How's the family? Is Liz recovered? Is Daisy feeding OK? How are you coping with a newborn around the house again?
My memories of babies are becoming increasingly hazy. I have vague recollections of poor sleep, of struggling to find time for a shower and of excessive numbers of nappies. I do, however, quite clearly remember having to wipe Marie's poo off the walls in the middle of the night but I don't think that was actually a very common occurrence. You know, not like being spectacularly vomited on by Lewis - that happened all the time.
There was a lot of sitting up through the night watching repeats of Top Gear, plenty of colds, a fair amount of pureed carrot and a great deal of laundry. There were also snuggles, smiles, tickles and dancing. Ah, those were the days... The days when merely pulling a funny face brought laughter and appreciation and it didn't take hours of Pokemon card manipulation to evoke a sullen grunt of thanks.
Before you ask, I don't want to come and babysit for the weekend to help recall what it's really like. I've done my time. Good luck with yours.
That said, it is strange not having an under-three in the house any more. Marie's birthday was last week and we can finally leave toys that are labelled 'Not suitable for children under 36 months' lying around. Or, to be more precise, we can leave them lying around without feeling guilty. We've been up to our necks in marbles and Power Rangers for a while now.
Nobody escapes the birthday hat...
Yeah, it's odd, we don't have any children who could even remotely be called babies. An era has passed (barring sanity-shattering accidents, of course). Marie only stopped wearing nappies in April but they already seem like a distant memory. Things are moving on. In some ways it's sad but it's actually quite exciting (and a lot less tiring). I have a little girl now!
On her birthday, I received a glimpse of what I'm in for. She was given a Disney Fairies treasure box at her party and all her little girl friends gathered round the glittering pinkness of it to gaze in awe. Then, after the party, she came home and made this picture:
I don't know whether to stick it to the wall or to hit it with a big stick before it starts to assimilate me.
It's not all going to be pink fluffiness, of course. She started having tantrums at fifteen months but they stopped around last Christmas and we thought we were done. Yeah, right. They're back and now she can argue as well as cry. Yesterday, she came inside after having been playing with dirt, declared that she didn't like soap and kicked up a huge fuss. Later, she sat down for tea and whinged that she didn't like food. True enough, she barely ate anything but then she wouldn't leave the table for me to clear up. I asked her nicely to move, I threatened her with being hoovered and I suggested toys she might want to find. She wasn't having any of it.
"Just go away and play, Marie," I eventually snapped.
"I not like going away and play," she whined and then burst into tears. "I stay here," she wailed.
I picked her up and gave her a big hug. "It's OK, dear," I reassured her. "You don't have to play and have fun, if you don't want to."
"Thanks," she said, wiping her tears. "I don't like fun."
Today, she didn't like milk. If she decides tomorrow that she doesn't like biscuits then I know I'm really in trouble.
What next? Barbie? My Little Pony? A pink, fluffy motorbike? Who knows? The housedad adventure continues...
All the best with getting some sleep.
Yours in a woman's world,