What's it like having a three year old and a three month old? Well for this white British, middle class, academic mother......its good! Of course new parents usually say that. And while I'm so chronically tired that a few days ago I accidentally drank some bleach (I'm fine, don't worry, though there were a few minutes of frantic googling and water-drinking); so time -poor that my teeth are unbrushed at 1pm today; and in such bad physical shape that I'm considering getting one of those neck cones they put on dogs so that I stop accidentally catching a glimpse of my midriff....despite all this I am gloriously, ecstatically happy. Why?
- My daughter is objectively amazing, perfect and the finest specimen of humanity the world ever saw, obvs.
- Any second-time apathy that might have occurred has been totally offset by the relief I feel after not knowing if she would make it for so long.
- Her brother has adjusted surprisingly well and hasn't tried to commit fratricide at all (yet) or at least not while I was looking.
- We are in all truth ridiculously fortunate and really well placed to just enjoy things right now. I've had three months leave on full pay, Papa's hours are really flexible, we are comfortable, financially and physically. And we have two healthy and cheerful children. What's not to love?
We've got several advantages compared to our first-time parenting experience. We now have a dishwasher, a car and a cleaner.....these help so much. This time around we didn't have any night-time social life we needed to adjust to living without. And we have tons of lovely friends nearby who are in the same stage of life whereas last time we felt like the only parents in the world.
And of course we have a bit more experience than last time: it does help! I remember being in a blind panic one time when Orson was asleep in his Moses basket and he threw up a little. I was thinking 'if you vomit while unconscious you can choke and die, I've got to get him into the recovery position!' Turns out there are different rules for babies and drunk people, babies are pros at not choking.
So my worries about if I'd have enough love to go round everyone were unfounded - love really *is* like a magic penny.
I'll have to write when I'm having a bad day next time to balance this nauseating cheeriness a little.......