back on track thanks to some help

Seeing as yesterday’s post received such lovely heart-felt comments I thought I’d better follow up quickly to let you all know how it went.

I lasted about 10-15 minutes until I just had to go to the toilet. Alexis woke when I moved but I was able to get William down to sleep in his basinet.

I was then able to spend quality time with Alexis which was great. We had a picnic (of little squares of toast with an assortment of spreads) on the kitchen floor just because we could. It was random and kind of gross but she really enjoyed herself.  One by one she picked up a piece off the plate, tasted it, then decided whether she would eat it or feed it to me. It was fun. She even ‘helped’ me clean up the crumbs off the floor. She loves the dustpan and brush, she always has.

Then aunty Monika messaged me saying she was stopping at the shops to buy morning tea and asking did I need anything while she was there. So lovely. Those of you without kids probably can’t imagine how nice that was, but those reading who have babies probably know exactly how sweet that is.

1) When you have young children ducking to the shops is incredibly difficult and it takes so long. It is so very helpful to be able to say “yes please I need milk and peanut butter, thanks!” (Yes, in our house peanut butter is an essential.)

2) She let me know she was providing morning tea so I didn’t need to stress about finding something to feed her.

3) Her saying she was making a stop informed me that she was going to be later getting here. This is really considerate to do because there is nothing worse than waiting for a visitor (to come and save you) who doesn’t turn up when you had expected. (Seriously, if you are visiting someone with babies do try to get there when you said or let them know. This allows them to work out feeds and nappy changes and whether or not they have time to shower or even use the bathroom.) 

William then woke up and I pottered along with both kids doing the best I could but just taking it easy.

Aunty Monika came bearing gifts: a toilet training ladder and ride on toy that my cousins don’t need anymore. So cool. Alexis thought this was awesome and caused her to warm up to aunty Monika very easily. They had fun playing and Alexis thought climbing up and sitting on the toilet was fun. Alexis has had moments of wanting to start toilet training herself but then she decides it takes too long and wants to run off and play. I am in no hurry as it’s easier not to be attempting toilet training right now.

Aunty Monika is the kind of guest who would be welcome back anytime. The kind of visitor who everyone loves, one who looks after themself and helps out. One who is helpful and fun and doesn’t talk your head off. One who leaves the place in a better state than when they arrived. Yes you have my full permission to get jealous, you should be. She knew Corey was away so she came prepared to help.   

She brought morning tea. She brought lunch. She brought a meal for me to heat up for dinner. She changed nappies. She was friendly with the kids. She fit into our routine. She asked me what my priorities for housework were. She listened then she got busy.

Firstly we tidied the nursery then we had a break for morning tea.(Alexis signalled it was morning tea time by raiding the fridge.) She liked her even more when she opened the bag containing morning tea which was a finger bun and bananas. She knew bananas are Alexis’ favourite food in the whole wide world.

Monika did the dishes while I fed William. She then insisted Alexis have a sleep.

As I said yesterday, I’ve had problems with Alexis being overtired (thus feral). This all stems from her missing day sleeps and not catching up. Somebody close to us told Alexis a few weeks ago that she didn’t need to have a nap because she was a “big girl” and ever since getting her to have her day sleep has been incredibly difficult. I haven’t had the energy to persevere so I gave up. She was initially sleeping well at night but then she started waking every few hours at night too. Her lack of sleep was catching up with us all.

Aunty Monika calmly but firmly told Alexis it was time for a sleep and that she would feel so much better when she woke. It took about half an hour of her continually returning Alexis to bed but eventually Alexis gave in and fell asleep. I was just standing around scratching my head at this stage so I was ordered off to bed myself while she looked after William.

It took me about 45 min to get to sleep but after I got up for some panadol and a change of clothes I was out like a light. I woke an hour and a half later feeling much better but slightly guilty. I was amazed to find out that Alexis had woken up without waking her brother or I up. She was sitting on the couch incredibly proud of herself for having a sleep. She was so happy and looked healthy.

I noticed that Aunty Monika had moved the CD tower from near the dining room into the corner of the lounge. “That looks good there, and hopefully it will stop Alexis from pulling all the cds out every day,” I said. “Good you like it? I just wanted somewhere to put those (William’s rocker and Alexis’ kicky coaster) out of the way”.

Then I turned around and saw that she had cleaned the kitchen and the dining room and picked up all the toys and collapsed the dining table (from the extended position) to free up space. The kitchen table, sink and bench were all clear and clean. Amazing! “I hope you don’t mind,” she said. I had expected she would not sit idly while the kids and I slept, but goodness me!

Now before you say, “what a strange thing to rearrange someone else’s house,” (yes I would have thought the same a year ago) it’s worth noting that the way I had things wasn’t working. I knew that but I didn’t have the ability to fix it. My aunty saw a need, had an opportunity to fix it, and did something about it. I am very grateful. I used to feel like a failure when people did my housework for me and I used to want things done a certain way but these days I don’t care who does what or how as long as it gets done.

We had lunch then she cleaned Alexis up and even put her hair up while I started to feed William. After saying goodbye to aunty Monika we were able to video call Corey on Skype while he was at the airport. Alexis had control of the laptop (scary) while I fed. After a while she started getting over excited and being rough with the laptop and William so I had to entice her into her highchair with yoghurt and strap her in while we finished chatting.

I then bathed both kids as Alexis was covered in yoghurt. I have a system which is slightly dangerous but works well if I have everything ready before I start and if both kids are alert and happy. William’s basinet has wheels so I position it just outside the bathroom. I run a bath for Alexis, clean her, then she keeps playing in the bath while I bath William in the baby bath inside the shower. We have a direct line of sight so I can still make sure she’s ok but I don’t have to try to keep her away from him because she is contained to her bath. Then I dry William, dress him in his basinet, and leave him there while I get Alexis out and dressed.           

After the baths we played, read stories, watched some TV, fed, etc etc like a normal day. We had dinner and I popped William in his basinet to try to get William to put himself to sleep. It didn’t work but it allowed me time alone with Alexis for her bedtime routine. She went off to sleep with no fuss around 7pm, I got William to sleep, then I went to bed. I was asleep by about 8:30.

Corey snuck in at some stage but I didn’t really wake up. I kind of opened my eyes and smiled and went back to sleep. I was up with William at midnight but didn’t wake Corey. I heard him up with Alexis at 3 and I know they were both fast asleep by the time I was up with William again at 3:30. It’s nice to have him home.