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Day one without the hubster

Sean went back to work today, his two weeks of paternity leave being done and dusted. Amelia woke at 6:30am, an hour earlier than usual, having soaked through her nappy and pyjamas (note to self: remind Sean that he needs to listen to his wife, especially when she says things like “that is the wrong nappy size”). Jordan woke up and wanted a feed – possibly for the millionth time in the last 24 hours. I tended to the kids and drifted in and out of sleep while Milly watched TV and intermittently came to pester me.

My plan had been to drop her off at daycare, since I’d decided to start her on a second day. I got the three of us dressed and ready (and felt well chuffed to have done it in record time), bundled us all out to the car, and then tuned in to the little voice in my head (I suspect it was Sean’s voice) saying I ought to call ahead and see if there was room for her today. There was not.

I sat in the car feeling at an absolute loss as to what to do next. Milly was wailing in the back seat for no particular reason. Jordan was sleeping in his capsule. I couldn’t bear the thought of going back inside, so I fired up the engine and hit the road, hoping to formulate a plan along the way. In the end I decided on an unexciting trip to the petrol station, followed by Woolworths. The whole outing read like Amelia’s favourite story, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt…

We’re going to the supermarket
We’re going to get some groceries
What a beautiful day!
I’m not scared…

Uh-oh — a toddler!
A tired, cranky toddler!
We can’t cajole it; we can’t sternly order it;
We’ll have to bribe it!

*chocolate, bickies, chocolate, bickies*

She spied the basket of fruit they leave out for the kids and asked for a “bana.” She took a bite and didn’t like it. She asked for an apple. Two aisles later she was over that. I was collecting nibbled fruits along with the shopping but at least she was reasonably content. Jordan lay peacefully in his trolley seat. I felt calm, cool and collected – look at me, out shopping with two kids like an old hat! I only panicked for a second when I realised that I had forgotten the one item I specifically set out to buy – nappies in the correct size for the gal – as I finished loading the conveyor belt; I figured I had enough items to stall the checkout lady while I wheeled the trolley down to the babycare aisle, even with Amelia insisting that she wanted to walk. I even maintained my composure as she snatched up a Kinder Surprise egg from a display and proceeded to peel and consume it: indeed, I barely batted an eyelid as I handed over the empty tin foil to be scanned.

Of course, things couldn’t go this smoothly forever. I paid for the groceries and Jordan woke up, ready for food. Milly dawdled behind me as I sallied out of the store, busy eating her chocolate egg. We got to the escalator and she handed me her slobbery chocolate to mind while she stuck her sticky hand in mine to get on the escalator. I hustled Milly into the car, shoved the groceries in the boot (crap, I stole the blueberries accidentally!), grabbed Jordan and jumped into the front seat to give him a quick feed before we headed home. Milly demanded food, then rejected my offering of an oat slice bar and took to wailing and screeching at top volume in the back seat. I tuned out and daydreamed about the nice nap I would have when I got home and put the kids down for a sleep.

Get home, park the car, grab the sleeping toddler and put it in its bed, back to the car, get the crying baby and bundle it into the baby carrier, bring in the cold shopping, put the shopping in the fridge, go back outside, shut the gate, let the chickens out, come inside, feed the baby, tidy up, vacuum the floor, feed the baby, put it in its cot, get ready for a nap only to have the toddler wake up after a mere catnap….

WE’RE NOT GOING SHOPPING AGAIN!

That was just the morning. The afternoon has been a blur of tantrums, telly, spilled drinks, food smeared across the table rather than consumed, and a sad attempt to make banana pancakes, which became a sad attempt to make banana bread, and resulted in a frightful loaf of banana-flavoured something. Amelia has not eaten anything I have prepared or suggested in the last two days (with a handful of exceptions), but of course she did heartily enjoy my monstrous creation. I guess I can be grateful for that. But most of all, I was grateful when Sean came home and suggested Thai for dinner – with the implied perk of it being a half hour round trip, which Milly would accompany him on. Yes, dear readers, I am at this present moment home alone (well, Jordan is here too, but he’s so quiet and peaceful that he doesn’t really impinge much on my sense of freedom – I mean, aloneness).

Only four more days with the kids until Sean has a day off work! I’ve kept my cool so far, but I wonder how long that will last?…

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Hug-A-Bub wrap carrier

I’d heard a lot of good things about the Hug-A-Bub babywearing moby wrap. In fact, somewhere or other it was listed as being the best baby carrier in Australia. It’s touted as being the best for baby’s back, while offering close contact between bub and babywearer. This all sounded good, so I decided to give it a go. We loaded up our newborn and took a raccoon-eyed trip down to Baby Bunting to buy a wrap. They were running out of stock at the time, so we ended up with the slightly cheaper pocketless wrap, which they don’t seem to have anymore.

Sean was happy to try it out, and was quite pleased to walk down to his favourite cafe and get his latte with Amelia strapped to his chest. The staff there were overwhelmed by cuteness.

We tried using it out and about in the early days, but it was a little awkward, and wrapping the thing around your body without getting it all dirty on the ground is nigh on impossible. You need to have it on before you head out, which doesn’t leave much room for adjustments if you’ve set it up wrong. Thus, the pram was favoured over the wrap for outings.

Around the house, it took me a little while to get into the idea – out of sight, out of mind, it would stay hanging off the coat stand, while I tried my best to get housework done and placate a baby who really just wanted (and still wants) to be held at least most of the time. The baby swing worked for the first few weeks, but after that it got a little trickier.

So eventually I remembered the wrap, and out it came. I carefully arranged it according to the instructions on the DVD, placed my baby inside, and went about my business. At first it felt comfortable and good, but about half an hour later the whole thing would start to come loose and poor Milly would end up with her face around my belly-button and her body squashed up like a pretzel. It seems that you need to allow for the crossed part of the fabric, where baby’s bum goes, to really settle and scootch down.

Today I did it up higher than ever before. Sure enough, I was able to wear it for about 45 minutes without it moving as I bent up and down and moved about doing housework. However it was quit uncomfortable, putting strain on the middle of my back. I’m not sure if there’s just something I’m doing wrong – everyone seems to say how comfy it is – or what, but I’ve become keenly interested in backpack-style carriers, particularly the Manduca, which transfers the weight to the hips rather than the back. I’d love to find a local baby carrier library where I can try out some different options and see what works for us. If I can get motivated and actually do that soon, I’ll report back here with the results!