hear Ollie has woken up early. Again, am greeted by sea life creatures being plonked on my face. Grab Ollie and pull him under covers with me, trying to get him to fall back asleep for a bit. Enjoy five minutes of being in bed with both children snoozing on either side of me, when Ollie wakes up and dashes off downstairs. Harry has done a poo (always seems to bloody poo when he wakes up) so change him. Ollie reappears and in less than two minutes has gone all the way downstairs to the family room, grabbed one of his felt tips and drawn all over his leg. Shows me leg proudly. Take Ollie into bathroom to wash it off. Get both boys downstairs. Is 4pm.
Decide to bake some cookies with Ollie but spend next hour repeatedly reading through his new library books at his insistence, whilst Harry practises tummy time. Harry rolls from front to back several times and we cheer and dance around to celebrate. Then do some jigsaw puzzles and decide cookies "will be too messy mummy". Ollie amazes me as manages to do 12 piece Thomas the tank engine jigsaw for age 3+ with no assistance. Reach for phone to text husband and battery dies.
Need to feed Harry so we all go into living room and put on 'Chicken run' as I feed him. Harry is really fussing and has trapped wind, also seems to be teething and dribbling endlessly. Sicks up mixture of saliva and milk all over me. Use my sleeve to clean up as no wipes to hand. Realise it is now 6pm so leave Ollie watching 'chicken run' with a pot of grapes and a tangerine, and take Harry with me into kitchen to make dinner. Homemade chicken kievs with mashed potato and carrots and peas. Miraculously Harry falls asleeps in his bouncer as I cook. Ollie runs into kitchen and tries to "help". Suggest he plays with his toys but he wants to drag his chair into kitchen (so as to stand on it to help by cooker). Take eyes off him as attending to boiling veg and hear a scream- he has climbed on chair and then fallen off it and hit head. Spend next ten minutes comforting crying toddler, trying to place frozen peas against lump on his head, and administering calpol.
Then have to hold Ollie whilst finishing cooking, therefore doing everything one handed, as I won't let him stand on chair next to cooker and he wants to be 'involved'.
Harry obviously wakes as I sit down to eat with Ollie at 7pm (far too late), so eat one-handed whilst cuddling baby. Leave dirty plates on table and portion set aside for my husband then we return to sitting room for one episode of peppa pig before bed. Harry seems to want to feed again, first does massive poo, ollie "helps" change it, then as I feed him Ollie strokes his head. Burp Harry and again he is a little sick which is a bit worrying. Again use sleeve to wipe it. Have moment of reflection. Coldsore is stinging and I smell of sick.
Go and make Ollies warm milk, then go upstairs carrying milk, Harrys gripe water and syringe for administering it, Ollies favourite toys, Ollies pyjamas which are downstairs from breakfast change, seven new library books and Harry. Leave Harry on spare room bed surrounded by pillows with dummy in and do quick bedtime routine with Ollie which involves two stories and one song. Can't believe luck that he goes down really quickly without a fuss. Return to Harry and feel very guilty that haven't spent quality time with him. We go up to my room on top floor and I spend half an hour making him smile and talking to him. Get him changed and give him final breastfeed with about three burps in between. Try to call husband whose phone is off so he is obviously delayed at work. Rock Harry to sleep in my arms and realise this is becoming a habit and he needs to learn to self soothe. Put him in Moses basket and on second attempt he stays asleep.
Go and do a wee and wonder if it's the first time I've been to the loo all day. Check time- it's 9pm- husband isn't home yet. Go downstairs to clean up mess.
So that's that. Please note that we don't normally have head injuries, vommiting babies, or meals at such stupid times. Ollie should also probably not go up and down stairs unaided but sometimes I have to relent if I am with Harry and he actually is perfectly safe and capable at it.
It is now 10.20pm and I've written this all out. My husband has just called saying he's leaving work so I'll go and warm up a plate of food and put some washing on.
Welcome to my life!! Ha!
Thanks for reading xx