Thursday, 20 January 2011
Second time around...
...is very different. Day from night, black from white blah blah. First time around with Sproglet circumstances were very different: for a kick off I hadn't done the whole motherhood thang before. Then there was the heatwave (hottest day ever recorded in London, being stuck in a boxy top floor flat and the fact the council were building flats behind me and unloading concrete outside my window four times a day for an hour each time. Then there was the small fact I only had 3 months worth of money, so the clock was tick tick ticking - to lose weight (I was on screen presenting in those days), find a job, (when tv channels were shutting down left right and centre and competition for work was at an all time high) find childcare and get back and earn. Looking back, the pressure was immense and I felt every day I was struggling to tread water. I went from gal about town to trapped in a sweat box with a screaming child. To say it was a shock to the system is an understatement. I was also crushingly lonely and terrified of other Mothers and happy clappy sing-alongs - I can't hold a single note let alone a tune. 'Row row row your boat' brings me out in hives... It was hideous.
This time round is a whole new world. I have a rough idea what to do. I don't have much cash, but I don't need it either. I don't want to change careers, or am worried about finding a job - not yet anyway - there is no building work near me and I live in a comfy warm house - no mansion, but compared to the flat it is a palace. Also I know lots of folk - so every day I manage to see someone, have a coffee, or take Sproglet swimming or whatever. And the biggest shock of all is that I'm actually enjoying my baby, motherhood, and all the challenges it brings. I remember when I had Sproglet when a midwife told me to 'enjoy your baby' I looked at her as if she was mad. This red howling bundle had just nuked my life as far as I was concerned. I didn't know how to tame the beast either. But this time - well, without ten tonnes of pressure on my back, I can just kick and back and think 'all I need to achieve today is that the kids are alive, fed and clean by the end of it.' If I get that, then I'm happy. Believe me, getting through bath time warrants all kinds of awards (am doing it alone remember) so keeping it all together for a whole day feels like I have climbed mountains.
And boy am I in love. My daughter is just delicious. Even when she cries and her little face scrunches into that of an old red puffing man and she makes that grating wah wah wah wah cry - it makes me smile. I could rub her fluffy head against my cheek all day and drink in her milky sweet scent until the sun no longer shines. When her chubby cheek curls up on one side and her gummy smile reaches her twinkly blue eyes I have scored gold. When Sproglet drips water on her belly and then kisses it in their shared bath time, my heart kind of slips into my stomach. My life isn't filled with exciting stories and crazy nights - but it feels slightly magical at the moment. I get to wrap this precious bundle into my arms and rock her to sleep, listening to her contented snores. I get to watch her begin to focus on the world around her and glimpse the beginning of her relationship with Sproglet. There is a contentment that I have never known. I have a family - and all the silly moments: Sproglet imitating Mr Bean, telling me at school they asked about Daddies and he piped up 'my Daddy has smart hair'; Sproglette gazing at her Bro; eating enchiladas for dinner and talking Ben 10; bath time bubbles floating in the air like snowflakes; story time with 'the snail and the whale' for the 50 millionth time; when Sproglet first sees me outside the window at school and his face cracks into a huge grin - well, they are insignificant, mundane and utterly priceless.