I can’t believe I ever thought I was busy with just one baby. A newborn was easy compared to a toddler, and a toddler was a breeze compared to a toddler and a newborn.
Since Baby Olly arrived three months ago, life has been a whirlwind of nappies and night feeds. And vomit, quite a lot of vomit. I look back at the two years I spent with just my firstborn Harry and it looks like a sea of tranquillity, despite traumatic events like the time he stripped off his nappy to water the plants, or the endless planking when I’m trying to get him into the car seat.
The chaos was recently illustrated when I arranged to meet a friend for a coffee. She’s an old colleague of mine, who’s single and hasn’t had children yet. She’s great with my boys, even if she winces when Harry kisses her goodbye with a mouth full of biscuit or absentmindedly cuddles her while clutching mud. OMG, now that I come to type that, I can see that she may have a point. Maybe my standards have slipped slightly since motherhood!
Anyway, she and I arranged to meet up in a lovely child-friendly café I know, which has a play area to keep Harry happy and wonderful rocky road. But I was 45 minutes late and by the time I got there, there were just crumbs and two empty cups in front of her.
I apologised, deposited Harry in the play area, passed her Baby Olly and fetched two more drinks (sophisticated skinny latte with hazelnut for her, decaf tea for boring, breastfeeding me). She smiled brightly, caught a drip from her cup with a manicured finger (disposable income and spare time, you see) and said: “Poor you, you must be sooo busy. But have you tried getting ready just a little bit earlier?”
So, for anyone who’s planning to meet up with me over the next five years, this is why I was so late:
In my defence, I began to get the boys ready to leave a full hour before our arranged meeting time. Nappy bag packed, shoes on, Olly in his car seat, ready to go. But while strapping Olly in, Harry pulled his shoes off to replace them with his wellies despite the baking hot sun. By the time I had wrestled Harry’s trainers onto him and mopped up the resulting tantrum, 15 minutes had passed.
But there was still time to spare so I popped Harry in his car seat and carried Olly out in his. But Olly had that slightly worried expression newborns get when they’re filling their nappies and, with a sinking heart, I took both boys back inside.
It turned out that Olly hadn’t just filled his nappy, but his vest and trousers too. By this point, I had just half an hour to go and it was obvious I was going to be a little bit late. I botched getting Olly out of his vest because I was in a hurry, smearing the escaped contents of his nappy across the few fine hairs on the back of his head. I took a deep breath, realised I didn’t have time for deep breaths and plonked the baby in a hastily-run bath.
Harry gleefully stood at the side of the bath helpfully pointing out that “Olly has yellow poo!”
By this point, I had just 15 minutes before I was due at the café, which is a 20-minute drive away. Olly was whisked out of the bath, subjected to a brisk drying, clad in a baby-gro and put back in his car seat. Except that Olly always has a feed after a bath, and began to whimper. So, out of the car seat, onto the sofa for a feed, back in the car seat, and into the car with his brother. It was as I reversed the car off the drive that Harry cheerfully announced that he had filled his nappy too.
So maybe I should have left the house a bit earlier. I’m starting to think the night before would have been about right.
Tell me I’m not alone! What’s the latest you’ve been since having children? Share your stories in the comments below and make me feel better.